Curious if they keep Galiev around for a little bit longer for the experience or send him back since the Q season has already started. Other question is do they keep any of the FAs for the start of the main camp.
Finally home from my adventure tonight. Some unfiltered reactions from being at the game earlier (haven't read this thread yet to see other people's).
Orlov is exactly as billed, and was, imo, the best skater on either team. Really thrived with the puck on his stick. Absolutely undressed most of the Flyers' rookies. Drew two penalties in the first period alone. Was really aggressive in the offensive zone, often carrying the puck down deep. Used his stick handling to his advantage, but he won't be able to pull all those moves off against bigger and better opponents. Didn't always seem to be hustling in the defensive zone, but never really noticed him out of position and he made the plays he had to. Was excellent at using his body to take his man out of the play and/or bump them off the puck.
Sjogren used his size effectively, and dominated along the boards. Don't recall him losing a single board battle, or really any physical confrontation. Not the best offensively, but he did create some chances (especially a couple feeds through the middle to Stefishen and Mitchell that they weren't able to get their sticks on well enough to get a shot). By the end of the game, he was the one taking the most important face-offs (not Eakin).
Galiev was our best forward offensively. His stick handling and puck control were pretty fantastic, and he was essentially responsible for the first goal mostly by himself. Created a few other good chances in the game, including a pretty nice take-away that almost led to a goal.
Really liked Paquette's energy and work ethic. Was highly effective on the boards and in physical battles. Trounced his opponent in the fight, but drew a cross-checking penalty before that. In general, he reminded me of Matt Hendricks in many ways.
Outside of Orlov, the defense was lackluster at best. Flemming's speed was good, but otherwise I was not impressed with him. Was routinely beaten in physical confrontations and seemed very leery of playing the puck. Had a hard time of settling down the puck, as well. Needs to bulk up. Carrier was chippy, but not incredibly effective in any aspect. The rest were simply limited by their talent levels, though Stevenson and Tabisz did show some good work ethic.
Eakin didn't impress me as much as I would have hoped. Didn't really see that excellent speed that was advertised used all that much. Did a fairly good job neutralizing Schenn and Courturier defensively, but didn't do a whole lot in the offensive zone that wasn't somehow enabled by Galiev. The Galiev-Eakin-Ross/etc line was our best offensive line, but Galiev was the one responsible for setting up most of the offense. Did Ross get injured? Didn't see him at all in the 3rd.
Brandon Anderson gave me a heart attack any time he tried to play the puck.
On the Flyers side, Courturier really didn't impress me much. Hardly noticed him on either end of the ice. Schenn was solid defensively (especially on the PK), but a little bit lackluster offensively. He did own both Eakin and Sjogren on faceoffs. Tyler Brown and Harry Zolnierczyk impressed me. Brown was all over the place in the offensive zone and had a terrific move to score. Zolnierczyk was easily the fastest player on either team and was right in the thick of the action as well. Hauser looked very impressive in net as well. Several great saves.
Thinking back, Orlov's endurance level was very promising. His work with Nemish seems to be paying off already as I didn't notice much of any fatigue in his game toward the end of shifts (even his more active ones). That's a big first step toward becoming NHL-ready and bears watching against the big boys in PS play.
Watching Orlov play is fun. Reminds me of Mike Green's first two season. You could just see the progress. I don't know how many of you saw the Caps' Off Season Program by Nemish, but it doesn't really focus on the upper body work. It's all about lower body in his program. We all saw a handfull of Caps/Hershey/Rays players go down with upper body injuries last season - a number of shoulder injuries comes to my mind. And as much as you need superb skating in the league, you shouldn't neglect your upper body strength. Go Caps!
Yeah, outside of maybe face-offs and one pass Sjogren didn't show much. His turnover was pretty bad. He'll need to show a lot more to warrant a roster spot.
Coming up I'm looking forward to what Hanson can offer as a depth center option.
Hopefully TXPD see this. And this was a rookie game.
George McPhee....The Teflon GM. 15 years of failure and counting....
6 - Number of playoff series the Capitals have won since George McPhee took over as General Manager in 1997 (which makes him the third-longest-tenured GM in the League), three of which came in McPhee's first season on the job.