- – The Rocket had a power play in the first period where they threw the puck around so quickly Blackwood had zero chance. The final three touches were McCarron from Scherbak and Taormina. It was beautiful at any level of hockey.
- – Shortly after it was Daniel Carr with a sweet pass from Chris Terry and his move delaying and delaying was sublime. Blackwood wasn’t able to track him laterally and it was an easy one for Carr. Carr also had a second period goal on a gorgeous give and go with Eisenchmid. Carr then completed the hat trick with a great individual breakaway effort on a sweet pass from Schlemko. Carr is another guy who has no issues at this level.
- – Poor Mike McCarron. He has nowhere to play. He’s too good for this league when he puts his mind to it. He’s a tower and a force out here. Where he can look slow and lose puck battles at the NHL level, here he looks like a strong skater and has the strength to win a lot of pucks. When he wants his space, these AHL level players can’t move him.
- – On the power play, the game has slowed down quite sufficiently for Scherbak. He looks completely at ease. Two assists in the first period. It’s like he has the puck on a string on the power play. When he’s attacked, he’s not nervous or threatened – he just holds until he draws the fear out of the defender. Scherbak has five assists already to start the season. The offence is fine on a Habs team starving for it. I believe he will be the first injury call up. Not sure about his defensive game, but can anyone really get a fair defensive assessment this night? It was pond hockey.
- – Taormina can’t play at the NHL level. That was pretty apparent. In the AHL however, it’s kind of amazing to watch how comfortable he is quarterbacking the power play. His vision is superb. He reads the play so beautifully. He’s a beast on the power play. In total control. His goal was a thing of beauty – a slap shot to the far side corner.
- – Chris Terry is another guy who is caught as dominant in the AHL but not an NHLer most nights. Terry will likely have a big year in Laval. He sets up through the seam on the power play and gets sublime passes from Scherbak. The set up is quite similar to Drouin to Pacioretty, but whereas the NHLers aren’t making that design work yet, these two AHLers have the pattern down to where Terry seems all alone to rip one timers all night. He releases quickly and the opposition goalie doesn’t even have time to make his lateral move before it’s in the net. With the left handed shot wiring all night inside the dot, I am predicting a 40 goal season for him. His third goal was different altogether as he fought hard to negate his check then watch the puck go off a body or two from three feet and in.
- – I don’t know the Habs plan for David Schlemko tomorrow for the Leafs. His conditioning stint could continue in the afternoon for Laval or they might bring him up to Montreal. He looks ready and fine to me. He was in control. Considering how messy this one was, it’s kind of incredible he was on for only four goals. A plus for the 5 on 5 goal, a plus for the OT winner, on for a power play goal and when he was killing a penalty. He skates well. He is in control with his decision making. A game full of good reads on a night when the defenceman seemed more interested in goals than defending.
- – Byron Froese and Daniel Audette didn’t have a lot of power play time considering the first unit kept scoring on them but those two connected for the tying marker with just over two minutes remaining. The excitement over it at Place Bell was significant.
- – Zach Fucale made some key saves to keep the Rocket in it. Hard to credit a goalie during an 8-7 game but Fucale did his job well. Took his role seriously and achieved on behalf of his team in what looked like a throwaway moment.
- – Peter Holland didn’t impress early. He had a chance to clear on the kill and was disinterested. Minutes later, he has the puck in the Rocket zone for a chance to clear and got stripped of the puck leading to more pressure on the Rocket. Not massive moments, of course, but the bar is a little higher for the former NHLer.
- – Jerabek got caught pinching twice in the first period. One of them led to a goal on a two on one. The goat isn’t Jerabek though, but the rest of his mates. They were good pinches. They were smart. Good chances could have come of them but no one else on the ice covered for him. A little awareness goes a long way. It is rare to see such poor attention to detail in covering. Not sure if it’s the league or the coaching but I wasn’t impressed at the lack of back pressure.
- – Charlie Lindgren simply does not give up on pucks. He will continue to fight when he looks finished and makes one more save. The Devils had five shots on their first power play early in the first and it was hard to believe that they didn’t score. They should have but Lindgren kept battling. However, from long range he was lost on this night. Have not seen him struggle so much. He looked so small on the fourth Devils goal. I had a perfect look at a shot from 55 feet and the entire net was so open. Was wondering where the goalie actually was on the shot. If you’ve lost where the puck is, as Carey Price likes to say, “just make yourself big and hope it hits you”. This was not that from Lindgren. All in all, you gotta stop all kinds of shots. Not just the reflex ones. Lindgren was pulled after allowing six in half a game.
- – All the defencemen seemed to get walked in this one – it just wasn’t a defenders night. Rather to pick anyone out, it actually makes more sense to just say there was no defensive comportment by anyone of the 20 who played. Sometimes it goes like that. Lernout didn’t have a great game but to say, “oh he’s not an NHLer” off of the way this game was played would be silly. The Rocket chased the game all night so naturally everyone is going to look undisciplined.
- – This hockey was a blast. A lot of two on ones and breakdowns all over the place. If you are looking for skilled players getting time and space to show their skills and get a bit lazy on defence, then this is the place for you. I have never seen so many players get clean offensive looks. They were walking it to goal all night. Both teams. Jacques Lemaire would call it the worst game he’s ever seen, but I was quite entertained.
- – 6289 at Place Bell tonight for a terrific night of hockey. Fun with nothing but perfect seats to watch it. The ticket prices are good too, starting at 22 dollars with tax. Better seats at 25 and 27 so this should be a big success.
- – The only time the Rocket led the entire night was when the OT winner was scored.