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Teal & White Game Observations

Are you looking for deep technical analysis from today's Teal & White spectacular at HP Pavilion? Um...well, I can't really deliver that. I can, however, offer up a few observations that may or may not prove to be insightful. (I only stayed for the first half and I spent most of the time chatting rather than paying close attention. So perhaps the second half was more exciting than the first.)

-As usual, the Teal & White scrimmage wasn't exactly thrilling. The lines hadn't changed much from previous scrimmages except Torrey Mitchell's line now featured Tomas Plihal.

-Dan Rusanowsky announced the lineup for team teal. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell him that Jeremy Roenick wasn't in the building. Since the squads were lined up in numerical order, he could have simply looked up and realized that JR wasn't there. Instead, the jumbotron panned over to Ryane Clowe and Rusanowsky babbled on about how great JR was in the Calgary series. Clowe seemed to have a good laugh about it.

-Dan Boyle offered up a good look at his hockey instincts and skating abilities. He tried to lead the rush a few times and was able to maneuver through pairs of opposing players, even in the offensive zone.

-The active defense was extremely noticable. During power plays, the squads would shift into an umbrella formation with one defenseman down low. Also, defensemen joined the rush quite often, especially Christian Ehrhoff.

-I'm not sure if it means anything but there seemed to be an extra amount of players attempting one-timers. This is a good sign, as last year's squad played Hot Potato more often than actually firing the puck off. Ehrhoff in particular seemed eager to shoot; however, rather than his fast-and-inaccurate slap shot, Ehrhoff seemed to favor a quick snap shot.

-It's hard to judge the line of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Ryane Clowe right now. They had their moments and Marleau tried to use his speed from time to time, but they didn't necessarily wow me. However, the combination of Joe Pavelski and Milan Michalek looked sharp, though Jonathan Cheechoo looked a little lost out there.

-Jeff Friesen had one of the loudest ovations during the player introductions, and he looked genuinely appreciative of the warm welcome. Besides the nostalgia factor, Friesen looked good out there. He won't be scoring 30 goals (or even 20) but I think he can earn a slot as an effective and speedy defensive forward.

-Prospect Logan Couture probably won't be around this season but for his part, he performed well enough on the penalty kill to show that he won't be a defensive slacker like some high-drafted forwards.