Thread: Prospect Info: All Prospect Talk
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12-09-2012, 08:55 PM
Kruger Line=2.75 Men
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,183
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Went to the game today. Matinee 4pm eastern start. Finally getting cold here, with some snow (though not accumulating). After getting my hair cut, I got into the car at 3:05pm for the ride to Grand Rapids. Parked outside the Van Andel Arena by 3:45pm. Ticket (second row right side goal line offensive zone for two periods) $28 walk up box office purchase, cheesburger/waffle fries/Labatts $14, and into seat by 3:56pm. To hell with the NHL. Can't beat that.

Previous Icehogs/Griffins writeups here and here .

Morn and Lalande scratched. Lines are:
St. Pierre/LeBlanc-Pirri-Smith/Beach

D pairings are:

Game starts off poorly, with a quick goal against at opposite end of ice. Quick up the ice on right wing, drive to net, and cross-crease pass for a tap in. Easy goal. Beach and Hayes caught deep in the offensive zone and couldn't get back. Hogs tie it up on the PP after a gritty faceoff win by Kruger to the right point, pass to Olson on the left point, and shot tipped in by Shaw. First period ends 1-1, and Hogs don't seem to have a real rhythm, with some nice scoring chances, but majority of period played defensively and in D zone.

Second period starts early with a good fight between Shaw and Smith. Smith is much bigger, throws Shaw down. Shaw gets back up before refs can break it up, and proceeds to beat Smith with a couple of nice rights to the head. Win Shaw. Griffins score another early goal on a bank shot off Richards, who proceeds to look shaky the rest of the period, letting up numerous fat rebounds that aren't converted. 1st PP unit is Pirri line with Leddy and Clendening, second is Kruger line with Olson and Lebda. PK is either Kruger-Shaw>Saad or Hayes-Smith/St.Pierre/others. Another fight ensues, with Ferraro cheap-shotting Beach, who proceeds to pummel Ferraro. Beautiful, and a warmup for the melee that ends the period. Hogs have about 1 min of PP time at end of period, and can't get it done.

Third period begins with the PP and Pirri line. Nothing. Kruger line on for goal against. That damn Smith scores again. Down 3-1 now. Beach jumps up to Pirri line with Smith. Consistent pressure in offensive zone. Beach also hustling on back check. More fighting ensues, this time with Stanton and Shaw at the Griffins bench. They're tossed, along with a couple of Griffins. Griffins take a few penalties in a row, with variably 5 on 3 and 6 on 4 for the Hogs, who score on a rebound by Kruger off a wicked wrister from the slot by Beach. Game ends with an EN goal by Griffins. Disappointing.

Player evals:

Kruger: A very fine game by Kruger. He hustled everywhere on the ice, won (but also lost) some important faceoffs, went to the corners and in front of the net (and got knocked down a few times), played the PK and PP, and scored a big goal by being in the right place after Beach's shot. He still tends to force passes in the offensive zone, and isn't particularly talented offensively.

Saad: I spent some time just following Saad. He just goes about his business on the ice. He makes small angle adjustments in his path of skating which eventually moves him 5-10 feet off into another line, the difference between being "there" or not. I could see him read the play and make the adjustment, which eventually would put him where the play was headed. He doesn't follow a curved path to the play, saving him time and effort. The puck finds him at his pre-determined spot, and he makes a disruptive defensive play. Offensively it's a similar situation. He efficiently puts himself into the play on the boards or into open ice, playing the appropriate angles and finding the right spots to be in. He seems to have a deft passing touch, too. A wonderfully subtle player.

Smith: Again, I haven't been overly impressed with Smith, though he does compliment Pirri to some extent. Still, he does have a lot of points this season to date.

Pirri: An average game at best for Pirri. Fought along the boards a bit. Showed some offensive flashes as well as some defensive awareness, but overall it wasn't a strong effort from him.

Shaw: An upgrade on Burish offensively and defensively, but without the centering capability. He's an extraordinary pest out there, and showed a lot going up against Smith, who's considerably bigger than Shaw.

Beach: Beach had an excellent game. He fought, he hustled through the neutral zone on backchecks (even shadowing the trailer on a 2-on-1 break for the Griffs), he annoyed, and he jousted in the corners. He's occasionally bumped onto the second line, and saw some PP duty. Unlike the previous games I've personally seen this year, he didn't find his way into the slot much at all, that is until the last goal by Kruger. Beach skated over the top of the left circle and into the slot on the 5 on 3, and let loose a wickedly hard wrister. The goalie kicked it out onto Kruger's stick, and he buried the rebound.

Hayes, Clendening, Olson, Leddy, Stanton: Ok games from all. Leddy still skates very well (surprise), Stanton has an ok outlet pass and seems responsible defensively, Olson is big and not easily moved out from in front of the net or pushed off the puck in board battles, and Clendening moves the puck well in the offensive zone.

Dahlbeck, Flick, St.Pierre, LeBlanc, Bollig: Did not see much from these guys all game. I don't get the love for Flick or Bollig around here. I'd like neither on the Hawks.

Next game here is Dec.31 at 6pm. Unfortunately, it will be a challenge to make it for that one.

pvr is offline