Saturday, October 17, 2009

MHKY G1: Tigers 3 - Badgers 2

We put 41 shots on the kid (and) only get two goals. We got to keep getting those pucks at the net, but we got to get there and bang in those rebounds. It’s frustrating when you feel like you did a lot of good things … and pretty much dominated the game for a lot of it and still come out with a loss.

-- Ben Street

Recaps: uwbadgers, cctigers, Baggot (WSJ), Paisley (Gazette), Worgull (BN), Worgull (USCHO), Wodon (CHN)
Box: collegehockeystats, USCHO
Photos: Schreiner (WSJ)

A quick preliminary for those who didn't see/listen to the game and who haven't read any recaps yet. Geoffrion got banged up (Baggot said he was woozy) in the 1st and didn't return to the game. Baggot says it's unknown if he'll be available tonight, but I'd be surprised to see him tonight because ya gotta be careful with that sort of thing. Also, if you noticed that Brendan Smith didn't play in the 3rd, Baggot indicates that Eaves benched him (ie not an injury).

Ok, moving on to the game. I think we probably should've won that one last night, but there were a few defensive breakdowns and some goaltending difficulties perhaps, and CC capitalized, and there ya go. Bummer.

But most of the first 2 periods were fun, and I saw a lot of things I liked. Just my opinion, of course, so take it for whatever it's worth. A lot of players looked like they were working hard and had good energy, and I liked that a lot.

There were a half-a-dozen players who caught my eye, and I'll go through them in order of when they caught my eye.

The 1st player I liked, of course, was Andy Bohmbach; I thought he looked pretty good. Timothy A says Bohmber's not a goal-scored (but I still like ya, Tim, I don't hold it against you), but I think in his mind Tim has Bohmber pigeon-holed as a gritty 4th-line type of guy, and I think Bohmber has shown he can finish and score some goals, and I think he also can create opportunities. He seems like a smart player who has decent vision on the ice. Tim's right that Bohmber is a gritty player and works hard, and that's part of why I like him -- he had some nice defensive work that led to offensive opportunities, he kept some offensive plays going when they looked like they were going to fall apart, and he works hard all game. But there's more to him as a player than that, and I'm wondering when Tim will see it. HEY TIM, WHATCHA THINK? (Poor Tim, you know I only call ya out because I like you.)

The 2nd player who really grabbed my attention was Podge Turnbull. I hadn't been looking specifically for him, but he grabbed my eye on a number of occasions (especially in the first 2 periods), and I told Mr 60 a number of times that I thought he looked good. Podge looked like he liked being in the lineup and wanted to stay there. And based on his effort and performance last night, I think he should stay there. I told this to Mr 60, but I don't think he was listening to me, so I told nubeetle, and nu agreed.

I'm going to write a bit more about Turnbull than the other players b/c I think there's a good story here with him coming off somewhat of a rough season last year. I'll admit that I wasn't a huge fan of Turnbull and didn't care for his play last year, but yesterday I remarked to Chuck that I was interested in seeing him play last night because I had heard from a friend of mine that for various reasons we might expect to see something more from him this season. Of course, by game time, I forgot that I wanted to watch him, but luckily Podge went ahead and reminded me by playing well enough to make me notice.

You know, when Turnbull got the nod over Davies, Eaves comments didn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling about either player, because he said that Turnbull "didn't exactly grab the position away from Davies, but did enough to merit the first crack at ice time." But now I think Turbull has grabbed the position from Davies. I think Davies will get into the lineup sooner rather than later, but I don't think it will be (nor should it be) at the expense of Turnbull, at least not based on last night.

Yeah, I know, I'm basing a lot on one game, but I have no reason to think that Turbull won't continue to play hard and play well like he did last night. I'll say this for Podge -- he's shown commitment to the program and to earning a spot on the team. Going into the offseason, Podge was looking at a team with 19 forwards, and he was on the outside looking in. But even before the numbers got trimmed to 16 (which is still a lot of depth), I hear that he was firm on staying with the Badgers and doing whatever it took to make the team. Ya gotta admire that. I'll admit to being somewhat skeptical on his chances, but despite not previously being a big fan of his, I can honestly say I'm happy to see him successful. Who doesn't like a story about a kid coming off a rough season, working hard, getting in the lineup, and winning over fans with his play? Personally, I love that kind of stuff.

The 3rd player I liked a lot was Derek Stepan. Honestly, can anyone say they don't like Derek Stepan? He gave us what we expected and hoped for based on his play last season -- he just keeps getting better. He's got moves, he creates opportunities, he's smart, and someday I'm going to give him a St. Stepan's Day Holiday. What else can I say?

The 4th player who caught my eye was Jordy Murray. He looked like he was playing hard, and I thought he made some good plays. I kept telling Mr 60, "I like Murray a lot tonight!" Again, I don't think Mr 60 was listening to me, but that's alright, I'll just keep telling others.

The 5th player I liked a lot was Craig Smith. This is only the 2nd time I've seen him play (Gandalf has seen him more), but he looked to me like he's a smart player. He looked smart on the ice and like he was seeing things well. And I get the impression that he's the type of player to work hard at all the little things. He might not be the fastest skater or the most talented player, but neither is Joe Pavelski. Now clearly Pavs has a lot of talent, but he's not the best at any particular thing -- he's smart and he works hard at all the little things, and those things combined with his talent make him extremely successful.

The 6th player who caught my eye was Justin Schultz. I thought he looked good for his 1st NCAA appearance. I don't think he looked out of place defensively, and he's got a heck of a shot. Cerniglia says it's the hardest shot on the team and that Schultz tries not to hurt teammates in practice, lol. You know, I like Schultz's pairing with Goloubef a lot. They both feel solid to me. And you know me; I'm already a huge Cody Goloubef fan. So now I'm a Justin Schultz fan too, and I gotta tell ya, I like 'em paired together.