Four points on this weekend will go a long way to pumping up the team's confidence and gaining points towards that playoff berth they seem to actually crave this year. Going 4-0 at home to start the year will have the same effects. So will beating the last two Stanley Cup teams on consecutive nights. So will earning points in six of your first seven games. Okay, now I'm just making unrelated statements. On to my observations, add yours in the comments.
- I love Jaroslav Halak. This is the goalie we have needed for, well, ever. I know that each contest that he goes out and plays like this makes the Montreal Canadiens fans just a little bit crazier, and I think I love that too. What's a Lars Eller anyway? Halak's confident play is winning games and it is leaking into the collective conscious of the skaters. They can be more confident and can take more chances because they know any little mistake isn't going to end up in the back of the net.
- T.J. Oshie is letting everyone know that he wants to be a first line player. Yes, he has the skills to be a great checker and short handed guy, and his excellent forecheck is what created the scoring chance in overtime, but he now has points in six straight games, every one except the home opener. I've always thought he was going to be a great player for this team, but if he turns into a scorer too he could be one of the league greats.
- Alex Pietrangelo apparently flipped a switch somewhere near the end of training camp and he has been excellent ever since. He's playing like a guy who has been in the league for years, not a guy who just played his 25th career NHL game. I wore my new McClement jersey for the first time yesterday and I've been flirting with the idea of getting a Halak t-shirt (even though everyone knows goalies are straight nuts). Now I find myself looking at that No. 27 jersey hanging in the pro shop....
- The tandem of Eric Brewer and Barret Jackman, who still seem to be hated by people who are sitting near me, must be watching the same game as me and yet somehow aren't seeing the same things as me, have been playing very well. As noted in a FanPost earlier today, Brewer has been solid in all three zones. Sure both guys fumble the occasional puck, but name one player out there who doesn't. It's a rubber disk being fired around on ice, everyone fumbles it, Haters. If you're watching these games and being honest with yourself, you have to admit that both players have been good this year. Yes, yes you do.
- Davis Payne is clearly the right man for this job. The team is responding to him and he is clearly using the strengths of his players to build a game plan around their talents. This team is fast and slick with the puck and flexible in their gameplan. It's not unusual to see the entire formation rotate with the puck, even if that means a defender ends up down low and forward winds up on the point. It is fun to watch and it is definitely working.
- And, since according to some of our vocal readers and prolific emailers I'm not nearly negative enough about this team, here is one thing that I was really disappointed in during this game: The Funny Face Cam totally sucked. Fix it Blues!