Thursday, October 02, 2008

Blues win; Thrash - not so much.

At least one of my teams won last night. The Blues opened a can of whoop-you-know-what on Curtis Joseph (welcome back, CuJo!) and pounded the Leafs 7-3 as retribution for the shootout loss Monday night in Toronto. Unfortunately, I can't offer much more analysis than that seeing as how I wasn't exactly there...

I was here, watching the Thrashers first home game of the pre-season against the Red Wings. Ohh noes - no Hossa. Oh well. I, unlike some, don't harbor some bitter, weird resentment against the man. He wanted to win, and he went where he feels like he best can. Good for him. He's always had nice things to say about the fans in Atlanta, and his opinions on last season's team were shared by probably 99% of those who complain about his "lack of loyalty" or whatever.

The Wings left out some big parts of their Cup-Winning Machine: Cleary, Datsyuk, Maltby, Hossa, Rafalski, Draper, Kronwall, Kopecky and Holmstrom. We dressed almost every starter but White, Kozzy, and Perrin. The last two's absence was felt. White? I didn't notice until probably halfway through the game that he wasn't out there.

Slater had some surprising moments, such as the fight during 1st period (that he won) that kind of came out of left field - EC's goal on Osgood in the 1st was fantastic. The rest of the team? Williams really worked hard on Kovy's line, but Hainsey and Reasoner? Not really a lot of noticeable plays. Stuart looked lost on a few shifts (Stevenson was good, though).

Kulda and Bogosian, for a game against a team like the Wings, showed a lot of focus and confidence - aside from a sloppy turn-over, Bogosian was good out there. The D, as a whole, seemed really improved, including X. He seems to be motivated more working under Anderson, and that's good. He really wasn't out of position last night and had a bit more oomph.

Our SOG were fairly equitable: 32-26 in favor of the Wings, and we had a lot of good scoring chances that didn't pan out. One of the Wings 4 goals was an empty netter. One was one that Kari didn't see - the first goal, though, was an easy slap shot about a minute and a half into the game that apparently scrambled Kari's concentration, since toward the end of the period he left the crease (!) to clear a puck and instead of passing it back along the boards actually passed the puck across center ice to Zetterberg (!) who easily put it in the net.

Overall, I was fairly impressed with the team - more shooting chances, more puck possession... if we were playing a lesser team, we could have won. Oh... look. Nashville's up Friday. Right on cue.

So far in pre-season, the Thrashers are 1-3-0, and the Blues are 3-2-1.


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