I don’t usually get a chance to write much over the weekend (due to both a second job and general laziness…oops), so here are some thoughts on the B’s first two games, wins over the Rangers and Jets.
- Rask looks solid Tuukka Rask hasn’t looked rusty or shaky yet, and was very sharp in yesterday’s shootout win over the Jets. He wasn’t tested all that much in the opener, but made the saves when called upon. He hasn’t let up a bad goal yet, which is something that frustrated me greatly about him in the past: he was a very solid goalie, but always seemed to give up that one goal, be it five-hole or (more frequently) high glove, that he really should’ve stopped. Two games isn’t nearly enough to declare him ready to take the starting role and run with it, but he sure hasn’t shown any signs of weakness yet.
- Solid start for Dougie I was impressed with Dougie Hamilton’s first two games, if for no other reason than the fact that I really didn’t notice when he was out there. One of the best things a defenseman can have said about him is that he wasn’t that noticeable out there: he didn’t screw up, didn’t make any bad plays, and was just generally steady. That’s how Dougie was in the first two games, first playing alongside Dennis Seidenberg, and then taking a bigger role alongside Zdeno Chara against the Jets. Chances are we won’t see Dougie skate with Chara again on Wednesday night, mainly because the Rangers have more powerful and more numerous top-grade weapons; putting Dougie out there against Evander Kane and Bryan Little is a lot different than tasking him with stopping Rick Nash, Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards. But these two games were definitely good performances by the kid, and he already looks pretty comfortable out there.
- Balanced attack On Saturday night, I thought Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin were borderline invisible, with the first line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton carrying the play; on Monday afternoon, it was the opposite. The B’s are going to have nights where all four lines aren’t humming at the same time, so it’s important to have that secondary (or, ideally, tertiary) scoring unit. When the top line was sluggish yesterday, the second line picked things up. The B’s are going to need that balanced scoring attack if they want to be successful this year.
- Same ol’ story on special teams The penalty kill remains terrific. The power play remains woeful. The PK essentially saved the game yesterday, killing off Winnipeg power plays at the end of both the third period and overtime. The power play…sucks. I’ll give it a few games before ranting about changes, but I have no idea why David Krejci is on one of the points. His slap shot isn’t exactly a laser beam, and his passing skills would be more useful on the half-wall. However…patience.
And that’s about it, short and sweet. Plus, I just got a new phone that I want to go set up. I’ll be back with a new blog post after Wednesday’s game. In the meantime, check Twitter or the actual website for other content.