Stars/Lightning

After the 7th goal, the stands began to empty. Not that I would ever leave early, but I looked at my wife and said I don't know why anyone would leave when your team is lighting it up. Not that many 7 goal games in Lightning history and there was potential for more. Any way, my thoughts on Denis, Janik/Delmore, the four fighting for the wing position and my version of the Fritz/Barnaby beat down. Denis - First goal was on Affy but it exposed Denis. Affy took a bad risk on the fore check and left his wing wide open. Lehtinen moved it down quickly with Modano in the middle and Jokinen on the left. Those three can fly. When Lehtinen got to the blue line and it was apparent none of the wings were going to catch up, the two defenseman slid over in unison. One to cut off Lehtinen and the other to tkae the gap between the other two. Tic-tac-toe Lehtinen to Modano to Jokinen moving Denis from left to right. The only thing that got there was his right pad on the ice. Jokinen had lots to work with. Same pattern on the second goal. Took Denis left to right and only the right pad made it. A couple times in the 2nd he did get his upper body there quick enough to make the stop, but still looked shaky. When going left to right he stays on the goal goal line and goes low. When going right to left he pushes out alittle in the crease and stays much more erect taking away alot more net. I noticed that a bit at last Sunday's scrimmage also. The 3rd goal was him all alone as Janik, Fritz & Karllson were all trying to get the puck from Modano on the boards who flipped it out front to a waiting Star who had Mark point blank all alone. The 4th goal, both Janik and Sarich retreated all the way to the endline and neither one of them took away even a sliver of the net essentially leaving a 3 on 0. Janik there's alot to like about him. Big upgrade over Timo. In this cap age he'll be filler for Pratt, Richardson, Sarich. If it weren't the cap age he might push for the job. The only knock, for he and partner Sarich both is that they gave up to much ground. The goal was neat. he had time, he saw two guys breaking for the net and he tried to feed 'em for a rebound, except the puck fluttered and rose catching Turco by surprise and the inside of the post. Delmore - I saw Chad boost him on another board. I hope he's Boyle's injury replacement only. Boyle stayed on the power play even when he was on the ice during the penalty call. Delmore got no PP time to speak of. If he's not getting that time, I feel he's a liabilty. Made some hits, but also got knocked off his skates on a couple of them. Kuba - The Wild are out of his system, he's not afraid to shoot. Milley/Tarnasky/Perrin/Fritz - That seems to be the order they're in. Milley - I'll give him quiet. He showed tonight he's not a top-two liner. He struggles to play at that speed. Had a couple of bad passes and did a couple of nice things, but he won't log any kinda minutes once the season starts IMO. Had a wide open net and shot the puck oddly into the corner. I think he could have back handed it in, but he went forehand and couldn't find the handled. Strange looking play, couldn't imagine the shot going that direction. His assist was a neutral zone touch. Prospal pretty much created and scored it on his own. (Took it in from near the blue line, wrapped it around, then jammed it home.) Tarnasky - He brings the grit and uses his size effectively. His speed is a bit of a liability. Sound player with the size/toughness we're looking for. Perrin - Best hockey player of the bunch. Has some offensive creativity, and will get in front of the net to make things happen. He was the 1st pair on the PK all night tonight and did well. He also provudes a decent face-off alternative when Taylor/Karrlson get kicked out. Played with the Vinnys' a bit in the 3rd. I hope Jay has the decency to get him an NHL job if we don't keep him. He's an NHL player and at his age ought to get a shot. Fritz - Not just a moose, he's an intelligent fighter and player. He stuck a shoulder into a Stars player who was getting off the ice in front of their bench. Barnaby was coming over the boards at the time and basically chased Mitch down going into the Lightning zone and sort of tapped him on the shoulder. Mitch turned a round and you could see Barnaby yapping. They both obliged and dropped them. Barnaby move in tigh and grabbed Fritz's sweater under the arm pits so all Mitch could do was swing down from the top. Mitch had his fist up but quickly realized all he could do was hit Barnaby's helmet. So he stopped and took Barnaby's helmet off. He got a couple glancing blows in but couldn't get his arms loose. Everytime Mitch moved Barnaby moved with him so he couldn't get seperation. The officials could have easily moved in nothing much was happening. Obviously, they don't like Barnaby enough to save him. They were pretty much dancing in the middle of the ice. With nobody coming in, Mitch skated Barnaby over and pinned him to the board. Then he started throwin'. He just pummelled Barnaby until Matt could get himself thrown to the ice. He played a good positional game whan he could get there. Another summer of skating school and he could threaten Tarnasky's opportunity. My wish would be that they move DiMaio and keep Perrin and either Milley/Tarnasky with Tarnasky being my preference. Sorry about any spelling or severe gramatical errors. It's late and I goota get going early tomorrow.

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Delmore Pimpin'

I don't know if you saw my other posts on there, but I was encouraged by his skating and being willing to get into the play and skate back. While he leaves the D zone too early at times (correctable), there was once where he was pinching in on the RW boards and the puck was chipped by him and he easily outskated the forward to the loose puck. I did notice him not getting PP time... they were using him on the PK for some reason. May be a teaching experiment, I don't know. To clarify again though, I said I wish he would make the team because that would mean he was adequate defensively and would provide an offensive spark from the backline. The offensive good would outweigh the defensive bad. He's going to get knocked around - as Boyle tends to do. But if he would just stay with the puck and compete in the D zone, he'd stick. And I like Janik. As for Milley, no, he's not a 1 or 2 liner, but (and I really am not a big Milley fan by any means), he's a capable 2-way guy on the third line. He has a good work ethic and can handle himself somewhat in the offensive zone. He's not going to knock anyone over, but he's a decent fill-in guy. Perrin was great last night in the game.

I'm not Anti-Delmore

In fact I'm kinda optimistic that our defensive system could make him a little more effective overall. However, it's apparent that Torts' is going to lean on one PP unit while Feds and Ranger are down. If Delmore needs to learn some D, take 20 games at Springfield and do it. I agree that Andy was agressively pursuing the offensive game. Leaving Pratt back to stop a jail break with his wheels is really scary though. I'm pretty neutral on Milley. I just like the "jam" that Perrin and Tarnasky bring that I don't clearly see with Norm. He'll do ok. but between him Taylor, and DiMaio I don't see where a point contribution is going to come from.

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