Thanks to Allan for another great post-game write up. He’ll also be sharing his thoughts after tomorrow’s game, while I’m tied up watching Elvis & Co. at the Knight Theater. Let’s Go Checkers!
1. I have never seen a goalie get pulled as quickly as Atte Engren did Sunday. The first goal was off a bad clear by his defense and a great shot by Matt Pistilli low corner. The second goal by Justin Shugg was sort-of flukey but it did go through some traffic and the goalie probably was screened a little. Still pulling Engren at that point showed that Kirk Muller does not have much confidence in his back-up. Milwaukee is in real trouble if Jeremy Smith gets injured.
2. The Checkers had one of their best home first periods I have seen in a while, very aggressive, actually forechecked some, got in front of the net and did not just rely on the dump and chase. Goal number 3 came exactly from the Checkers doing all these things and it was nice to see.
3. While the 1st period was great, the first 10 minutes of the 2nd where rough. The Checkers came out and totally took their feet off the gas and gave Milwaukee plenty of chances to get back into the game. Justin Peters stepped up with some good saves and a little luck kept the Admirals at bay until Dalpe made a nice move and pass at the net which let Chris Terry bang in an easy goal.
4. Credit Milwaukee for breaking up the shutout with less than a minute to play. The Checkers did not put much into getting the puck clear and Bourque made them pay with a nice move in front of the net. Credit the coaching staff because Milwaukee never quit coming after the Checkers.
5. Chris Murray continues to play solid D since his call up from the ECHL. He does not do anything fancy but remains in position well, does a good job keeping the puck in the zone and knows when to pinch.
6. Bobby Sanguinetti is really needed on the powerplay–Michal Jordan and Mathieu Roy just dont look that comfortable back there quarterbacking the PP unit. Though the overall PP was a lot better than it was Saturday, better passes and they got off better shots.
7. PK unit looked better than the night before but they still take it back behind the net a lot instead of trying to clear it up ice. Peters came up with some good saves and they did have a nice shorthanded breakout.
8. Tim Mayer was a very confusing ref to watch over the weekend. He called a lot of real weak penalites but let some big stuff go also he tended to not want to blow the whistle when there were pile ups in front of the net and no know was able to do anything with the puck. Milwaukee is a very disciplined team; I was amazed no real fights broke out over the weekend.
9. Finally welcome Coach Muller! I hope you bring the same discipline and never stop attitude to the Canes that Milwaukee showed this weekend. Here I was thinking when I looked back and saw Brindy and the GM they were there scouting players instead of coaches.