Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hockey Fights Cancer/Preds vs. Hawks (again)

Thursday's game could not have come faster. Two weeks without hockey in person is too dang long. Unfortunately, we're gonna experience that again after Saturday. Anyway, after a road win against Minnesota Wednesday night (which was pretty ugly, by the way) I was worried about how we would come out against Chicago.

Thursday night was also Hockey Fights Cancer night. I know that cancer has personally touched my life several times, and it means a lot to me that the NHL is committed to joining the fight. It was great to see Chase Donnell's parents there, selling their cookbooks. If anyone has a link to a website to order those, please pass it on. Our guys really make me proud with the way they get involved with these kids. JP's suite was filled with pediatric cancer patients, and he met with them after the game. The ceremonial puck drop brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations, Trace, on making it through treatment- all while still participating in athletics. The smile on his face when he heard the cheers for him was priceless. It makes you remember that all in all, hockey is still just a game. A kid with cancer makes hockey seem pretty insignificant. Sully gained even more of my love when he gave Trace his stick. I love that our guys are so involved in the community.

Some observations:
~Erat scratched? I know it has since come out that he is "injured"- was that injury to his ego?

~ Legwand, while he didn't score, was really buzzing around. It was nice to see him hustle and play hard, and I don't think I called him names once.

~Bouillon played great, in my opinion. He isn't afraid to shoot. Granted nothing really came close, but you can't score if you don't shoot. I'm really happy that we picked him up.

~Scatchard is really standing out. For a guy who didn't play for a long stretch, I think he has added a spark to the team.

~Ward- way to be in front of the net! Congrats on the goal, and stay down there!

~Smithson is playing exceptionally hard, and has been rewarded w/ two short handed goals in as many nights. Glad to see him progressing.

~Hamhuis- I don't know what is going on there. Maybe he needs to see a sports shrink.

~Sully just looks gun shy out there. I don't know what is going on, but he is not the same Sully from last season.

~Pekka stood on his head and shutout probably the best team in the division, maybe even the conference. It was nice to see his confidence back.

~Defense overall- I saw a lot more hustle and a ton more help in front of the net. Blocking shots, throwing bodies on the ice to prevent goals, it was almost like old times.

~Offense overall- still not seeing a lot of traffic in front of the net, but I did like seeing more shots being taken. The power play is still sluggish (I, know. What's new?) and not creating chances. I don't care who you are- when you've got a two man advantage- you should score.

My biggest question now is about chemistry. I know Trotz is doing everything he can to get a spark, but it worries me that we are changing lines so much. With all the call ups and send downs, it's gonna be hard to get some of these guys clicking. Who is going to be where when Arnott and Tootoo get back? Not knowing the full extent of Erat's injury makes for some guessing games, too. I just hope we can find some good combinations and that we keep building on Thursday's game. Up next, the Dallas Stars (again), then a west coast road trip. We really need to get some momentum going before leaving out. Here's hoping we play as well as we did Thursday!

Until next time....

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