Just Watched Game 6 (Thoughts)

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Just Watched Game 6 (Thoughts)

Postby Henry Hank on Sun Apr 29, 2007 7:45 pm

With nothing to do tonight, I decided to take in game six of the Baby Pens' playoff series against Norfolk. They won 3-2 on a late goal from Robert Nilsson, so they'll start the next series against what probably will be a heavily favored Hershey on Wednesday. Perhaps Kris Letang will be in the lineup that night...

I mainly watched to check out Filewich, Stone, Dixon, and Schaefer. This is the first WBS game I've seen this year and the first since the game in which they eliminated Bridgeport in the first round last year. It wasn't as fun for me to watch this year simply because last year they had the likes of Fleury, Whitney, Talbot, Christensen, etc. in the lineup whereas this year a lot of Edmonton guys and career minor leaguers are taking up the big roles.

I was kind of watching two games at once with the Sabres and Rangers in OT for a good portion of this game, plus I was watching a low quality internet feed so take my thoughts for what they're worth. Schaefer was solid but nothing real special. Then again, he wasn't tested all that much. The first goal against was a long wrist shot through a screen on a power play, tough to blame him on that one. The second was a pretty weak goal but it was a tricky shot off a bad giveaway. He did a good job controlling rebounds and generally seems pretty calm in net. I'd imagine if he wants to remain in the organization there's a good chance he could be the NHL back-up next season but I still have a hard time believing he'll be back.

Filewich didn't stand out all that much. He seems to be willing to go to the net and moves ok. His presence in front of the net played a big part in DuPont's goal on the PP in the first period, so he did have some impact. He's the guy I tried to have my eye on the most and I hope to see more of him later on in the playoffs. He's been a pretty good playoff performer in the AHL in his career. I doubt he makes the team out of camp next season but he seems to have a pretty solid package of tools and intangibles that will lead to him being a solid NHL player. Whether that happens for the Pens or if he gets traded elsewhere is still a question.

Stone was throwing his body around a good deal. He had the primary assist on DuPont's goal. I didn't notice him a great deal either but he seems to be involved in his own end and like I said dished out some nice hits. Nothing he did offensively really impressed me but he's gotten good remarks in terms of intangibles too. I wouldn't be surprised if he makes an appearance next season. Dixon seems like a solid checking player. He had an assist on Jensen's goal. He's probably pretty good depth to have and again I wouldn't be surprised to see him at some point next season if a spot on the fourth line opens up due to injury or whatever.

I'll probably try to check out one of the games in the Hershey series, especially if Letang's team gets eliminated. Hershey eliminated WBS last year in the second round and they were the best team in the league again during the regular season, so this will be a tough series for them. Wilkes-Barre has a pretty solid team, though. They were in control for most of the game this evening despite a lot of PPs going the other way and a lot of missed calls. Nilsson is pretty impressive, at least from what I saw in this game.
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Postby eastonpensfan on Sun Apr 29, 2007 10:25 pm

I would have to agree with just about everything said here.

Stone was on track to have a much better year until he hurt his hand/wrist and had to sit out for 3 months. He's now finally back to the player he was at the start of the year.

As for Filewich, this is the 2nd game he's disappeared in. He and Micki DuPont have been carrying this team through the first round. Robert Nilsson's goal was a good example of the kind of stuff that Filewich either creates or puts in the net. It just wasn't there for him tonight.

Robert Nilsson was finally starting to show up. Earlier in this series, he had been plagued by turnovers. It looked as if he was counting on his talent being able to carry him past the Admirals, but talent alone isn't enough in the playoffs. Tonight, he finally worked hard and that goal was fine proof of it.

One player that wasn't mentioned was C Kyle Brodziak. Although he wasn't a big part of the scoresheet, he made some very smart plays. At one point, a Norfolk player came back one-on-one against Brodziak and Brodziak played textbook defense in pokechecking the puck to the corner and then getting it to start a counterattack. His hockey sense is off the charts for someone at this level.

Stephen Dixon has been stepping up big in big games all year. If Thorburn is let go and no more 3/4 liners are brought in, I would expect him to put on quite a showing in camp to force a tough decision on the 4th line center job.
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Postby Steve on Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:15 pm

Just got back from the game, had a great time. Sat in row one, behind the goalie where the Pens shot twice. Took my 4 year old daughter, thought it might be a long game when she said she wanted to go back to the hotel, 10 minutes into the first period LOL - but it turned out well and she watched most of the game.

This was my third year making the trip up from Maryland for a playoff game; I plan to make this an annual event. I really love the way the town embraces the Pens there – and you can’t beat sitting on the glass for 30 bucks.

I haven't followed the WB Pens as closely this year, so I don't know as much about them - but they played a very solid game yesterday - nothing spectacular, and they made few mistakes. Even when Norfolk tied the game at 2-2, I never really felt like the Pens were going to lose this game.

They really played well as a team, unlike the game I went to last year (losing to the Bears, 2-0 I think) – maybe because they didn’t send a bunch of guys down from the Pens this year.

One guy who did stand out for me in this game (in a good way) was Skolney. He stepped up at the right time to makes hits, and dropped back at the right time - good hits and good decisions...

We went to the mall near the arena this morning to look for Pens stuff, and saw Erik Christensen (95% sure it was him) walking around.
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Postby Henry Hank on Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:55 pm

We went to the mall near the arena this morning to look for Pens stuff, and saw Erik Christensen (95% sure it was him) walking around.


It probably was. He's in town and I guess was interviewed during one of the intermissions last night.
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Postby Geezer on Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:55 pm

To the guys who watched the game; did Lannon play solid or show anything either positive or negative?
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Postby eastonpensfan on Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:22 pm

Geezer wrote:To the guys who watched the game; did Lannon play solid or show anything either positive or negative?


He has played very well in the playoffs, but you won't notice him unless you are looking for him. When you can say that about a defensive d-man, you know he's doing well.

His foot speed doesn't look up to NHL standards, but his positioning is outstanding and he will take a hit in the corner if it means getting the puck free.
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Postby Steve on Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:13 pm

Henry Hank wrote:
We went to the mall near the arena this morning to look for Pens stuff, and saw Erik Christensen (95% sure it was him) walking around.


It probably was. He's in town and I guess was interviewed during one of the intermissions last night.


Yeah, I think you're correct. I found the Pens store afterward and the dude there mentioned it was probably him.

I should have asked him what he thought about Pallfy, Morozov and Kovy coming back to the Pens next year. ;)
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