Fourth Day Scrimmage Results

Team White defeated Team Black today by a final count of 3-0 on the back of a Mathieu Darche hat trick in the final day of camp scrimmages. According to Erik Erlendsson of the Trib, two of Darche's goal were of the "soft" variety, given up by Johan Holmqvist. Brad Richards, Matt Smaby, Brad Lukowich, Chris Gratton and Kyle Wanvig each had assists.

Karri Ramo was a perfect today between the pipes and unofficially takes the camp statistical title among goaltenders with a sparkling 1.08 GAA and .967 save percentage, followed closely by Denis.

Erlendsson also reports a minor foot injury to forward Jan Hlavac and a potentially bad tailbone injury to enforcer Andre Roy which could possibly open up a spot for someone like Karl Stewart if it is serious.

Lines have been announced for tomorrow's exhibition game against Dallas:

Karlsson/Richards/Ouellet
Craig/Gratton/Ward
Darche/Jones/Wanvig
Milley/MacDonald/Stewart

Kuba/O'Brien
Lampman/Schneider
Lundin/Leach

Denis
Ramo

Darche/Jones/Wanvig continues to look like Norfolk's top line combo heading into the year.

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Let the battle begin...

With the lines and pairings for the Dallas game announced, we see some battles taking shape.

No surprise, but Ramo and Denis head-to-head. I expect them to split time.

Lundin paired with the physical Leach for 3rd pair minutes. Both are destined for Norfolk camp, although Lundin's stock is rising. Lampman getting 2nd pair minutes and appears to be in the mix for the 7th defenseman.

Norfolk's probable top line of Darche-Jones-Wanvig continues to get minutes together. Admiral fans should take note. Last year's Ads captain MacDonald is getting a serious look as a 13th forward for the Bolts. His centering of Tarnasky and Roy during intrasquad scrimmages have drawn complimentary remarks. Against Dallas, his wingmen of Milley and Stewart have lots to prove to stay in camp beyond Saturday. Let's see how Mac does against another team and with less skilled wingers.

Is Hlavac just hurt, or is Karlsson the early leader for Richards' wingman?

Hlavac/Karlsson

Probably a little of both, but Karlsson's been getting some good comments from Torts in the papers.

All friendly wagers aside, what worries me about dumping Hlavac off that line is Hlavac doesn't seem ideal or maybe even usable as a lower line guy whereas Karlsson has a year of experience in TB doing just that. If the drop off from AK to Hlavac isn't that great, I'd rather Hlavac get that spot and have a stronger lower line with Karlsson.

Watch out for Karlsson. This could be a developing story and not just a little experiment.

(Half-serious) I'm not sure it's a good thing that AK was given a recommendation by Marty St. Louis and to an extent, Richards coming into the year. Previous recommendations (Perrin, Affy) haven't worked out too well in 2nd line roles.

Craig is a 3rd liner...

IMO, moving AK to 2nd line wing doesn't result in a drop off in the 3rd line. Remember, Ryan Craig is still on the roster! A line of Craig-Gratton-Ward should still be a decent third line.

Disclaimer: I'm not avocating AK as a 2nd liner at all. I've never thought the Hlavac experiment would go anywhere as long as he's been played with Richards and Ouellet. The real answer is to trade for a legit 2nd liner...

But, we got what we got... at least until ownership changes hands.

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