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09-25-2003, 06:24 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 7,733
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My take on the game-

-yes, it was Columbus and most of their better players were sitting but the win really isn't what was positive about the night

-Lindros looks to have really increased his foot speed as Sam and JD said, he worked out alot over the summer with a trainer specificaly on this aspect.

Also his hands were a million times better than at any point last year.Did anyone catch the quick one touch pass w/only one hand on his stick back to Carter, springing Anson trailing the play for a clear chance?

He bulled his way to the net all night and although he didn't bury any he could have easily had at least one and could have had even more than the 2 assists the way he was setting things up tonight.

-Rucinsky looked fantastic tonight and the chemistry we heard about from camp b/w the 2 seems to finally have surfaced in game.

Rosie was really skating tonight.He was flying and showed some really good hands.

The thing that's underated about him is his work along the boards.He reminds me of Ulf Dahlen the way he plays along the boards and on the cycle.Smart, shields the puck and makes good decisions.He plays bigger than his size.I'm not saying he's physical but rather he is really hard to take off the puck and a much more effective player off the cycle then most think.Fantastic game and alot of positive signs.

-Carter seemed to come alive tonight and even if he is a guy who feeds off of others he has above average passing ability, above average finish, gets to the net as he was doing all night tonight, and he may prove to be a really good fit on this line yet.

These guys, Carter especially have to get more than 2-3 games together to start the season before people conclude they won't work together.

If this is our 2nd line it has the potential to be one of the very best in the NHL IMO.

-The PP setup looked great.Kovalev is a must on the point as he is simply one of the best in the NHL, forward or D at running the point and spreading things out with his passing and superb puckhandling.

I loved Holik infront of the net w/Nedved-Hlavac.That should definetely be one of the 2 PP units w/ the full Lindros line being the other.

-I thought the defense looked pretty solid.I can't remember one clear oddman rush against in the game and we actually created a few turnovers deep through positioning at the blueline.

It will still be a work in progress and take some time before they relly start executing it at a high efficency but they will be tighter and will start to generate off the counter w/time and with some of the weapons on the squad it could be cloer to the OTT sens as oppossed to the NJD's on the counter.

-Dunham looked sharp but WAY too many juicy rebounds kicked right back infront.Good to see a SO however.

-With rolling 4 lines Mess really got very little icetime and NO PP time!!If he stays in this role even if he does get some PP and limited PK time he can be a big asset on a line with Petro-Barnaby-Lacouture or Simon.

-Kaspairitis seemed more comfortable in all aspects out there and doesn't seem forcing everything as last yr.Mironov was skating well and played a pretty nasty game despite 2 pnalties.What the hell was he doing on the faceoff anyway?I didn't see the cenetre tossed on tha draw.

-Lundy skated well and handled the puck with much more confidence it seemed.Seems to be reaching that crucial"slow the game down" stage where your not trying to do everything at 100MPH.

-Way too many penalities but I don't mind the ones that have to do with the rough stuff as it gets chippy in preseason and w/guys ling Ling running around trying to earn a job by running the AK's and the Poti's you have to stand up and also give back if not take the lead with it in these type of games.

And lastly the thing that made me upbeat the most was despite all the skill and guys appearing to be on their way to getting on the same page and playing as a team I though about #2 not even being out there and what the guy who is by far our best D if not played will add once he returns especially on the PP w/Kovie on the other point and Poti replacing AK on the 2nd unit while Leetch stays for the full PP.

Our PP should be top 3 in the game this year IMO and will be.Finally we'll have a guy dropping bombs from the point in AK and finally a guy like Holik being a total menace in the crease!

JR#9* is offline