Sunday’s scrimmage was a huge force of good, as well as bad. “Most” of the players looked extremely good. After going to the scrimmages for years, I will admit, this was probably one of the best. A decade to get here, I’ll take it. I sat three rows up from the glass. I didn’t like it. I cannot see plays developing as well as sitting where I like, on the ends lower deck. But I wanted to get some good pictures.
First off Matt Cullen dazzled. Between a couple spin-o-ramas that no one even thought would happen, to some really good puck handling and speed. He likes crashing the net. Something the Wild has been missing for a long time. When he has the puck he stays with it. No complaints, at all, from me here.
I have to point out a couple other new guys here. Eric Nystrom and Brad Staubitz. Going to this I was well aware of Nystrom’s play. It only heightened my respect for Nystrom. He is the “little guy” who will make a difference on the ice. He fails to get out of your face, and chirps like a pro. While not knowing a lot about Staubitz, after the first 25 minutes, he starting throwing some hits, and even took out Falk in a fight with under 2 minutes left. How can you not love a guy who fights at a scrimmage? I call it a season preview, without Booogaard or Scott, I am more than ready for. The fight was actually good too. I was shocked that Nystrom and Staubitz did not get into it with Nick Schultz. Those 2 were having a blast jawing and pushing Schultzie around. It was entertaining to say the least.
Latendresse looked pretty good, too. All over the ice, and all over the net. Like a rerun of last year. I am expecting huge things from him this year. He looked really good beside Cullen. Havlat on the other hand, still not happening for me. I watched him once again over play the puck, pass too late, and too soft, and never get close to other players. He just gives the puck up that easy. Again, he crushed his shoulder and hasn’t been the same Havlat for a couple years, but he needs to step up his game in a very big way. If we could give any other player his vision and hands, we may have something here.
Robbie Earl is still a stud. Actually looks better than last year. When he flies up that wing, look out. So much speed this boy has. He even hit the back of the net, but the way the day went, anyone could have. I will get to our goalies soon enough…
Looking at the D, there is a lot of work for a few of these guys. Not sure who I was more impressed with. Who will take the 7th? My guess is Falk, but then you also have Prosser. Both of them played really hard, and I would not be shocked with either one of them. Falk just has a bit more, should I say, pep in his step? He broke up quite a few passes, and at the same time, pinched in when necessary, made a couple sweet passes, threw some good hits, and played like he wanted it, more than Prosser. With pre-season here, I cannot wait to see these two make a run for it. I am all about getting the best for the team, may the best D man win!
I will get into more tonight when I get home. So much more to add, including pictures!
Hockey is here. Pre-season starts tonight, bring it!