Friday, 19 September 2014

Training Camp scrimmage: Blancs 3, Rouges 3

Some quick thoughts:

1) I love the pairing of Jarred Tinordi and Greg Pateryn.  I know we always remind ourselves that it's only training camp, but I can't help but think that it's management kind of tipping their hand as to their wishful thinking.

2)  Not so enamoured of the Francis Bouillon and Magnus Nygren pairing, are they the long-long shots?  I don't want to waste Magnus Nygren, I think of him as a 150% boostified version of Raphaël Diaz or Yannick Weber.  Or one who could actually pan out.

3)  Gabriel Dumont not looking out of place.  I have a soft spot for this kid, he's not a yappy undersized player who stirs things up and lets bigger guys clean up his mess, but almost the opposite.  He plays hard and tough, and if anyone has a problem he'll gladly accommodate them, as Mike Zygomanis found out the hard way last season.

Obviously his small size is a hurdle, we already had a full portion of undersized players on our team last season, but without hoping for injuries, I hope he gets a look during a callup this season.

4)  Christian Thomas is looking good since the start of camp.  I read an article recently which reminded us that he dealt with a sports hernia injury at the start of the season, and he explained that he never felt right during the season.  This of course could explain his underwhelming production in Hamilton.

He started under a cloud in the eyes of many Habs fans, being traded for the much-ballyhooed Danny Kristo, a bigger player we felt might have been more ready, and who outproduced him in the AHL, but a strong camp from Christian will be a nice start to redeeming himself in our esteem.

5)  It didn't take long for P.A. Parenteau to end up on the first line with Max and David.  As in, no time at all.  It does seem like a natural combo, a rightie who's known as a point producer, and a slightly bigger winger to go opposite Max.

Stéphane Leroux and Gaston Therrien were saying that it made sense to put them together early and see if they can develop some chemistry.  We saw again last season with the Thomas Vanek experiments how long it can take for a forward line who want to pass and set up plays to score to find that groove, for everyone to figure out their roles.  As opposed to a Dale Weise on a fourth line, where the plays are more simple, dump and chase and forecheck and drive the net.

6)  I saw Mike McCarron gain the zone and go right to the front of the net.  Good job kid.

7)  Drayson Bowman impressed early, caught the eye.  I hope he can pass through waivers and catch on in Hamilton, that team really needs some talent and experience to balance out another influx of rookies, and all the losing is getting old, for the fans and the players.  They need to have a stronger lineup and a chance to win every night.

I know we went through that last season with guys like Martin St. Pierre, Nick Tarnasky and Akim Aliu brought in as AHL vets, but let's try again and hope that players like Mr. Bowman and T.J. Hensick and Jake Dowell at forward, and Bobby Shea and Joe Finley on D, that they can support the young vets like Patrick Holland and Gabriel Dumont and the new kids, and they can contend for a playoff spot.

8)  If anything, the stronger goaltending tandem of Joey McDonald with either Dustin Tokarski, or more likely Mike Condon, should be worth three or four wins by themselves.

9)  Seeing Davis Drewiske out there, I don't want to be uncharitable, but I couldn't help but think that he'll be needed in Hamilton as well, if only since he with Mac Bennett and Joe Finley will be the only lefties on defence, unless Jarred Tinordi or Nathan Beaulieu get sent down.  There are a lot of righties on defence, with prospects Greg Pateryn, Morgan Ellis, Darren Dietz, and Dalton Thrower, and invites David Makowski, Bobby Shea, Justin Baker, Evan Wardley, ...

So, uh, sorry Davis, but we need you more down there than up with the big club.  That one-way contract of yours should soothe the sting somewhat, you'll still get paid.

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