Now the NHL average for games played is at the quarter mark of the season I thought it would be interesting to hear everyones surprises so far. (using the offseason as the watermark)
I'll go first.
1) Matt Read. I was one the guys penciling him as a POTENTIAL to take a top 13 spot but at no point previous to training camp did I expect this out of him. He's been a great surprise, and I really like how he came in with no Testwuide type hype.
2) Carle. I did not expect him to blow nearly as much as he has. I'll leave it at that.
3) Harry Z. I was expecting Read to make the team, and actually thought Rinaldo had a good chance as well, but Harry Z I was certainly not expecting. I really like his speed and was surprised how many points he was putting up when he was with the Phantoms.
4)Lilja. I thought the dumpers were just being too hard on him before he got here, but wow does he suck. It's pretty bad when no matter who gets called up we are all hoping they stay instead of him. His play reminds me not so fondly of Modry.
5) Couts. I thought he'd be sent down for sure. Little did I know how skilled he is defensively. I knew from his interviews he prided himself on his defensive game, but it wasn't until Lavvy said "why wouldn't I play him? He's our best defensive forward" that it really hit me how good of a 2 way guy he was going to be.
Honorable mentions for me go to Talbot, Rinaldo, Roe, Akeson, and as of today Bourdon for the pluses and Bryz, Pronger, JVR, Brown, Ranford and Pither for the negatives.
2. Bryz....thought he would put our goalie questions to rest
3. Talbot, I dont even remember what he looked like in a Penguins Uniform. Love the guy
4. Hartnell... beastin
5. Pronger. Amazing he has been able to come back from his back injury which was a nerve condition.
I was concerned how Bryz's personality, especially given the contract and expectations, would mesh with this city and the media... so far he's done nothing to dispel that, only prove that my apprehensiveness was valid and warranted.
As far as surprises go... Read and Couturier, for sure. Talbot's impact. Rinaldo's the ****ing man. I'm also really happy with what I'm seeing from Voracek.
i dont understand the inclusion of schenn in the disappointment categories, guys.
the kid has played only a few games with a new organization at the nhl level and had an unfortunate injury that set him back significantly. meanwhile, he absolutely dominated the ahl before being called up, and added another 2 points in his game yesterday. yes, i too thought he would have made a bigger impact by now, but we're unfairly using couturier as a measuring stick. different things are expected from different players, just like different players handle things and progress in different manners.
how about we actually let him get his skates on before we start calling him overrated and disappointing