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09-21-2008, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by DKH View Post
I was at both sessions today. These are practices and I am no expert but if you want a few observations here goes.

Mark Stuart looks outstanding. He looks fast, his mobility is off the charts, he looks quicker, acts more confident, and was great in the drills especially one on one. You just watch him and you know something is different- and it's all positive. Good luck beating this guy one on one.

I thought Patrice Bergeron was fantastic as well. He was flying and making sick plays with his linemantes, Kessel and Sturm. Which brings me to my next point.....

Can I flip flop...I been advocating a Bergeron line with Sturm and Kobasew,,,ummm scratch that. Phil Kessel was arguably the best player on the ice. He fakes Chara out so bad on a move, Big Z took an unexpected seat on the ice. It was Habs like playoff goal. And he wasn't done, he had a couple more. I was in the trade Kessel (if you can land a young stud d man) group. Scratch that. This line could be one of the best if not the best second lines in hockey. If you go to practice and just watch Kessel skate and screw around with the puck it is worth the trip.

Milan Lucic looked quicker, and if he really is (remember my 'not an expert' line) look out NHL. He's got pretty good moves- clearly this guy is not wearing mittens when he gets the puck. His shoulders are so much wider than anyone else you understand that with his desire to make contact leaves opponents getting displaced.

After reading Kirk's outstanding assessment of the prospects I decided to key on Matt Lashoff. He looks sleeker, and if you like watching skating, effortless movement then this is your guy. He has the size, the look, the skating that scouts must drool over. I'm not a 'paying much attention to passing' guy but he made a few saucers and feather passes that either came down right on the tape or hit the middle of the blade.

If you like skating and some skill- or alot of it, watch Lashoff and Kessel and you wont be disappointed.


Blake Wheeler was very good in the 3 on 3 drills, scoring a couple of goals with great shots. He's going to be fun to watch in Providence. He's a very big boy, moves well, shoots even better, and if he has even average snarl he's going to be in the NHL playing some roll for a long time. Lehtonen is big and lanky, Blake is big and solid- not a block, not wide like Lucic, but well put together. I am super intrigued by this guy in how he plays in the preseason.

Brad Marchand- did not notice or pay attention much to him, probably because just blown away by the Sturm-Bergeron-Kessel line, but did watch him do laps and he can really cruise. He certainly seems to have NHL speed.

Vlad Sobotka - didn't pay alot of attention to him either, but Ramsey called him over once and whatever he said, Sobotka smiled and as he skated away the former Sabres had a wide grin. He is just a beautiful world class skater- very unique style but he just wisps himself across the ice. He's not a big kid but give me one of these on any team I am rooting for.

The top regular season lines were all together



Kobasew was moving very well, but he got smoked by Alberts once, the only real hard hit I saw. Most of the corner work was at a 5-7 (maybe) on the intensity dial.

Chara looked fine and had a fake fight with Thornton afterwards- just smiling and goofing around.

Wideman got hit with a shot up high but shook it off and looked fine in the drills.

Ward was Ward, smiling, almost a coach on the ice, character, you can tell loves this team.

Savard had some sick-like Savard moves on the drills to set up Ryder and/or Lucic. When he gets the puck sometimes it is only for a millisecond as he reroutes it; amazing how the heck he knows where his linemate is.

Claude called Ryder over once and talked to him about positioning on some drill. With Claude the coach, the movitation of the contract, Habs pay back, and the doubters he has oodles of incentive.

There was a good group of people at this so I expect a few HF people to weigh in.


Bergeron looks like he is a beast.

Stuart appears quicker, more confident, and his lateral play off the charts.

Kessel is worth the trip.

The Lucinator or Lucamotive seems to be moving from point A to point B faster and a more fluid stride than last years sometimes choppy laborous trips.

Matt Lashoff has all the visuals you want to see before any puck is dropped between adversaries.
This was fantastic, made me really excited, I really like those line combos and your reports on Stuart and Lashoff were very much appreciated.

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