Tracking the Storm

A Lesson in Powerskating

Thursday, 07.18.2013 / 11:15 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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A Lesson in Powerskating

Revamped for this year, the Carolina Hurricanes Prospects Development Camp aims to hone the various details of players’ games.

Michael Smith
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The focus Wednesday evening was skating. Enter Kim Muir, who led two groups through powerskating lessons as players lunged, hopped and pulled each other down the ice.

“I’m not teaching basic skills out here. I’m teaching high-end skating for the game,” Muir said. “We try to make sure we teach the kids how to do the drills without the puck, with the puck or in game situations.”

Muir hails from the suburbs of Detroit, where she grew up with in a hockey family. Her dad coached and refereed, and her brother played college hockey at Minnesota. She took up figure skating.

“I would tell my brothers, ‘You should try this move and that move’ because as figure skaters, we’re taught technically how to skate,” she said. “Of course, them being 10-12 years older than I am, they were like, ‘Whatever, Kim.”

When Muir was 15, she was approached by a hockey coach who wanted her to teach his team how to skate.

Today, she packs 21 years of powerskating instruction under her belt and has worked with the Detroit Red Wings and Plymouth Whalers (OHL), among other teams and clients. She also led the Charlotte Checkers in a few midseason lessons in 2012-13.

“Having new guys, it’s great to inspire them,” she said. “The gratification is the instant ‘Ah-ha!’ moment that they see why they would use [a certain move].”

“She really wants you to take your time with things, but at the same time take those things forward and maybe use them in a game,” said defenseman Austin Levi, who has worked with Muir in Plymouth. “You’re honing skills, and I think that’s something they’re trying to do at camp here.”

Muir said she has trained with Canes defenseman Tim Gleason since he was a teenager.

“To have them back then, see them develop, grow, succeed and do well is gratifying, and it’s an honor to be a part of their life,” Muir said.

A number of the 26 prospects in town for this week’s camp have had powerskating lessons before, with Muir or otherwise.

Wednesday was goaltender Daniel Altshuller’s first time working with Muir but not his first time doing powerskating. He and the two other goaltenders at camp – Charlie Millen and Collin Olson – completed the drills in full equipment.

“Sometimes you look a little goofy, but it helps out with our balance,” Altshuller said. “Sometimes you get in those tight situations where maybe you have to throw in a twirl or two to make a save.”

Powerskating training is different than running standard drills in practice, but that’s the point; it forces players to think about and approach their skating in a new manner.

“It takes you out of your comfort zone a little,” Altshuller said. “When that happens you can either just throw it out the window and say, ‘Yeah, I can’t do that,’ or you give it a try. Sometimes you can surprise yourself.”

“Your legs feel it a lot more,” said Brody Sutter, who worked with Muir in Charlotte. “As long as you stay focused, you can get a lot out of it.”

Including sore muscles the next morning.

“Oh, definitely,” Levi said. “The groins will be a little sore tomorrow, that’s for sure.”

“They should be [sore],” Muir said. “If not, we’ll do it again.”

Muir said she plans to lead more powerskating instruction at the Hurricanes and Checkers training camps in September. Becoming a more refined skater through powerskating is accomplished through repetition, she said.

“Through performance comes confidence,” she said. “You need to have someone tell you, technically, what you’re doing right and wrong.”

Muir concludes each powerskating session with a hug for each player, something that never ceases to elicit a smile.

“[Hugs] are free, right? When you make a connection with someone, that’s what it’s all about,” Muir said. “If that’s what connects you and you make them feel good, then you had a great day.”



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72