I was at the game tonight, sweet seats in the 6th row, at the faceoff dot in the Offensive zone (for 1st & 3rd periods).
I was very impressed with Gallagher and Beaulieu. Very dissapointed with Palushaj, Avstin, Enqvist. They did not look like young guys trying to force management to keep them.
Avstin was good during physical contact which surprised me. But I saw none of the skilled offensive plays I was expecting which is kinda disapointing.
Gallagher was all over the ice, you noticed him practically every shift. Very impressed with is play.
Henry was steady but thought I would see more physicality from him.
As for the veterans, PK, Desharnais and MaxPac stood out tonight. Desharnais was all over the ice, excellent on the forecheck, greaty positioning. Maxpac deliverfed big hits and created a lot of chances. PK took control of the game several times and delivered.
Budaj made some key saves in the 2nd that were pretty nice given how close we were to his net.
I was amazed at how small Buffalo's forwards are. Ennis and Gerbe looked smaller than Mats Naslund ! Add Roy and some of their other small forwards and they are seriously out-smurfing the Habs.
That was a great game to watch, some seriously impressive showings from the young guys. Thinking ahead to the real battle for a final roster spot up front, I think these guys are up for the battle:
So far that's about how I'd rank them as well. I'm probably overrating Dumont a bit, but I definitely think Palushaj has been the most disappointing player period these first two games. Really looked lost out there, creating nothing, knocked off the puck easy, etc. The top four guys have all shown good things, but Dumont and Blunden looked like ideal bottom 6/13th forward types. I dunno, fun stuff to watch anyway. Might be better for a guy like Dumont to spend a full second year in the AHL and continue to improve.
I would put Dumont at the bottom of the list but not because of his play or his effort. It is because of his age and he can be sent down without going through waivers. In the long run, big minutes in Hamilton will help him develop more than he would as a part timer on the Habs.
I don't see Blunden making it right away but that is based on a very short evaluation. His competition for a spot seems like it would be a guy like Ryan White. They bring similar elements to the game and White would likely be ahead of him at this point.
I think it is between Enqvist, Trotter and Palushaj. Enqvist can play center and is responsible defensively. He might have a role on the Canadiens. Trotter and Palushaj bring similar skill sets but I think Trotter's puck handling abilities are far superior to those of Palushaj, while Palushaj seems to be a little more physical and a little more responsible defensively.
With all of that, I think the inside track goes to Trotter and Engvist with Blunden and Palushaj in line for call-ups if they play well in Hamilton.
The goals were scored against their line. Not so good. Anyway, I didn't expect better once I saw the lineup JM iced against the Sabres. I didn't watch the game but I'm glad there were some bright spots and that Budaj wasn't torn apart. the two losses so far don't count in the standings and the Habs are still awaiting the arrival of their injured players, This shouldn't be a scary season for them.
If you didn't see the game: you don't understand that DD was on ice at 7 sec/3rd period for open net goal + Pacman faceoff loss...that gave a goal.
1) Beaulieu & Gallager where eyes opener! Wow! (27:00min for Beaulieu!!!!)
2) Dumont & Darche where are best grinders tonight.
3) Budaj show us that he can handle the second job.
4) Patch & DD, WOW!
5) PK: AllWays ON!
6) Spacek look faster & was pretty good in doing basic plays!
7) Good to see Gorges doing a fine job! ( and knee still hanging! lol)
8) The rookies played against Sabres preseason A team & gave a great show!
This is just 2e preseason game, but gave a good glimpse of the future of our team! Great play from our boys!
I thought the game was a good effort from some young guys. Pacs looks ok. We actually could have won this game and the Sabres should have a look in the mirror. Those guys think they are gonna make the playoffs? They barely got by an mostly AHL team with both their NHL goalies!
Gallagher looked good in the third, Beaulieu looked good as well. We have some great prospects coming up in the next couple years.
Easy there buddy, it's just pre-season. Legit NHLers don't play to their fullest potential, they had nothing to prove tonight playing against kids. The Sabres were just warming up.. In real competition, it would have been a different story and the kids JM lined up tonight would not fare well at all.
I know this is hockeysfuture.. but let's not get carried away by the kids. Aside from Beaulieu (by far the most interesting prospect tonight), maybe Gallagher and Dumont who showed a bit of potential, the other guys were not impressive at all. I'm targeting in particular players like Palushaj, who has a lot to prove in order to be fighting for a spot. He will need to step it up big time if he wants to have a small crack at it.
Eller has been consistently terrible on the wing when we tried it last season and Gomez and Gionta will not play on the third line nor is DD ready for second line minutes so quickly. Gorges has no business on the first pairing with Markov, which is intended to be more offensive minded. He has been phenomenal with Gill. Why would we split that up? Spacek will not be a healthy scratch. I doubt Beaulieu makes the team this season unless we ship out a defenseman.
Just came back from the game. Really boring one tonight. The crowd never got into it, the team didn't really have any momentum and the play was sloppy and slow. The first period was a snooze fest with maybe one scoring chance.
If I had to pick the best player, it's by far Subban, he kept asking for the puck all game long and delivered the goods. I called his goal, told my friend it would be Subban or Subban to Gionta. It was epic.
Players that stood out: Beaulieu, Pacioretty, Gallagher, Ennis, Roy and Ehrhoff
Players that didn't: Palushaj, Avtsin and Spacek
I like what I saw of Gallagher. He has a good hockey sense, can't say much about vision from this game since there was barely any play development. If one thing he should work on is his skating, could use a bit more speed.
Avtsin was just lackluster. Watching him handle the puck was confusing. He seemed to try to get rid of the puck as soon as he could, and took weak shots on net.
Keep 12 forwards for now we should be alright. Eller should come back early in October. If White or Gomez can't go, claim someone off waivers or sign a guy like Adam Mair or something. Engqvist and Palushaj just don't belong.
On D, we're more than alright.
Keep Diaz or Woywitka around as a spare until Markov is ready. Then, we all know Spacek should sit, but it will probably be Yemelin or Weber.
Was the Beaulieu who knocked the buffalo player right off the puck in the corner? Threw a beauty of a check into him.
Anyways I liked what I saw from him on the PP, the kid can pass and cycle like a champ. Perfect partner to Subban. Avstin had like one decent play, he needs some work yet. Gallagher has some very nice moves. These youngsters play with a lot more physicallity than the regulars so maybe in the next few years this team wont be the marshmellow of the league.
Desharnais: Smart/Clever plays all game long, very good hockey IQ, good chemistry with Patches and Gio
Patches: Good game, attaboy! Keep up the good work, he is heading in the right direction
Gio: Decent, good chemistry, likes to shoot
Dumont: This kid impressed me last year...with his fireball in your face piss and vinegar style...LOVE IT...rambunctious...beligerent and all the other words Brian Burke likes to use...Dumont is an energy forward that really brings good worth ethic...I find his skating better than,,,White...Huge White fan though...heartbroken he didnt make the cut last year...
Subban: What a freaking player, JAYZUS...epicmealtime crow bleep...Subban has so much swagger, he is such a difference maker, so many things he does right...also is it just me or did his shot get a lot harder...
Beaulieu: Um...noticed a lot of the errors from nerves etc...understandable...but upon further reflection...considering everything I have seen of him today and read about him today and the past...yes he will be something special...decent etc...but still very raw judging after today...but yes did get better as the game progressed and yes there is a chance he could impress more...I mean who would have thought Palushaj would suck so much so far...and Palushaj is a decent player, just a rough camp so far
Gallagher: High praise for this kid as well...liked him, Cant wait to see him reach his potential...he was highly involved and could have achieved greater success but he was playing against a real nhl team with a stacked line up and our line up was a skeleton crew...(makes me see why everyone is so high on beaulieu after his game today...)
Alex Henry: After Darche's comments and his history at Hamilton I was expecting more from him...He reminds me of Gill, who in my view is over rated...
Spacek...: Yikes...He is the Gomez of defence...insofar as everyone loves to diss the fella cos of his salary and unfullfilled expectations...What I have noticed is he has a weaker pre season and a decent season all things considered, plus last year he was overplayed and on the wrong side of D...yes he is fitter and wiser and generally better now on the left and less minutes but still not playing to the Spacek days of old...mind you lets not forget he is one of the oldest players on this team...4 million for an old geezer...yikes...sigh..but he is ok...were stuck with him...could be worse...Kinda hope the youngins outperform him and force us to trade him or something...
St-Denis: Was not awful was he? I thought he did OK...considering...
JG: Decent, rusty, but old Josh will be back soon, but generally positive performance
Budaj: Management clearly felt and publicaly indicated change of scenery under a new system etc would prove he would be an upgrade over Auld. He showed good reflexes etc today , Positive performance...could prove all those detractors wrong and become a solid 1A goalie we never Halak to become, thankfully we have Eller from it all...
Bishop: Wish he had more ice time and didnt smack himself in that friendly fire incident with boards that had almost if not...did actually concuss him? With so much depth, Bishop may be a victim...I like the kid, youtube videos endear us fans...twitter? this kid connected with fans with youtube...anyways has potential but needs ice time in the ahl...
Desimone: played so little but was decent, hope he is good enough to give him a contract, I like the idea of poaching Winnet and or Desimone,,,other teams rejects can be gold for us...hope it works out after losing so much talent...these last years...
Enqvist...so much potential...but wasted...I think his only one good body check of the game was an accidental bump run in...but it was good just an accident I bet...If this is the guy that replaces Halpern/Moore etc I will eat my hat if he does not progress, because I was really hoping he would be a lot better considering the last game and all the Hamilton Bulldogs I found my role stories...Risks being JUST a 4th line defensive specialist...
Avitsin: Barely played but had one incursion or two that was promising...has potential...
Moen: Decent...seemed like he was policing..protecting our players...just by being there
Darche: Good...I like him...keep up the good work Darche Vader
Game observations...Someone find a face off specialist for this team...to either teach the team...or just take them for us...Tyler Myers/Miller and the other usual suspects for the Sabres were in good form...someone please...give Myers/Chara a taste of their own medicine...Yemelin...you can do it! Wish the tryouts and the kids had more ice time...
btw, not that its important but I wonder why the sabres felt compelled to dress a near full lineup this early in the pre season. I dont know if Ruff has always done it like that but its highly irregular.