Remember how yesterday we waxed poetic about those days when a blog post idea just finds us, instead of us having to labor excessively to produce something half-assed? Well guess what, Gentle Reader! It happened again today! We were finishing up dinner and something marvelous happened: we either stumbled across some old pictures on one of our laptops from our trip to training camp last year, or we had the TV on and it was set to TCM while they were showing the James Cagney movie G-Men. One of those things. We’re not saying which one. At any rate, we realized we simply had to share these photos of the Devils in their full training-camp splendor, to help brighten these brutally hockeyless dog days of summer.
The first thing we saw at training camp that day lo so many months ago was the boys doing some loosely-organized stretching. Here’s Paulie Martin, notorious non-stretcher, in the background leaning against that column, doing his best to limber up his hamstrings while the coaching staff mills about in the foreground.
That Paulie! He’s such a hard worker!
Meanwhile, Zach and Travis were at the other side of the training facility, Zach in his black woolen turtleneck and Travis in gray sweats. While Captain Fuck This Shit wandered between them, conducting their stretches, Travis worked his stretchy rope things attached to the wall, and Zach defiantly held his indian clubs at his side.
“Can’t make me do indian club stretching!” he snotted, but one stern look from Langer made Zach fall into line.
The Devils have the finest indian club facilities in the NHL, it should be noted. No one else works the indian clubs with the kind of focus and dedication that the Devils training staff has, and that’s why you see so few indian-club related injuries on the Devils in comparison to other teams. Also that’s why you see the Devils so far surpassing all other teams in the areas of hockey that require the skills needed to wave bowling pins around one’s head.
Once most of the stretching was done, Coach Robinson did a little mano-a-mano work with Johnny Oduya to practice the best way to respond when you’ve dropped your stick in the middle of intense pressure in your own defensive zone. Because Whitey is a seasoned vet, he already knows to roll around on the floor in a panic, so he was able to opt out of the drill. You can see him in the background, staying warm with the jumprope.
Whitey was looking every which kind of hot in his short shorts and midriff-baring top, especially when Coach Sutter strutted through in his tight gray sweatpants. Grrrowl!
That’s a lot of hott!
So while it was really awesome to get to see world-class athletes working out with state-of-the-art equipment, the real highlight of our trip to training camp was when the fighting practice started. Ever wonder why the Devils are such feared heavyweights? Because they are students of aesthetics; they value the art of fisticuffs, and the traditions. Behold:
The blows they land are not as important as the composition they strike. Function follows form when you’re a Devils goon. And look at the classroom environment! The boys drape themselves over the high-tech gym apparati like pommel horses and lightly-stuffed gym mats, and soak up every pearl of wisdom bestowed upon them by Coach Sutter. There’s a reason the Devils were a playoff team last season — the seeds of success were planted in the early days of the preseason.