Training Camp Insider

With the first installment of training camp in the books the Cannons look to get back in action this weekend down in Wilton CT where they will scrimmage the Long Island Wizards. This weekend the Cannons will be joined by Captains Matt Poskay and Chris Passavia, as well as goalie Kip Turner. Having some tested veterans and proven leaders around the team will be valuable as the team develops its identity.

The second week of training camp is in a way the most important week; with many regulars still unable to join the team due to commitments in the playoffs of the NLL, this is the time for those half-dozen or so players trying to make the back-end of the roster to prove they belong.

The first weekend of training camp was significant because several players stood out, most notably Mike Stone and J.R. Oreskovich. Both players came to camp in shape, showcased their athleticism and found the back of the net often.  Even players like Stone and Oreskovich who impressed, must show the coaches they can do it consistently. Any player at this level can light it up on a particular day, but can they do it against the best players in the world again and again? That’s what will be required of them if they make the 19 man game day roster. Some players goal may be to make the additional 8 man practice squad, at least buying them more time to make an impression.

On the flip side, several players during the first weekend of camp looked “rusty” and must use this weekends opportunity against MLL competition to show they’ve shook the cobwebs. There is definitely a sense of urgency as the team is likely to make cuts following this weekend. Coach Daye has taken each player aside and talked to them privately, explaining exactly what they need to do to make this team. There’s no confusion, now the players have to get it done.

Also to keep an eye out for this weekend is the play of John Ortolani. Last year he played on the Cannons practice squad and has played for the Boston Blazers in the NLL this year. He is a face-off specialist who did not see any action last year because of the play of Chris Eck in that role. Can Ortolani distinguish himself as a defensive midi to earn a spot on the game day roster and then spell Eck from the face-off duties from time to time? If not it would be hard to justify having a face-off specialist on the game-day roster over someone more versatile.

Versatility will be especially important to the Cannons this year as they try to fill several key holes in their lineup. With the losses of Sean Morris, Matt Alrich and Brandon Corp, the Cannons have a lack of depth at attack. To fill that void they will use training camp to test some players out of position, specifically trying Poskay and Kevin Buchanan at attack. Both players are gifted and skilled lacrosse players, but will they be comfortable at attack? Switching positions at this level is easier said than done.

A couple of years ago during training camp the team tried moving Johnny Christmas to mid to fill a need there, and despite Christmas being a spectacular player, the transition was not smooth because he could not find a comfort zone. Better to find that out during training camp than during the regular season where each game is ultra important.

Lastly, while this weekends scrimmage against Long Island wont give any clear insight into how the team will fair this season as it wont have its full complement of players, it should give insight into what kind of depth the team will have which could impact how the team approaches the draft. If there’s a glaring defensive deficiency or a lack of scoring, the team may place emphasis on those positions with its third overall pick or subsequent picks. Yet another wrinkle to training camp.

So enjoy all the action those in the fertile lacrosse ground of Wilton CT and make sure to cheer on the boys loudly and embrace the face that you’re watching some of the best in the world at what they do compete.

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One Comment on “Training Camp Insider”

  1. Irish Mike Says:

    Rootin for Stoner to do work this weekend


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