Simeon Varlamov made 30 saves to earn his second career shutout while Steve Pinnizzotto (2nd of the season) and Mathieu Perrault (5th) scored for the Bears.
Varly looked very good earning his first shutout since November 7 against Albany. He was always in position and played every angle perfectly. He seemed a little less aggressive this afternoon than usual. He wasn't found out of position on many shots like he can at times.
The one thing Bruce Boudreau had said was that he needed to be a little less active in net to be in Washington permanently. It would seem that Varly is taking that to heart and is working on that cause that's how he played today.
Fortunately for the Bears, Springfield seemed less enthused with the game than the Bears or Hershey probably would have lost. They now have a little time off before heading to Providence for Friday night. Hopefully they can find some motivation so they are ready to go for that game.
Many times today the players seemed to get caught flat footed and standing around which against a good team might have cost them. But the Falcons weren't interested in playing this game so Hershey got away with it.
My Three Stars of the Game:
- Simeon Varlamov - many of his 30 saves were very good
- Keith Aucoin - he was all over the ice doing everything for the team
- Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers - kept his team in this game the whole time
Grading the Performance:
- Offense - C+ - Not the most impressive performance of the season from this group. The group as a whole had opportunities that they wasted because of trying to either make one to many passes or not making a pass. I know that sounds like I expect perfection but some players (Aucoin and Perrault) need to shoot more and stop always looking to make the extra pass and some others (Osala and Wilson) need to look for the open guy a little more.
- Defense - B+ - Solid. Nothing flashy which is good. A couple of missteps during the game but nothing that isn't forgive able. A couple times I saw defensemen standing in front of Varly instead of getting the player with the puck behind the net. That seemed odd considering there were no players in front of the goal. Nothing major though.
- Goaltending - A - Many good saves from Varly today. He was in position for every single shot that came at him. His rebound control was also very good. He seemed a bit more focused and determined today.
- Power Play - B - 1 for 5 isn't bad but they should have had more. They had a 5 on 3 for over a minute and got like 1 shot on net. When you have those opportunities you need to convert more often.
- Penalty Kill - A - Very good job today. I don't think the Falcons had any even decent look while on the power play. They seemed a little extra aggressive today which wasn't bad today but might be costly some other time.
- Overall - B - A good game all around but definitely room for improvement. I thought there was a lot of standing around and the Bears escaped with a victory against a team that is struggling right now. The same effort WILL NOT work Friday in Providence.
LET'S GO BEARS!!!