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McDavid, Canada get to work at world junior camp

McDavid, Canada get to work at world junior camp

Posted by Juan Gavasa on December 12, 2014

“Practice!? We’re talking about practice, man! We ain’t talking about the game.”

Those were the infamous, honest, words of NBA star Allen Iverson when he scoffed at the very idea of ‘practice’ back in 2001.

This year’s Canadian world junior hopefuls convened in suburban Toronto on Thursday and are faced with a jam-packed schedule of practices over the next nine days, an average of more than one per day. And one of the first things we learned about this group of good Canadian boys is that they disagree with Iverson’s philosophies on practice. Or maybe they’re just good liars?

I mean, really, how many teenage boys could actually be excited about a week full of training and learning, with very little playing? But when asked if they were looking forward to this span of practice, practice, practice, here were some answers given by the players:

Sam Reinhart, Kootenay Ice (Buffalo Sabres) “That’s an important nine days. We can build a lot off those nine days. It’s a pretty busy schedule, and I think it’s important to get on the ice every day and get familiar with each other.”

Anthony Duclair, New York Rangers “We want to start from scratch, and build some chemistry early on in this camp, and see where it goes from there.”

Zach Fucale, Halifax Mooseheads (Montreal Canadiens) “We can just take these practices, not worry about anything else. Prepare yourself mentally, physically, and make sure you have a good feeling coming in to this tournament.”

Max Domi, London Knights (Arizona Coyotes) “Yeah, you just try to get your feet wet, and learn the systems, and go from there.”

Connor McDavid is the only man in yellow (non-contact), but his broken hand is looking good. #Canada

The one player who may legitimately be looking forward to endless practice is Connor McDavid. He has not played a game since November 12 when he suffered a fracture in his right hand during a fight. The cast is now off, and he has been cleared to skate with Team Canada. “I can take full slap shots, so the hand feels good and the wrist is not that stiff,” says McDavid. “I wasn’t exactly taking it easy with the cast on. I was shooting with the cast on.”

The 17-year-old did not look out of place during the team’s first practice, other than his yellow non-contact jersey.

“I’ve been skating for three weeks now—almost bag skating,” the kid who’s profiled in the upcoming edition of Sportsnet magazine says. “I’ve been saying that my legs have felt better than they did before I got hurt. So the legs are feeling pretty good.”

The Erie Otters captain had a whopping 51 points in 18 OHL games before the injury. Thanks in part to these hands he displayed, while the rest of Team Canada was blocking shots.

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