After game thoughts
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10-16-2003, 08:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
You just have to love whenever Mario comes to town, the games just seem to have that much more intensity. This one had the atmosphere of a stretch drive game instead of something in late October. Shame it wasn't a sellout - guess the boobirds have chosen to stay home.
We were lucky to come away with this one, if you want to call it like it is. For the first two periods it was touch and go until the Zedder scored in the final seconds of the second. Had Pittsburgh been able to shoot, we might very easily have been down heading into the third, and one can only wonder if we would have seem the same dominant third had les boys been fighting from behind.
There were a lot more bonehead plays tonight than we've seen the last two games. I wonder if overconfidence because of who we played tonight set in. One way or another, we had a hard time completing three passes in a row until the third.
Theo: More and more solid each game. Tonight he made saves that kept us in the match early allowing the rest of his teammates to wake up and take over. A
Hainsey: Another quiet game, which in his case is good. Defensively he's much more aware and offensively he jumps in less often, but usually with better result. B+
Brisebois: Solid game again. His only backhand, behind the back pass was in the opposing zone and was during a powerplay while he had two teammates further back than he was. He's playing a much tougher game now, and it's good to see. B+
Quintal: Think I might give him the name CoughCough until he stops giving up all these juicy pucks in our zone. Almost cost us a couple again and I'm not entirely sure why Komi was sent down. Must be that Komi really wasn't playing as well as we all hoped. At least Quintal used toughness. C+
Souray: I see him as a legitimate #2 or 3 on any team within a month or so. His confidence level is going way up and he's playing with a wonderful mean streak. Clears out the front of the net like no tomorrow as well. A
Rivet: A good game, though he was bailed out by Markov a couple of times. Nice to see him healthy and playing with an edge, but he needs to be more concentrated in his own zone. B
Markov: Anyone else note how this guy keeps his eye on the puck no matter what? He's brilliant at the stick check, wonderful at clearing the puck from a maze of feet, and fantastic intercepting passes. Hand-eye coordination is second to none. A+
Begin: Good start. Little ball of energy that looked comfortable in his first game. B+
Ward: Nice goal. I'm really trying not to harp on his skating but man it's painful. He's a plugger and showed it again tonight, but I don't see him moving up, and in fact see him in the press box when others come healthy. B
Sundstrom: Talk about someone about to lose their spot to a healthy player. He looks weak on the fourth line - like he doesn't belong. If he feels short-changed by his demotion, he has only his work ethic to blame. C-
Juneau: I love it when a defensive player barely gets noticed against the best the other team has to offer. Means he's doing his job. Another stellar defensive effort. A
Dackell: Not his best game, as he had a couple of defensive boo-boos, but nothing that cost, and he certainly hustled to try and make up for them. Works well with Bulis on the cycle. B
Bulis: He's in his element creating against the opponents' best line. All over the place, his speed and anticipation have him creating havoc constantly. A-
Ryder: A quieter game, though that probably has a lot to do with ice time. When you only play 12 or 13 minutes because Mario barely comes off the ice, you do the best you can. He did, and ground his way in corners and out front for three quality shots and a well-deserved assist. A-
Perreault: I'll give him points for saving Quintal's butt once, but his own gaffes were numerous and painful. He didn't have the space like he did last game and it showed. He was swallowed up by faster and stronger players. B-
Audette: Fast, slick, and generally useless. He's a one dimensional player who, admittedly, is trying to buy in defensively. B-
Hossa: Another improvement tonight. He's playing tougher on the puck and smarter away from it. I believe confidence is the word of the day here. B+
Ribeiro: Right places at the right time? Well, that's part of it, but the rest is him working his butt off to get there. He also levelled someone at the blueline. Yes, you read right, levelled. A+
Zednik: He's getting better and better. I'd keep him with Ribby when Koivu comes back and put Ryder and Hossa with the cap'n and see what happens. Perhaps some of the strongest legs in hockey and a centre of balance that's unmatched. Still, he doesn't have to hold on to the puck so long. A-
I'm actually shocked that Garon didn't get the start tonight. He's overdue and we're only looking at wearing out Theo early on if we don't get him in there soon. Do you play Garon Saturday night? Absolutely not, it's an insult to Theo. The team indicated Garon would be getting 20-30 games. They're going to have to get him in there soon if they want to start making a dent in that number.
I was pleased to hear that Koivu is getting anxious to get in the game. Less so when I heard that, despite his saying he's ready and the doc's agreeing with it, he's still having some pain when he skates. Now, I know from experience that even when it's healed it can still hurt, but if it's carrying on, I'd rather he miss a game or two more rather than risk being out for an extremely long time with an aggrevated injury.
Our record is 3-1. Who'd a thunk it? Bring on the Leafs.
A concerned fan.
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