Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Quick Hits: Havlat, Grease, Khudobin & Aeros Goaltending

Dude. I gotta fucking learn to poke check. That's all I'm saying about drop-in tonight.


Still amused at the reaction to my last post. Apparently you're a bad person if you call out laziness in a player on the team you support. But a surprising number of people have agreed with me. It's just that the ones who didn't agree took it pretty personally.

If I had $1 for every time I saw negative stuff about MY favorite players... man. But usually what hurts the most is that you know deep down there's some truth there, but it's hard to accept in a player you adore.

Anybody who watches Havlat play for the Wild and can tell me honestly that they think he's working hard all shift, every shift... well.... I can tell you, you're watching through extremely rosy glasses.

He's a very good cherry picker. And I don't care what numbers you put up, I find it an extremely aggravating way to play hockey. At least he stays healthy, I guess. :\


Was talking to my pal @AWoodMacDonald up in Alberta on Twitter tonight about Darcy Kuemper, who is at the forefront of my mind after the Khudobin trade today pretty much assures that it will be Kuemps and Hackett in net for Houston next season.

It's barely March and I'm already giddy with anticipation about having him in Houston. I asked him what it is about the kid that makes him so good and he said it's "grease."

"He battles. He made a lot of greasy stops, that's what a lot of decent goalies don't do well. Technically sound they are above par, but don't have grease. TT has it, Roy had it, Hasek Had it, Price found it, Brust has it"

I love that word for the "it" that draws me to a goalie. It's some combo of confidence, calm, crazy, ballsy, smart, focused, relaxed... I dunno what all.

But I know this:

Grease is the word.

Now if I could just figure out how to get some of my own (see: Sentence #1 of this post).


And one last bit on the Khudobin trade, which made for such a busy afternoon/evening, I almost forgot to go to my game tonight.

I was surprised it happened, but only because I predicted it and my predictions never come true:

Of all the positions I could see the Wild trading, it's in goal because of having Endras available next year.
That's what I tweeted this morning. But of course, I long ago said that neither the Wild nor Anton were happily wed anymore and it was time for a divorce. For the Wild, it showed in the Endras signing. For Anton, it showed on the ice.

And I like the Bruins organization an awful lot. I think it's funny that I actually ended up at a game in Providence where he'll be playing. And I think he'll like it there. It's a nice barn that gets loud and can fill up since it's smaller. It's a fantastic change of scenery for him and I hope it re-lights his fire now that he's having to play "hungry" again and impress a whole new crowd of people.

I'm also excited to have Tordjman back. Love him or hate him, he's a string bean of excitement. San Antonio fans warn me that the thrill-a-minute style he has comes back to bite him enough that eventually I'll grow to dislike him. I'm hoping our time together is short and successful enough that this doesn't happen.

I'm interested to see how Hackett responds. Tordjman is the veteran but I'd love to see Hackett take ownership, fly without a net (so to speak), and mature into a pro even more now that Khudobin is gone. It's a tall order and if he doesn't succeed, it's okay. He's a young pup still.


Dee  March 1, 2011 at 9:54 AM  

The Hawks fans I sat next to last night wouldn't take Havlat back if he were free for the taking. And I tried really hard to convince them. I also tried getting them to take back Barker and Madden and they passed on both of them as well. They had very nice things to say about Madden but no so much about Barker. And they were ready to drop the gloves when I mentioned wanting Leddy back. At the end of the night they thanked us for taking Havlat off their hands, finding a good home for Madden, being suckers for giving up Leddy for Barker and oh yeah - the two points in regulation. What can I say, I'm a gracious host in my home arena.

GM  March 1, 2011 at 9:54 AM  

I can understand the critics of Havlat, if you only like "grinders" you'll never like Havlat, Kane, etc. You can grind away at both ends of the ice, but they're offensive role players, are what we watch them for, what they get paid, not how good they pokecheck, Don't miss the forest for the trees, you'll miss some sick skills looking for something else.

Ms. Conduct  March 1, 2011 at 10:19 AM  

If I were criticizing all offensive guys, I wouldn't single out Havlat. But you help make my point: Even among offensive guys, Havlat is appallingly lazy. Gaborik didn't even bother me like Havlat bothers me. He's like a Pouliot who can actually score, so he gets away with it.

I appreciate crazy skill. I've even grown to love Butch, who plays a high skilled, opportunistic game, but I've never caught him floating the way I do Havlat all the time.

And I'm not even just watching Havlat in order to hate on him. What happens is, I'm watching the game, I see someone halfassing it on a play while everyone else is hustling and it just sticks out and I go, "Geez, who's that passenger?" and EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. it's 24.

BHawkGirl  March 1, 2011 at 11:12 AM  

Are you kidding?? We laugh at your team. The fans you talked to are bitter because he didn't sign to stay on the Blackhawks. All the fans I know wanted him to stay and play with Hossa. He's the only reason I watch the Wild when they play the Blackhawks, most Blackhawks fans are shaking their heads why he would pick the WIld???I mean really?? .
Coach Q said Havlats the major force behind the Wild, the main strength of the team, after yesterday's game. Havlat picked a loser team with loser fans

Anonymous  March 1, 2011 at 12:05 PM  

I watched Havlat for years, so his style doesn't bother me at all, its actually what I like about him. He's always been called out for not being a "defensive" player, nothing new there.
All depends on what you're looking for, what some call "floating", I've always seen as a guy who is looking for what the next move is, how he can make a scoring opportunity, or set up a play. So calm down, relax and enjoy the show.

Ms. Conduct  March 1, 2011 at 12:20 PM  

Now, see THAT is a reasonable explanation for why someone might find him bearable, nay, enjoyable to watch.

And you know, I wonder if it's a Pouliot hangover. They do a lot of the same things when they're away from the puck (including that stupid jersey tuck), so when I see that style of "play" my brain just starts throwing all the old rage I used to have for that lazy bastard.

Anonymous  April 5, 2011 at 1:04 AM  

WOW, I was searching for something about Havlat's injury and came across this. Didn't realize there was so much vitriol about him in Minny. Makes me embarrased to be a Wild fan. Lets just hope you're not celebrating his injury.

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