Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Quick Impressions, etc.

Just got back. Tired and can't be bothered with too much coherence.

- Pavelec. He's good. I can get behind him.

- Kovalchuk circling the net and then dishing the puck to Nik Antropov for a hellacious goal was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. More beautiful than Botticelli's Primavera and Rilke's Duino Elegies put together.

- How about that Josh Gratton? Chris Thorburn's old job? Hm? Hmmm?

- Pavel Kubina. I still think this guy is ultra-solid. Possibly my favorite human out there so far. He's always on the right side of a play, and he rarely makes stupid mistakes. And he's a good all-around defenseman: he can block, he can get physical, he can pass, he can shoot and score, etc. And he went appropriately batshit when some joke tripped Kovy and took an honorable roughing penalty.

- I'm sorry Boris groupies, but Valabik is a miserable defenseman. He can't pass, he can't defend, and uh, that's enough reason to send him elsewhere. More than one goal against the Thrashers tonight had to do primarily with Boris, including at least one of the Preds' late ones. I'm sorry folks, the guy just isn't very good.

- Now Mark Popovic on the other hand, THAT'S a strong defenseman.

- Nathan Oystrick was a million times more physical than Valabik tonight.

- Therefore: our bottom pairing should be Salmela-Popovic, with Oystrick as the 7th man.

- Toby Enstrom and Rich Peverley both had a GREAT game tonight.

- Evander Kane had some good moments (throwing Preds into the boards, knocking dudes off the puck despite him clearly weighing less), and he made some expected rookie mistakes. At this point I'm agnostic about whether or not to give him an immediate place in the line-up...

- Maxim Afinogenov had one absolutely thrilling, lift-you-out-of-your-seat moment (a breakaway of some sort). He's super-fast, and while he wasn't extra-impressive tonight, I can imagine him doing damage alongside Peverley.

- Peverley: good at face-offs.

- Antropov: awesome in almost every way but face-offs. BUT he's improving.

- Little is still scoring those goals, as you probably heard.

- Zach Bogosian is God. And I don't want him and Enstrom split up under any circumstances.

- Joey Crabb can still inspire Razor's timeless Crab Dance.

Insane fun hanging with Daculafan, Rawhide, R. Stroz, and Chronicle commenter Speaker of Truth. One day there will be a Safety Dance vs. Crab Dance dance-off.


Wayne stuck in AL said...

It's time the Thrashers cut their losses with Valabik...MAYBE Valabik will amount to something, but his time ain't now. Everyone's looking for the next Chara, but Valabik ain't it. The only reason he still takes up space on a Thrashers roster is because he was drafted waaaaaay too high.

A2B said...

I would be pattient for another year with him. Everyone forgets that Chara bumbled around for about two years before he really grasped the game as well. The man finally has one year under his belt and now has this year to learn. If he doesn't start making strides this year then I say cut him lose after this season. This is the first time that playing in practice with competition like we have will make our players better.

h said...

Let me start with this, last night Boris was seriosuly not good. He was out of position, made bad decisions, was physical when he shouldn't have been and wouldn't lay a body when he should. That being said, I'm not ready to throw him under the bus BUT I'd play him the next 2 games and if he doesn't get better, then he needs to go to Chicago so he can get more ice time. I also though Oysty had a bad game too. He made some really dumb decisions out there. On goal #4 it seemed like Popy lost his footing which lead to the goal, but he otherwise looked pretty good. I thought Gratton and Stapleton had nice games. I thought Kane definitely showed some promise. He was pretty strong on th puck. For an 18 year old, he handled himself pretty well. One guy who I normally hate is Slater, but I thought he played pretty well on the PK last night. All in all the team played OK, but not great and they still won, so I like it, even if only preseason. Me likey Pavs. Coach A has some serious decisions to make. Nice Post Mort.

Daculafan said...

Good game...and had a great time with Rawhide and you guys...loved the crab dance!!..may have been the highlight of the evening.

Bobo...he's a no no...I'm not ready to say he's a failed experiment...but he needs more time in the lab before we unleash him on the NHL..Chara one day he may be..but it ain't now..

I thought Pavs did of those late goals was soft and he should've gotten it..but even Brodeur lets a soft goal in from time to time.

Overall a good night..loved the top line of Kovy, Antro, Little...that line can do some serious damage..and it was great to see the Czar creating some real magic..he skated for like an hour in the offensive zone on that Antro goal..and nobody could touch him...he's a beast

Mr. Speaker said...

Mort, great write up and more than coherent for such a late hour and post-hockey game imbibination (is that a word?).

Great meeting the esteemed "staff" of the Blueland Chronicle as well as Dacula for the first time. Y'all are a lot of fun and I enjoyed the witty repartee throughout the evening.

I had a lively little debate with Razor about Afino vs Kane and I must say that Kane made me look foolish in the 2nd and especially the 3rd periods. Don't know what happened but he looked like a small fish in a big pond after a solid first stanza. Mad Max impressed after getting his legs under him.

As for Boris, I wanna love the big guy, but he just ain't good. Too slow to make the proper decisions at this level. We don't have the luxury of letting him learn on the job right now. We need to win and we need to win now. Go with Pops and Salmsy with Bobo in the pressbox for now. Give him his chance later if we start strong. If he sucks again, then send him down to the AHL re-tooling lab.

The Falconer said...

Nobody is afraid of Eric Boulton anymore, that alone is reason to keep Valabik on the team, he is capable of crazy man actions.

"agnostic" on where Kane should play. What has happened to the tough hard hitting journalism we have come to expect from The Chronicle!? Pick a side! :)

Mortimer Peacock said...

Wayne, A2B, H, Dacula, Mr. Speaker-

It's probably harsh of me to call him a "miserable defenseman," and I know Chara wasn't good in his early years either, but...I just don't see Valabik turning into Chara. And like Speaker, I always wanted to like the guy. I'm just not sold.


The hard-hitting and confrontational style of the Chronicle will resume shortly. Hmmmm...where to start? JOHN ANDERSON MUST PEROXIDE HIS HAIR AND BECOME EVEN MORE BLONDE!!!

Rawhide said...

Hey buddy...

Mortimer Peacock said...

Hey buddy.

Speaker of Vitriol said...

Boris is a sloooooow-vak!

How's that for hard-hitting?

Unless you want to totally wear out the Top 4 with 22-25 mins / night, trying to manage Boris' gaffes with minimal ice time may not be feasible. He takes too many bad penalties and other than a relatively intimdating presence on the PK, he is useless in JA's system of DYNAMIC D-men.

Good for spot minutes out of the press-box, but probably better served playing 20+ mins in the AHL. Will never come close to Chara's set of skills. Period.

Mortimer Peacock said...









That's golden.

FrenchCatalogues said...

Use Gratton to hit people. He obviously had a good game. Kubina was pretty rough, I'm digging his style. When he went to that guy after knocking down Kovy, I was pleased. Boris just was not cutting it.

Mr. Speaker said...

Glad you liked it Morty! Just trying to hang with the big boys here at the Chronicle of chronic craziness and c(h)rushing wit.

I guess Pasha showed us that he'll gladly be our designated creep control "czeching" the lights out of anyone who dares to eff with the almighty Czar of the cross-bar.

Okay, I need to stop before I use up all of my keeny prose capital.

krisabelle said...

Aside from Little looking like he'd spent the entirety of the summer pumping iron whilst blaring Kanye's "Stronger", the Crab Dance was my favorite moment of the evening. Maybe you can add a devilish swoop at the end of the aisle and deem it the Crap Dip.

Tris Speaker said...

"...and deem it the Crap Dip".

Sorry hon, I think Valabik has the market cornered on being a crappy dip of a defenseman! ;-)

Mortimer Peacock said...

I'm sure Razor is touched that you guys love his Crab Dance so.