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02-05-2006, 12:23 AM
  #38
DontCallPlayersStuds
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The power play is...baffling. It's nice that we did manage to pick up a pair of goals, but I wanted to scream a few times, even when we were already up. We can get away with having such an awful power play against the Hawks...but come playoff time, and even down the stretch with our tough schedule, this team needs to live and die by special teams. I've been harping on this for a while, and pred303 mentioned it...but I don't know what Trotz's fixation on using Kariya on the halfboards and Sully at the point is. It simply DOES NOT WORK. It reminds me of a child with one of those shape puzzles...repeatedly trying to squeeze the triangle piece into a square hole. TRY SOMETHING ELSE!!! PLEASE! MY SANITY DEPENDS ON IT! Notice that Sullivan made a BEAUTIFUL set up for Hartnell's third goal...and where was he? IN THE LOW LEFT CORNER, WHERE HE'S BEEN MOST EFFECTIVE EVER SINCE HE CAME TO THE TEAM. I just finished watching the Canucks and Oilers, and it made me pretty teary-eyed to see teams that don't look completely incompetent setting up and moving the puck. Kariya has the best, most accurate shot on the team...so why is he pinned to the halfwall, where he never gets the chance to use it? I'd like to see Timonen and Zidlicky on the points...after spending no less than an hour a day taking shots from back there in practice....on an open net...and learning to get their shots down and on net...and then Sully in the low left corner\low halfboard....Kariya just to the right of the net...and possibly Hartnell screening the goalie. The only problem is that it doesn't give us a good faceoff guy on the PP...but...just an idea, nonetheless.

We took several steps back in clearing the zone, tonight. I've noticed that we love to try the blind wind-around-the-boards to no one in particular. Any smart team stations a guy at the point to get it back...and they usually do. I'd love to see an actual BREAKOUT, rather than a blind clear or a miracle home-run pass up past center ice. Markov is the only defender we have that effectively clears the zone most of the time. I still think that's a big weakness with this team, and I hope to see a big d-man acquired before the deadline. It would go a long way.

Vokoun was outstanding tonight. This easily could have been a 6-3 or 6-4 game. Arnason was a one-man wrecking crew for the Hawks. He had several opportunities to just mosey into the slot and pick his shot. Vokoun simply wasn't giving up the rebounds. Huge game, and I hope it represents momentum turning for him, after a stretch that he admitted wasn't his best, culminating in that Jackets game.

PK was good at times...and pretty bad at others. I don't like Johnson out there anymore, and would like to see the PK forwards as Sully\Walker, Silly\Smithson and Hall\Hartnell. Defenders have got to try to get the puck to a supporting forward or step off the boards before clearing, because too many times we're getting the puck to the line, but not out. It's too easy to hold a clear in when all you have to do is station yourself on the boards at the point and wait for a soft wind-around to come to you.

PK's pass to Perreault and Sully's pass to Hartnell on their respective goals were...artistic.

Sillinger had another great game, and I hope they keep that Sully Silly Walks line together. He shows the poise that only a true veteran can, and even showed off a few moves tonight. Good passer, too.

Hartnell's first goal came off the type of pass that Johnson ALWAYS makes and usually fails with...and should have failed at this time, if Vandemeer had been alert enough to get a stick on the puck rather than trying to swat at it as it skidded by on the ice with his glove....but...he didn't, and Hartnell was all alone in the crease for an easy drag and poke.

Erat's goal came on the PERFECT shot. He lined it up before he even wound-up, and there was no way any one was stopping it.

All in all, great to get the win...and hopefully their eyes are opened as to what to change\work on for Monday's game in Dallas. I hope I've seen the last of that PP setup...but that's the last I'll say about it...until I see it again

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