Opening Night: Blues vs. Wings
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01-20-2013, 11:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: St. Louis
Tarasenko and Schwartz both looked fine on defense, and especially backchecking. Frank had an awesome takeaway by someone lollygagging in the neutral zone for like 3 seconds. His explosive speed can come in handy in surprising players that way, I believe.
French Bashie was fine, holding their first line to what, 1 shot total? I kinda like this set up, honestly. Holding their first line to nothing and then having a superior 2nd, 3rd and 4th line. Obviously Oshie had a SHG, Backes had some solid opportunities but fanned on them, and Perron drew a penalty or two stickhandling(and had a few himself, though...).
Bergie was solid and obviously Stewart seems to be in amazing shape, with NO lack of effort from what I noticed. If they keep playing together I feel like Schwartz can be a catalyst for those two offensively. I think them as the "third line" playing against other teams third lines is better than them being the second, because we still need to see defensive consistency out of Schwartz and Stewart. Which brings us to....
Tarasteenald. Steen was great at center, and any doubt of him being able to properly play the position is out the window, for me. Obviously him forechecking as a winger would still be amazing, but McDonald and Frank looked like they got in a rhythm with some of their forechecking, both being a bit smaller and very quick, they can sneak up on players and use some solid stickwork to steal pucks and set someone up quickly or just take a shot.
Sobotka Nichol and Reaves were great as well. All three are just tenacious forecheckers, and Sobotka and Nichol are phenomenal in their own zone, with Reaves being sufficient. Reaves looked like he was wider than anyone on the team when he was standing in front of Howard, and had a tip that almost went in. As nice as it would be to have Langs/Dags play, I honestly wouldn't change this at all.
PK units were obviously fantastic and our PP being anchored by Petro and Shattenkirk works very well with a good forward at the other point.
Cole looked a little off for the first few minutes, but after that he was great, with that pass to Frank and a lot of bombs toward the net. If he can get any sort of accuracy on that I think it will be pretty dangerous. He handled his defensive responsibilities very well and I hope to see him continue playing regularly.
Jackman played VERY well, it looked like the extra rest from the lockout helped him out. It also looked like everyone was capable of moving the puck out, including Jackson.
Russell and Shattenkirk played similarly, in a good way. Pietrangelo was skating smoothly and passing through tiny holes. Polak still seems to be much faster than his size would indicate, and his shot that hit the glass sounded powerful. Him sticking up for Frank after Tootoo's jumping murder attempt was exactly what I expected and wanted to see. Shame the door wasn't opened.
Halak was sharp and only really had one quality attempt that I remember, and played it well.
Last edited by ManyIdeas: 01-20-2013 at
. Reason: derp
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