Friday, November 7, 2008

Some Notes on Last Night's Game

- Slava Kozlov is flourishing. Anderson told the AJC recently that it has less to do with quick skating (he is 36, after all) than perfect positioning. He's a very smart hockey player, and he knows where to go. Thank God he's healthy. We at the Chronicle love you, Slava.

- How many scoring chances did Erik Christensen get and fail to deliver on? He was positioned in front of a wide-open net at least six times during the game, and each time he either failed to notice the puck or he shot it wide. Sometimes it wasn't his fault; the Islanders defense was actually quite aggressive last night. I hope Crusher can pick himself up.

- Is Toby Enstrom finally hitting his stride? Perhaps it'd be wiser to give him more ice time than Mathieu Schneider. He'll be getting that ice time throughout the next 3 games (at least), as Schneider is out with an injured hip something or other. He needs that ice-time to score.

- Which brings me to the D-men situation. At the end of the 2nd period last night I was convinced that we were going to lose to a miserably bad team like the Islanders because our roster had two AHL defensemen on it. Oystrick wasn't very good last night, and Boris Valabik was an outright disaster. I was willing to give Boris a chance last year and during the pre-season this year, but dear God does he ever suck. I'm sure he's a great guy and all, but he'll never be an NHL defenseman.

- How about that Ondrej Pavelec? If Kari doesn't hurry up and get healthy Pavs just might take his job. Maybe. I still think Waddell should trade one of our goalies for something super-good...but then again, maybe not. Maybe it's best to have this kind of depth in the net. I think Kari is the more naturally talented goalie--a better goalie all around, really--but Pavelec does have something Kari sometimes lacks: mental toughness. He doesn't get rattled like Kari does. He stays calm and sturdy no matter what the score is. Just something to consider; if I had to choose I'd still choose Kari.

- As some others have already pointed out, in days past the Thrashers would not have come back in the aggressive way they did last night if we'd given up two shit goals within a minute or so of one another in the second period. Knobler reports that Anderson laid into them after the second period; it worked. I still have full confidence in the man.

- Ron Hainsey was wondrous. He's at least as good defensively as he is offensively. He broke up several plays, blocked several shots, and played solid (solidly?) all night.

- Kovy is all over the ice. He's playing like his life depends on it. This is a good thing.

UPDATE: Be sure to check out the Falconer's analysis of the last two games. Precise and thorough as always. What does it all MEAN?

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