Fiddler in the shootout?! Glad this was just the preseason.
When they were gettting ready for the SO I was thinking who would be in, and I thought of Dumont and Erat, knew Legwand wouldn't be selected, but I compeletly forgot about Radulov. I barely remember hearing his name during the game except one time he hit the post or something.
late i know, but here goes anyway since they really hasn't been much talk on here;
a few very general observations from last night;
...radulov is pressing you can simply tell. in the paper this morning, you see rads come out and say he hasn't been sharp, didn't come as prepared to camp as he should have, etc. all so typical of why many players go thru 'sophomore slumps' in all pro-sports. no one shows up thinking they really have to worry about this old wives tale, but if they have any troubles, it gets in many of their heads, and can become an almost self fullfilling prophesy.. the one thing we cann't handle this year is for radulov to struggle, he simply has to score 25 plus goals for this team one would think. tremendous pressure on the shoulders of a kid
...still really nothing production from the legwand-erat line as well yet... last night legwand sounded very active early, but simply couldn't put anything away. we have to get one of erat-leggy-rads going, and this whole thing will probably take care of itself.
..i have to admit, i was almost afraid rads would score early, and that trotz would then leave the bonk-gelinas-rads together as a line for a month or so because of it.. i simply don't think we need to spread out our 'scorers' among all three lines.
...defensively we sounded fine last night, a very promising sign to me.. atlanta is a mighty high powered offense, and we limited their shots, limited their zone time, and limited their odd man rushes.. all very positive things
...ellis continues to play really well.. it really seemed to show on the long 5 on 3 against him
...the powerplay. when do we start to worry?.. not yet, but it's getting pretty frigging late.. another 0 for night. 0 for 8 this time, in an amazing 19:13 of pp time.. we did manage 12 shots in this pp time, wheich isn't really bad, but ideally you average closer to a shot per minute on a good pp.. part of our problem last night sounded like we couldn't get a shot on net from the point. weber with 5 missed shots and one blocked seemed to especially have trouble.. pete noted they were overplaying him and trying to take away his shooting lanes.. if teams do this (come out to overplay the point), we have to be able to take advantage of it elsewhere on the pp.. we simply aren't clicking here yet, and we have to with this team.
...3-2.. expect a lot of 3-2 games with us this year.. alot.. hopefully we have the 3 most times
...nhl.com stats conitinue to be totally screwed up...'officially' kovachuk's goal was a shorthanded goal...(?).. of course it was actually a powerplay goal..
...mason sounded as if he played well.. except maybe for the kovachuk shot right at the end of the 1st.. you sometimes have to read into what pete and terry say, but when they say "simple wrist shot from right off the boards past the faceoff dot, and there wasn't that much traffic", you can read it probably was a goal mase would have liked to have had back.. other than that, it sounded as if mason played solid..
...the pk gave up both atlanta goals.. we've been giving up too many goals on our pk thus far.. nothing to worry about yet, but something to keep an eye on.. we should be a really, really strong pk'ing team.
like everyone i rolled my eyes when fiddler was announced as our third shootout shooter... no big deal, since it's simply a meaningless pre-season game.. but it does show a potential real weakness of this team we haven't really talked about.. you expect us to play many more close games this year, which will almost surely mean far more games coming down to potential shootouts than the high octane bunch from last year... and we simply don't have many good shootout guys with sull and kariya gone..
look at some of these shootout numbers from last year for our guys;
rads 3 for 6
erat 1 for 7
zidlicky 0 for 1
gelinas 0 for 1
arnott 0 for 1
ortmeyer 0 for 1
devries 0 for 2(wow)
it's really sombering to think the lack of a couple of good shootout guys could cost us as many as 5 or 6 points this year... we have to find someone here