Didn't see the game, but I'm glad that we continued to roll. Minnesota has a fabulous team this year, and I pegged this as a game we could very well lose.
It will be interesting to see how we respond in Detroit, 7 straight wins on the road, BUT we will be coming off an extended break. The guys need the break, yet I hate to see them stop playing when they are so hot right now.
9-0-1. It could very easily be 10-0. Last night was one of the few games where we actually were outshot....Our road performance has went from our underbelly to a strength.........I LOVE THIS TEAM
Could Tootoo be trade bait in the near future? You have to love his energy, but you wonder where Trotz is going to go with the fourth line. It is clearly struggling at this point.
Tootoo was a -2 in 3:37 of ice time ... that'll probably be the last time Trotz plays him against the Wild
Some observations about last night and the coming week:
-Rads will be on the first plane back to Milwaukee come Wednsday afternoon......5:11 of ice time....none after the mid 2nd says to me a few things.....as bright as the glimmers are that we have seen on the NHL level....they are few and far between at this point and Trotz just doesn't trust him enough yet when the game is on the line.....there are some things that Trotz has complimented him on....like his board work, his patience, his adjustment to the speed of the game at this level, his attititude.......but the reality is that he is not going to reach his potential playing 5-9 minutes per game...all even strength at this point. He NEEDS to be in Milwaukee for this next few weeks, barring another injury to a forward up here. The Ads have 14 games in 20 days......they NEED Rads, and Rads NEEDS them. He has got his taste of the NHL.....the coaches can emphasize things he can work on in the AHL games that can ultimately benefit him on the NHL level.
This decision is a "no brainer" to me.
-Zids....what can you say....terrible game. The official superstat sheet....credits him with "0" giveaways.....I guess the Rolston Christmas present doesn't count....jeez. I didn't like the new defense pairings Kimmo/Zids and Lehtonen/Suter......this just gives Zids too much even strength ice time.....no way Zids should lead the club in even strength ice time for the defense corp...that is ludicrious.
-Sully....if anybody doubts who is the oil of this Predator engine....they haven't watched this road trip closely.
We are just a far more dangerous team with Sully in there. His contributions on the PK also go under recognized....with his speed at the point of the PK, the threat for the shorty is always there....the opposing team just has to respect that too much on the PP, making the d to d pass much more vulnerable, much like Rolston does for Minny.
-Just as the coaches get far too much criticism when we are losing....they also get far too much credit when we are winning. The credit should go to the "new" leadership group of Timonen, Sully, Kariya, Vokoun, and Arnott.
Their professionalism...lead by example.....calming influence to our youngsters.....confidence......have everything to do with this road winning streak, and makes us a totally different mental team than we had with the previous leadership group. They appear to be a very cohesive unit who support eachother and instill confidence in eachother, the rest of the team, and the coaches themselves. The discipline of us not taking penalties is coming from this leadership team in the room itself......they are all holding eachother accountable here, obviously. These guys have the skill, work ethic, and experience to back up the talk and lead by example.
-Fiddler. What can you say about this guy. On ice results speak for themselves. His work ethic is infectous..his pass to Sully was superb....the guy can't finish, unless it's garbage, but you have to love this guy. Sully's interview after the first period talked about the chemistry of the Sully/Fids/Dumont line....and we really saw it last night. Sully and Dumont have chemistry, but Fiddler compliments these guys well. With Sully and Dumont, you don't have to have playmaking from the center slot....you have to have speed and the ability to go to the rough places, to help get the puck on their stick....and I think Fids does this well. I think we will see this line for a while.
-Weber and Suter. We are seeing the blossoming of two superstars in the making. Is this fun or what? Both are just scratching the surface of what we will eventually see. I commend Trotz for having confidence in Suter and helping blossom from last year. Both are getting quality ice time. I would like to see Weber on the PK and PP more often though. They really look like they are having fun out there.....kudos for the coaching staff to go with our talented youth on the blueline when all the "experts" were calling for us to make a move for a veteran d-man.
-Anyway, the guys get a much deserved couple days off before they resume practice on Wednesday. The coaches have some decisions to make regarding the roster, since everybody is healthy. http://tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/articl.../611050416/1028
.....I think we all know what one of those decisions will be [Rads to Milwaukee], but Glennon hints at a roster move "or two".....does Glennon know more than he is leading on....we shall see.....