Is anyone else surprisingly more confident in this team than they thought they'd prior to this season? Going into the season there were a lot of questions regarding Fleury and if he could bounce back and be the goaltender we need him to be. There were also a lot of questions about our bottom 6 and whether they had enough grit, or scoring, etc. Many people were questioning our D (because of the playoff performance at times), and whether we'd be just a two line team.
I can honestly say that because of the surprising play of many players, that I have much more confidence in our depth now, than I did entering the season.
I have to tip my hat to the following:
Tanner Glass - This is what I envisioned when we signed him, and we're seeing it now. League leader in hits, gritty, seems to be a step faster, and playing his role well.
Craig Adams - This was the one signing I was most upset about, feeling that his role might be better filled with a young guy. He's been playing extremely well, maybe even better than years past. Let's hope this carries through a full season.
MAF - Unbelievable. Maybe the mental training actually worked? Maybe it was the coaching change? If it was coaching, I'm pretty upset that they didn't make this move earlier. He does seem to stand up more this year, a lot more. Whatever it is, it's been amazing to watch his bounceback, and I'm gaining a lot of confidence back in him.
Crosby - The jaw injury is no longer in his head and he's attacking the net again and looking like that unreal dominant force that put up some crazy numbers prior to injuries. This is going to be fun to watch.
Matt Niskanen - The poster boy for trade is playing some great hockey and that's not easy to do when trade rumors are swirling entering the season.
Having Niskanen playing in our bottom pairing with his current play is a beautiful thing. The fact that he's being bumped down for the return of Letang is even more beautiful.
Adding a guy like D'Agostini, which will bump Harry Z/Conner/Glass from the bit of third line duties he had at times is also great. Glass has looked great, even on the third line, and he could barely look like a 4th liner last year! I'm liking our 4th line a lot more now.
Throw in Bennett and Neal and you can only shake your head. Because of the play of the aforementioned players, I suddenly love our depth, when I was questioning it entering the season.