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Preseason Games 2017

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4 hours ago, AWACSooner said:

But you're paying $259 per month for that privilege, I bet...;)

No... I don't have Comcast service thankfully. The Caps play on Comcast Sportsnet which my provider gets. I still come out ahead if I don't feel like braving D.C. traffic to get to Chinatown (Capital One Center), paying $200+ per ticket, and being overwhelmed by crazy Caps fans ?

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Thanks to Coastal I was able to watch the delay of the game on NHL network at 2 AM. Here are some thoughts.

 

Overall I came away very happy. The guys who need to step up or bring new skill/leadership have all looked very good.

 

Let me start with the minor concern. Faulk. He may have looked rejuvenated, or loose, but he played too loose. He had a couple of bad turnovers, and at least one not so great defense positioning situation. It's a minor concern because it's early, and because he produced offensively, but the more he gets that stuff out of his game, the more he can be the guy we saw at the end of last year. I don't know what it is, but he seems to play better w/Hanifin, and I would get that going again. The Caps announcers said they thought the world of Faulk but also pointed these gaffs out. I'm still going with he'll straighten that out, bring the O and have a great year though.

 

There was a lot of good out there, but two skaters caught my eye all night long above the rest were Willliams and Teuravainen. Williams reminded me that this is not just a "veteran leadership" guy. He is a hard working, crafty, high hockey IQ veteran producer. He makes lots of little key veteran plays all over the ice, but also creates offensive chances. He is going to get his 20ish goals that we need, and clearly upgrade our offense on the ice. TT looked to my eye like the best player out there. He possessed the puck, he skated amazingly and brought the puck with him like few, say Skinner, can. He shot the puck too. He looks like Patrick Kane on the PP.

 

These are key because the increases we are looking for in several guys seem to be there: Lindholm, Ryan, Williams, and Teuravainen are 4 of the 5 guys I am really looking for more from this year. I need to see Rask, but the others are looking the part so far.

 

The other guy who stood out about the crowd to me was Ward. He made some really nice saves and had a great game. The one goal was unstoppable. It got me thinking that yes, Ward is, overall, an average NHL goalie, but he gets there by being great and then bad on different nights. Oddly, that could work OK for a back up. If your back up wins even close to half his games that is a major plus. The good Ward showed up last night.

 

Gauthier's night encapsulated what he probably is until his total game comes around: a big guy who can put power moves on the rush and around the net. May not notice him a lot until he scores, but he scores. If you look at Gauthier's youtube highlights you see moves like that, even better ones, but this was vs. NHL caliber players, and that is a good sign.

 

Necas. The commentators called his name a lot and kept suggesting that he could make the team, and he possessed the puck a lot and the skill was again evident, but for some reason, I really didn't feel like the gears all meshed up to produce actual chances last night. Still love him, but didn't think is was a standout game.

 

Kuokanen looked very good in spots. He did nothing to lessen my hopes for him.

 

I really did not notice Saarela much. Zykov showed up with two assists, though not sure I remember them.

 

Carrick's shot was a top shelf bullet. Probably not enough to get him on the team, but it was a very nice shot.

 

Overall the team looked fast and skilled, even the 1/2 that is not yet NHL.

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Am I right in noting that V. Rask has only played a total of 5 minutes so far? Is he nursing an injury?

 

Rask and Darling are the two remaining key guys who I'd like to see looking good in terms of upgrading the team.

 

Then there is this weird Stempniak thing, and who gets in if he can't go.

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From the Canes Notes

 
Quote

 

Carolina goaltender Scott Darling will make his Hurricanes debut on Monday against Edmonton.


 

 

 

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Lineup

Teravainen-Staal-Williams
Aho-Rask-Lindholm
Saarela-Necas-Kuokkanen
Nordstrom-Wallmark-Jooris

 

Slavin-Faulk
Hanifin-Pesce
Bean-van Riemsdyk

 

Darling
Smith

 

 

 

Glad it's watchable.

 

To me Lindholm, TT, JW, Jordan, Aho, Skinner (and Ryan) have all looked good to very good. The missing pieces aside from the injured Stempniak, are Rask and Darling. If they look good, I'm going to be downright giddy.

 

Necas is getting a major look, that we can say for sure. I like him with Kuok and Saarela. Have to watch him too.

 

So I'll really be watching Aho/Rask/Lindy and of course Darling. Though have to remember it's Darling's first game. Oh, and of course Necas.

 

Also, I thought TT looked amazing last game. Want to see him keep that up.


I also like that the top two lines really look like two real lines. Again, with Stempniak out, only Skinner and Ryan are missing from our top 9.

 

They seem intent on splitting Slavin/Pesce. It does make some sense, but the way Slavin-Pesce shut down, and Hanifin - Faulk seemed to bring out the best in each other, I'd really like to see more of that personally.

 

Bean really could use a game where he looks less overmatched.

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2 minutes ago, remkin said:

Bean really could use a game where he looks less overmatched.

 

I think this is Beans chance to impress. I doubt he gets another one if he doesn't

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19 minutes ago, OBXer said:

 

I think this is Beans chance to impress. I doubt he gets another one if he doesn't

I doubt he does either way, barring a trade that moves Fleury. As loaded as we are on the back end, I see no reason to put off getting him to CLT, where camp started today. After tonight there's two preseason games left. I'm with the several others who want to see what is going to be our NHL roster the rest of the way.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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1 hour ago, top-shelf-1 said:

I'm with the several others who want to see what is going to be our NHL roster the rest of the way.

 

I'm a little impatient too. I think I can see what he is doing. I think our third line is set and they aren't playing tonight. I believe the fourth line is up for grabs and I'm beginning to think we will skate Faulk with Slavin amd Hanifin with Pesce on D.

 

 

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So we are pretty much facing the Oilers full bore team tonight: At least their top 9.

 

Maroon - McDavid - Puljujarvi
Lucic - Draisaitl - Caggiula
Jokinen - RNH - Strome
Khaira - Letestu - Yamamoto

 

Klefbom - Larsson
Russell - Benning
Simpson - Fayne

 

Talbot
Brossoit

 

Apparently Peters and McLellan had a gentleman's agreement that the Oilers would provide a pretty full NHL team for our yutes to play, and we would do the same in two days. If I'm reading that right. Just as well because I really want to see our real team those last two.

 

Also, Oilers are 5-0 in pre-season.

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1 hour ago, OBXer said:

I believe the fourth line is up for grabs and I'm beginning to think we will skate Faulk with Slavin amd Hanifin with Pesce on D.

You mean, like, all year? Just say no!!

 

I think the fourth is set too: Nordstrom-Kruger-McGinn, with PDG and Jooris next cowboys up. I very honestly think all this bluster about Necas (or anyone else) breaking the roster after the moves over the summer is just that: Bluster, designed to keep the yutes working hard. That's not to say Necas won't be special, or even that, if this were a couple years ago, we wouldn't have given him a shot right now. But times have changed; we're not in that same boat organizationally anymore.

 

The challenge now is keeping these kids focused on what they need to do to take the next step, and I think these prolonged tastes this camp are part of a broader strategy for doing that. There's no harm in letting them think they gave the org something to think about.

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38 minutes ago, top-shelf-1 said:

You mean, like, all year? Just say no!!

 

What do I know! But yeah I think that is what Peter/Smith are looking at.

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