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Panthers players 'super pumped' to move from tough part of training camp to preseason games

By David Dwork,


It’s been quite a start to Florida Panthers Training Camp at the Ice Den in Coral Springs.

Intense 90-minute sessions for the nearly-60 players at Cats camp have been demanding and exhausting, but as much of them have told us, equally rewarding.

But now those days are done.

Monday the Panthers will open their preseason schedule with a doubleheader against the visiting Nashville Predators.

Ahead of the games and after the conclusion of the intense opening week of camp, we heard from a few Florida players.

Sasha Barkov on training camp: “It's been a very positive and hardworking camp so far. I know we haven't really had a chance to see what the other group does because we're trying to recover from our own sessions, but what I'm seeing from our group is just hard work all the time, every drill and every chance they (have to) go and do something, it's hard work. That's what we want to do every practice throughout the whole season.”

Mackie Samoskevich on playing his first NHL preseason game: “I’m super pumped. I feel good right now, camp has gone well for me for sure. Playing with guys out there like (Anton Lundell) and (Eetu Luostarinen), it makes it so easy for me so I'm not really worried. They've helped me so much with learning the system and stuff like that, so I think it'll be a seamless transition going from practice to the game.”

Sam Reinhart on starting the season strong: “It's a good time of year to start. It usually takes a bit for me, so I think the emphasis is trying to minimize the time it takes to come back. I think with the short offseason I’ve felt much better, I’m much more prepared for game situations, so I'm looking forward to getting back out there.”

Barkov on playing preseason games: “I think everyone wants to play games now. I know we've been actually having fun practicing hard, but we want to play hockey and tomorrow is the first chance so we're excited to, and at the same time to play at home in front of our own fans and get back at it, it's going to be a fun day tomorrow.”

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