I know it's already the next night but I'm still on holidays and I'm keeping myself occupied. But here are some thoughts....
..... When the opening faceoff occurred I was thinking that we would come out flying and take it to the Broncos but man was I wrong. They started out flat and sluggish.... too much turkey for the holidays? So I gave them the benefit of the doubt. No matter how they started they seemed to play hard and got out of the funk as the game progressed.
..... As it appears that there won't be a coaching change I had decided to back Coaches Hunt and Sutter. I decided to sit and watch Hunt at various times during the game (probably not very safe on my part.... oops). I could see the frustration on his face..... the "I've told them a 100 times to do it this way because it will work but you decided to do it your own way and it hurts us" (or something along those lines) face. I dunno.... the team has struggled to put a good season together but I know that Hunt is doing all he knows (I'm sure Sutter is passing on all he knows to the player too) to get everything out of his players. I honestly think the wins will come.... maybe not tons but they will happen. Work hard and things will happen.
..... As quickly as I jumped on the Hunt bandwagon I almost jumped off during the game. I know that he prides himself on being a four line coach but for a spell in the third I don't think the 3rd or 4th line saw too many shifts. Losing Moser probably didn't help out the line combinations but going with 2 lines and 3 or 4 defencemen most times just doesn't work. And it really didn't pay off until the last 2:30 with the goalie pulled. When we tied it up I buckled my seatbelt on the Hunt bandwagon. Win or lose I will support him and the Pats.
..... Did anyone see what happened to Moser? I had my attention drawn away from that play and missed what happened. I saw that he really struggled to get off of the ice and looked to be favoring his ankle/knee. Please feel free to comment. I hope he's alright.
..... Damien Ketlo played a fairly strong game and made a couple of huge saves but man he let in one (maybe two) stinker(s). The first goal was a total snipe so that wasn't his fault.... low blocker just inside of the post. The second one he probably would have had if he was 2 inches taller.... He went down pretty early and took his chance away to stop it. The third one.... ick. If he can keep out the bad goal I think he'll be fine as our starter for the rest of the year.
..... One player that really frustrates me is Garrett Mitchell. One shift he looks like he's a superstar, the next shift he looks like a fourth liner, the next shift he disappears. I dunno if having the 'C' is affecting his game or what but I would have to say (other than the questionable penalty) that this was probably his best game this season.
..... Brandon Davidson has been the Pats anchor on the 'd' and he played extremely well last night. He probably played close to 30-35 minutes. I hope he is a Pat after the deadline.
..... Ricard Blidstrand is an anomaly to me. The guy seems to have all the tools to be a good defenceman in this league but it's looking like he may not have enough room in the tool box and things get left out. He's good for at least one BAD pass a game which in most cases ends up in our net (or a very strong scoring chance). I know he's only 18 but he should be accustomed to the Dub by now. I'm not totally giving up on him yet (I'm just thankful he's not Zapletal).
..... Myles Bell had a fairly strong game. He's been looking out of sorts recently and I'm not sure why. People are getting antsy and starting to yell at him.... Do people not realize that he's ONLY 17. Man! There is a fan that sits near me and has for years boo'd Barret Jackman, Logan Pyett and Colten Tuebert and he's now yelling at Bell to get off of the ice.... some people.
..... Colin Reddin's shootout goal was a thing of beauty!
..... If the Pats decide to keep Roznik for next year I hope he gets some opportunity to play a bit more this year as he can skate and he knows his way around the offensive zone. He never really seems to have a chance.
..... Jordan Weal is fun to watch. He picked up another 3 points giving him 48 in 37 games.... he's on pace for about 94 points. I think all of his doubters should shut their mouths.... he's the real deal. Last year he had Jordan Eberle as his main linemate.... this year.... let's see.... he's had Ashton, Frazee, Muench, Mitchell, Scheidl and now Martell and he's still clicking along. If he can get consistency on his line I wouldn't be surprised if he were to top 100 points.
..... Shayne Neigum is a big lug. I really can't remember the last Pat to take the puck into the offensive zone and try to go through the defence and not around them. He had a couple of decent chances but outmuscling Swifts 'd'. I like the pickup as a compliment to the kids.
..... I really like Tanner Olstad's game. He really showed off his offensive skills on a couple of Pats pp's (unfortunately they have trouble getting the puck on the net). He kills penalties and I do believe he was our extra attacker for the last two goals.
..... Lyndon Martell came out and looked scary.... as in bad.... Justin Scott like (no offence Justin.... but he reminded me of Scott and it scared me)..... but then I thought well maybe he got in late and had travel legs. But as the game progressed he showed a lot in the Swift zone and his goal was a snipe top shelf. I can't wait to see what he can do with some practice time. He seems like he could be a really good compliment to Weal.
..... Dane Muench a scratch again? Healthy? In the coaches doghouse? He has definitely shown signs of greatness but they seemed few and far between. I hope he can get back in the lineup.... but is there room?
..... One conclusion I came up with last night was that I really miss the centre ice score clock! I honestly have yet to get used to the end zone clocks.... and I don't think I will.
That was a lot more than I expected to type but I think I covered as much as I felt is necessary. Now all the Pats need is some consistency and take it to the Raiders (keep J. Parker off the scoreboard) and beat the Hitmen to gain some much needed points in the standings..... as of me typing this we are only 4 points out of 4th in our division and 8th in the conference.... 10 points out of 7th and 11 out of 6th. Not to get my hopes up too high..... I may be a bit delusional or call just me crazy..... but I’m honestly thinking playoffs.
GO PATS GO!