Now that the boys will be home for the next 20 days (including the two road games that they can travel by LIRR to), it is time to get the home ice advantage going.
All I was looking for from the road trip that just ended was a decent effort without a collapse. The team seemed to limp to the finish, but that is at least plausible, and a 6-9-2 for the 17 game stretch is acceptable. Now – in the next 10 games, they need to get at least 6 wins, to be respectable for this segment.
Jesse Joensuu was recalled from the PORT and will be in the lineup for the Isles tomorrow. Size is needed, which probably is the main reason for this recall. Who will sit? I think Schremp had a decent game, and should get another look. He is good on the PP and won a good share of face offs. Comeau was ok, but did not impress me.
There is a need to establish a physical presence, especially with Boston coming into town. Now would be a good time to get this going. Moulson needs to re-establish his goal scoring touch. Even though he is a 25 year old, he still has the lack of NHL consistency in him. This is not a knock – it is just natural. However, he seems to be the type that can recover from this.
Although the goals scored were from extremely close range, and no one marking him, JT is starting to pull away from the competition in the rookie scoring race, and showing why he has the scoring knack. He is now on pace for nearly 40 goals, a bit short of the Bossy leve, but we expect a full-sided game from him, and he is now establishing a little physicality and sticking up for his teammates. The respect level has to be exponentially increasing for him.
As far as the “D” is concerned, I have big concerns. Honestly, Bruno is struggling. And yes, I am being nice. His decision making is bad, and his play has led to too many odd man rushes, and scoring opportunities for the opposition. And his lackluster play has started to fall onto Streit as well. Offensively, he has been in the play and helping, but his play led to two easy goals for the Flyers the other night. Hillen is playing hurt and it is showing. Witt – well no worse for the wear after the Yukon incident – has been contributing, but the plus-minus is killing him. Macdonald has been admirable and growing with each game played. Meyer has not made too many mistakes, but is not shining. I think that after the holidays, Garth needs to assess the D and try to get someone to help this team.
Ricky gets two more starts at the AHL, and will be up with the team. The salary will be on the cap, which will make the gap a little less, but there is still a great deal of room for them to obtain a player to help them out. There is still 8 points difference between 6th and 14th place in the conference, so moving up will not be an insurmountable task.
Home cooking boys, get er done, as Larry the Cable guy would say…
Get tickets and get to the game tomorrow and let the boys know that you appreciate the efforts on the big road swing, and be the collective 7th man – so two points can be brought to the ledger for the home team.
Have a hockey day, folks!