You had your coffee, you maybe attended service, or you may have finished eating your hangover food at IHOP/Waffle House/Denny’s/Whataburger. (or if you’re good, all of the above). Your team, the ultimate good guys of small market hockey, is now 2-1-1. How do you feel? Given the expectations, the newly minted fans might panic.
This is no time to panic. Hell, the guys are technically above .500 still.
Let’s cover a few points I’ve been stewing over, before I get a rash on my chest.
- Brian McGrattan is a better fit than we all thought. He plays minutes, doesn’t seem out of place as some other enforcer types do with their teams. With a young team that isn’t overly large, he can be a useful asset is deployed properly. And as he tweeted me earlier this week, the Mohawk is on the way back.
- Jack Hillen has a rough pair of games to start the year, but seemed to work better with Mattias Ekholm. However, he looked even better being paired back with Teemu Laakso last night against the Devils. He’s playing with more authority, and being a bit more physical. It’s rubbing off on Laakso as well.
- David Legwand is showing folks he can be a top line center in the offensive realm. (Really, he is) His pairing with Colin has come through in spades for far for the Preds, and has masked some serious flaws this team will have to address. Regardless, no one is whining about the guy’s production. Yet. Both forwards and handling their expectations and then some so far.
- Sergei Kostitsyn could stand to be jump started some by the Leggy and Wilson line, but he’s also HAS TO STOP TAKING CHEAP PENALTIES. He did this last year in the early part of the season, prompting a failed nickname “Two Minutes for” Kostitsyn.
- Pekka has yet to truly be Superman this year, and the guys are 2-1-1. He did get owned pretty badly in the shootout against New Jersey, but those are two of the best forwards in the game who victimized him in the penalty shots. Not worried about the big guy’s form, it’ll come around when the games aren’t so spread out.
- Cal O’Reilly played a good deal more on the offensive side of the coin this Saturday, a welcome sight for this writer. Cal is a very intelligent playmaker, and he does have top 6 potential. BUT, given the Nashville forward situation he may be stuck on the 3rd line. I wouldn’t mind seeing him work some chemistry with the Wisconsin heroes, Smith and Geoffrion. Matt Halischuk also works, but to be honest O’Reilly is a player that does make his linemates better… however he does tend to play to their level.
- Ryan Suter is playing like a man playing for a sick contract. He’s had several “wow” moments already this season, and he’s already shooting the puck more than last year.
- GAME OPS NOTE- I’d say the percentage of gold being worn in the building is at 30%. That’s a number that needs to go up. Also, many are bummed out with the video intro. While I do like the song, it is a bit of a downer, especially seeing the dejected faces of the team after the Vancouver game. I’d rather remember last year for what it was, FUN. It will never be more special than last year until that big trophy thing comes here.