Player Performances: Game #2 of Pre-Season

Okay so we lost a 2nd game. Well guess what Bruins…it doesn’t count! Muahahaha, suckers! Anyway, today we saw almost a completely new roster, with different prospects from yesterday and the previous game. A couple of players returned, but most stayed out. As round 2 of players stepped in, we saw a very different game. Here is what I saw in most of the players. Not all, but some.

(I posted this in my first article for Game #1, and I’ll post it again):

Disclaimer: I must make this very clear: I am by no means a scout. I am one single person and saw things that some others may have not seen and vice versa. You are free to disagree with what my personal impressions were on this one game. Again….ONE game. Just because I say one player played poorly, doesn’t mean that I’m viewing them as a bad player. Just means that this game of the pre-season wasn’t their best. That’s all. That being said, here it is:

Subban: I love Subban, and so should every Habs fan. He truly showed his leadership (not by a dressing room standard) but by his play on the ice. He was everywhere, at the same time, and at full speed. He seemed to be occupying the whole ice. I am very reluctant to say he played SIMILAR to Bobby Orr’s style of hockey (just with more physicality and oomph). He showed fantastic puck handling and patience, passing the puck when needed be and shooting when need be. This was like his (in)famous thunderous slapshot from the point to score on the powerplay. He continuously laid the body, just like you’d expect from him. He further proved his fantastic puck control, which seems a bit wobbly, but by a twist in physics, the puck never leaves his stick (unless he wants it to, of course). Subban also made it clear that he sticks up for his teammates, going after the Bruins for elbowing Daniel Briere.

Moen: Moen showed some great blocked shots, but every time he was on the penalty kill, he simply looked out of place. He did not hustle, chasing the puck like a general, true penalty killer would do. He also got a penalty that eventually led to a goal against.  That being said, he used his body well on the offense, planting himself in front of the goal, thus scoring a goal. It is his (sometimes frustrating) patience that would for the most part work to his advantage.

Tinordi: I am very excited to see TInordi develop into a solid defender. Key word….”develop”. I don’t know what it is about him (I am a big Tinordi fan before you start pointing fingers at me), but his positioning in the defensive zone actually frustrates me. He is frequently very high on the ice, therefore leaving his “man” wide open in front of the goal. Same applies when players are on rush towards him, he finds himself too close to them. That out of the way, I absolutely love his ability to check every player he desires. He would use his body effectively, for both reach and engraving other players faces into the glass. I do like him. I do. Just his positioning needs to change, something that is very easily fixed. No big deal there.

Price: Whole time Carey was in the net, I would cringe. Not because he played bad, but because I really want him to succeed. One small slip would mean the upheaval of the devil in some Habs fans. Overall, he looked very composed, which is bar-none his best asset.  The first goal against him was impossible for him to save, as he did his best to make in desperation. The 2nd goal, however, he would want back. It barely slipped past his glove close to his body.  His 3rd goal against too was simply based off a rebound. Not his fault for the defenders letting a breakaway. Otherwise, he made great saves, especially on a separate breakaway.

Briere: I was very, very impressed with Briere. He looked like he had been playing with Pacioretty and Desharnais for months. He had great positing, leading to great passes and shots. He would lead the powerplay, acting as the quarterback to it, rotating his position when he had to. He would cut through the defenders in order to make further scoring opportunities. He’d forecheck and lay the body whenever he could. He too was very patient with the puck, making the smart plays. If he had to shoot, he’d shoot, if he had to pass, he’d pass. If he had to dump the puck in, he would. He played well defensively, breaking up passes and winning faceoffs.

Desharnais: I found Desharnais backchecking more than I’ve ever seen him backcheck. That said, it still is not quite enough just yet, but it’s getting there. He won several faceoffs and played very, very well with linemates Pacioretty and Briere. Otherwise, there is not much to be said about him.

Pacioretty: Pacioretty played a good offensive game, with nice forechecking while chasing the defenders with the puck and hustling his wolverine ‘tush (as my grandmother would call it) off. He would check opposing players fairly frequently and had a couple of great breaks, although missing the net a few times. Like mentioned twice already (Jacob Two-Two was written about me), he played well with his linemates Briere and Desharnais, knowing that his role was to act as the powerforward and to drive the net (leading to a goal).

Leblanc: Leblanc has been that Habs figure that people kept repeating: “what ever happened to that guy?”. This game, he made them (as well as myself) say: “Oh there he is!”. He made it clear to Habs management that he truly wants a spot on the team…..the NHL team. He hustled like a train every time he was on the ice, checking, forechecking, you name it. I was truly impressed. He showed determination to do his job. Sometimes he would try a bit too much while puck handling, but on the other hand, showed he can be a penalty killer. If no one had noticed him yet, he made himself present on the ice by jostling it up with Lucic.

Blunden: Blunden, for what he’s labeled (if a 4th liner) impressed me. He showed great positioning, using his body for both fore and backchecking. As the word “check” says twice already (again, my Jacob Two-Two within), he would bodycheck quite effectively. What I noticed was his on-ice communication, specifically with his hands, pointing and calling when he was getting ready to come off the ice….while taking on a defender. (“Very efficient” as my Sports Marketing teacher would say).

Dumont: Dumont played similar to Blunden, with the 3 C’s: (fore)checking, (back)checking and (body)checking. He too would hustle all over. He played effectively in the “dirty” areas, keeping the puck far away from the Bruins, to soon later create a scoring opportunity. He also would get open for a “Stamkos” like one-timer. At one point in the game he was playing so well and for some reason I thought it was Moen. I caught myself say “wow. Good for you Moen”…….sorry Moen.

Bouillon: Bouillon had a couple of good passes, once to create a goal on the powerplay, but overall, my goodness. I’m not criticizing him, but I think he’s having an identity crisis. Maybe he thinks he is Erik Karlsson, because he would find himself behind the net……of the OPPOSING goaltender. No surprise that it lead to a goal against.  All teasing aside, (I do like Bouillon by the way, I’m just messing around), he had a couple of great rushes and would hold onto the puck quite well. Periodically, his risky behaviour on the ice would turn out quite effective, leading to scoring opportunities. One pinch he did led to a goal off of Moen.

White: White was one of the players that impressed me the most (for his own general play). He played his role very effectively, getting into the “dirty” areas and using his body effectively to win battles. Even when getting sandwiched by three Bruins players into the boards, he was very patient, eventually kicking the puck out when he felt it was right, leading to a goal for. His backchecking (here we go again) was absolutely fantastic, one time breaking up a potential breakaway (due to a mistake by Bouillon). He also got a couple of good shots.

Thomas: Thomas, like Leblanc, was in full force to prove he should earn a spot on the NHL lineup. He would skate at full stride all over the ice and forechecking despite his 5’9 frame which led to several scoring opportunities for. He would also attempt at checking (which wouldn’t really do much). His passing was quite nice and and his penalty killing skills actually turned out to be quite good (due to his ability to chase the puck).

Dietz: There was one thing about Dietz that I found myself typing a few times. He would be great at rushing the puck, but would follow it up by a ‘not so nice’ pass. He showed his “wheels” out there, especially on the powerplay where he led the team as the jump starter, looking for the pass and carrying the puck around the Bruins’ zone.

Hudon: I did not see Hudon on the ice too much, but when I did, he was quite impressive. He backchecked (which seems to be consistent amongst these Habs prospects- who knew) and showed some very nice hands, deking other players with ease.

Tarnasky: The only thing I saw about Tarnasky was his big frame hustling. That’s pretty much it for this game. In his scrimmage, he actually impressed me the most compared to all other players.

Fournier: Fournier I didn’t see on the ice that much either, but he did do well when I noticed him (in other words, when he got me to notice). He showed great puck control (using his size to his advantage) and showed some smart passing behind the net. He created a few chances to score, but most importantly, took down McQuaid in (what I will call) a fight.

Mayer: Overall, Mayer played very well. He showed no nerve and made some great saves that even some NHL goalies wouldn’t be able to do. (*Insert your least favourite goaltender here:________*). He seemed to anticipate the play and be one small step ahead of everyone else. He made a great couple of saves with a bunch of oversized bees (that’s the best metaphor I got…sorry) trying to poke the puck past him. He did not let any bees get into his hive. (How about that?). He also had a nice save from a Bruin on a breakaway and in general, showed great confidence. He did let in 3 goals, but I can’t blame him for them due to the frequent penalties.

Murray: Who?

What do you think with my absolute spot on analysis? Let me know!

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4 Responses to Player Performances: Game #2 of Pre-Season

  1. Super post Micah.
    I did think Murray showed what he is, both good and not so much. And I think Thomas could fill in for Gionta no problem, but was just one showing.

    nbhab September 17, 2013 at 9:29 am Reply
    • Hi nbhab (sorry to objectify you by your username),

      Thanks for your nice comment, and I appreciate you reading this. I was partially joking about Murray, partially not. I did notice him on the ice a few times, but it wasn’t a “wow”-like performance. I was hoping he’d show Habs fans some banging (as he was brought in to do), but then again, like I said at the beginning, I won’t judge him because of one single pre-season game (haha). I did like Thomas, and he showed some great determination and I do think he can fill in nicely with a bit more experience.

      Thanks again!

      Micah

      Micah Winston September 17, 2013 at 2:37 pm Reply
  2. Yeah seems about right, I know the TSN 690 guys are knocking players a lot and I guess it’s their right, but I hope it doesn’t continue too much.

    HabsmanDes September 17, 2013 at 11:25 am Reply
    • Hi HabsmanDes,

      Thanks for the comment and for reading this. Do you mean that TSN 690 was judging the players based off the single game? Clearly I’m a bit slow minded. If so, that’s not very intelligent on their part. The best of players can have their off game that one single game, and then bounce back the next with a 4 goal game (and vice versa).

      Thanks a lot!

      Micah

      Micah Winston September 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm Reply

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