Whose gonna help us go farther this season? (Courtesy: Philadelphia Flyers e-mail sent to me, trying to get my to buy tickets.)

4 Games, 4 Shootouts

I already recapped the first game, but haven’t talked about the three after that.  We split a pair of games with the Maple Leafs, and then beat the Minnesota North Stars Wild. I saw part of the first game against the leafs, but not much else.  A lot has happened over this short period of time, so let’s recap.

  • Zherdev is starting to find his scoring touch.  3 goals in the last 2 games is pretty good.  All three were assisted by Claude Giroux – can someone say instant chemistry?
  • The loss to Torontowent 11 rounds into the shootout. Seeing as how I ahte the shootout, maybe we’ll have a bit less of these in the regular season. Let’s just get it all out of our system now.
  • Bobrovsky is gaining a ton of experience, having played in 3 out of the 4 shootouts.
    • Michael Leighton got hurt during his shootout, although the team isn’t releasing the severity of the injury.  If he has to miss time, is is Bobrovsky or Boucher as the #1 guy? I’m ok with either one.
  • A bunch of guys were sent to the minors, and juniors, while a few were let go completely. So far, Bourdon, Testwuide, and a few other guys with high hopes still have a chance to get a final roster spot.  Guerin remains in the running as well.

Back to the importance of the results from pre-season games.  Generally, they mean nothing. The line-up is full of players trying to make the team, line combo’s are all over the place, and there’s a million other things that make the games different from the regular season.  Still, I like to a see a nice win/loss record because it kind of indicates how good our depth is. So we’re sitting at 3-1, which looks kinda good. My problem is that it was all in shootouts. Unfortunately they matter, but I don’t think shootout success indicates how good a team really is. 

Look at Phoenixl ast season – they were the surprise team in the league, and made the playoffs out of nowhere. Everyone expected them to finish dead last in the league, instead they battled for 1st in the West until the last 2 weeks of the season. 20 games decided by he shootout for them, and they won 14 of them.  20 freaking times, this team full of young nobodies, pushed a game into a skills contest, and on the strength of amazing goaltending, got 14 extra points. So they got to the playoffs, pushed an again and injured Red Wings team 7 games, and then went golfing for the rest of the summer.

Point is, I want to be a solid team in regulation.  I’m not worried about anything yet, because, it is still preseason.  I just don’t want the regular season to resemble this.  We’ve got 4 more games left, and I expect a few more regulars to play, so that the guys can be completely ready for when the season starts.  They play tomorrow, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.  The middle two games will be on TV, so I’ll try to catch 1 of them. I want to see the team starting to come together, October is less than a week away.  We have 11 games that month, and I want to see us get at least 15 out of 22 points.

Until then, let’s stay injury free and get things going over these last few meaningless games.

Thanks for reading!

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Tags: Brian Boucher Claude Giroux Detroit Red Wings Michael Leighton Minnesota North Stars Minnesota Wild Nikolai Zherdev Philadelphia Flyers Phoenix Coyotes Preseason Sergei Bobrovsky Toronto Maple Leads Training Camp

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