Injuries: Lemieux, Cote, Andrei Kostitsyn
Cote update: Getting better. Not ready yet, but apparently nearing a return.
Kostitsyn update: Don't expect him back. He has a torn groin muscle so surely won't play hockey again this season. This article has a brief comment near the bottom
Sterling - Krog - Haydar
LaVallee - Larose - Dimitrakos
Stuart - Doell - Schell
Little - Anderson - Crab
Dogs have to steady the ship after the last game. The 1st period, parts of the 3rd and the OT were good. The 2nd and the other parts of the 3rd, not so much. The Dogs need to stop taking so many penalties and give the goalie (I'm expecting it to be Price) a chance to avoid unnecessary pressure. They could also do with making sure they make good passes when the Wolves are in top gear as during the 2nd period on Friday, the Dogs were just running around, missing passes and going right back into their own end. When things get tough, they need to make solid, clean hits to break the play up, make a nice first pass and hopefully give the puck to the Grabovski's, D'agostini's and Chipchura's of the team and let them carry it forward, try and trouble that defence of theirs. Those three guys can be great on the puck, Chip showed it in game 1, the other two only showed glimpses of it though. Those two should be able to step up their game in this series, the Wolves aren't making their zone the claustrophobic place the Moose and to a lesser extent the Amerks made theirs at times. Hopefully at some point in the series, the two of them find their games because right now, they aren't having much of an impact at all.
Milroy just needs to score a goal, fairly simple. I think once he does, he'll be more like the guy he was early in the season. Interesting to note though, how much he, D'agostini and Grabovski have struggled without Kostitsyn on the ice with them. D'ago had that spell of playing great when Kosty wasn't around, but otherwise, the performance and especially production of all three has taken a vicious nosedive. Elsewhere, the Chipchura line was dynamite in the last game. At times during the season, all three of those guys played huge and as a line they have been at least solid the whole year. In game one, they did everything and they did it very well. Nice to see some guys step it up while our usual go to guys are struggling. Be nice if they could all find form though
Defensively, they played an average game, some highs, some lows (leaving Sterling ALL alone in front of Danis in the 3rd after coming back from a 2 goal deficit moments before springs very much to mind). They need to watch the front of their net and really try and keep those Wolves to the outside. They have tremendous firepower, we all know that. So why give them any more of a chance and let them shoot freely from in front of the net. Time to make it difficult on them.
I was doing a little digging around last night and it seems the Dogs like comebacks against the Wolves. During the regular season, the Dogs enjoyed some fantastic 3rd period comebacks, but none of them beat the 'comeback' against the Wolves in Hamilton. They lost that game in OT, but 24 seconds before the final buzzer, they were trailing 3-1. With 23 seconds left, Kostitsyn snapped a wrister from the top of the right circle to beat Garnett and bring it within 1, and with 3 seconds left, Chipchura won a battle on the boards, fed a pass to Biron at the point who launched a shot on net which was tipped by Ferland. Game tied. If they can show that spirit for the entire series, things could be very good.
Great work as always Dave. I'm curious as to how Lambert has looked. Cause I see he seem to be on Grabovski's wing now, and Grabs really needs someone to get him going. So I'm thinking that's a slot that Sergei Kostitsyn could potentially fill, though it seems Lever decided against such a thing.
BTW, I feel like perhaps Sergei isn't playing so as not to risk injury before actually signing with the Habs.
I think the Dogs match up well against the Wolves. Even when they were off their game, like in the 2nd period of the opener, they found a way to come back.
If the Dogs can win this series, and that is a big IF at this point, it would be great to see them playing on the tv sports networks in the finals. I've really enjoyed watching the games on B2, but I'm looking forward to the picture clarity of the tv networks should they make the final.
For purely selfish reasons I hope the Dogs lose at least 1 game before next Saturday, as that is the only game for the rest of this series that I will be able to see them play on B2 due to my work schedule.
I had the chance to watch last game and your'e bang on, they need to focus and stay out of the box. It's what killed them late in the 1st and in the 2nd period with 4 straight Wolves goals. I really like when Don Lever use Lapierre with Stortini they are A-class **** disturbers but please don't take stupid penaltys !! Chipper was amazing also he does everything right. If Price as a good game the Dogs will head home with a 2-0 lead, deja vu?!
Hmm? One person posts the link on the board, we all watch for free. That is so wrong
hum, I really don't think it's a good idea, they might see it if too much people use the same feed (I'm pretty sure each time someone command the game it's not the same link, though that could be verified)