For those of you that have been itching to see Robbie Earl in action will finally get your chance this coming Friday, Jan. 21st. Earl and his UW mates will be facing off against Wes O'Neill and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in a non-conference showdown on CSTV (College Sports Television). If you have the NHL Channel on your cable or satellite system, you'll be able to watch this game. Game time is 8pm EST/5pm PST
Sorry Dar, yes that's what I meant. Down here in the States (at least here on the left coast anyway), we don't get the NHL Network and every time I watch CSTV, they always call the NHL Network, the NHL Channel.
I felt Earl was everything as advertised after seeing him play for the first time.
His skating and puck skills might have been even better than I imagined. He's a highlight reel every time he touches the puck. Explosive is the best way to describe him. He can totally dominate with his skill.
On the downside, many of the negative things I've read about him showed up too. He doesn't play on the PK so that really cuts into his icetime. Especially last night when the ref called a ton of penalties. I don't think Earl even saw the ice for the first half of the second period.
He needs to work on his strength. On certain occasions you could tell that Notre Dame would go at him physically to try and take him off his game. He has the fiestiness to fight back a bit, but it would really help him if he got a bit stronger. He did throw a couple nice hits though.
He also had a couple of Sergei Berezin-style solo dashes that don't end up amounting to much. And a couple of times he would rush up ice a little prematurely looking for a breakaway pass. I guess Mogilny does that too though sometimes.
His cockiness showed up a little bit in a second period interview as well. They asked him how he felt he was better this year. He replied that he was using his teammates better than he has in the past. He attributed that to playing with Joe Pavelski. He said in the past that he hadn't been playing with "linemates of my calibre."
But his skill is amazing. I have a lot of faith that he'll play in the NHL. If he can round out his game, he could be a star. No question. If he doesn't round out his game, I picture him being the kind of guy who makes a bit of noise when he first comes into the league, but has his shine wear off quickly.