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01-21-2013, 07:40 PM
Blue Shakehead
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My takes on the game (wherein I try to remove confirmation bias):

1. Hainsey sucked. Kidding. I guarantee that I am the biggest Hainsey hater on these boards, but there is no question that both he and Stuart played 100x better today.

2. Kane: I don't really like Kane, (or at least I didn't) because I find that he suffers from tunnel vision, wrap-arounditis and is entirely one dimensional. With that said, I think we are seeing a significant transformation in his game. He was fantastic out there today - playing defense, making crisp passes (no typo) and playing hard every shift. Last year, I found his work ethic to be related to his own production - if he scored, he was the best player on the ice. If he didn't, he had a tendancy to whine and dog it a few shifts. He's carrying the puck out of our own end, passing the puck and playing both ends. Yes, he's still a shoot first player and sometimes you'd wish he would make better choices (like in OT) but overall, I'm very happy with his play.

3. Pavelec: was much better today. I was a bit nervous that the wheels would come off after the Marchand goal, but to his credit, he shook it off and looked like December 2011 Pavelec, never giving up on the play. Positionally, I thought he was excellent (which isn't always the case).

4. LLW didn't have a breakout game but I thought they played better as the game went on. I generally dislike how Noel seems to never correlate their ice time to results, but for Wheeler...confidence is critical - when he has it, he looks like Malkin out there, but when he doesn't he looks like he is right now. Hopefully scoring the shootout will help them along.

5. Way better chemistry in the lines today: Slater / Thorburn were terrific, Kane / Jokinen were good, USSR line was good. Despite the rust...its obvious to me that we're a much deeper team this year and that can only mean good things when all lines get their legs.

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