Halak's home opener was spoiled by two quick back to back goals in the third period, and Colorado continued their steamrolling of the Blues. That sounds about right - though the Blues one goal in the 3-1 loss was scored by Patrik Berglund. This is encouraging, because the forward took a step backwards last season, and many expect this year to be make or break for Iceberg. Without the pressures of Andy Murray, he should have a better year.
It's hard writing a re-cap of a game that I wasn't at nor did I listen to on the radio, but it's a hell of a lot easier to write a re-cap of whatever happened at Philips last night.
It's been a long time since I got a chance to see Ron Hainsey literally inside his own goal when a goal was scored. I didn't miss it. Didn't miss it a bit. Really though, the game last night wasn't pleasant. I didn't take a lot away from the forwards and special teams, because I can't judge a team on the first pre-season tilt. Too much adjustment's going on. Ditto with the defense as a whole, though I do believe that Valabik is off to a great start if playing himself out of the 7th defenseman position is his goal. Kulda and Zubarev had much better games than he did - Kulda finished plus on the night, which is impressive since the score was 5-2.
Love the Dawes-Little-Pettersson line. Good sense and good ability to read each other, especially between Little and Pettersson, who traded goals and assists.
Still exasperated with Ondrej Pavelec. I'm sorry, but I *can* judge a goaltender's performance in a pre-season game. Yes, it takes a while for them to get going after so much time off, but three of the goals scored were inexcusable. Coach Craig Ramsay had this to say regarding Pavs: "On one of their goals the goaltender threw it up past our D on the short side and you can’t do that in the National League."
Well, no, but Pavs did that a lot last season. He is a rebound machine - the other team just needs to be in the right place at the right time, and Columbus' team of rookies that we should have beaten latched onto this. Pavelec is a good goaltender, and he will continue to improve the more that we play him. The thing is, if what we saw last night is an indication of how he'll play more often than not, the team can't afford to keep him starting - and we all know that once Mason gets going you have to drag him out of the goal. Pavs' goaltending time depends on how well he plays at the start of the year - because if he gets messy, he's the back-up.