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10-30-2009, 03:07 AM
  #355
Kiddington
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Reno, NV
Country: Russian Federation
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...couple of things I took from tonight's game. First, the bad:

1. One of the biggest problems with this team, and I can't stress this enough... is Rafalski. Can we ship him off to Germany or something? Seriously, this is brutal, and the worst part about it, is the 2-3 years he still has left on his contract. I'm already having nightmares about how bad he's going to be in 2011-2012.

2. I understand Howard is a rookie, but I find myself having a hard time making excuses for a guy that has such bad positioning. Not to mention, he falls down (or trips over himself) every few seconds a puck comes near him. He was just... terrible tonight. I was really expecting a better performance, particularly since he played decent against Colorado and Vancouver.

At this point, I feel the only help we can possibly get from the goaltending internally is calling up Larsson. If Osgood actually came to play during this time of the year, we'd be fine, but for some reason, every year, he wants to be a complete loser and stink up the place until March or so. That isn't going to stand this season, as Howard is no Ty Conklin.

3. This team is just pathetic in shootouts. I mean, give me a break. Datsyuk is a stickhandling magician, and he instead shoots for the five hole of all places? WTF is wrong with these guys?

Also, on that note, can we please stop using Zetterberg in shootouts? The last time I remember him doing anything noteworthy in this aspect of the game was in 07-08. He hasn't had a good shootout performance in a very long time, so why Babcock keeps sending him out is beyond me. Give somebody new a chance for once; honestly, it can't hurt. Our shootout record is pretty atrocious, if anyone hasn't noticed.

...and finally...

4. Abdelkader is a healthy scratch again? What. The. ****. I said it a few days ago, and I'm going to say it again; if he's not going to play every night, with regular minutes, send him back to Grand Rapids. I don't understand why their toying with this kid. This is going to hurt his development much more than help it. We are wasting a beautiful luxury of being able to send a player to the minors, at will, and instead are forcing him to sit up in the press box and keep a seat warm. Unbelievable.

The whole point of this season was to send him to GR to play anyways, and get top line minutes there; not get scrap minutes with the big club, or worse, be a healthy scratch like he's been the last few games. Has that game plan been completely tossed out by management?

(of course, now with Filppula being injured, they probably won't send him down anyways)

All right, now, for the good.

1. Nice comeback by the offense. It makes me feel a little better about our chances, if, you know, we can ever get our goaltender to show up for once.

2. Can we please give Patrick Eaves a real chance to prove himself? The guy was flying out there tonight. Other than his big tying goal, he had an overall great game. Best individual performance of the night, I'd say.

I swear, I'm going to lose my mind if Babcock scratches him on Friday after his performance tonight, and especially with Filppula being gone (basically opening up a spot for him). Give the kid a chance, please. He was signed to be a roster regular anyways, not the 14th forward.

...that's about it. I admired the comeback from the offense, but very little good came out of this team tonight otherwise. The defense and goaltending (especially the goaltending) still leaves a lot to be desired.

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