Lust For Life

The quotes last night ranged from the sublime (“Steve Smith: What a stupid god-damned hockey team…just idiotic”) to the ridiculous (“Irony can be a funny thing sometimes”) and the emotions flow as the mind races.

Some observations

  • On a night when everything was beautiful, Jordan Eberle’s psycho-pass to Ryan Smyth for a goal in the first period was the outer marker on the night. Sick, sick player.
  • Duncan Keith’s hit on Taylor Hall was filthy, but just as he did at the Mem Cup Hall came back immediately to score and punish the opponent in the most effective way. I didn’t hear a lot of running our show talk last night, hopefully a reflection of that argument gaining steam over the need for an enforcer.
  • Hall had a couple of shovel jobs, but that ripper that cleared the defender and found twine meant he was back for sure. What a tremendous shot. He’s going to score a lot of goals in the NHL.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is not from this planet. I always thought he had a certain Spock-like quality but those cross ice passes that hit the stick on the fly aren’t possible. If Eberle is sick, RNH is wicked-sick. Cerebral squared. Lordy.
  • I’ll be starting the Top 20 prospects later this week (started last year’s on November 24th, that seems about right but we’ll see) and can say there are 9 forwards, 8 defenders and 3 goalies on the list.
  • The CBC coverage of the game was disappointing. I taped the game and will save it for years, but truth is that the event would have had more value if tsn had done the game. I’m not a hater of HNIC, it’s been a part of my life for decades–since I was a kid–but the commentary was beyond poor. Only a top flight postgame with Scott Oake and Shawn Horcoff–an excellent After Hours–saved the broadcast.
  • I still believe trading Sam Gagner at this point is a mistake, but after a night like that one it’s easy to argue he’s expendable. He had 5 shots on goal, +1 (Hemmer’s starter) and played 18 minutes, but he’s third wheel behind RNH and Horcoff and that role can be played by Belanger all day long. Garrioch has him off to Chi-town and maybe that’s the better plan. I’ll miss him when he goes, smart hockey players are a rare item.
  • Garrioch’s article talks about Carle from Philly and if ST is going to make a move now would be a good time. Road trip ahead through some tough enemy territory and those young hires on the blue will be exposed.
  • I tried like hell to track the line changes, but Renney wasn’t exactly playing three chord rock with the forwards. Was there any rhyme to the combinations?
  • The PK didn’t flourish without Petrell, I expect he’ll be back in the lineup (possibly replacing Lander).
  • Jeff Petry (0-3-3 +5) has landed. Sending him down now would be idiotic.
  • Magnus Paarjarvi is lost. He needs to spend some time in OKC. If racing behind the opposition net were rewarded he’d be Gretzky.And it isn’t TOI because he played more than Eberle, the kid’s just off the rails. It happens, a trip to the farm where he can kick the daylights out of the AHL and get PP time is a good thing.
  • Theo Peckham had his best game of the season.
  • Ben Eager played 10:18, about 7 minutes more than he should have. The only other player I thought was poor (Teubert) is a rookie callup. One performance understandable, the other maybe due to concussion residue.
  • Good for Tom Gilbert. He’s a man.

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