There is no need for any #Tortz 'isms today, although I am sure someone will post some video online somewhere where the talk can be all about how filks want to interpret our new coach, instead of just helping the fans figure out the system. Kuzma did that over at the Province for this one, and of course one should just bow to quality when one comes across it.
For me, and I hope for most thinking Canuck fans, this preseason, unlike any other, is one where you simply must not pay attention to the results. They mean nothing. Even more than in Vancouver once again, the Oilers were icing a far more NHL line up.
Of course that is not an excuse, as, again, there is nothing to excuse when the results mean nothing. When you have three lines of kids, mainly, getting their first NHL "taste", a game where the power plays were 8-3 ( and included a 2 minute two man advantage ), a couple injuries to some of that youth forcing the line shuffle, well, again...can I remind you these games mean nothing?
Some of the things that mattered anyhow :
#lol We have to try to get something out of it all, right?And it's preseason for us at NM as well, so it is good to "do the work" to be ready when the games count.
Here's a little mining of the stats and observations to go with maybe a little word association.
1 of 8 - I mentioned it above, but it bears repeating. A big bunch of the PK was of course The Stork playing goal in a definitely head turning fashion, with 27 saves on 31 shots. Most the goals weren't really ones he could do much about anyhow, but the way he hung in and followed the system, especially on a superlative 7 for 8 PK with a revolving door of folks, was impressive. How revolving? Well, everyone but Tom Sestito and the wounded Niklas Jensen had some PK time.Chis Higgins had 6:10 of PK time in this one. "Almost Made The Team Now" Guy Mike Santorelli had 5:06 og his just under 17 minutes on the PK. They generated chances shorthanded, good ones. A bright spot.
23 and 41 - A couple veteran defensemen on much different paths. First, #23. He had an eventful night. Sure, part of it all with a -1 on a night with a bunch of goals. But Eddy attempted 9 shots tonight, getting 5 on the net. While a couple of those were the ka-boomers from the point, he seemed to be working on getting a wrister through. An idea this fan totally concurs with. Edler had 1 block, 1 takeaway, and 3 hits in his team leading 22:30. Overall, I think Torts liked his first from the bench look at "This Edler..." #41 had a more interesting night. He had 2 big hits, ( although one was the wrong play at the time, as even though he "blowed Taylor Hall Up Good", he gave up a 2 on 0 that Lack somehow bailed him out on ) He had a couple blocks as well, and a little over 3 min of his 17 ish total minutes was on that PK as well. I have a soft spot for Alberts. I kind of think he, Weber and Corrado will be in and out depending on the matchups and whatnots.
6 - Can't mention the blue line w/o #6 tonight as well. On a night where there was a great deal of pressure, he handled it well most of the times, created offense, led the blue line in blocks with 3, had a nice assist on the Santoreli goal, and put in 4:22 on the PK in his pretty decent 20:15 of ice time. Frankie had his moments, but the Swiss native showed me something tonight.
For the rest, let's just play a bit of Word Association : Gaunce... "smoooooottttthhhh" and smart. Hansen... "The Honey Badger". It's funny because it's true. Beaker is going to be a Torts fave. Higgins... Any guy that put's in 6:10 of PK time in a game like tonight's is a definite "Torts Guy".
Horvat had a simple game and is a smart player, but he didn't have too many moments, and Hunter Shinkaruk and Zack Kassian were both -2. At least one of them was still in there digging for offensive opportunities and busting his hump on the way back ( that's a trick question. Both did that a few times. Didn't a few times too. "Consistency" is the word for all three of the youngins, as it always is with young players. And yes, I put the defacto "Sedin linemate" in with the kids tonight.
Lain had a few moments, but may be running out of time. Still, can't teach "size", and he used it a couple times ( 1 hit, 1 block, and 5 for 11 on draws in 10:59 ) tonight. Mike Santorelli had another strong performance with a goal, an assist, a couple blocks, 50% on 10 draws, and tied with Higgins with 22 shifts in a well varied and looking good 16: 52 TOI. "Made the team" about covers him.
Yann Sauve, I have to say. Not sure he'll ever be "NHL ready" was something I did say last year. I would take that back now, as I can see that he has still more to give. You cannot teach size, as they say, and he plays with a snarl. I sense a "Torts long term project" ;-) . I do trust the team with him though, because I definitely remember him not being as calm and thinking on the puck the last time he was up. "Improvement".
The face puncher brigade has an alright evening, although Weise made some pretty dumb plays. Sestitio seems just a wee smidge faster, for what that is worth. At least the don't get an "incomplete" like Schredder and Jensen. Too bad for a guy in his first preseason coming off shoulder surgery already there Jordan Schroeder. Respect.
But the Word Association Award goes to, no disrespect Mr Cool in training Frank Corrado, ( he had a couple shots, a couple hits, a well varied in all phases 19:07 minutes, and did nothing to play himself out of a pretty great depth battle for minutes. I really do think he, Weber and Alberts will all play as they carry 8 defensemen ) goes to "The Iceman" himself, Chris Tanev. As always with him, you have to dig deeper. He was the only blue liner besides Sauve to be a not a minus defenseman. He had just 2 blocks on the score sheet. Consider that he lad a team high 27 shifts ( while clocking in 22:07, just under Edler's 22:30 on 25 shifts ) with 3 + of that on teh power play, and 4 + of it on the successful PK.
Eddie Lack was excellent tonight, and may have made the team by now ( they did just send Eriksson down to get the starter's minutes in Utica ), but the young defenseman Tanev may have, as Nuke said in Bull Durham..."announced my presence with authority" to his new coaching staff.
No one is perfect this early. But he must have made Sullivan and Torts exchange a glance or two..." So THAT's what Mike was saying about this guy..."