A win is a win but this one was ugly, Charlotte played very loose defensively and Justin Peters gave up some weak goals but Zach Boychuk bailed the team in with a beautiful OT breakaway winner top shelf over Jake Allen’s blocker.
Also very disappointing was the loss of two defensmen during the game. Bobby Sanguinetti took a vicious hit to the head from Cody Beach in the second and did not return for the third. Hopefully this will lead to a long suspension for someone who looks like nothing but a goon in his first AHL game. I looked up his stats on hockeydB and in only nine ECHL games this year he has 40 PIM and a ton more in juniors. Later in the game Marc-Andre Gragnani left with what looked like a hand injury and did not return. Two great offensive D-men down in one game is going to hurt going forward and hopefully both are not too badly injured.
The main problem on defense was sloppy clearing, turnovers in the defensive zone and forwards chasing the puck (this directly lead to the second goal). Justin Peters also gave up a couple of real soft goals but maybe he was tired from the lack of support in front of him?
A couple other observations:
- Jared Staal does finally look as if he is getting what it takes to play at this level, puck handling was better and he started to play more physical!!!!!!
- Justin Faulk continues to make really bad decisions with the puck in the defensive zone looking for home run passes.
- Michal Jordan puck handing has regressed from what I saw at the end of last year.
Charlotte knew they where more talented than Peoria but did not have the same effort or heart and it almost cost them tonight, hopefully they will take this performance and come out and stomp the Rivermen tomorrow night.
Nice to have Wilson back trying to motivate a team and crowd that was dead tonight for long stretches.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE AGGRESSIVE FORECHECKING TEAM THAT PLAYED SUNDAY? That is two straight games where they laid back and looked more like they wanted to play the Paul Maurice system.
Looking forward to seeing the team again tomorrow and hoping they come out ready to play a whole 60 minutes and crush Peoria!!