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09-19-2003, 07:34 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Minnesota
Country: Ukraine
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I'm in a great mood, despite the loss, because hockey is finally back! I'm sure most of you saw the recap, know the score, so I won't bother with that.

The Wild lines tonight (no slick little table, sorry :p )

Mika Hannula - Mark Cullen - Richard Park
Three Energizer Bunnies on one line. Not bad at all, their hustle often led to turnovers and scoring chances. I wouldn't mind to see them as the checking line this season.

Jeremy Stevenson - PM Bouchard - Matt Foy
Bouchard was our best player out there today. He was all over the ice, created a lot of chances for his linemates. I believe he did get an assist on the Mitchell goal. Foy and Stevenson couldn't really keep up with him, were both just a step behind.

Antti Laaksonen - Armands Berzins - Andrew Brunette
Well, this line was cycling the puck. A lot. What else would you expect from a line with Bruno and Antti? Would be a good line, if they had a finisher. Berzins is not ready, didn't see much from him.

Matt Johnson - Dan Cavanaugh - Jim Dowd
This line played pretty good, scored the first goal. Cavanaugh was alright. He came out flying, but wasn't as effective towards the end of the game. He also saw some PP and PK time, so I think the coaching staff is rewarding him for having a good camp and for playing with a lot of desire. Hard to say if he will stick, but he has a chance IMO.

Willie Mitchell - Zbynek Michalek
Michalek played a very solid game. He is very good at making the first pass out of the zone, very confident on the point on the PP. I think he is ready for the NHL, he didn't look out of place at all. The only negative thing I noticed about him- he doesn't look very interested in physical play. He would much rather have other players do the physical part, so that he can scoop up the loose puck and start the rush.

Filip Kuba - Travis Roche
I'm not sure on Roche. On one hand he has very good skills, but he hasn't done anything that would make me go: "Wow, good play". He was good playing the point, but that's about it. It seems that he can't always make a split-second decision, he often makes it a split-second too late. Defended a two-on-one in the 3rd period, and looked a little awkward doing it.

Brad Bombardir - Chris McAlpine
McAlpine doesn't know what to do with the puck, period. And even when he knows what to do, he doesn't have the skills to do it. I think Brown is better. This pairing made me nervous every time they were on the ice. And it wasn't all McAlpine's fault either.

Dwayne Roloson
I thought Rollie played good. He couldn't do much on all 4 goals- one was a breakaway (by Cooke ), another one was a rebound in the crease that should have been cleared, and two slam-dunks ten seconds apart where he had to move all the way across the crease.

People that impressed me: Mika Hannula, Mark Cullen, Zbynek Michalek.
Borderline: Matt Foy, Dan Cavanaugh, Travis Roche.
I was not impressed by: Armands Berzins, Chris McAlpine
(Of course, I am talking about newcomers only)

My first thought after the game was- we need a sniper REALLY BAD! Gaborik and Dupuis type player. It was very evident. A lot of energy guys, but no real finisher. A lot of good scoring chances, but no one who can put them away.

Bouchard, Brunette, and Foy looked really good on PP together, but again, there was nobody to finish.

I though I was seeing doubles when we were killing penalties, but no- it was actually Laaksonen and Hannula It's amazing how much those two are alike- they skate alike, play alike, even look alike from the top of the 100 level. To me Hannula has a little more snarl to his game though, which I like.

Johnson fought Martin Grenier in the first. Nothing special *yawn*.

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