I got to catch the Baby Pens in Hershey tonight, and thought I'd share a few thoughts for those that like to follow the team but don't get to see them live.
-WBS dominated this game. Hershey's normally a vaunted team, and yeah they have some key injuries, but given that WBS is missing some key guys, they dictated the pace of the game well and frustrated Hershey almost all night.
-If he can stay healthy, Keven Veilleux will play on the top three lines in the NHL one day. His strength and ability to protect the puck down low are incredible, and he has a combo of power and finesse that is fun to watch. He's still a bit clumsy sometimes, but he was very impressive.
-Thiessen looked sharp. He could be the key to a playoff run for WBS.
-Vitale, much to my disappointment, was invisible. The fire he showed in his NHL stint was lacking.
-Ryan Craig was all over the ice, making plays.
-The defense was very good. Potter and Wagner get a lot of crap from WBS fans, but they did fine. I was very impressed by Carl Sneep, who played with a lot of poise for a rookie. I am not sure if he returned after getting brutally boarded. Bortuzzo was blocking shots like a madman and appeared to be quite banged up at several points.
-I would not be surprised to see any of Geoff Walker, Bryan Lerg, Zach Sill and Ben Street get invited to NHL camp next year. They are doing very well for unheralded guys. I think Sill's got some potential.
-Sheldon Souray is a bum. No surprise no one wanted him on re-entry waivers. He moves like a sloth and commits obstruction like crazy. The only thing he has going for him is his slapshot.
-Hershey fans are some of the most classless individuals I've ever heard. They were cheering as Sneep lay on the ice from a vicious boarding call, and were yelling "Get up Crosby," among other unmentionables. Almost makes me ashamed to say I enjoyed going to games at the old Hersheypark Arena growing up. Needless to say, it was nice to see them head for the exits quietly after Mormina scored the 3rd goal.
-I get a kick out of reading how WBS fans are angry that Shero and Co. didn't load them up enough at the deadline. They must fail to see that they have a very effective team. There's a lot of no-name guys doing yeoman's work for them, and they're pressing on without some big names. Sounds like another team I know...
-Mathieu Perrault is a little sphincter
GO BABY PENS