The downside is that its apparent it's the AHL not the NHL... BIG difference.
Tons of giveaways
Players pulling moves that would never work in the NHL.
However, I still agree that this game is more interesting to watch than the dreadful canadiens... I actually thought the exact same thing after the 1st period "Why can't we replace the Habs games with the Bulldogs games?".
Well, give me Bulldogs hockey over current Habs hockey anyday.
Here's what I thought of the first period :
Balej : very good with the puck, was not afraid to shoot or put the puck on net, nice, quick shot, took a rather useless holding the stick penalty -> lucky it didn't cost the team, was willing to pay the price around the net (ie, take a hit or four) if it meant he could score a goal.
Plekanec : good, strong skater who is very strong on his skates (much sturdier than Ribeiro), an above average passer, was willing to enter the goal area as well as behind the net, took and gave out a few hits.
Dagenais :made a few nice passes -> likes to look for Balej and works well with him, unleashed a few nice shots -> one beautiful shot from the slot, releases the puck quickly and with plenty of power.
Komisarek :was getting physical in front of the net, maybe too physical as it lead to an interference penalty, Hainsey is playing much better at the NHL level than Komisarek is at the AHL level, nonetheless Komisarek should be in the NHL, looks smaller on the ice than 6'4", was having some trouble at the point on regular and powerplay situations, unable to control the puck, although his passing is crisp and accurate for the most part.
Beauchemin :was given some powerplay time and performed well, was paired with Komisarek.
Ferland :released a rather weak shot, but showed that he came to play, threw a couple of hits and got his nose dirty -> did not see a whole lot of ice time.
Higgins :was willing to take the hit in the offensive zone, showed a pair of nifty dekes and nearly roofed the puck en route to the goal, should be in the NHL, showed skill at both ends of the ice -> took and his man and grabbed the puck, very good first period.
Perezhogin :didn't want to go too close to the goal, but used his speed and skating to drift out and around the defenders -> some nice stickhandling efforts, was definitely out there to create offence and was making things happen in the Roadrunners' zone -> not a whole lot of ice time.
Gratton :an energy guy, was sturdy and strong on the skates, smart player and was looking for his teammates.
Dwyer :wearing the "A" for the 'Dogs, looks much more comfortable in the AHL, carried the puck a few times through the neutral zone, still likes to throw his weight around.
I wish they could switch half of the team and the coach with the dogs. I would love Audette, JJ, Kilger, Dackell, Pereault to join Traverse in Hamilton. That will free 5 spots in Montreal for Pleck, Higgins, Perozoghin Balej.
Well our problems are solved people! Send down Dackell, Audette, Sundstrom and Juneau and call up Balej, Plekanec, Higgins and Gratton! I'm half kidding of course but it's refreshing to see that the future looks bright.
Those 4 players looked very sharp all night, and often even like men among boys:
Plekanec's stats don't indicate his stellar game. Was everywhere on the ice, hustled, created plays (amazing creativity, great hands, very good speed, set up Carpentier with a perfect pass in the 3rd but he shot on the goalie). He'll be more important for us in a year than Ribeiro IMO. Same vision except MUCH better speed and stronger on his skates.
Gratton could be a perfect 4th liner right now along with Begin and Langdon. Character/gritty player with good playmaking abilities and a work ethic without reproach and sound defensive game.
Balej has speed to burn and I beleive he needs to spend all year in Hamilton to score a lot and boost his confidence. Still, don't count him out. He was pretty fiesty tonight and has speed to burn + great shot. Had a great scoring chance early in the game and showed good patience and great composure around the net.
Higgins looked like a man among boys that's for sure. Much stronger than his size indicates, hustled all night long, go-to guy attitude that shoots (and scores) when needed, while being strong defensively. He has very quick agile hands around the net. He's the closest to the NHL along with Plekanec. I would call either of the two in a heart beat if I were BG. In fact, I'd call both + maybe Gratton to start a fire under certain vets' *****.
Side note: Komisarek looked strong defensively all night long, as suggests by his +2 record in that game, dominating physically and clearing the crease. Also, Perezhogin showed his exceptional vision on the ice with a couple of plays and passes that made the commentators go wow. Ferland showed very strong hustle along the boards resulting in the second goal scored by Higgins.
Not so good... Plante (huge goat on the second goal, behind the play), Traverse (bad flashback from last year, he's almost as bad in the AHL) and Dagenais (actually he wasn't that bad, I'm just not a big fan of his play. He's slow, both reaction and speed wise, soft, and all he has is a wicked shot. Not enough). I'll stop there for the bad. We have enough to endure with the big club. In general, pretty much everybody looked decent to great as we flat out dominated most of the game.
I agree guys...a really entertaining game. I kept pinching myself and asking...are those really goals? Is that what it's like to have the puck go in the other team's net? Is that red light really for our time?
Given the choice between a dogs game and habs one I'd chose the Bulldogs game.
Agreed. I almost cried when I saw that fast(er) paced hockey with great talent and creativity not doing the dump and change line all night long. I needed that good hockey fix for a while now. Couldn't RDS show a bit more of Hamilton and a bit less of Montreal?
I'm a dreamer, that's part of the reason for my handle, but I beleive this lineup would probably look good right now:
That's surprising you'd mention that line up. I thought of the almost same exact one. The only difference being Ryder on the 1st and Zednik on the 2nd. I'd like to see Plek and Zednik together. They're both fast. Maybe Plek could get Zed out of his slump.