Benoit - Jancevski
Biron - O'Byrne
Groulx - Archer
Starting goalie: Price
Healthy scratches: Lambert, Sergei Kostitsyn
Cote, Andrei Kostitsyn Cote update: Still out for at least another 4 weeks. Kostitsyn update: Don't expect him back any time soon. Certainly not this series, probably not any after should we beat the Moose. The bottom of this link says he won't be active this series (round 2).
Goren - Jaffray - Moran
Hansen - Reid - Shultz
Smith - Raymond - Keane
Genoway - Hunter - Brown
Keys to the game - Dogs:
- Price had a good game last night, made some good saves but also had a couple of edgy moments in the 3rd. He needs to keep calm and make the right play at the right time. He had to be rescued twice last night and the Moose hit 3 posts. Tonight, he will have to come up big and keep the Dogs in it early. Hopefully he gets some help from...
- the defence. They did a good job last night, made some nice pinches, got some shots on net at one end and at the other made sure they hit the Moose forwards and protected Price. They do need to be a little more aware of the movement from the forwards off the puck though. On a couple of the shots off posts, the D got beaten to the middle/front of the net by the Moose. If they can just stay tight enough to tie up a stick or lean on the forwards a little, that could cut down a few good chances for the Moose.
- Forwards did well last night. There were stretches where they struggled to create anything but that was mainly early on and they can't be faulted after that long lay off. They need to keep putting pucks on net low down, force MacIntyre to use his pads and drive to the net for the rebounds. The PP also has to continue to find a way t function well. It wasn't up to much early in the game but it made the difference in the final score. The PK was spectacular, I hope they do a similar good job tonight. They were stellar last night.
Keys to the game - Moose:
- In goal, MacIntyre needs to be a bit more steady, especially on the long shots. He stpoped almost all chances around the net (apart from the Benoit goal but they were on the PK and Grabs pass was fantastic, the finish was sublime) and will need to make a couple more big saves like he did last night.
- The defence were ok, did a decent job of covering the rebounds from Mac, they'll need to be extra weary tonight as I think the Dogs will key on that potential weakness early on or if they need a late goal. They could do with hitting the Dogs forwards a little more when they have the chance to. A number of times the smaller Dogs forwards were allowed to skate around down low. When the Moose decided to get rough late on, they ran Ferland into the boards from behind deep in his own zone. Gonna have to watch they don't take stupid penalties like that. Sending a message is all well and good but there are ways to go about it. And even though they scored while short handed after that penalty, that was more about the Dogs disturbing lack of effort/concentration in their own zone. The Moose will not be encouraged to give cheap hits out like that, especially as the Dogs special teams came out on top last night.
- The forwards need to do what they did last night, but just do it a little more. They came so close on a number of occassions, chances are good for them tonight if they can repeat that effort. The luck will go their way soon if they do. Not sure how tired Reid is but I only noticed him on a couple of shifts last night. Certainly not the same guy that gave the Dogs defence fits in the regular season. Hopefully with a back to back game, he will be just as quiet tonight as far as the Dogs are concerned. The Moose could do with him finding his game a little though.
Should be another very close game tonight. Last night could have gone either way but the Dogs worked hard on the road and got some bounces. It was important they at least split these opening games, but they have got at least that. If they can take game 2 as well, that would be monumental heading back to Hamilton for games 3, 4 and 5. They have a real chance to put their stamp on this series early and with the way this series could finish if it goes down to the wire (last 2 games if needed in Manitoba) it wouldbe a much better position to be in if they only need 2 wins at home. Gonna take a lot of hard work though and a little luck but after that team effort last night, no reason to think it isn't possible.