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01-20-2013, 01:40 AM
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I only was able to watch the first two periods because the DVR where I'm at tonight cut out, but that's fine since there was a lot to enjoy in the first two. Some first impressions off the top of my head:

The first 5 minutes of the game were pretty rough for Cole, but I thought he settled in well after that. The rest of the defense looked solid all around, and everyone flashed at times.

Forward lines all looked great, IMO. Schwartz didn't crack the score sheet, but he played a really solid game. I saw some rough edges in his transition defense a few times (footwork and angles mostly), but IMO he's clearly ready to be a full-time NHL player.

Can't say enough about Tarasenko's debut, so I'm not going to try. McDonald and Steen are a wonderful match for him. Their collective hockey IQ, work ethic, and ability to create offense off both the rush and cycle is going to make them a very dangerous line.

Speaking of Steen, he was abused in the faceoff circle, but I think his play at center tonight should put to rest any fears of that experiment falling on its face. He looked very good.

Was very happy to see Stewart get off to a strong start. He played a confident and (mostly) decisive game tonight, moving his feet well, and he showed some nice chemistry with his linemates.

I was hoping for a bit more authoritative showing from Berglund, but I thought his game was solid tonight nonetheless.

Backes and Oshie were difference makers in spite of a very tough assignment. Can't say enough about their effort.

Perron did some nice things on the ice, but his discipline is still very hit and miss. If anyone disappointed me tonight, it was him.

Halak didn't see a lot of rubber, but he looked locked in mentally and he stopped everything he saw. He took aggressive angles and spent a lot of time at the top of his crease. He played a strong, confident game. IMO, he should get the next start.

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