From last night's Hogs game I'd say the standout Hogs were: Smith, Kruger, Leddy and Morin.
It's puzzling to me why guys like Brookbank are in the lineup over Saad.
Hutton continues to impress me. Whereas players like LeBlanc have not.
Just my 2 cents.
I'm listening to the online radio feed and they mentioned that Saad is hurt and out for 1 to 2 more weeks. They also said Leddy is out and is day to day. Not surprisingly they did not mention what the injuries were or if they were upper or lower body.
Was at the Hogs-Griffins game last night. Left corner seats in Hogs offensive zone for two periods. Saw five of the six goals, only not seeing Kruger's goal (tip from a Lalonde shot??). Have a lot of photos, and will try to upload some later. Leddy and Saad scratched, and Saad didn't even skate in the pregame warmup as far as I could see. Injured? Third line was St. Pierre centering Brookbank and LeBlanc, fourth was Flick with Beach and Hayes (might have Brookbank and Hayes switched).
Kruger: Centered Shaw and Bollig/others. Looked much stronger on his skates than last year. Only knocked down a couple of times. Took the two hardest hits of the game, both in front of me, as well as numerous other hits. Goes to the boards and corners, battles for the puck, consistently hustles on the backcheck, and overall has picked up his game. Sees the developing play better than most, overcoming his somewhat modest skills with the puck and his (relative) lesser strength. He made 4 passes to a zone without looking, including once in the defensive zone, and turned the puck over all but once. Annoying. Displayed some patience with the puck behind the offensive net, but forced passes. Doesn't really have much in the way of offensive creativity though, aside from a few passes which really were nothing special. Has an interesting move on the faceoff where he ties up the other center and kicks the puck back to the defense. Did that 3-4 times. There were a handful of times he didn't take the faceoff, typically when St.Pierre was on the ice with him. Overall a strong game for Kruger.
Pirri Centered Smith and Morin in easily the strongest offensive line of the night. Consistent pressure offensively. Pirri moves in all areas of the offensive zone controlling the puck, finding open space, and making plays. He tends to avoid the physical play in the corners and along the boards in both zones, instead going in and trying to retrieve the puck much like Kane does. While not bad defensively in the d-zone, he backchecks hard inconsistently. Overall he was reasonably responsible defensively in 2 out of 3 zones (O and D), neutral ice could be better. He made a great pass to Beach for his goal, had another assist I believe, and scored the OT winner on a laser one-timer from the right wing dot. Just missed that photo. He looks like a future second line center. Overall a strong to very strong game for Pirri.
Morin/Shaw Both make plays happen on the ice. Shaw a little stronger on his skates, Morin a more physical player overall, but a tad slow skating. Shaw is not surprisingly a pest, always in the middle of the play. Morin does the dirty work in the corners (Pirri mops up), Shaw goes everywhere. Both players have a future somewhere in the NHL. Strong game for Shaw. Good game for Morin.
Hayes and Beach Surprisingly mature game from Beach, and both players did some PK time. Hayes scored on a nice backhand on a breakaway while on the PK. Have some photos of that. Beach scored on a lasered one-timer from the slot on a pretty feed from Pirri from behind the net. Both big bodies, both into the grinding, both a little slow afoot. Beach had a chance to bust it down the wing once, and didn't have enough speed to make the turn to the goal. Future 3rd-4th liners in the NHL, with spot 1st-2nd line duty or more depending on progression. Good games from both.
Others: Smith was ok...neither really good or bad. Flick, LeBlanc, Brookbank were unspectacular. St. Pierre is all of 5'6" at most, and is really tiny out there compared to everyone else. Has a lot of heart, but looks like a "tweener".
Hutton was ok the one period I saw him, but 4 goals were scored at the other end. One looked like a tip, one on the power play from the slot, and two others.
Defense was good but not spectacular. Lalonde the smoothest skater and the best at moving the puck out of the defensive zone. Lavin and Stanton seem similar. Clendining with a couple of bad penalties (one allowing the 5-all tie). Olson was big if unspectacular, with no glaring errors the one period I had a good look at him. The defensmen did keep the puck in the offensive zone reasonably well.