Friday, November 23, 2007

Period 3, OT, and BB's First Game - The Differences IMHO

1. They won.

2. They never stopped playing; and that's why they won.

3. The biggest difference I noted was the D-Men pairings; Poti - Pothier earned their money didn't they - what was their Time On Ice, no question which D-Men are the anchors (in a good way) of this team today. Oh and how many assists did Poti have? Schultz-Jurcina looked good as did Morrisonn- Green. My 2 cents Hanlon would never have tried these pairings and stuck with them. The amount of TOI that Poti - Pothier need to have to make this work would've made him too nervous as would playing the young guys together even though their playing styles are complimentary. Will the young guys make mistakes sure and then Boudreau will (gasp) yell at them, but they'll learn and the team will stay fired up; for example I'd expect someone will work with Jurcina on whatever caused him to be out of position on the Flyer's third goal but I expect we'll see more of a Jurcina-Schultz pairing or we'll see Schultz with Eminger or Morrisonn though it sure seemed like the Morrisonn - Green pairing worked. Also the reaction to being caught out of position later in the third by Jurcina when he hustled and recovered showed more spark and "accountability" then we've seen in a while.

4. The line pairings can work. I've always liked Flash and if any one can skate with Nylander it's Fleischmann. Also Nylander actually seemed to freelance less. That said there was a couple of shifts at the end of the third with Nylander - Ovechkin together and that dind't seem to go well for either. Ovechkin - Kozlov - Clark works, it has a nice beat and we can all dance to it. . At some point it'll shift to Backstrom at center as the combo that put the OT goal in was fun to watch and hard for the Flyers to handle showed; but at even strentgh Kozlov-Ovechkin - Clark seem to be a more disciplined pairing that never seemed out of position or to need to look up to see where any of the other two guys are. I hope they leave Nylander - Fleischmann - Pettinger together for a couple of games as it seemed to work well. Shots on Goal were up for the Caps and stayed low against the Caps though the Flyers clearly got and took advantage of a few good chances.

5. It seemed like it was okay for the Caps to have fun, as long as they hustled when they played, and they responded.

6. It certainly seemed like time management was better and shift changes were smoother.

7. "Old Tyme Hockey" is okay to play and it works - the Caps did a lot less dump & chase; they also pushed the Flyers to the boards and were there waiting for them. Brashear responded and certainly earned his keep with a Gordie Howe hat trick (1F, 1G, & 1A) - way to go!

8. I thought the double minor against Clark in the second was harsh/unjustified (should have been a single minor) but hey that's hockey, as was the first slow whistle of the game which helped the Flyers score their first goal. The second one was as Craig Laughlan said "One Olie would like to have back". That said the reaction of the Caps and play during the last 2 minutes on their power play on the bad penalty by T-man was pretty good. They shot more than recent days and they had 2 good scoring chances to end the period on a high note.

The Flyers are a good team this year and a great team at home, this looked like a good first step. Good luck Bruce and thanks to the Caps for keeping at it and bringing home a W - oh and finally:
9. It was fun to watch.

Optimistic in Bristow (aka frequently frustrated caps fan)

1 comment:

DMG said...

TOI - Poti 26:57; Pothier 22:29;_ylt=Ap0QM6OW.S4hEP3gC8nqBJt7vLYF?gid=2007112315