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eggy21

Who has been the biggest surprise player this season?

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Negative Surprise - Brind'Amour not being a factor earlier than he has been.

Negative Surprise - Patrick Eaves I am really surprised that he didnt excel under Lavi (he played a more wide open game the year after the lock-out with the Sens).

Positive Surprise - Pitkanen (Most underrated player on team imo. He is so good he makes it look easy)

Positive Surprise - Babchuk 2nd Half of Season Stick Handling. Not that he is Rocket Richard mind you but its been much better than I've ever seen from him.

Positive Surprise - Eric Staal becoming a good PK'er

Biggest Surprise - Rod Brind'Amour: I can't help but wonder if he would have took a week or two off in Nov. to heal how much faster he may have gotten back to this point without the total collapse of his confidence.

Biggest Non-Surprise - Cam Ward (Looking at Patrick Roys stats early I remain convinced its only a matter of time until he gets his consistency, he has also silently turned into one of the better puck handling goalies in the NHL this year)

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The last couple of weeks or so I have been amazed by the play of Anton Babchuk... A fourth line nobody, on his second tour of duty with the team, all of a sudden becomes a scoring threat on the PP... wow.. whats a transformation.. 2 goals against NJ?? The first was a thing of beauty.. right place, right time, stuff a rebound into an empty net.. they dont get prettier then that... I didnt see the second one, just the replay of the celebration. 4 game stretch from Feb 20th - 28th 3 G and 1 A, 2 of them on the PP... His defense has been pretty good all season.. yeah he had a rough start to the year with some turnovers, but he sacrificed his body to block shots and get crosschecked in front of the net... now his puck handling has improved and he has found a scoring touch.

Another player that has surprised me is Jussi Jokinen.. i didnt know anything about him before we got him, so I cant compare his skill here vs there or his production.. but he has fit into the team and system seamlessly and that shootout move is sick...

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Another player who has surprised me lately is Joni P. Early in the year he was flying all over the place and lately i'm not sure if he's hurt ot just tired. He seems to be getting a little lazy on the blue line on PP's. He just seems to me not to be playing up to the standard he was earlier in the year. Hopefully he will heal or get rested and turn the "jets" back on and make a run towards the end of the year.

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Babchuck, holy *edit*!

It feels good to have 2 defenseman with huge slap shots that go in alot(Corvo,Babs). We've never had anything like that before.

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Surprises for me :

- Brind'Amour - for the first time in his career, he looks old.

- Babchuk - he's always had that shot, to me, the shock has been his defense.

- LaRose - him scoring close to 20 has been so huge for this team

- Ward - his career has been defined by one statement, in my opinion. "The amazing saves he makes overshadow the simply ones he doesn't." He has had a breakout year.

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I really like Ruutu's play. He's physical every game and goes to the net on power plays. Obviously Babchuk has been a real surprise too, as he's getting that blast of a shot on goal now, plus moving in close at times for garbage goals.

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