Dylan Yeo called it a couple weeks ago.
later on in the year there will be a couple fights like any family will have,” the Reign captain said.
“It comes with being a hockey player. It’s something to push through. When
you’re on the ice, it’s all business and you’re a family again.”
J.D. Watt, Francois Brisebois and the rest of the Reign can spend the afternoon pushing through an on-ice scuffle between the two players that got Watt kicked out of practice immediately, and saw Brisebois hobble off the ice a bit later with what can only be described at a glance as a “lower-body injury.”
Coach Jason Christie’s assessment: “It’s intense and that stuff happens. We’ve got to see how to approach it and how to deal with it. Hopefully Bris is all right. But you have those emotions run high. Especially the practices we’re doing here, running and gunning. The way it happened, I wasn’t a big fan of it. Especially how it did happen. Bris was not in the wrong there. We’ll cross that bridge here. We’ll go back, have a meeting about it, and go from there.”
Watt, to his credit, was willing to talk about it after practice.
“It happens,” Watt said. “Guys get intense. It was a heat-of-the-moment practice kind of thing. You never want to hurt anyone. I think Brisebois’ all fine. I talked to him afterwards. … Everyone does things they probably wish they wouldn’t do. Teams win games because they’re competitive, and you practice like you play. … Not to say you go out there to do that kind of stuff, but in the heat of the moment it happens.”
We’ll see how this plays out. If Yeo is correct, they’ll all be one big happy family before long.
A few more notes:
- The Reign have had so much bad luck with their defensemen this season, a good problem is past due. Here’s one: Pat Bowen declared himself healthy and ready for the weekend series in Colorado. Philippe Seydoux had to go to Calgary to get his P-1 visa processed and will also play if he can get to Loveland in time. So will it be Bowen or Seydoux (or both) making his season debut this weekend? “We want to make sure Bowen’s 100 percent,” Christie said. “We’ve got extra guys here, so now is the time to make sure he’s completely healed.” Bowen, sporting a chunky but inobtrusive brace on his right knee, said “I think I’m ready to go.”
- Besides when he had his spleen removed in college and was bedridden for a month, Bowen said this is the longest he’s ever been injured.
- Seydoux was talking about going to the U.S. Consulate in Vancouver to get his P-1, but Christie said that Vancouver couldn’t accommodate him before Dec. 7. So they booked him a flight to Calgary. Seydoux couldn’t go to Mexico (like Francois Brisebois did during training camp) because he is Swiss, not Canadian. I’m not remotely familiar with immigration law, but there’s your perfunctory explanation.
- Kyle Kraemer skated for the fourth straight day, but is “still a couple weeks away,” Christie said.
- Matt Tassone was the winner of a shootout drill at the end of practice. Geoff Irwin and C.J. Stretch (on Dustin Carlson) and Tassone and Dylan Yeo (on J-F Berube) were the only shooters who scored. Tassone beat Berube glove-side for the win.
- Adrian van de Mosselaer (mononucleosis) joined the team at Center Ice Arena for the first time today and will continue skating tomorrow.
- The defense pairs were fluid with seven on the ice (Yeo, Bowen, JP Cote, Steven Tarasuk, Vincent LoVerde, Chris Huxley, Mike Montgomery). Here were the forward combinations:
Geoff Irwin-C.J. Stretch-Derek Couture
Matt Tassone-Francois Brisebois-Brady Calla
Chris Cloud-Bill Bagron-Shayne Neigum
- Check out tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin for a thorough account of Chad Starling’s unusual, unlucky training camp saga.