In fact, Hershey scored before we even got to the arena...The roads were covered in snow and I was driving a car with literally no traction. But we made it to the Barn a minute or two after Maxime Lacroix scored (5 minutes into the first period).
For only $18 (with the Giant Bonus Card discount...different than the Giant stores in the D.C. area) we got seats in the fourth row.
The Bears played okay for the most part, but it was a sloppy game and we were a little disappointed with only four goals scored. But, on to what I noticed in the game:
- Chris Bourque looked like the best player on the ice. He was his usually self, hustling up and down the ice, skating by 'D' men with ease. Although he did not record a point, C-Bo fired a game-high 7 shots on goal.
- As I was watching the game, I was thinking to myself who would be called up if another Cap went down. I narrowed it down to Alexandre Giroux and....Alexandre Giroux. Now I didn't actually expect him to be called-up, it was just a self-imposed hypothetical question. Giroux has prior NHL experience and looked great last night.
- The Oskar Osala-Francois Bouchard- Mathieu Perrault line did not disappoint. In the second period, Osala relayed the puck to Perrault who was on a 2 on 1 with Bouchard. Perry froze the goalie and saucered it to Bouchard who had the whole net to score. Definitley the prettiest goal of the night, Perry, Osala, and Bouchard now rank 3rd, 4th, and 6th in rookie points.
- Other than Perrault, my favorite player in the Capitals system has got to be Josh Godfrey. I was lucky enough to watch him this summer in Arlington, and with all the injuries occuring to the Caps, this has given Josh to opportunity to play at the AHL level. Josh has got a helluva slapshot and a great hockey IQ to boot. Unfortunately Godfrey had a target on his back for the last 15 minutes of the 3rd period after "late" hit on Jordan Owens. Owens passed to Tommy Pyatt --younger brother of Taylor Pyatt-- who one-timed the puck past Simeon Varlamov who never saw it. Owens stayed down for a few minutes after the big hit, while Hartford players got in the face of Godfrey...Josh eventually left with a shoulder injury.
Artem Anisimov- A towering figure at 6'4", 205, he picked up a garbage goal in the second period. I was somewhat disappointed with his performance, because of my high expectations. He needs to work on his skating if he wants to make it to the next level. He only registered 2 shots, and I think he just had an off-game. I think he's good enough to play in the NHL, but he's still pretty raw. This is his second season in North America, and he could use one more after this one. Expect to see him in the NHL around 2010.
P.A. Parenteau- This guy is going to be a solid player in the NHL one day. As I mentioned earlier, injuries hindered the start of his career. Parenteau has great patience and great eyes. On the power play, P.A. likes to have the puck on his stick and usuallly finds the open man. He reminds me of Nicklas Backstrom in the sense that he is a pass-first kind of player, but if he just shot it more, he would be fabulous...Don't get me wrong, Pierre-Alexandre had 34 goals last year, but he has the potential for 40 or 45 goals this year if he decides to shoot more often.
Bobby Sanguinetti- Here's a player who can make the jump to the NHL as soon as a player gets injured or struggles. Sanguinetti is an offensive threat on the blue line and has great skating abilites for his 6'1" frame. He needs to add more weight (178, 183 depending on where you look) and use his body more. Bobby had 29 goals (in 61 games) last season for Brambleton of the OHL, and this is his first full year in the AHL. Sanguinetti is New York's second best prospect and I can't wait to see him play in the NHL.