Great thread, and great to see dudacek back!
My 2 cents:
- I think we are seeing a bit more carrying it in vs d-and-c or c-and-c than we saw earlier in the year -- probably because the forwards are getting used to each other after late injury-driven line reshuffling.
- I also think some guys (like Moulson) are not cut out for the carry-in. I've seen ROR carry it in quite a bit lately, and do it quite well.
- There are still a few times each game where the forward seems to have room to carry it in but instead opts for the d-and-c -- and I immediately picture Sabrespacers yelling at the TV and DDB.
- The D overall has been very sound, although Lehner saved their bacon a number of times vs Ottawa.
- Regarding the D system -- I've noticed quite a bit of strong 2-man play by the D pairings -- e.g. the puck will enter the zone, the nearest defenceman will take the man, and the other defenseman will scoop up the puck with good timing. It looks like good coaching to me.
- I thought we would get a solid year from Franson and so far that is what's happening.
- Kulikov has been a huge upgrade over Pysyk.
- Nelson isn't as good as Pysyk yet but there is a reasonably chance he'll get there by the end of this year. His instincts in the offensive zone are better than Pysyk's.
- Lehner got off to a slow start but has played very, very well since returning from the flu (maybe he had it prior to sitting out those games, and it hurt his play?). It's a bit early to anoint him as the franchise guy for the foreseeable future, and he still deposits way too many rebounds in the slot, but there is certainly reason for optimism.