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09-20-2003, 07:19 PM
  #125
BrettHabs24
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I was at the game, it was excellent. Here are my thoughts on each player:

The DEFENSE:

-Brisebois: didnt see too much ice time, wasnt so noticeable. Didnt play horrible, but nothing spectacular. He did seem to play with some grit though, which was nice.

-Beauchemin: Fair. He wont make the team, he shouldnt make the team, but overall he was just fair.

-Souray: SOOOOO good to have him back. He is a monster. He is just so big and so strong and so nasty and he clears out everything in front of the net and defends his teammates with ease.. Definitely a strong boost to the lineup.

-Rivet: Very solid. Added a goal which was nice. He seemed to be playing with grit as usual, defending our smaller guys.. Very consistent.

-Hainsey: Looked awesome. Must have had about seven or eight shots on goal. It would be a crime if he doesnt make this team. He works hard, he plays with intensity, he has an excellent shot from the point and he and Komi seemed to have great chemistry.

-Komi: Looked better then he did all of last year. Gritty, delivered some punishing hits.. Solid, solid, solid..

The FORWARDS:

-Perezhogin: Didnt like the line he was on.. Should have played with Koivu IMO.. I didnt feel it gave him a chance to truly shine. Anyway, from what I saw, he is a keeper, but he is soft. I need to see more to figure out his game, but he definitely has a shot at making the team

-Perreault: Seemed stronger.. He looks like he worked out in the offseason and got much wider, yet he also seemed to be really skating fast.. Much improved, but this year, he needs to keep this up all the way through and not run out of gas by January

-Bulis: The same consistently strong guy we have seen the last year. He works hard, he skates hard, he plays with passion and truly is refershing to see on the ice. Love this guy.

-Ward: Meh, fair... Didnt play too well IMO. His skating is just horrible and he needs to crash the net more and use his size to his advantage. I'll give him a few more chances, but tonight, he didnt play like an NHL callibre player.

-Ryder: CLAP CLAP. Very nice game from the youngster, chipping in with two assists. He worked so hard and just seems like he is working his butt off to make this team. I could even see him on the top line with Koivu. His skating is fair, but he just seems to know the game. Impressive.

-Koivu: So sad to see the injury, I hope its not serious. He played well for the first period though.

-Sundstrom: Solid. Nothing special. Certainly doesnt belong on a line with Koivu and on the PP, but he did his job for the most part. I just wish he let himself go sometimes, instead of sticking to the rulebook and dumping and chasing.. He just always seems to dump the puck-- SKATE MY FRIEND!

-Juneau: Blah. Couldnt compete with the young guys. He must be a leader in the dressing room, because otherwise, I dont see a reason why he is still around.. I guess its his contract. But honestly, he plays OK, but is nothing special at all.

-Dackell: He is done with this club. Just always seems tired to me, always seems like he has some weights on his back when he is moving.. Dump and chase, dump and chase, dump and chase... Good bye Andy. Nice knowing you.

-Dwyer: GOOD GAME FOR THE BIG GUY. Not only got the goal, but fought (he lost, but hey Neil is one of the best) and created intensity. But what I love about him is that not only does he fight and get on the other team's nerves (he was on top of Neil the ENTIRE game) but he does this without hurting the team.. Blouin for example would always take penalties at the wrong times and just forget there was actually a puck on the ice. Gordie is very responsible. Well done.

-Higgins: Didnt notice him much. He played OK, but he is very small.. Though he did deliver a few checks and played solidly in his own zone. Definitely a good two way player, but I would like to see him bulk up a little bit and maybe contribute more in the offensive zone.

-Hossa: Much improved! Skated faster, worked harder and played with more intensity. Didnt seem like the same player, and that is definitely good news. He could earn a spot on that top line. Though he did give away the puck in the neutral zone about 5 or 6 times.... Overall, he was very very good.

The GOALIES:

-Fichaud: Brutal. He played brutal. But he is hurt now so I dont know what will happen with the goaltending situation in Hamilton....

-Theo: Hard to say. He looked very very solid at times, but then again a couple of those goals were softies.. But from what I saw and considering this is the first game he has played, I think he can definitely bounce back..

Overall, though we didnt win, again, we outplayed the opposition overall and I was happy to see the team play very well. Julien seems to have a good relationship with the guys, and I thought it was very admirable of him to call a timeout, and pull Theo with 45 seconds left, in an attempt to get that goal.. He really wants to win. I didnt expect that. The Koivu injury is definitely a negative, BUT, it is called a "sprained knee" and who knows what that means.. It could be serious, it may not be.. Lets just hope it isnt.

GOOD GAME! The crowd was great.

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