With one scrimmage away, Wild Fans have gotten their first look at the newbies. Kind of. Well, some newbies, and some invitees. And more of the latter.
Kunin and Greenway, ok, we got a look at Luke Kunin and
Chad Jordan Greenway.
With only one NHL-hopeful in the lineups, making any kind of sweeping statements about who was good, bad, or in-between is unwise after 60 minutes of a running clock and no power plays.
But, sitting on fences and hedging bets is no fun, so let’s make some sweeping assumptions! But first, the rosters for each team:
With both Luke Kunin and Adam Vay (the only contracted goalie) Green team should have dominated the game. Yes, White had Carson Soucy and Jordan Greenway... irrelevant.
Ok, maybe not irrelevant, but really: a first round draft pick that has set twitter and scouts alight with excitement and the only goalie good enough to have a roster? I’d normally take that team every day of the week with no thought.
As it turns out, Green did win, but it was not, for my money, an especially convincing win. The 5-3 scoreline was harsh to the White team and flattering to the Green, particularly given the second half. Green had few great scoring opportunities, and the second period was dominated by White. Both goalies had to make big stops, including two consecutive diving grabs; one for each team.
White hit the goalpost several times, and easily could have had 3 or 4 goals in the second period. The real problem, however, was Green’s defense.
Green’s goaltenders, Adam Vay and Derick Baribeau, were impressive. Baribeau made a few gaffes and let White back in the game, but he also made a few very tricky stops. He did enough to preserve a win for his team, particularly given the poor play of his defense.
The lack of ability on the Green blue line featured in the first period as well; even during the first 15 minutes when Green was camped in the offensive zone, anytime White got down the ice they were dangerous. In fact, on White’s first break, there was only one defender for Green, and it was Luke Kunin.
Any pass White made across the goalmouth was untouched by Green (and, as it turns out, by White). Make no mistake: White needs to do a better job finishing their chances, but Green would have lost with slightly better luck for the White team or worse luck for their own.
Now, let’s talk about some individual players.
CAVEATS ABOUND: this was 60 minutes, viewed once. This won’t be every player, and these impressions should be taken with a healthy portion of salt.
Carson Soucy: One of the bright spots for White. He was maybe the best player on the ice, almost always in position, making smart plays with the puck, and using his size to his advantage. He got on the board with a beautiful shot to the far post.
Luke Kunin: Didn't stick out as much as I wanted him to. Kunin did score with a hard shot from a sharp angle, and was present on both sides of the ice, but didn’t stick out like Soucy. This could be because other players on Green were more to his level, while Soucy was clearly the best defenseman for White.
Jordan Greenway: God this kid is big. He’s mobile, strong, and smart with the puck as well. Some more development size-wise, and thinking a little faster, and I’ll be salivating to see him as a power forward.
Leon Brisedt: Brisedt got the first goal on the day, but I’m not sure I could have a worse impression of the kid. He has a good instinct to drive to the net, but he does that with or without the puck and regardless of what else is happening. Knowing virtually nothing about him, it seems like he’s used to being the best player on the team. Held the puck for too long, called for passes when he should have, and drifted without the puck, waiting for it to come to him. On his goal, his teammates buzzed and created the goal; it was already heading in when he smashed it home. So, credit to Brisedt for being at the goal to mop up, but that goal doesn’t happen without his teammates, and probably happens without him.
Ryan Valentini: Invisible for a good portion of the scrimmage, he turned it on in the second half. His agility allowed him to harry the other team, and could be a real asset if the rest of his game develops.
Marc Michaelis: I didn’t see much from Michaelis, but good lord the play I saw was magnificent. He had possession in the middle of the slot and fought off two defenders, kept possession, and fired a shot home.
Robert Adam Plant: This kid loves to fight on the boards. He didn’t often win, but that instinct is there. Now he’s just gotta develop. A lot.
Dmitry Sokolov: Injured. I wish the other Russian had been here #GhostfaceKirilla
Brady Boudreau: The subject of a lot of confusion throughout the day, and he wore sunglasses. But then they weren’t sunglasses, but they also looked like it, plus he was announced as being Ryan Edquist. More enigmatic than a Russian.
Remember, sports fans, there’s another scrimmage on Thursday, and most of the HW crew will be there- so head on out to the X and have some fun!