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2,825 Gaming the system


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  1. I think it will carry over. A lot of things seem to be coming together for Gaunce. He's listened to his coaches' advice and worked to add the elements that were missing. He's matured, both mentally and physically. He trained extremely hard this summer (has been singled out by both management and coaching staff at a standout during fitness testing). Added ten pounds, much of which appears to be muscle (based on the testing feedback and added strength evident in the on ice results). You can see it in the way he's able to carry the puck through defenders. He has the strength to fend off his check while protecting the puck. He has the power to drag guys trying to clutch and grab. And he looks faster on his skates as well. He's much more committed to engaging physically, plowing through traffic, claiming his ice, finishing his checks, and even mixing it up a bit during scrums (at least when it comes to defending his teammates and not letting himself be intimidated). And he's still one of the smartest players on the ice (as he's always been). His vision, positioning, and structural awareness have been top notch since he was a teenager. His understanding of the game is extremely high. But now he's added the few key elements he was missing that should now allow him to take his game to the next level. Gaunce knows what he needs to do to play in this league. If he's given the opportunity to join the NHL roster, I expect he'll do everything in his power to make sure he sticks around.
  2. Yeah, definitely thought Rödin's play in traffic and during contested situations looked more encouraging on a few shifts tonight than what we saw from him last game. I have no doubts about his big league shot and finishing ability (as evidenced by the goal he scored versus Edmonton). But tonight he actually showed more NHL level determination and doggedness in puck battles and pursuit than I noticed from him against the Oilers.
  3. Was thinking today that Emerson and Danette having their first child born last night might be why Etem hasn't looked impressive. Those last days of the pregnancy can be pretty stressful for any new father. Hopefully we'll see a renewed Etem now that he's welcomed a healthy son into the world.
  4. Heard that Emerson and Danette just welcomed their first child into the world. A healthy baby boy. Congratulations. EDIT:
  5. He's also shown a pretty strong agitator game. Pretty much every game he played through the YS tourney and preseason has seen at least one moment when he's managed to really get under the skin of the opposition. Still needs to learn the ride that fine line and avoid putting his team a man down too often (or at least take somebody with him when he does get a penalty). Definitely agree that he has the potential to be a "bottom six gem" and one who can fill a role on our future roster at a very "cost controlled" salary.
  6. Thanks J.R. I can always count on you to point out any of the "fine print" I miss.
  7. He won't need to. Boeser has been asked point blank about the idea of holding out and going FA and he basically laughed at the suggestion: There's plan in place. Boeser, his family, UND, and the Canucks are all on the same page. He's coming to Vancouver. Almost certainly next season (2017-18). Every official statement made in recent months, by either Boeser or the Canucks, fits this timeline.
  8. As far a combos I'd like to see tested this preseason: Hutton-Stecher on the PP could be a very interesting experiment.
  9. It's going to be very interesting when we get a game where Stecher plays against true NHL level defensive zone coverage (which we didn't really see from that Oilers squad last game). If he's in that type of game environment and can still create time and space and find lanes for open looks, then look out. If Stecher can keep rolling, and Larsen doesn't up his performance dramatically in his next couple outings, I don't think the coaches or management will be facing a tough decision at all. Still lots of hockey to play however. And every player can have good and bad nights. But the Larsen vs. Stecher decision is quickly becoming one of the more fascinating "games within the game" during this exhibition season.
  10. I think both players could end up playing big roles for us, possibly even as a future pairing. Stecher is a play driver and an offensive engine. Juolevi is more like the fuel. His role tends to be less flashy but is still crucially important to keep all the other motors humming.
  11. If the young guys can keep bringing it, this is going to be a fascinating preseason to watch. Last game saw Gaunce and Stecher throwing down the gauntlet. It's going to be up to the others (like Etem and Larsen) to respond. Obviously, the players with more NHL games and who carry waiver risk have a leg up. But those bottom-six/third pairing and spare/extra spots are not written in stone. There is an opportunity to play your way onto this lineup. Competition is a good thing.
  12. Edler was giving a typical veteran 50% tonight (with it being early preseason and all) but you could definitely see that, on the offensive side of the puck, there was some joy in his game from sharing the point with Stecher.
  13. Definitely a strong game. He still did all the quiet little plays that make me love his game (based on his high level positioning, vision, and defensive awareness). But he also showed a lot of jump, was engaged physically, and obviously hitting the scoresheet didn't hurt. Gaunce clearly has his mind set on making this team.
  14. Great game for Stecher (following an impressive camp). He's done nothing but look good since arriving here. I'm still keeping my expectations in check, and I still think odds are he'll start in the AHL, but there's no denying he looked NHL ready on several plays tonight. That little fake and then pass on the Rödin goal was high level stuff. Tantalizing skillset with this kid. Definitely looked, tonight at least, like it's not "if" but "when" for Stecher. Still some games to play before the final lineup decision get made (and this was only a preseason game and against the Oilers). And definitely some hurdles to overcome, given roster pressures and waiver risk. But tonight he showed glimpses of being the type of defenseman I've been hoping for years that we could somehow acquire.
  15. Yeah, I knew the kid had offensive game but his physical play has been a real revelation. Eight hits tonight according to a poster in the GDT (EDIT: and just confirmed on the game sheet). And it's not so much the volume of hits that surprised me as the power he manages to generate. He rocked some much bigger guys tonight.