I've been very pleased with the play of Schultz so far - he seems to thrive playing with Johnsson. They make a really nice top pair with their mobility and puck smarts. We haven't seen Schultz start well in several years, so who knows how well he'll be playing in April. Good to see.
I think that he finally also got the message from Lemaire that he'd better show up to camp in shape. Also, he's 24 now. He's not a kid anymore. He probably realized on July 2nd that the Wild were going to be good and that JL wouldn't tolerate a slow start from him. His play has been solid. Just what we need.
Incredbily enough, even Boogard is actually playing like a real hockey player. I honestly never thought I'd see the day when I'd say that, but you've got to give the kid tons of credit for working so hard to do what it takes to earn semi-regular shifts.
But anyway, as for Schultz - yeah, this is probably the best I've seen him play. We're finally seeing the guy we were hoping to see ever since he was taken in the second round. It looks like he finally figured it out, and I'm really happy for him. I think I speak for a lot of fans when I say that I was ready to give up on him. I was at a point where I figured if he hasn't gotten it by now, he probably isn't going to.
This is a great month for a Wild fan. I don't think I've ever felt better about the way the team is going than I do right now. I know the winning streak won't last, and there'll be losing streaks in the months to come, and there'll be nights they play like crap, and we'll ***** and we'll whine about it, but right now - in October of 2006 - we're seeing with our own eyes what Doug and Jacques have been building for the last 6 years, and it looks like it was exactly what we were all hoping it would be. And I can't wait to see how much better they look in February, after they finish working out some of the kinks we're still seeing.
Solid game tonight from Schultzy. He showed some great timing on his goal when he jumped down from the point to take White's pass. He also won a few imporant battles in his own end.
I think Lemaire would like to, but hates to praise the guy because of some let downs in his early days. His instablities are no more as he is the most steady guy we have now.
Lemaire had a good quote on Schultz at the start of the year, something like, "I hate to say this, but you know who played great tonight? Nick Schultz." He said something to the effect that he didn't want to jinx him with praise. I think it as after the Colorado game.
I watched the game last night, and he was out there whenever sakic was...especially at the end of the game.
I was very impressed with Schultz' play, especially in that sort of shutdown role. He and Johnsson are our top pairing, and even tho schultz is prone to some dumb mistakes with the puck, he has been very effective this year.