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First Practice Observations

Sorry for not getting this up sooner, trying to get a handle on stories for tomorrow. But here are some of my earliest observations.

--Karl Alzner looks good and the thing that stood out the most is how polished he is. He's bigger than I remember him looking last year and he's living up to his billing as a calm on-ice presence. If you get a chance to visit Kettler, watch him skate. His footwork is a lot more fluid than some of the choppy styles you'll see from other defensemen. You'll be able to read more about Alzner in my story for tomorrow's paper.

--Michal Neuvirth looked OK, nothing too special this first time out. Players are available after the final on-ice practice of the day, and I'll find out how his knee's feeling. But I had to do a double take when I first saw him on the ice because he's wearing one of Brent Johnson's masks.

-- LW Oskar Osala is a big kid. And he's a strong skater, better than his 6 foot 4, 217 vitals might suggest at first glance. I'm looking forward to seeing what he does during these scrimmages.

More to come after Group B skates. I'm curious to see Simeon Varlamov a year later.

By Katie Carrera  |  July 7, 2008; 12:49 PM ET
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