Sunday, November 2, 2008

Goro & The Bohmber

(Photo courtesy of Redheat15)

This picture was taken during warm-ups at the KC prior to the Friday 10/24 Minnesota game. It shows Tom Gorowsky and Andy Bohmbach, both with smiles on their faces. Given that #15 and #11 played well enough this Friday @ UND to earn spots on the top line last night, I thought this was a fitting picture to post today.

(Btw, I think this might be the first time I've seen Bohmbach smile. In most pictures he looks like he's about ready to kill the photographer. I'm not gonna lie to you; I'm a bit scared of the Bohmber. It appears that Bohmbach is one of the funnier players on the team, at least according to John Mitchell in the game program this year, but I don't know. Nonetheless, despite my fear, I've enjoyed watching the Bohmber play, and I'm happy to see him playing well.)

Bohmbach has played in most of the games so far this season. He's been pretty solid, I think, and he does a nice job on the PK. Gorowsky made his first appearance this season v. minnesota, playing in both games, and he played in both games @ und -- he played pretty well in each game, and he was Tom-tastic in last night's game. Anyway, since the boys earned spots on the top line last night, I thought I'd take a look back at the last few games with some fun quotes and excerpts. My apologies to Bohmbach (please don't kill me, Andy), as I don't have a whole lot about him because he hasn't received much press. Goro has received quite a bit of press, so therefore this post is going to mostly focus on him.

UW @ und
Let's start with the most recent series @ und. The Badgers lost 3-2 on Friday, but Gorowsky and Bohmbach played well. Capobianco noted that Gorowsky, Bohmbach, and Geoffrion accounted for a third of the team's SOG on Friday. About his and Bohmbach's play, Gorowsky told me:
[W]e both played really well friday night. We created scoring chances, had a couple of shots each, and made a lot of checks. I think [Eaves] liked the way we competed all game.
Here's what Eaves had to say about rewarding Gorowsky's and Bohmbach's good performances on Friday with spots on the top line on Saturday (from Todd's blog):
"This has not been an easy time for him. The thing that Tommy has done so well is that he's kept himself ready. He started tonight, him and (Andy Bohmbach), they were on the starting line because last night they played with the type of things that we wanted them to do."
On Saturday, Gorowsky and Bohmbach didn't disappoint in the Badgers' 5-2 victory. Gorowsky had 2 goals, and it sounds like they were both pretty. For those of us like me who haven't seen the goals yet, Tom was nice enough to describe them:
My first goal was a 2 on 1 with Jamie McBain. Sean Dolan made a great breakout pass in our zone and Jamie jumped into the play and it was a clear 2 on 1 from our blue line in. I passed to Jamie at the red line and he made a pass back to me inside their blue line which I one-timed in before the goalie could react. This was great because it was our 3rd goal in about 2 minutes and our team was really rolling.

My second goal was a breakaway. Somehow the puck came out to the neutral zone and I forechecked their defenseman who fumbled and lost the puck, which gave me a clear breakaway from the red line in. I looked up and saw the goalie had a large five-hole, and knew that the defenseman would be chasing me hard so I knew I wanted to go backhand five-hole, which I did and it went in.
Here's what Baggot had to say about Gorowsky's first goal, after describing the luck of Stepan's goal and the grit of Geoffrion's first goal.
Then came some beauty: Gorowsky and junior defenseman and co-captain Jamie McBain worked a nifty passing sequence during a 2-on-1 finished by Gorowsky.
After Gorowsky's second goal, Capobianco said the following:
Tom Gorowsky scores his second straight goal in the game to give the Badgers a two-goal lead. I'll have to check, but I don't think they've had such a thing this year in the third period. . . . I wonder if Gorowsky has bought himself a spot in the lineup for the rest of the season this weekend. I guess we'll find out in the future.
Well, I hope he bought himself a spot in the lineup for a few weeks at least, during which time he can continue to show that he deserves to be there, thus continuing to earn ice time.

About Gorowsky's performance this weekend, Eaves said the following (from Todd's game story):
"He's wanted to be a part of this team, and more than just be a member — he wants to be a contributing member," Eaves said. "He did that tonight in a very big way."
One of the things that's impressed me about Gorowsky is how he's kept himself ready to play despite not getting in the lineup much. Last year, when he got in the lineup during WJCs, he scored 2 goals in the Saturday Showdown game. This year, he's jumped right in and hasn't looked rusty at all, and he's been pretty consistent. I think Todd said it best when he named Gorowsky as his 1st star of the game last night:
If you didn't know any better, you'd think he has been out there consistently all four years he's played for UW.
Nice.

Why hasn't Gorowsky gotten much ice time previously? Again, from Todd's game story:
His skating has held him back, Eaves said, but he has shown flashes of high-level ability.
If you'll remember, Tom previously told the blog that his skating was one of the things he worked on this offseason.

Tom also previously told the blog that he's in better shape than he's ever been, and it showed as he was double-shifted in the 3rd period last night. His receiving double shifts indicates to me that Eaves has developed some confidence in Gorowsky. I asked Tom his reaction to being double-shifted on top of playing on the 1st line.
I was so pumped to finally keep getting in the mix during the game, especially during the 3rd. I guess my reaction was just excitement and a little bit of "finally."
Here are some more quotes from Todd's game story:
"It feels so good," Gorowsky said. "I was so excited today, knowing I was going to get an opportunity to play a lot."

"It was a big win for our team and a good game for me," Gorowsky said. "So hopefully it (launches) both, for the rest of my career and for the team the rest of the season."
Regarding coming back from a 2-0 deficit, Gorowsky said the following (from Andy's game story):
"We said it would be so sweet if we could do this," Gorowsky said. "It was finally time to pull ourselves up and realize, 'Hey, this is possible.' "

UW v. minnesota
On Friday, Gorowsky had an assist on Turnbull's goal, and on Saturday he had a screen on Turnbull's goal. I thought he played pretty well both nights, and Milewski agreed with me when I asked him about it. And while I don't recall DPlaya discussing Goro's play on Saturday, he did say the following about Friday:
Tom Gorowsky made the most of his limited shifts and really showed up when he was on the ice.
Here's what one of the reporters at Saturday night's press conference said:
Tom, for a team struggling to get on the same page, it seems that your line with Andy and Podge has been clicking so far.
And at the same press conference, here's what Eaves and Gorowsky had to say:
Eaves: I think all weekend we were able to put them out there and they did give us a spark, gave us scoring chances, gave us hits, gave us energy, and chipped in a goal. So that's a bonus for us, I mean in terms of the offense. But they showed good chemistry, and something that we hope they can build on.

Gorowsky: I think we're all kind of hungry. I was definitely hungry to get in the lineup. I hadn't played in a while and I wanted to play well.

Gorowsky:
I think me and Bohmber played pretty well together. We always kinda play around after practice and we played pretty well together, and Podge jumped in there and played really well and was able to pop 2 this weekend.

Final Thoughts
I haven't seen all of the games (I only saw part of Friday's game on TV, and I didn't see any of last night's game), but what I've noticed is that Gorowsky works hard to dig the puck out of the corners and when he does so he's always looking to make a centering pass. He also puts himself in front of the net a lot looking for rebounds. And he actually takes SOG -- even better, he tends not to just shoot it in the goalie's chest. Plus, he'll actually take wrist-shots, not just slap-shots, and sometime the wrister is the more effective choice. On the radio Saturday, Cerniglia indicated that Goro has one of the best wrist-shots on the team.

From where I sit, Gorowsky doesn't look like a bubble player struggling to make the lineup. From what I've seen, he's consistently played pretty well this season, he has the ability to score goals, and he's willing to work hard in the corners and work hard in front of the net. I'm happy to see him having success on the ice, and I hope he continues to do so!