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Training Camp Blog: Day Two

Inside the Dallas Stars 2008 Training Camp

Saturday, 09.20.2008 / 9:14 PM CT / 2008 Training Camp Blog
By Dallas Stars Staff
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Training Camp Blog: Day Two

Throughout training camp, different members of the Dallas Stars will sit down and share their thoughts on the day’s events leading up until Opening Night.

Day 2: September 20, 2008
Left Wing James Neal

Today’s the second day of camp – time to get on the ice and get some scrimmaging in. I’m staying at the Embassy Suites, so we woke up around 9:15 a.m. and got some breakfast. We came over to the rink and did a quick off-ice workout because we didn’t skate with the early Group (Group A). So we did a little workout then went right into the scrimmage. I was on the Black Team, playing alongside Brad Richards and Loui Eriksson – two good linemates. It was the first scrimmage and it went pretty well, even though we lost, 2-1, through two 20-minute periods. Afterward, Group B had a quick practice on the ice with some conditioning skating at the end. We’re getting ready for tomorrow and now we’ve got some down time for the rest of the day, so I’m going to rest up for tomorrow and the exhibition games that are coming up.

Overall in camp, I feel good. Coming in last year, I was obviously trying to come in to take a spot and play in the NHL, but it turned out I needed to go back to the American League. It’s always tough when you get sent down when you have such high expectations for yourself coming into camp. It was better for me though, and I matured, got better and got the experience I needed. I feel good coming into camp now and I think I’m ready to play in the NHL.

Before camp here in Dallas started, I was up with the team playing in the Traverse City tournament. I’m older now, this is my third year there, so I knew exactly what to expect and I just wanted to make a good impression and get ready for camp. We had a good team and things went really well in Traverse City, and now we’ve just got to bring that momentum over to camp here in Dallas.

Winning the tournament was a great accomplishment. You always want to win when you’re in tournaments like that – everyone is so competitive. At the same time, it really got me ready for camp. I got my game legs and it gave me some game experience and now I’m ready to go for camp here.

This year and in this camp, I’m just trying to focus on getting bigger and stronger. As a young guy, that’s something you’re always trying to work on. I’m just working on some little things and trying to absorb everything around here, and watch the guys that have been around the League for a long time. You just want to do things that will help you get a spot and stay in the NHL as long as you can.

Everyone’s been great around here; I can’t even say one guy’s been helping me more than the others because everyone in the dressing room is so nice. Marty Turco, Modano, Morrow, Trevor Daley … you can just keep going around the room and they’re all great. They’re always talking to you and always helping you out. It’s a good atmosphere, and they’re great guys. I got to live with Trevor last summer, and I was able to work out with him every day. He’s a younger guy, too, and he showed me how hard he worked and the time he spent in the gym doing the little things that make him so good on the ice.

As far as making the team this year, I’m a year older and have a year of playing in the AHL under my belt. I think I’m ready and I feel ready to make the jump to the NHL. It’s a dream come true to be in this position, and I’m just trying to make a good impression to everyone and get myself a spot to play in the National Hockey League.

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1 CHI 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 54 21 28 5 132 164 47


J. Benn 53 28 31 15 59
T. Seguin 53 28 28 10 56
J. Klingberg 53 8 35 14 43
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 53 16 24 -1 40
C. Eakin 53 10 13 1 23
A. Goligoski 53 3 20 17 23
M. Janmark 53 10 9 13 19
A. Roussel 51 8 10 5 18
V. Nichushkin 50 6 12 7 18
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 13 5 0 .907 2.82
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