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04-06-2007, 11:52 PM
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may have missed Pred303's usual post game analysis.....but if I didn't, there is some definite slackage there....I hope he gets his game back for the playoffs....

A few things that come to mind about this St. Louis game.....

We finally played a freaking full 60 minutes......I can't remember the last time we did, but we finally did.
I couldn't have asked for a more important thing to happen after our last lull....we did it, and it didn't happen just by chance.
They had their "big meeting" and from all I could gleen, it was a "player's only meeting"....which are usually the best kind.......Items discussed were..........the long grind of the playoffs, and what it takes....getting the swagger back...getting rid of the negative vibe in the room.....and the fact that it is a "new season."
I was really impressed with the guys standing up for eachother in the last 10 minutes of the game as it got ugly.....that was the most important thing that I saw all night.....and it was everybody....Hartnell, Suter, Weber, Fiddler, Smithson, Nichol, and, Tootoo. THAT was as important as anything else I saw all night....

The replay didn't show it, but I think Divorak took a cheap slash at Forsberg's ankle, which he skated off gingerly.....Hartnell and Nichol double teamed a Blue in the corner and a pair-up scrum insued.
There is no video evidence of "Hartnell's gesture" to the Blues bench....but Trotz was obviously upset about it......if it was in response to the slash on Forsberg's ankle....then Trotz was overreacting and he should have been defending Hartnell instead of admonishing him in the post game show.
He and Andy Murray are good friends, so he may have been embarrassed by the gesture more than anything, but we really don't know the details, and further comment is simply speculation. The fact that Tootoo kept crosschecking Divorak by the benches tells me that the slash on Forsberg was being answered.
The fact that Trotz initially said that, "if that happens again, Hartnell won't be playing for HERE" then correcting himself and said, "won't be playing the next game" says a lot.....I agree with Predperson....usually what slips out is more what you really feel, than want you correct it to be later.
I wish I knew exactly what the gesture was, as it would help me analyse it better....but from many things I have heard, Hartnell just doesn't have the confidence and support of the coaches that somebody of his unique skill-set and mind-set and physical attributes should bring to this team. I got to imagine, for many different observations, that it has to do with last years run of "stupid penalties".....and tonight was just a flashback to then. He HAS to play with his emotions on his sleeve to play effective, but with that, unfortunately comes the "stupid penalties"....I wish he could seperate the two, but I fear he can't....

Another thing I wanted to mention is that Tootoo played one of his best "skill games" of the year.....he had a number of quick, crisp off some quality one-timers....and played a speed game with Kariya and Legwand, while not once playing the role of the human missle lock. He handled the puck as well as he ever has, and was defensively responsible.
Granted he has a way to go, and he is no Erat....but I thought he peformed that role much better than he has all year and seems to be seeing the game better and it is "slowing down for him" tp some degree.

Radulov......every Trotz hater was so worried that Trotz was going to "ruin him" by teaching him to play, at least somewhat defensively responsible.....
Well to this, I say to you....that Radulov has elevated his TOTAL game so much more than what it was, but at the same time, not losing any of his goal scoring instincts, WHATSOEVER. He leads ALL ROOKIES, +/-, while remaining 2nd in shot %age, and while being 7th in goals but 2nd in TOI/G.......that is quite a balancing, cudos to the coaches this year.

We may look back and say that losing to Dallas and Detroit was the best thing that could have happened to has refocused the "room".....we have responded in a positive way in all aspects of the game against a fairly hot team, although one that is out of the playoffs, I grant you.
If we play solid against Colorado, and don't lose that focus and momentum, we are on solid footing enering in the first round, as long as we don't falter early and have self-doubt creep back in.

The coaches have showed some willingness to tinker with both the PP units and the D-pairings.....
I really like Kimmo and Weber as a "true #1 pairing".....Zids should be getting 3rd line minutes....but he did play a better offensive and defensive game. He had some glorious chances, that he created for himself by good reads, and will eventually produce divides, while maintaining relatively good defensive awareness and postitioning. The fact that he almost took a two-hander to the glass after putting that slot shot into the goalie's crest just shows how frustrated he is about his lack of goal scoring.....I would love to see him break out in the 1st round.....

All I wish is that we had Sully back....but they HAVE to focus that he is out for the year, and if he DOES miraculously come could provide a boost, but they need to play as if he is out until next season.
I just hope they continue the momentum against Colorado, even if they are resting key new injuries, please though.

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