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2013 LMHF Game Report #5

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Old
02-07-2013, 01:36 AM
  #1
LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
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2013 LMHF Game Report #5

EDMONTON 2

VS.

DALLAS 3
---------------


Well, on one hand you've got to beat this Dallas team. Their roster is weak, old and they're missing important players. They didn't show very much tonight that was impressive in any meaningful way. They're not dynamic or particularly effective at anything. They do have a strong goalie which helped them out for sure. Jagr and still do a couple of the things he's always been able to do (win the battles when he has the puck and shoot it when he has any room) and that made the difference for them tonight.

On the other hand, our roster going in to this game stunk. It stunk even more when we lost our fourth center of the year to injury. Get these men some adequate padding or something already...wow. Did we cope very well with the losses we sustained? Well...sort of. The players themselves did a fairly good job of adapting and not getting lost of confused during the game and dealing with ever-changing arrangements. 5-on-5 at least. The powerplay was scary-bad at times this evening. They couldn't get puck control off of a zone entry without great difficulty. The coaches did not adjust so well. It was already bad enough to pull a MacTavish and simply plug Mark Arcobello in a spot where he had no possibility of succeeding to begin with...then to stick with him after a couple periods and an injury to Lander was pretty terrible decision-making on their part. This probably cost us at least one 5-on-5 goal and ultimately the game.

It feels odd to say this about a 3-2 loss where our forward lineup was depleted and generally bad, but the defence really let us down tonight. There were mediocre to bad performances for most of the crew and I can't figure out why exactly. Hmmm.

Let's turn to our goals for a moment.

Our first game after a superlative effort by the Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky line. There were at least three beautiful shooting chances during this sequence that just didn't turn out. It wasn't for lack of effort or desire to fire the puck though. Eventually Yakupov got the puck in a really nice spot, took a shot that easily could have gone in but deflected to Hemsky who made no mistake on a shot that turned out to be harder to cash than it initially appeared. Great all-around effort to get the 1-0 lead.

The second Oilers goal was an even more beautiful thing. It started with an Eberle pass off to Hall. Rather than simply stand idly, Eberle worked his way down low and behind the net. He then motioned with his head to Hall that Hemsky was open. Hall fired a hard, flat, excellently timed pass across the whole zone to Hemsky, who was WIDE open and had about three years to decide what to do. The made a little fake then teed one up just right for Justin Schultz. All this while, Teemu Hartikainen was battling away in front of the net, and had set up a perfect screen for anyone who needed it. Schultz made no mistake. Perfectly executed powerplay sequence. Also, Hemsky on the right side has always been the better option. You saw why on some of the passes he made from there tonight.

We'll look more at the Dallas goals while discussing specific players.
------------

Dubnyk
- He was really good tonight and made some nice stops. He was positionally solid; save for an approximately 10 minute stretch in the second where he was AGAIN dipping his blocker side shoulder and Dallas was simply not able to take advantage. Chabot needs to get a bloody taser and train this out of him during practices. It is going to kill games at key times. Luckily for us he returned to form subsequently. Definitely gave us a chance to win.

Petry-Smid
- Easily the worst game I've seen Jeff Petry play in a long time. He was wandering around his own zone out of position, turned the puck over routinely in every zone, deflected a goal into our net and generally looked terrible. He's lucky Smid was there to bail him out with shot blocks and strong defensive plays for most of the game. I do give Smid a hard time regarding the Benn goal as he was out of position, but that is partly because Ryan Smyth was in the middle of nowhere and threw everything off. Petry usually is, and has to be much much much better than he was tonight. I was starting to fear the times he got the puck. Just ugly.

J. Schultz-N.Schultz
- Similar to what I've seen so far, Nick had a quiet game but his tentativeness cost him at times. Just not aggressive enough on the opposition blue line. He also screened Dubynk pretty badly (along with Ryan Smyth) on the Roy goal. Not good. Also no physical play again tonight. Justin was pretty great. Solid defensively. Worked hard. Skated well. Made crisp passes for the most part. He could have been a little more aggressive to try to augment the Hall-Arcobello-Eberle line's offensive potential but oh well. Really nice goal he scored and could have had another earlier in the game.

Whitney-Potter
- Potter wasn't very good in that he couldn't gain puck possession and make solid passes. The guy who was a pretty decent puck mover at the beginning of last season appears to be long gone. He was the guy who was doing some of the bailing out on this line tonight line. I've run out of ways to feel bad about Ryan Whitney. His game just isn't there. The only thing he can do at this point is make a decent pass and take a slapper on the powerplay. There was a sequence in the second period where he got beat by a Stars player to the corner. He took several strides. The Stars player only had to glide (and hadn't been flying in the zone either). That's just not going to work in this league. Then he goes and messes up badly in overtime after several miscues at the offensive blue line in the third period. This is sad but it is reality. We need to replace Ryan Whitney and we need to do it soon. To watch a player fall from the best skater on our team at times to not even able to make a proper hockey stop is just crushing.

Hall-Arcobello-Eberle
- I really wanted to like the guy who came out wearing #62 tonight. They made the right call in asking him to play instead of Vandevelde and I appreciated that. It is always good to see a guy who clearly has a lot of respect from his minor league teammates get the call. That unfortunately was the last good thing that happened to him today. He was very unfortunately placed with Hall and Eberle in a way we've seen guys like Toby Petersen and Liam Reddox placed with the equivalent line of their day by other coaches. He looked completely overmatched the whole game. He turned the puck over nearly every chance he had. He actually made a pass in the third period but the fact that this was surprising was also scary. He couldn't keep up with the speed of the game and if you're as small as he is you actually have to be faster than average NHL speed. Not happening. To give him 18 minutes was absolutely insane. His spot was a giant hole in the middle of this line who was immediately outnumbered as they tried to put up a goal or two. For their parts, Eberle and Hall gave it what they could. Eberle is struggling to find his shooting (or tipping for that matter) rhythm at the moment. He had a wide-open net on a beauty feed from Schultz and missed. He missed on feeds from Hall. He could have tipped at least two pucks in but missed on both. I do give him credit for continuing to fight through though, and making some nice plays including on the powerplay goal and on the feed to Hall in the second after battling like hell and forcing a turnover deep in Dallas territory. I'm not going to bag on Hall for going between the legs there. It must have been the only option he saw. I'm also sure he was intending to go high and failed. If he'd thought he could get across the goalie and finish, he would have. Great pass to Hemsky before the Schultz goal as I noted earlier. He's having his best time on the ice right now whenever he and #83 are together. They really make things happen. Did Hall have several chances he needed to finish tonight though? Yes. The good news is that these guys weren't making defensive mistakes, unlike a player on this next line.

Petrell-Smyth-Hordichuk
-Obviously these guys didn't stay together long but it is still easiest to keep them grouped for discussion purposes. Hordichuk at least didn't take a stupid penalty in his incredibly limited ice time. He's a complete waste of a roster spot as well but the coaches and management don't seem to want to acknowledge that. Petrell played okay, especially when penalty killing, shot blocking and on the forecheck. No offence from him tonight though. And so we turn to Mr Smyth. What a horrible joke of a game he played. In addition to generally being slow to the puck, taking a horrible penalty, getting beat clean by defenders or forwards and not doing a damn thing offensively, Smyth made two of the laziest giveaways (one offensive and one defensive) that I've ever seen during the third period. He's just lazily flopping the puck wherever his stick happens to be pointing. In addition, his laziness (and whatever the heck this lean over and hopelessly half-lunge at the puck thing he's doing right now is) led to missing attempts to grab the puck on both of the goals Dallas scored in regulation. Neither of those would have happened if he wasn't slacking and/or out of position. Once on the boards and once in the middle of the ice. He then committed a double error by also screening the goalie on Roy's slapper, while not being near as close as he should have been to prevent the play in the first place. The way #94 played tonight, on a night when we needed veteran leadership, was absolutely embarassing. He should be sat out next game. I don't care if he can fake playing center. That effort should not go unpunished. What a flipping joke.

Paajarvi-Lander-Hartikainen
- Now on to the mostly positive. Obviously Lander getting hurt is not positive, but before the injury he looked to be continuing what he was trying to do last game and I have no complaints with that. Magnus played a fine game. He used his speed to get in on the forecheck, draw a penalty or two, carry the puck effectively and even hit people. It was really like watching something important finally click in that hockey brain and getting to enjoy the results. He also didn't cheat for defence as much which makes me happy. I really hope he can continue this level of effort and get some good shots away as well. Remember this is a man who can rifle the puck when he puts his mind to it. Hartikainen also did very well for himself. In addition to clogging the front of the net effectively on the Schultz goal, he worked well in the corners, threw some hits and brought the puck to the front of the net for shots. I would take the opportunity during the next couple games while chaos takes hold with injuries and such to elevate #56 to a line where these efforts would be better utilized.

Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
- The only consistently dangerous line on the ice tonight for us. They were why we had a chance out there. Hemsky was going as he has been for several games now. The goal was very nicely done and he made the right decision on the Schultz pass. He also checked hard along the boards, made some nice plays to both Gagner and Yakupov that could have wound up in the net and got several really strong shots away himself. I liked that he looked off Eberle and then fired on a 2-on-1 chance that he had. It is too bad that he blocked the puck with his mouth along the boards in the third period. He was in alone and likely would have finished if he'd blocked it with anything else. Gagner was a little medium tonight but effective enough. He was being asked to do a lot as the only decent offensive center on the team and certainly did enough. I don't blame Yakupov at all for the OT goal against. He can't be responsible for guarding Jagr because our former #1 Dman now has zero good feet. Really liked that he was responding physically with a hit and even the penalty to some extent. Can't take any garbage from that loser Morrow. He rang an absolute lazer beam off the bar in the second. Kari is still looking for that puck. Really thought he'd scored an absolute beauty there. Oh well.
----------------------

In the end, we couldn't get it done with only one consistent offensive line and a rickety PP. Not surprising.

Management will reveal its plan for the year by how they respond to this. There is time to pick a C or two and several decent ones that could stay with the team later and help out are available for nothing or practically nothing. We also need a defenceman badly. If they make moves now, they want to make the playoffs. If they don't, they are on board for another year of failure. We shall see.

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02-07-2013, 01:40 AM
  #2
Kayen
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Good read up, I watched 2/3 of the game no audio on a tiny screen, so it was hard to keep track of things. Appreciate it LMHF!

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02-07-2013, 01:44 AM
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Was in attendance and agree with basically everything. Another solid report my LMHF.

EDIT: I thought Gagner played really well. Especially on that one PK in the 2nd where he nearly had a breakaway and killed off maybe a good 30 seconds by himself. Also had one play in the third where he did a 180 and spun his stick around to get a weak shot off on goal. Was a pretty sequence when he pulled it off.

Shout out to Pajaarvi who laid some guy out in the third and was flying out there. He's been awesome.


Last edited by EchoesoftheEighties: 02-07-2013 at 01:51 AM.
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02-07-2013, 01:45 AM
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Good read up, I watched 2/3 of the game no audio on a tiny screen, so it was hard to keep track of things. Appreciate it LMHF!
Glad to be of service!

Nearly forgot - HORRIBLE non-call on the too many men in OT. No excuse for that. Even the Dallas player knew it and looked horribly guilty.

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02-07-2013, 01:51 AM
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We are icing 1/2 of an AHL team that could barely hold onto 8th place.


Take a step back, and I'm happy with the point.

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02-07-2013, 01:53 AM
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LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
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Originally Posted by EchoesoftheEighties View Post
Was in attendance and agree with basically everything. Another solid report my LMHF.

EDIT: I thought Gagner played really well. Especially on that one PK in the 2nd where he nearly had a breakaway and killed off maybe a good 30 seconds by himself. Also had one play in the third where he did a 180 and spun his stick around to get a weak shot off on goal. Was a pretty sequence when he pulled it off.

Shout out to Pajaarvi who laid some guy out in the third and was flying out there. He's been awesome.
Agreed on Gagner's PK. Had nearly forgotten about it.

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02-07-2013, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by EchoesoftheEighties View Post
Was in attendance and agree with basically everything. Another solid report my LMHF.

EDIT: I thought Gagner played really well. Especially on that one PK in the 2nd where he nearly had a breakaway and killed off maybe a good 30 seconds by himself. Also had one play in the third where he did a 180 and spun his stick around to get a weak shot off on goal. Was a pretty sequence when he pulled it off.

Shout out to Pajaarvi who laid some guy out in the third and was flying out there. He's been awesome.
Agreed.

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02-07-2013, 05:31 AM
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Duby playing great all game, and then letting in the weak OT goal. Has to stop doing that. It will kill us if we ever get into the playoffs.

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02-07-2013, 05:42 AM
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Agree with everything you have stated.

I just wonder if Smyth is even trying out there. If he is pissy because he is low down on the totem pole, well sit him. His laziness is driving me nuts.

Whitney is a bloody disaster and benching him did nothing as he was probably worse last night, if possible, than any other night.

How do you suppose that both Smyth and Whitney ended up out there in OT anyway? Those are two guys that would not see the ice when the game is on the line if I was coaching.

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02-07-2013, 07:20 AM
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I don't have any specifics, but Hartikainen impresses me more and more every game and I for one think he would be an intriguing fit with a couple skill guys. I don't know how you make that work with our current mashup of players, but his work ethic and ability to hang onto the puck (by just shoving guys off of his back and slamming them around WHILE carrying the puck!) seems to be something that would work well with a couple players who can really score.

Also, I really feel bad for Whitney, because clearly this is injury related stuff, but the Oilers knew the MO on him when they traded for him.

Some big time holes on this roster right now - we NEED two NHL caliber defensemen right now and at least one centerman who can win draws and preferably kill penalties.

Somehow this team is still in the mix though, so I guess there is that.

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02-07-2013, 08:23 AM
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Duby playing great all game, and then letting in the weak OT goal. Has to stop doing that. It will kill us if we ever get into the playoffs.
Dubnyk is far from the issue right now. He's played great. Without him there isn't even an OT chance. He has to be one of the good stories of this season, assuming his play can hold.

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02-07-2013, 08:48 AM
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I pretty much agree. Something I would mention though is the decision to stick with Arcobello as long as they did isn't quite as controversial with me. For one thing, I think losing Lander so early would have made it tough to move him down the roster. What could you do, move 94 up? As you said, he was playing anything but good last night. Also, after years and year of criticizing the MacBlender I'm kinda enjoying watching Krueger's opposite approach. Now maybe he should be willing to change things up a little more often, but overall I still agree you should give your lines a real chance to mesh before deciding to blow it up in the middle of a game, something MacT did not do at all IMO.

Also, as a fellow Hemsky fan it was nice to see the old 83 back last night. I don't know what his future is with this team, as I'd like to see more grit in the top 6 and Hemsky is probably the most logical trade bait, but regardless of what happens it's nice to see a skilled player doing what he does best again.

Good report as always, LMHF. Thanks.

P.S. Liked what 91 did out there, but we need to see some of that effort lead to a few goals. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

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02-07-2013, 09:07 AM
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Hartikainen also did very well for himself. In addition to clogging the front of the net effectively on the Schultz goal, he worked well in the corners, threw some hits and brought the puck to the front of the net for shots. I would take the opportunity during the next couple games while chaos takes hold with injuries and such to elevate #56 to a line where these efforts would be better utilized.
I agree with a lot of your assessments and in particular, this one. I do like the chemistry that Hartikainen and Paajarvi has and Lander when he's healthy but i feel that his talents are being wasted with guys who aren't finishers. I feel that if he played on a line with capable finishers that his board work would be rewarded.
There were many occasions when he would work the back of the net for a good 15-20 seconds but had nobody in the slot to get the puck to so he basically threw the puck to the net and hoped for the best. If he had some skilled players like RNH and Eberle who are capable of finishing (this season notwithstanding), i feel that would elevate his effectiveness.

I have maintained for a while that RNH and Eberle would flourish with a grinder who can win puck battles and crash the net. Hall is good at winning puck battles but he's more of a skilled guy than anything else, not a grinder/net presence. I liked Hartikainen's fit with RNH and Eberle in the AHL and in their short time together in the NHL last season. I would like to see Krueger try him out on that line when/if RNH returns but the problem is that there would be nowhere to put Hall and the 64-89-83 line isn't being broken up so we won't be seeing that anytime soon.

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02-07-2013, 09:35 AM
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Thanks for the report as always.

I feel Arcobello was getting a tryout here, it's an evaluation year. No point in giving him 5 minutes.

Notable that Yakupov's laser was coming down the right side?

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02-07-2013, 09:40 AM
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Good report.

Agree on Arcobello completely. Made some awful defensive gaffes which you'd expect but I was hoping he wouldn't look out of place offensively which he managed to do. He missed passes, turned the puck over and just flat out wasn't very good at all. Not the type of tweener this team needs right now though granted there aren't many better options. This team needs to get more pucks to the net and stop making fancy plays.

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02-07-2013, 10:16 AM
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Notable that Yakupov's laser was coming down the right side?
Best set ups right now...

Hall-X-Hemsky
Hartikainen-Gagner-Yakupov
Paajarvi-Smyth-Eberle (isn't playing like he deserves better)
Petrell-Vande Velde-Hordichuk

Depending on injuries... need a C... even a speedy waiver wire guy who can just plug the hole... don't care... Connolly still my favorite option but this is the year you wish a Letestu or Ryan Carter was out there so you could stick him in...

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02-07-2013, 10:21 AM
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Hemsky was excellent going both up ice with the puck and coming back to disrupt plays. He showed a number of times that physicality is not just about booming hits that tilt the second T in the Tim Horton's sign, but also just using your body to cut guys off. And a guy, like Hemsky, who can deal with a puck close to his feet, is going to win the puck away from lots of players when he does this.

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02-07-2013, 10:22 AM
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Agree with everything you have stated.

I just wonder if Smyth is even trying out there. If he is pissy because he is low down on the totem pole, well sit him. His laziness is driving me nuts.

Whitney is a bloody disaster and benching him did nothing as he was probably worse last night, if possible, than any other night.

How do you suppose that both Smyth and Whitney ended up out there in OT anyway? Those are two guys that would not see the ice when the game is on the line if I was coaching.
Disagree with this. Prior to last night Smyth had played a few good games. Smyth is currently in latter Daryll Sittler mode(not comparing the players) and is recently exhibiting the effects of how this man has played the game, how often he's been the target of opposition, and how many countless times he's been hacked. I think the list of players that have been hit and viciously attacked around the net more than Smyth is short.

This has nothing to do with Smyth being lazy and nothing could be further from the truth. It has more to do with the well not being that deep anymore. What you are seeing is a player that on a lot of nights is a spent force, probably racked with arthritis even at his age.

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02-07-2013, 10:25 AM
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Hemsky was excellent going both up ice with the puck and coming back to disrupt plays. He showed a number of times that physicality is not just about booming hits that tilt the second T in the Tim Horton's sign, but also just using your body to cut guys off. And a guy, like Hemsky, who can deal with a puck close to his feet, is going to win the puck away from lots of players when he does this.
Nice to see the credit. Just two games ago people were again stating that Hemsky was a giveaway machine that never gets anthing done.

On rushes he's a risk player. He takes chances with the puck but when he breaks clear he's dangerous. Keeps D honest by having to respect his homefree potential.

I've not always been a Hemsky fan but he's played well this year for the most part.

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02-07-2013, 10:33 AM
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Nice to see the credit. Just two games ago people were again stating that Hemsky was a giveaway machine that never gets anthing done.

On rushes he's a risk player. He takes chances with the puck but when he breaks clear he's dangerous. Keeps D honest by having to respect his homefree potential.

I've not always been a Hemsky fan but he's played well this year for the most part.
There are nights when he's a giveaway machine and nights when he's the best player on the ice. He's typically one of the most dangerous players on the ice at both ends. He always has been this way and always will be. You know what you're getting from a healthy Hemsky and while he's redundant here in a big way he's still a very good NHL player and a legit top 6 winger.

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02-07-2013, 10:38 AM
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Disagree with this. Prior to last night Smyth had played a few good games. Smyth is currently in latter Daryll Sittler mode(not comparing the players) and is recently exhibiting the effects of how this man has played the game, how often he's been the target of opposition, and how many countless times he's been hacked. I think the list of players that have been hit and viciously attacked around the net more than Smyth is short.

This has nothing to do with Smyth being lazy and nothing could be further from the truth. It has more to do with the well not being that deep anymore. What you are seeing is a player that on a lot of nights is a spent force, probably racked with arthritis even at his age.
I have to agree with this...or at least it seems more likely to me than the idea of Smyth being a lazy hockey player.

IMO Smyth is trying, but I think he just doesn't have the legs to keep up...thus all the lunging and flailing at pucks. I wouldn't be surprised if this is his last year...or at least it should be.

Regarding Whitney, I'm at the point where every time he's on the ice I just know that he's going to screw up and am pretty much numb to his ineptitude now.

When you look at video of what Whitney was like when we first got him and compare it to what we have now, it's shocking how much he's fallen down the elevator shaft. I know he's got a lot of pride, so I can't even imagine how disheartening this must be for him...he is outright costing this team goals and games.

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02-07-2013, 10:44 AM
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Thanks for the post. I agree with Eberle, his game has been up and down since the beginning of the year and he is clearly struggling now.

On defense, outside of Schultz and Schultz, the bottom four treated the puck like a hand grenade in our own zone at times. They turned sure fire possessions into turnovers and easy opportunities for the Stars.

On offense, I think we have a legit number one line in Gags, Yak and Hemsky. I really like how they've got things done 5 on 5 and on the powerplay.

Paajarvi has played great the last two games. Very fast, good chances and physical. I'd love to see him bag some points in the near future.

Hordichuk has no business being on this team. The injury report suggests that we will get Nuge, Belanger and Eager back this weekend. I think that does a lot to help this team out. If Lander is still out, I don't mind seeing Arcobello get a longer look. Hall and Smyth were satisfactory in the face off circle, so I'm not too worried in their ability to fill in but our real centres gotta step it up.

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02-07-2013, 10:47 AM
  #23
LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
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Originally Posted by Digger12 View Post
I have to agree with this...or at least it seems more likely to me than the idea of Smyth being a lazy hockey player.

IMO Smyth is trying, but I think he just doesn't have the legs to keep up...thus all the lunging and flailing at pucks. I wouldn't be surprised if this is his last year...or at least it should be.

Regarding Whitney, I'm at the point where every time he's on the ice I just know that he's going to screw up and am pretty much numb to his ineptitude now.

When you look at video of what Whitney was like when we first got him and compare it to what we have now, it's shocking how much he's fallen down the elevator shaft. I know he's got a lot of pride, so I can't even imagine how disheartening this must be for him...he is outright costing this team goals and games.
The lunging may be due to the wear and tear, but the passes to no one when he has time and space are not. Despite his reputation, #94 can indeed be lazy at times. Last night was as bad as I've seen it. Screwing up positioning is also inexcusable for a veteran like him and that occurred several times last night.

All Whitney had to do to stop Jagr's goal was lean into him. He's so paranoid about that foot that he tried to back off early instead. It doesn't work. I'm honestly not sure how much if this is his foot being mangled and how much is him in his own head trying to over think the hell out of trying to compensate. Either way, none of it is working and he needs to take a seat for a while to figure it out. I don't see how he could modify his game enough to be a good NHL defenceman at this point. You can't use only one foot and play effectively.

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02-07-2013, 10:48 AM
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Kamus
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I don't really understand the criticism of Arccobello's minutes, what options did the coach have? People know that they started the game with one NHL centre?
Lander goes down in the first, was Gagner supposed to play 40 minutes?

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02-07-2013, 10:52 AM
  #25
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I don't really understand the criticism of Arccobello's minutes, what options did the coach have? People know that they started the game with one NHL centre?
Lander goes down in the first, was Gagner supposed to play 40 minutes?
Hartikainen-Hall-Eberle
Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
Smyth-Arcobello-Paajarvi

Done.

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