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09-29-2003, 10:20 AM
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Wolfpack Recap from Hockeybird

Hartford Preseason
Who played:
Meyer, then Labarbera at half way mark


C Moore/LW Stals/RW MacDonald
C Ulmer/LW Wiseman/RW Ortmeyer
C Andrews/LW Murray/RW Gernander
RW Cullen/LW Wirill/RW Payne

Who's in charge:
C Gernander
A Jakopin
A MacDonald

Guys with the moves:
Actually, both of the two scoring lines (Moore’s and Ulmer’s) looked very good tonight. Moore, Stals, Ortmeyer and Ulmer clearly warmed up tonight by watching tapes of Alex Kovalev at his finest – they were racing and weaving all over the ice, suckering dmen into chasing them and then either outdancing their pursuers or dumping off the puck to a linemate cross-ice for a quick shot. They seemed confident with the puck and look to be a potent source of points for us this year. It would be REALLY nice to have two scoring lines for a change.

Guys with the fists:
Cullen fought a Bruin named Orr who had three inches and ten pounds on him, but still got the win. Probably one of the first on the list to Charlotte (and playing on a really bad line), he looked like a desperate man tonight, running people into the boards every time he hit the ice. Weller wrestled the six inches smaller Walsh to a draw, an embarrassment that wasn’t entirely cancelled out by the heavy hits he was dealing everyone along the boards throughout the game. Murray absolutely wrecked some poor guy named Cronin late in the game.

Guys who protect and serve:
Jakopin and MacDonald both take their job of protecting the kids very seriously. After a Bruin bumped the not exactly small Stals along the boards, Jakopin immediately plowed him under. MacDonald did an excellent job of making sure no one touched Moore, particularly impressive since he came up to the shoulder of most of the guys he was intimidating. Both of them were flattening guys all night, and accordingly the kids played unmolested.

Guys in masks:
Neither Labarbera nor Meyer did anything particularly good or bad. The goals mostly happened on rebounds that our defensemen didn’t bother to go after. Some things never change.

Names you want to hear:
Nycholat was bad. In my notes I have written, at different times, “sucks…bad…hate him” This was one of the worst games I have ever seen from him. Dancers will do what’s called ‘marking’ when they walk through a routine without actually doing it, usually because they are just rehearsing right before a show. Lawrence seemed to be marking this game. Between taking incredibly blatant penalties (including the Messier special, ‘I’m going to hook you down because I am out of position and too lazy to chase you’) and avoiding contact like opposing players might have a disease, he added nothing positive to the game.

Tjutin seemed confused about his role in the game – was he a hitter? a puck carrier? a sniper? perhaps a linesman? He would hit people, occasionally hard, but not consistently. He would also try to carry the puck, but always seemed to be looking a few too many steps ahead, and thus didn’t do too great of a job of retaining control of it. In one of the worst goals of the night, Fedor was standing by the pipe, between the Bruin and the goal mouth. The Bruin had the puck, and Fedor reached for it with his stick, looking up ice as he did so, presumably for someone to pass it to. Unfortunately, he never actually touched the puck, and the Bruin just popped it in around him.

Murray seemed pissed off, which is how we like him. He was injuring Bruins all night, constantly sending them to the bench with a towel clutched to their head – but somehow managed to stay out of the box. He did take a roughing call along with his fight, as he had to hit the unwilling college boy a few times to get him to go. However, by then the game was effectively over and an embarrassing loss, so what the hell… go out in style.

Moore and Stals both looked great, as mentioned above. Personally, I wouldn't have thought to put them out there together, but it seems to work with the steadying presence of the veteran MacDonald. Moore is much smaller than you would think, and Stals is much larger. Both are mobile, good with the puck, and smart. Great additions to the organization, although I think that both of them still have some growing to do.

Lampman was there, his arm in a sling. I didn’t see Larose anywhere.

Wiseman buried a rebound he got when he followed Ulmer to the net. The second goal was the Dominic Moore show, as he showed off his Kovy moves and left the defenders standing in cement. Nice and all, except that the Bruins had 4 goals. Oops.

Jakopin and Kinch is a nice pair – one stay at home physical dman and one wide ranging offensive guy. And Jakopin does a nice job of protecting Kinch. The other two were bad ideas that played out even worse. Aufiero and Nycholat is like Leetch and Poti without the talent. Weller and Tjutin might be more like Purinton and Malakhov - might work, but if it doesn’t its going to be a very long night.

The forward lines looked to be very well put together, but in Hartford we have a long tradition of changing the lines at least once a period, possibly once a shift. The fourth line looked pretty bad, but its still camp and everyone has to get a look.

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