Location: DiPietro's Island, that is Guarded by Godard.
Biggest Pleasant Surprise This Season?
Whos the player that surprised you with his play the most. And do you think he/they will keep it up and for how long?
I will name 3 players that surprised me the most:
1) Oleg Kvasha(Hes really becoming a player that Milbury though him to be. Improved his strenght, his balance and is looking determined as never before) Reason(Probably got a girlfriend, he he)
2)Polish Prince(really nice surprise, did not think he could get back to the way hes playing after the Montreal fiasco. Also plays like he cares, backchecks and everything)Reason(Trying to prove to people that hes not what they thought he is after being humiliated by Montreal)
3)Rick/Peca(I'd give it to these 2 guys. I thought that Ricky would be much better this season, but I did not expect Peca to be the way he is. He never stood up for his team mates, before the game vs Atlanta. And hes looking the best I ever seen him play)Reason(Prove that they are what people expected them to be.)
1).DiPietro has played very solidly.Made some big saves when called upon.He's not overplaying the puck.
2).Chow's efforts are a surprise,especially after being put on training camp waivers.I expected Chow to be bought out.
3).Kvasha's efforts at both ends of the ice.
Kvasha, Kvasha, Kvasha. He is keeping his focus and taking care of business. I know the team hasn't played any tough teams yet (Washington isn't that tough, they just have some voodoo going), but they're off to a good start.
Kvasha, hands down. He's been using his body, and speed more to his advantage and it's paying off perfectly. Czerkawski has been silencing critics as well. 5 goals in 5 games. Just think, he had 4 goals all last season..
(1) Kvasha. Even during he hot streaks in the past he never really played hard or with focus for an entire game. This year, sure, he's putting up some nice points so far, but the bigger surprise is that shift in, shift out he is working hard and focused. A perfect example of the "new" Kvasha is his goal the other night. Last season he wouldn't have been in front of the net or, if he happened to be there, he'd have his head in the clouds and his stick not on the ice. This season, he's parking himself in front, refusing to be moved, and looking for the pass. I was as big a doubter of this guy as there was, and it's still early, but he has looked fantastic.
(2) DiPietro. Looked extremely shaky post-Ozzy trade last year. This year, he has been great at times and, almost more importantly, he's been solid and steady. You want those flashes of greatness too, but to me, the bigger surprise is the steadyness. After all, last year he would make the great save too but his head would then get foggy and he'd wander wander wander.
(3) The first line, collectively. Kvasha. Czerk. Yashin. Let's break this down. Kvasha and Czerk. Two guys who showed little chemistry in the past with Yashin but who this year seemed like they were made to play with him. Yashin, Kvasha and Czerk, three guys who 'back check' was just something a chiropractor did, this year they are hustling, digging in corners, hitting, and, yes, backchecking. They won't win any Selkes, but they are playing with a collective grit and passion I never would have expected. Perhaps the best proof is that for the first time in years when someone says "the first line," we know exactly who that means.
Honorable mention goes to Stirling. I had liked what I heard about him but there was little to distinguish him from any of the other "this guy has a great minor league record" coaches we've seen in Milbury's tenure. Looks like Milbury may have *finally* picked the right guy: all I can say to that is if you fire and hire enough coaches eventually one of them *has to* be good, it's just the law of averages.
I haven't seen the PP look this good since stretches of 1993 with Turgeon feeding passess to King in front of the net.
Same goes with the 1st line. Dominant. I am going to say no more because I feel that if I do, I will jinx it.
Argh! Smitty, apparently you said too much! You jinxed us last night! :p
Just kidding. Everyone has an off night, and this was our first game against another good trapping team. We need to learn to fight through a good trap is all, and we hadn't faced it yet. Here's looking for some redemption against the Pens Saturday!