|(Credit: Texas Stars)|
"We feel like we have the team to win a championship," said Derek Laxdal. "It's a great group of guys, and there's a vibe in the dressing room, the vibe you need to have to be a playoff team."
The two keywords for the entire team are speed and depth. The team is fast, as many may have noticed on Saturday at the preseason game. "Team speed is huge in the game, and I haven't seen a team this fast since my second year here and this team is much faster."
The addition of Curtis McKenzie added to the already significant depth on the team. Jason Dickinson is bullish on the team's ability to compete in the league, "We've got 5 very capable lines right now. Anyone on our team would make any other team in the league. If anyone goes down, we've got someone who can step in."
Laxdal called it the best training camp he's had while in the AHL.
A few other notes here:
- Coach Laxdal is very aware and ready for the veteran issue. With eight guys in the veteran group, there will be two scratches each night. The vets met Tuesday morning to discuss the issues and the message was that 'these things have a way of working themselves out.'
- The team overall seems very settled down by the presence of Mike McKenna. Morin noted, "Nothing against the goalies we've had but they've been young guys, inexperienced. It's nice to have a presence back there who's been through, played at all levels, won at all levels."
- Landon Bow and Philippe Desrosiers will platoon back and forth to Idaho in all likelihood, regardless of who wins the job out of camp.
- Roope Hintz is ready for the North American game. Jason Dickinson said Hintz has skipped the entire 'finding his game' period of the transition. He's "ready to go."
- Coach Laxdal plans to go with three alternate captains to start the season and figure out the captaincy at that point, if at all.
- Laxdal also said he was happy for Patrik Nemeth, who was claimed off waivers today. "We're really happy for Nemeth. He's been a great citizen for the organization and gets a second chance with Colorado."
The season starts Friday at home against Chicago.