A little late with the recap for last nights game, very abbreviated because of it, but here we go.
- One thing I do want to mention before I get started. As you may already know Ray Whitney is headed to the IR and Reilly Smith has been called up from Austin to fill in. Possibility of top six minutes for Smith? Or is this a brief escape from purgatory for Morrow? We'll see later today what Gulutzan did with lines in the morning(afternoon) skate.
- All eyes were on Jamie Oleksiak as he made his NHL debut. I think it was a good debut for him. He didn't go out and try to wow anybody, just played a solid, steady game. He did have one turnover, but other than that he just went out and played within himself.
- The other rookie, Antoine Roussel made a rather more splashy debut. Check out his first NHL goal if you haven't seen it yet....
Not too shabby for a guy who's an agitator and PIM machine. He did post decent offensive numbers in the QMJHL, but that hasn't translated so far in the AHL. This season has been by far his best in the AHL, he's seventh on the Texas Stars with 19 points, so maybe he's just a late bloomer at the pro level.
- Brenden Dillon keeps looking better and more comfortable with each game. He picked up his first points in the NHL with a goal and a helper. For good measure he went ahead and completed the Gordie Howe hatty. That Howe hat-trick was the first by a Stars player since Brenden Morrow did it just over seven years ago, also against Phoenix. Just a thought out loud, why not slot the kid in on one of the PP units? Maybe he can provide that booming shot that Angus pointed out is missing on the back end.
- The PK units continue to get the job done, blanking the red-hot Yotes on all three power-plays. So far of the six pp goals allowed, five have come in just two games. If only they could play with that same aggression they use to kill penalties on the power-play and even strength.
That's all I've got at the moment. I should have posted this right after the game while everything was still fresh in my mind. Yesterday I was out of my normal routine all day, and when that happens I never find that groove.