DETROIT - With just one day of training camp left before Saturday's season opener against St. Louis, the Detroit Red Wings are ready to drop the puck.
The Red Wings have utilized what little time they've had working on as many aspects of the game as they can.
"You have to take one thing at a time, first work on power play, PK and then move on to something else," Mikael Samuelsson said.
While training camp was much shorter than usual, the player-organized practices and playing overseas during the lockout has helped offset the lack of preseason play.
"We've been preparing on our own," Johan Frazen said after practice Thursday. "We didn't know when [the season] would start so we've been skating out in Troy or in Europe."
"We've had four months to prepare for when we'd be called upon," Red Wings Forward Jordin Tootoo said. "I think we've all been waiting for this moment for a long time."
And while the week-long training camp might not be the ideal situation for preparing for the season, the Red Wings are ready to go. Practice makes perfect, but getting in actual game-shape for the NHL season doesn't start until the games begin.
"You can practice all you want but there's a difference between practice and game-shape," Tootoo said. "Obviously a lot of us haven't played a lot of games here so it might take a game or two games to shake off the cobwebs.
The Red Wings open the regular season this Saturday on the road against the St. Louis Blues before traveling to Columbus for a game against the Blue Jackets on Monday. The home-opener for Detroit is Tuesday against the Dallas Stars.
Mark Pierce is a sports reporter for ClickOnDetroit.com.
Contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Mark_J_Pierce.
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