A lot of folks said that the Boston game looked like a playoff game, and it got me thinking about the differences between regular season and playoff hockey. Here are some thoughts:
- Theodore has looked like a playoff goalie for two months now. I think part of the reason he doesn't get more respect is that he's a very "quiet" goalie when he's playing well. He's very efficient with his movements. You know it's a rough night for him when he's flopping around. But on good nights he just lets his positioning and technique do the work for him. Its a very different style from Jonny and Varlamov, who are much more athletic. Anyway, it was nice to see him finally get some recognition by way of a star in the Isles game.
- Chris Clark, Sergei Fedorov and Tom Poti are playoff players. I'd like to see them each play no more than 3 games out of every 4 from now on, because they've each had lingering type injuries in the last year. It would be better to have them healthy even if it means a lower playoff position than to get one of them badly hurt between now and then.
- Eric Fehr is having his "breaking into the league" season right now, just like Fleischmann last year and Green two years ago. He needs to play every night during the regular season so he can get that out of his system. And then he can watch the playoff games from the press box and get ready to contribute in future years. He's going to be a good one.
- Nylander has got to play every game between now and the playoffs. Because there are only three options: 1) he turns it on and becomes a key contributor, 2) he raises his trade value enough to be dealt for a fair return, or 3) he continues to play badly at both ends of the ice and earns his own seat in the press box come Spring. But the team isn't going to know what they've got with him unless he plays all year and works it out on the ice. Nylander and Laich had pretty good chemistry in the Isles game, so there are signs of hope.
- Steckel, Gordon and Bradley shouldn't take it badly if they are asked to sit a few games in the regular season. Their services will be required in the playoffs.