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09-15-2013, 01:18 PM
Grant McCagg
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I studied the game, and in particular Reway versus McCarron, which was a matchup most of the night. Been over their shifts a few times now. Other than the first shift where Reway scored that be honest I don't think Reway was overly dominant.

Don't get me wrong - That was a great goal, and he played okay offensively in spurts, making a couple of other nice dangles including that behind the back pass that led to a good chance..but you'd swear by the love he's getting on here that he was a force.

I thought McCarron outplayed him after the first shift.. Mac had 2 or three really good scoring chances, including being left alone in front of the net, and set up what should have been another goal. He was definitely stronger than Reway in his own end and neutral zone.... by a fair margin. McCarron is not far away from the NHL in a defensive role, in fact he's arguably NHL calibre in that department already IMO.

Reway has a long way to go defensively as a center...players powered through him pretty easily, and he coasted in his own end and stood in the slot a few times. He also made some ill advised plays in his own end, a couple in particular where as soon as he got pressured he coughed it up to the defenceman and was very lucky not to get scored on. He wasn't flagrantly poor defensively, but there's work to do. Not sure he will be able to play center at the NHL level - time will tell.

Mac broke up several plays with good wheels and his enormous reach. He more than kept up to the pace...he's a powerful skater already. On Reway's goal, Mac actually made the best play defensively...really hustled getting back and cutting off the passing lane for Reway to Collberg. Tinordi is the one who misread the play when Mac got back in the passing lane...backed up too far and allowed Reway to go right in alone - Tinordi should have pressured Reway..didn't need two players playing the pass.

Tinordi blew a tire in his own end with the puck on another shift that led to a great scoring chance, but apart from that, he was solid. He's improved his passing skills the past three seasons..thank goodness.

Leblanc looks a lot better than last year...looks like he's added some strength..his skating is improved. I think he cracks the lineup this fall.

Fournier plays a pro style game - skating is the issue, but there are definitely things to like - he should make Hamilton, and perhaps even surprise.

On the blueline, I thought Drewiskie had a pretty solid game, same with Pateryn, and Gorges. Dietz also played pretty well for the most part except for a couple of hiccups. He should get a decent role in Hamilton this year.

Fucale, for an 18-year-old goalie, impressed me with his poise. The kid is going to be a pro goalie. Gorges looked more comfortable then he did last season..maybe he needed a year to get over his surgery properly - I expect a bounce back season from him.

Thomas didn't look out of place playing with Plekanec - I could see him getting some playing time with the Habs this season.

BTW - heard that Reway's been "outstanding" all camp. I was told after the draft that he really cleaned up his act since coming to Hull, and worked hard in the offseason for the first time in his life.

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