I was lucky enough to attend last night's game, and while it is never fun to lose, it is always a great experience to see the game live. I love live hockey because you get a sense of how much goes on behind the play and away from the camera. With that in mind, here are just a few quick thoughts on last night's game.
Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk are even better than they get credit for. Hank's goals were things of beauty. Datsyuk almost went magical in OT and I think everyone in the Joe was amazed he didn't score at will since it seems to come so easy to him.
- Tomas Tatar is a great hockey player and going forward I think he will be amazing. He is still young and inexperienced. He still tries to do too much. He still makes boneheaded mistakes. But every shift I feel like I noticed him doing something good. He fights for loose pucks, he causes turnovers, he is smart away from the play to get in position, and he is really good at carrying the puck into the zone. Also, while it is annoying to see him try and take a bad shot that gets blocked into the corner for the other team to pick up, I think I like that better than watching the sixth or seventh pass without a shot go wide and get picked up.
Darren Helm is still not quite up to speed, physically or mentally, but he is still an excellent player. He made a couple of bad mistakes last night that were frustrating, though that seemed to be a team-wide problem. But he did not look out of place or mismatched playing as the second center.
- Daniel Alfredsson was invisible last night. I can't recall ever noticing him. He needs to be good when not on a line with Pavs and Hank for this team to win. He wasn't.
- Gustav Nyquist was also invisible, for other reasons I still hate and think are stupid (trade Franzen, bring back Goose!!!!)
- At one point our second Power Play forward unit was Tatar centering Patrick Eaves and Daniel Cleary. Cleary was replaced by Anderson later. And eventually Helm was out with Drew Miller, and someone else I didn't notice. The point being that if our first unit doesn't score on the PP, we aren't going to score. I know Franzen and Weiss were out, but it isn't like they are lighting the lamp much either. Babs needs to figure this out quick.
- I though Quincey looked bad more often than good last night. In fact, only Kindl and Ouelette didn't do anything that blatantly made me call them an idiot.
- Our defense as a group were terrible at making the first pass last night. Horrible. Too many bad passes or turnovers. That needs to get better too.
- Steven Stamkos is really good.
- Martin St. Louis has been one of my favorite players for a while, and seeing him in person, all I can say is holy crap is he small! It was like watching a toddler skating out there. He is still amazing, I was just amazed at how much smaller he looked in person.