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09-23-2006, 10:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,724
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I think a large positive was that the worst players were veterans that can and will play better. Sammy, Souray, Huet, Rivet, Kovy

Bonk looks much quicker than last season; that's a positive, but the main positives were from the rookies IMO.

Latendresse continues to impress - showed some good bursts of speed on occasion and was by far the most physical forward. Had two of the best scoring chances, and made a great setup that wasn't converted. No points, but he was a factor in three goals, by drawing a penalty, causing a turnover due to a big hit and screening Raycroft

Chipchura in limited time made a couple of strong plays deep in his own zone when the d-men were in trouble. He also had a solid chance for a goal but Raycroft made a nice save. He's not going to stick, but he's close. Coughed up the puck a couple of times in his own zone late in the third, but I think he was fatigued. Will need to adjust to the NHL pace, but he is a smart, smart player; I like him.

O'Byrne showed some promise; I like his size/skating combination, and positioning. He plays a smart game in his own zone and covers a lot of territory - has to learn to adapt to the speed of the NHL, but he may only be a year to 18 months away from a shot with the Habs.

Price also gave indications that he may be less than two years away from making the Habs as well. Looked a little nervous on a couple of occasions, and was slow reacting to a couple of cross crease passes, but all in all he was strong.

Kosty showed flashes again - inconsistency is still a problem, but he made some strong plays in his own zone and made some smart passes. Will likely start the season in Hamilton.

Benoit played okay as well - has a good shot from the point and isn'ty afraid to use it; skates well, particularly backwards - wish he was three inches taller and thus more physical, but there is talent there. Was one of the more noticeable rearguards; not always a good thing, but usually it was a positive.

as for the vets...
Johnson was very strong, and may be replacing Sammy on the top two lines sooner rather than later.

Ryder looks like a different player - he's playing physically once again. Saku and Higgy were also strong - obviously it's a positive to see Saku recovering from his eye injury - looks like he'll be ok.

Streit was impressive on the power play, just as he was last season IMO. Not great 5-on-five, but he competes. Will do for now as a replacement for the Cube; less physicalness and defensive play, but more offence.

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