Wednesday, November 26, 2008

6 In A Row!

Hershey won their sixth game in a row tonight with a 4-1 win against Binghamton in Hershey. It was a dominating performance from Hershey in every phase of the game even though the score doesn't indicate it.

The win is even more impressive when you consider that 4 Bears were called up to Washington this morning and 3 players called up from South Carolina in the last 24 hours played.

Sasha Pokulok, Michael Dubuc, and Maxime Lacroix joined Steve Pinozzotto as call ups that played tonight against the Senators. Pokulok was watched closely by many Bears fans as he has been a highly talked about player for a while now as a former high draft pick that hasn't played very well. He was OK tonight but he did make some bad errors but was fortunate to be saved on them by Simeon Varlamov in goal.

Dubuc was the most impressive of the 4 as he had some good opportunities and hustled every step of the way.

The other player that really stepped up was Oskar Osala who added his 14th and 15th goals of the season. Keith Aucoin (9) and Alexandre Giroux (13) also scored for Hershey.

It was a well played game as the Bears went 2 for 6 on the power play and didn't allow a power play goal on 6 opportunities. The referee, Chris Cozzan, let the players play most of the night as he only called the obvious penalties and generally kept everything moving.

A good game for the Bears. 6 in a row is the longest streak of the season. Hopefully they can make it 7 on Friday in Albany.

My Three Stars of the Game:
  1. Simeon Varlamov - 23 saves on 24 shots and some were very impressive
  2. Oskar Osala - 2 goals and an assist for a 3 point night
  3. Keith Aucoin - 1 goal (game winner) and 1 assist and a solid night of play

Grading the Performance:
  • Offense - B - Not too many shots. They seemed to be chasing a little bit tonight but they did get some opportunities. A 2 on none shorthanded at the end should have been converted by Giroux and Aucoin. I thought they were having some trouble getting into the zone and really working the puck once they got into the zone.
  • Defense - B+ - A very good night save a couple concentration lapses by a couple guys. The forwards were huge on the backcheck and the d-men had solid position and play all night. A couple times it seemed the players were standing around a bit but it didn't cost them.
  • Goaltending - A - The reason it didn't cost them was because Varlamov was huge in net again. He made some really big saves to keep this a game the Bears were firmly in control of. Very impressive tonight.
  • Power Play - A - I thought this unit didn't wonderfully tonight. 2 for 6 and a couple of those were really short power plays.
  • Penalty Kill - B+ - No goals allowed will get you a good grade. A couple times they were almost caught out of position because they were chasing a little bit.
  • Overall - B + - A very good night that was never really in any danger. A little more focus of getting the puck deep and working the cycle and I think this team would have added 2 more goals. The call ups did a solid job and will likely be called upon again on Friday night.



PYLrulz said...

I really am starting to believe in Varlomov now. That is for sure.

I can also agree with the grades on the offense and defense. The o and d did not seem to have the fire that would get a team over a good team, but luckly, it was enough to beat Bingo.

If they face teams like a Bridgeport or Hamilton or Portland, with the roster they have now, I dont know if they would do well, but if they can play just a bit better, then I will think things will be ok.

Capital Fanatic said...

Great to hear about Varlamov coming into his own. We might need him in Washington sooner rather than later. It's also great to see the depth in this organization, with both the Caps and Bears winning tonight despite the roster overhauls over the past 24 hours.