Have to clean up the stuff from last night’s game, so let’s do that.
-The first thing that was obvious is that last night’s bottom pairing of Michal Rozsival and Kyle Cumiskey absolutely drowned against what was basically Montreal’s bottom six and a bunch of Hamilton Bulldogs. No Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Desharnais, Patches, Plekanec, and yet whoever was out against this pairing had their way. Look, I know Rozsival will never look fast, and especially in training camp, but it was hard to not be alarmed. Yes, the games he does play, which won’t be all of them obviously, will be weighted with easy zone starts and opposition. But that doesn’t make me feel better right now, especially with the strong chance that Leddy isn’t going to be around to push the play the other way and save him.
They keep telling me Cumiskey is the surprise of camp, and I see that he can skate pretty well, but he’s playground recess in his own end. His gap to Drayson Bowman was simply awful while Rozie was getting beat to the front of the net, and had it been better maybe that pass is never made. Maybe they’re pumping Cumiskey to soften the blow of any Leddy trade, and he plays the same side unlike Rundblad. But based on what I’ve seen this preseason, that’s not an answer to any question I’m asking.
-As for the rest of it, it was fine and the scoreboard would have looked different had it not been Carey Price over there. Again, the Hawks should have rolled this Habs team in possession stats as there was no Subban, Markov, or Gilbert to go with the forwards who didn’t make the trip. And they did. The most encouraging thing was the play of the likely 3rd line. While I kind of laugh at the Versteeg PR campaign, he does look better though it’s hard to judge when it’s just preseason games and you’re beating up on bottom roster Oilers or Canadiens. But that unit should be pretty dynamic once they kick things off for real.
-I do buy into the Trevor Van Riemsdyk love. He’s pretty steady out there, which is rare for a player his age. Nothing seems to be done in too much of a hurry, in a good way. But how he fits into the roster is still a mystery. He’s got a big cap hit with his entry deal, so unless they force Rozsival to retire at gunpoint or have him jumped so they can LTIR him, there doesn’t appear to be a lot of room for TVR. Would he take most of Rozie’s games, as Brookbank did early last year? Assuming there’s a trade of course. If it could be worked, I certainly wouldn’t mind giving a Leddy-TVR pairing 10-15 games just to see, though I’m sure it would probably land Q back in the hospital.
-Jen and I are going to be fighting about Seabrook all season. This is probably going to be entertaining television for you all.
-The difference between Jeremy Morin and Brandon Mashinter couldn’t have been clearer than last night when they played on the same line. Which is why it’s going to be infuriating when Mashinter dresses over him some nights. What a waste of time.
-I see the recent work on the power play has resulted in Duncan Keith not getting a shot through. So that’s progress.