That was a long weekend. @vulcansmuse on Twitter and I made the command decision to go to Hershey on Saturday. Upon seeing the Bears lose to the Peebs, we then made the command decision to go BACK Sunday, ad were finally rewarded with a win (and her decision that she needed a Roo jersey.)
My thoughts on this matchup:
*The Peebs only seem to be able to score on the powerplay. This was beginning to become obvious on Saturday and was verified Sunday, when each and every one of their goals was during a Bears PK. In my opinion, if the Bears can hold down the numbers of penalties they’re taking (which they seemed to be consciously doing on Sunday, with the exception of Darren Reid,) they’re effectively crippling a lot of the Peebs’ good chances.
*Tuukka Rask is a beast. The kid is a big deal… He’s obviously got the badass attitude, he’s HUGE.. I swear he can cover the entire bottom half of the net with his pads, he’s bendy like Varley, and he was pulling out some crazy crazy stops against the Bears. I had been keeping an eye on his stats as part of the Pantheon of Finns before anyway, but man, he’s something to see live.
*Vladimir Sobotka, also pretty damn beastly. I describe him as “a little guy who thinks he’s Chara sized” to people, and after finally getting to see him play live, he lives up to that TV impression and more. It’s like taking Bourque, Beagle and Deano and blending them up into one little ferocious puck-chaser. The kid must have been out there for something like 45 minutes total, and was just battling for chances. Especially with Krejci projected out for the beginning of the Bruins season next year, I’ll be surprised if Sobotka doesn’t start with the big B’s.
As for the Bears, either Beagle is getting faster or Beagle is just pushing even harder, as both in DC and in Hershey he’s the first guy back on backchecks. However, I DO wish he hadn’t picked up Andrew Gordon’s bad mouthguard habits…. it’s like he has to suck the thing in and out to breathe at this point.
Darren Reid still just doesn’t thrill me as a player. He’s more or less solid, and he’s more or less where he needs to be, but he just doesn’t have the finesse or the interest level in his game to really rivet me to it. I’d rather have Ammo. Yes, I know Ammo’s a defenseman. I’d still rather have Ammo.
Let’s hear it for Andrew Joudrey’s first career playoff goal Sunday as well, while we’re at it.
And obviously, the Pinner for Bouchard trade within the lineup was worth something as well. I’d leave it that way, but I’m not Bob Woods, and I do have a telling soft spot for Tragedy Face Bouchard. (Speaking of soft spot, Patrick McNeill, who looked like he was going to have a mess of a game through the first but actually stepped up and got two pretty good shots on net later on. I’m starting to waver on my standing assessment of “will never make the NHL.” It’s starting to segue into “needs a good kick in the butt occasionally, but might make something of himself yet.” Sadly, though, he’s not a goalie, so people’ll want to see something out of him earlier rather than later.)
And while we’re on seeing something out of someone, I hear the Caps’ first round draft pick and favorite THTM Chew Toy Sasha Pokulok has been riding the pine in South Carolina. Who, BTW, are in the Kelly Cup Finals this year versus the Anchorage-based Alaska Aces. Know who currently on the Bears has already won a Kelly Cup?
PSSSST. CENTER BACK
Yup. You guessed it.
Also, dig the nhl.com’s article on Carlson