Final thoughts from training camp
-- Forget about outplaying Ty Conklin. Jimmy Howard hasn't outplayed Daniel Larsson ... and that's a compliment to Larsson, not a slam on Howard. The Swedish netminder has come to camp ready and looks very strong. He's an excellent position netminder, who looks much better than a No. 2 AHL goalie.
-- Mattias Ritola's stock has risen since last fall. How's this for a nifty snapshot? With the puck on a 2-on-1, Ritola threads a pass tonight through the feet of a defenseman onto the stick of his linemate for a great scoring chance. The defenseman? Nicklas Lidstrom.
-- Francis Lemieux, a 24-year-old three-year veteran of the AHL showed an excellent offensive game in camp. He's a Grand Rapids contract player.
-- Wait until you see Marian Hossa's defensive game. He's not Pavel Datsyuk, but he's excellent. With his speed and size, Hossa ran several opponents off the puck on the backcheck.
-- Darren McCarty has outplayed Aaron Downey in camp. There's a long way to go until the roster is named though.
-- Ville Leino looked excellent in the scrimmages, always around the puck and defensively responsible. He wasn't nearly as noticeable in tonight's Howe/Lindsay game, however, with a higher talent level.
-- Logan Pyett is a defenseman to watch. For a player who built a reputation with great offense, Pyett is quite good in the defensive zone.