Thoughts and impressions from last night’s game:
• Jaskin is just a tank on the ice. He was just trucking opposing players all night long and has some meanness to his game. His Indian name would be "Dances With Grit." I am not sure what his ceiling will be, but he reminded me A LOT of a young Backes. It looks like he can make a pass and shoot. He knows that he should screen the goalie and battles to do so. Like a young Backes, it appears that his skating is the only thing really holding him back. Not sure how to describe it, but it seems that his stop to go steps are awkward. Kind of a like a cartoon, his feet are moving, but he doesn’t go anywhere for a second or two. If the Blues weren’t a team looking to contend, I would have to imagine he would make the team on the 4th line to get his feet wet. Since they are chasing a championship, they will probably go with an experienced 4th liner despite his higher ceiling and abilities. The way he plays, it would be hard for the Blues to send him down if not for the numbers game.
• Rattie. I did not think he was noticeable when he was on the ice. I thought he tweaked his wrist at one point, and I was curious whether he was taken out of the game because of that. He had limited action.
• Hakanpaa. This guy has a lot of raw potential. He seemed nervous out there and was clearly playing in a more difficult environment and competition level than he is used too, trying to keep up. His stick work down low, to disrupt passes around the goal, could use some work. It sounds like I am critical of this guy, but actually, I look forward to his development. Like I said, I like his raw potential.
• Roy. Early in the game, Roy impressed. He seemingly teleports to where loose puck squirts out. All of sudden he is just there. However, as the game went on, it felt like he faded away. I found myself hoping he has another gear when the games actually count. Soon after thinking that, he turned it up during the power play which resulted in the tying goal. Otherwise, it seemed like he was the dead weight on his line for a majority of the game. Perhaps it is simply preseason effort level.
• Schwartz continues to be tenacious and just plain works hard. Everytime he is out there, I am glad the Blues drafted him.
• Stewart seemed to have a lot of fire. He would skate hard to create opportunities and looks like he has a chip on his shoulder. He seemingly took a cheap shot below his belly button with a butt end of a stick, and was looking to fight. I think Beach took care of that opposing player. Obviously Stewart showed his fangs late in the game when a Star crossed the line. He seemed to be “leading” a number of the younger guys during the warm ups.
• Pietrangelo was Pietrangelo. When he has the puck, he just seems to be in control of everything. He seemed to really assert himself in the 3rd period and took over the game. You could see his tying goal coming a mile away. He wanted the puck during the power play and kept setting himself up to be the hammer. Same thing in OT. I thought for sure he would get the winning goal. His blast in OT was a bomb. High and wide, but it hit the glass so hard it bounced right to Berglund.
• Tarasenko & Berglund. I have only seen these guys together with my two eyes for one game, but I find myself wondering: Will these guys mesh? It seems like these guys are spare parts being placed together due to the make up and pecking order of other lines (Roy with Stewart for example), rather than any real chemistry. It would appear that Tarasenko needs someone more pass oriented to maximize his abilities. That it is not to put Berglund down, but he does not appear the right fit. Everyone is going in straight lines with no creativity to create chances. But like I said, one game.
• If Jaskin does not make the team as a 4th liner, I do not know how Porter is not a regular 4th liner.
• I agree Whitney did not look good last night...since he didn't play.