Some thoughts from one last meaningless walk-through, this time against a Caps team playing most of its regulars.
- It was an interesting choice for Coach Q to come back with Corey Crawford for tonight's final exhibition tilt with the backup derby between Ray Emery and Alexander Salak still very much open for discussion. As the WGN crew alluded to, it seems that Q has made his mind up with what he's seen so far. Even though Salak has empirically outplayed Emery, for the sake of system depth, it says here that Razor starts the year with the big club. As for Crawford, overall during this preseason he's looked solid and figures to pick up where he left off last year.
- In spite of it not making a whole shitload of sense in the event that Patrick Sharp is healthy by Friday, it appears that Patrick Kane will start the year centering Marian Hossa and Andrew Brunette. The trio has flashes of dominance, but Kane in particular has been prone to taking some bad penalties on the back check, with another hook coming tonight. With Kane learning on the fly, and Andrew Brunette moving about as fast as Paul Konerko going first-to-third while on a fistful of ludes, it's going to be up to Marian Hossa to be the first man back on that unit. We know he's got the ability and the will to do so, but is that really the most efficient use of his energy?
- The first power play unit looked really solid, and contributed the lone Hawks goal. Sami Lepisto has got a pretty good amount of offensive upside and showed it on the advantage, but again got outworked in front on the second Washington goal, and Mathieu Perrault doesn't exactly inspire favorable comparisons to teammate Mike Knuble in terms of net presence. Fellow newcomer Steve Montador has been fighting it a little bit. Hopefully once the pairs get stabilized and the two of them are facing 4th line bums it'll look a little better, but it hasn't been a great camp for either.
- In a related story, Sean O'Donnell is still Sean O'Donnell.
- This was the most noticeable Marcus Kruger has been, but Brandon Pirri was still visibly better. So much for "the plan all along".
- Alex Semin took an embarrassing dive on the collision with Peter Leblanc, which isn't all that surprising. Doesn't stop it from being punkass move.
- Can we please be done with the same fucking techno song in every arena for the power play? This nonsense started with the Blues, the Capitals use it, and now the Hawks are guilty of it at the UC too. No one wants to copy anything that comes out of St. Louis except Waffle House, and even that didn't start there. This, this, or even this would be far more original and exponentially less annoying. That change will never happen, but that's not going to stop me from wanting it.
- Please let this be the last we see of John Scott for a very, very long time.