BUFFALO, N.Y. - In a normal training camp, you might see two-a-day practices and grinding workouts. Well, this is no training camp and this season is anything but normal.
With the lockout scaling back the regular season schedule to 48 games, the training camp is also squeezed. The Sabres, for example will get in only 6 days of camp before opening up on Sunday afternoon (12:30 vs. Philadelphia at FNC). "You can't approach it near the way we would have had it been back in September" says Sabres' Strength & Conditioning coach Doug McKenney.
The team is trying to get players in a mid-season schedule mode. That is why they held a scrimmage Monday night, and plan on srimmaging the Rochester Americans as well later in the week. The thought is to simulate a mid-season feel.
As far as individuals, McKenney says that they are weighing each player before and after workouts so they can make sure they stay hydrated. McKenney says the way to prevent muscle strain-type injuries is through proper hydration. The coaching staff is also keeping an eye on player performance through technology. Each player wears a heart rate monitor during practice. The monitors are fed to a computer through a wireless receiver. Through the data, the staff can make sure each player is getting the proper work-to-recovery ratio, and can tailor practices to do so.
As an overall assessment, McKenney says that by-and-large, the team is 'pretty fit" heading into Sunday's opener against the Flyers.