I'm well aware despite early standings or in the final results folks will not want to read a blog entry this clubs plan is working, especially when it's not generating many goals from it's young players or in this case one goal from Kyle Okposo.
Some of this is more a byproduct of the injuries on defense and players being put into roles that are asking a lot. Last night Campoli and Streit were over twenty five minutes as Gervais came close to thirty the previous games. Pock almost hit twenty minutes while Jack Hillen played over fourteen.
Still I see Nielsen, Okposo and Tambellini getting close in chances or defenders joining the play with good speed on their counter it's obvious something is different and better. The fore-check is stronger as is the team speed, they are forcing the opposition into mistakes. Hunter looks better with Nielsen and Tambellini than he did with Sillinger and Hilbert last season.
I also love what I am seeing from this defense stepping in to the offensive zone and finishing chances. It's not only Streit but even little things like Gervais getting some early assists or Meyer scoring.
Only thing they are not doing is making the other club pay with some powerplay goals
combined with taking far too many penalties, when one player is off it does effect the group as Bill Guerin said.
For what it is worth his leadership has been more visible on the ice and I love how he stood up for his teammate last night along with Thompson.
Last year despite where the club was I saw too many games where the offense was
nowhere to be found for the first half of games and just won ugly off DiPietro's goaltending but they did not build anything.
I know the standings tell a far different story but the team play is stronger. Like the seven game losing streak last January you could see signs this club is coming close to breaking out with some wins.
Of course we all know that has to happen soon, so far the survival skills to get games to overtime right now also is simply not there.
Scott Gordon and these players are on the right track and I do think they are onto something here that is being built to last. I only wish Comeau, Colliton, Bailey and a few others were a part of it right now.
As I wrote in my preview I expect this to be a different year, the injuries are killing my sixth place prediction along with Comeau in Bridgeport but I suspect this team will be far better for what they are doing now then they were at the end of last season.