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01-24-2013, 12:21 AM
  #406
2 Minute Minor
Hi Keeba!
 
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Join Date: Jun 2008
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Thoughts on the Blackhawks game:

- Crawford had a great game. I don't think he can play like that consistently, though, but I give him credit for winning last night.

- The Blues made a LOT of mental errors. The 3-0 was actually not the fault of their defensemen on that particular play, but of the forwards not getting the puck in deep in an obvious situation where it was possible and necessary. Hitchcock's forecheck system works by outnumbering the opponent wherever the puck is. So, the team has to play in a way such that people know where that is. The defensemen pushed forward, and the puck was turned over at the Blue line. It was painful to watch.

- The good news is that these types of mental mistakes are all fixable, and reflect on a level of rust. Some practice time and a few more games will help. I think after getting embarrassed like that (and still nearly pulling it back even in the 3rd period) the team will be pretty receptive to Hitchcock's message.

- I'm honestly not sure what to expect from Wade Redden....or whether to expect him to secure a starting spot in the line-up. If he does, who sits? I can see sitting Cole for a game here and there, same with Jackman (for different reasons). Maybe Russell and Polak from time to time? I suspect that Redden ends up being the 7th D-man and gets scratched most of the time the roster is fully healthy.

- I like what I've seen from the Blues so far this season. No team looks particularly sharp, but the Blues have shown a tenacity and a belief that they will win. The rest will come. When they get Hitch's coaching internalized again, and start firing on all cylinders, I think we're going to see an elite team that is a ***** to play against.

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