|I put Savvy up here because I don't have a pic of Connauton|
Tonight was a classic example. Our guys didn't come out flying, Minnesota carried the play for much of the first two periods, but only had one goal to show for it, thanks to Bobrovsky.
Late in the second period, Kevin Connauton grew weary of it all, and started driving the offensive play. Our forwards had started getting the puck deep better in the latter half of the second period. While some of our D-men were having a tendency to be somewhat delicate with the puck, Connauton began skating and shooting aggressively. Well done lad. Well done indeed!
Ultimately Connauton was rewarded in the most unlikely manner, a puck flung at the net on a spin around finding the top corner. It seems like a fluke, but I would argue that he dialed in a notion of where the net was on a series of very good shots he took before that goal. Later in the third period, he fed Savard with a beauty of a pass that Savard one-timed into the net. A beautiful set up by Connauton. Huge props to Jarmo and the pro scouting staff for identifying this player, allowing us to claim him off waivers. He is playing with confidence and abandon, that is serving him well, and is helping his team win.
There are a lot of things I liked about tonight's game, even though we didn't play particularly well in the first half of the game. First, the win get's us to .500, effectively erasing a horrifying start. What they earn from here, is what they earn from here. Secondly, it was a win in front a full barn. Last year, for a lot of the year, in important games in front of big crowds at home (albeit often liberally spiced with fans from the loyal opposition), we tended to lose those games. That only really changed in the playoffs. This year, we have been winning those big home games, Pittsburgh, Tampa, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, all teams near the top of the standings. This is a step forward for our group, in spite of the dire injury circumstances, and the players deserve full marks for their fortitude.
It's after midnight, and I just hit the wall. I'm traveling tomorrow, so must bail. There's more I want to add to the paragraph above, but it's gone. From all of us here at the Dark Blue Jacket, and at DKM Hockey, we wish you a happy and healthy 2015. Let's hope for playoffs, AND a high draft pick. Let's settle for one of them. And above all....