I thought Shiefele played well. Pretty much everyone else besides Buff crapped the bed though, disappointing home opener. Also unfortunate that the fans booed during that PP, stuff like that doesn't contribute to anything.
- Jokinen comes exactly as advertised. His puck poise and speed are fantastic, although I really don’t think Kane belongs on this line.
- Enstrom and Byfuglien are picking up where they left off. Two very strong defensemen, and one of the best pairings in the league.
- The Ponikarovsky-Burmistrov-Antropov line was incredible. By far the best line on the team. Hustle, defensive skill and agitation all in one.
- The team played an excellent first ten minutes.
- Noel broke up the PBA line in the third. Found that very questionable as they were the only line creating any chances.
- Pavelec allowed two very soft goals. In fact, none of the goals against were particularly good.
- Hainsey and Stuart were bad. Not the worst pairing, but they were bad.
- Blake Wheeler wasn’t himself. He played with a fire last year that I didn’t see at all tonight.
- Scheifele’s skating is terrible. He needs to be returned to juniors to work on that. He may need to spend next year in St. John’s. There’s no point in rushing him. This team is not a serious contender.
- The Postma-Clitsome pairing was particularly brutal. This goes to show how weak our defensive depth is. Really should have kept Kulda around.
After losing the opener, we could be very much in trouble if Bogosian isn’t back soon. Our glaring weakness is on defense. Past Enstrom and Byfuglien, I don’t feel comfortable with anyone else on the ice. Ladd, Wheeler and Kane MUST play better, or we will stand no chance at making the playoffs. As for goaltending…I won’t comment beyond saying that Montoya needs to be ready for a lot of playing time.
With all that said, I’m happy to have hockey back, and I’m glad to be able to complain about the team’s play, rather than about business meetings and greedy rich people.