Chicago Wolves Discussion - Part VII
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01-12-2013, 02:36 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
At the game tonight and given the depleted Wolves lineup and the fact that players like Brodie and Horak were still in the Heat lineup, I figured we'd get creamed.
However, the Wolves, backed up by sensational play from Climie, had a very good overall defensive effort and were good value for the 3 - 1 win.
Standouts for me were Climie, Sterling, Gordon and Hunt. Sterling had a first period hat trick and could have had more goals during the game. He also made real good setups to Gordon and Haydar, who I felt should have put some of those chances away. Sterling was dangerous all night and looked Baertschi-like in this game.
Gordon has been a stud since moving to center and it now looks like he should have been there all along. This line has been a damn site better and more dangerous with Gordon at center than it was with Ebbett. One thing Gordon can do is get down in traffic and create space for Haydar and Sterling. This is far less of perimeter line than earlier in the season.
Hunt really had a great game. His puck movement from the point is by far the best on the team. Also, he really played stellar on defense and did a great job of backing up Polosek and helping him out of trouble. Too bad he isn't a little bigger because Hunt has great mobility, skill with the puck and a hard accurate shot from the point. There is no doubt who is the PP QB on this team and since he took over at the point the PP has dramatically improved.
Others with good efforts include"
Andersson - again showed good range and good coverage around his net. I don't think he is that far away. Needs to add strength and maybe a little more offensive trust. Like the way he made clever little passes to get the team out of trouble in this game
Friesen - almost had his first goal in this game. Has definitely improved and seemingly much more able to stay up and in the play. Was decent on the forecheck and played smart defensive game. His line with Davies and Archibald created an number of chances and were unlucky not to score. Fact that you have got a line with what appeared, at the beginning of the season, to be a bunch of ECHL players playing fairly well at the AHL level is encouraging.
Had some hiccups but generally ok. Still has moments were coverage lacks and he needs to be more instinctive in his play. However, went to the body well and his puck movement was competent. Hopefully gets the time this year to solidify himself at this level. I'd say a good start for Polosek
Kettalus - Made some nice set ups in the game and competed hard. However, needs to be stronger on his skates and you have to figure over the long haul he will have difficulty keeping up. Could say the same thing about Kenton Miller. Both, in my mind, clarify the difference b/w AHL and ECHL hockey but hopefully they can fill in present holes in the lineup. Fact that Schneider got benched after the warm up in favour of Kettelus tells you something about were Schneider ranks in the scheme of things.
Sweatt - I'm beginning to wonder if this player sticks once the Wolves get everybody back. He just gets nothing done and doesn't even look that fast anymore. He had clear problems in getting the puck out of his zone and did nothing offensively. Maybe the head injury has sapped any vitality out of his play but he looks disinterested and useless at the moment.
Rodin - tale of two zones. Bad in the defensive zone and not bad in the offensive zone. Had some good shifts were he controlled the puck in the offensive zone and forced some turnovers leading to chances (which line mates such as Sweatt should have done more with) . However, obviously jumps away from contact along the boards in his zone and doesn't get the puck out. Also, he made a couple of poor and half-hearted changes later in the game. Seems to lack stamina. Some things he does makes you question his attitude and you get to wonder if he is a bit of a head case. Maybe that's too speculative but seems to me that Rodin strays from a team concept at times.
Another aspect of this game was the terrible play of Leland Irving. I was hoping they would leave him in so some of Wolves could fatten their averages. You have to wonder what's happen to this player. Looked good to be in Calgary this year but now looks like write off.
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