Cap'n Clutch wrote:Big time shout out to the whole team for just going out and getting it done over the last 4 games despite it being so easy to just fold after a 5 game losing streak that included shotty goal tending while missing all our top guns.
Special mentions to Regin, Elliott and Karlsson for showing us how it's done and not just flapping their gums.
For me, the more I see of this team, the more my views shift. For example, I'm now perfectly and completely content with Chris Kelly's game and his 2.2 million. He's playing the game with smarts and grit - but he's also contributing. That means a lot. He's having a heck of a year.
Chris Neil is killer. We need him for 2 million for sure. When he plays like he has in the last 4 games, we've always got a shot. Look at the way the Hawks' D were intimidated by him last night. A huge piece of the victory puzzle.
Sharko Ruutu is playing vintage Ruutu hockey. Not only is he making nice plays, but he's playing tough and making the other team crazy. Again, all year this guy has been one of the better players for us.
Anton Volchenkov and Chris Phillips. I had some harsh words for them at various times of the year, but the lesson is to stick with the veterans. They may have their ups and downs, but in the long run, these are the guys playing balls to the wall for us and shutting down the opponent's top lines.
Alex Kovalev. He seems to have focused himself and his game has been sharp as a tack recently. Nice passes, good control, smart plays. I'm not saying I'm completely on his side, but it's been a heck of a lot better recently.
Peter Regin. There's nothing to say here that hasn't been said a million times now. The kid is turning into a bonafide top 6 centerman. So, second line center or centering one doozy of a third line.
Ryan Shannon. I supported this guy all the way because I like his speed, his hockey IQ and his determination. He's looking good again...yay!
Guys I'm still on the fence on:
Chris Campoli. I don't know, looks good sometimes, looks crumby others.
Filip Kuba. Is playing better, but still could use a more rounded game - particularly when he's in the defensive zone and he tries to cover instead of the simpler play.
Donovan. Not sure anymore. Z.Smith is probably the better idea going forward, but at the same time, Donovan hasn't gotten into the swing after his injury. Benefit of the doubt.
Leclaire. Please play well?
Cheechoo. Please go away?
Talk is cheap for sure. Some are walking the walk though.