The first 10 minutes of each period were fairly subdued but by the last 10 minutes the juices were flowing.
BMo- As Laich said, BMo is a very shifty player and I think he will fit right into this system. He has great vision, better acceleration than I would have thought given his age and injuries, and makes very quick- and creative- decisions with the puck. I know there are some who would prefer BMo centering Ovi but he and Semin really had it going on today. They had great understanding all day and had Semin been more focused he would have had 2 or 3. That was a great combination- very very encouraging. BMo had one particularly nice saucer pass to Semin in traffic that was a sight to behold. Semin didn't finish and ran over Neuvy but it was a beautiful play. BMo did get beaten regularly by Stecks in the dot- but then again who doesn't?
Aucoin > Bourque. If there is only one spot available and it comes down to Keith or Chris, Aucoin would be my choice. He is a little bigger and stronger on the puck, skates just as well, has a longer reach and just plays a more complete game. I had these same thoughts when I saw Aucoin at the end of last year, especially in the game against the Thrashers. I know the Rats have Bourque 7 spots ahead of Aucoin on The List but that is a mistake IMO. If I can only have one, I choose Aucoin.
Angus (or BabyGus or whatever we're calling him- have we decided on a nickname?) was better than he has been and even scored a goal. He looked ready for Hershey, which is an improvement.
Green looked like Green should look. 'Nuff said.
Breuss is just a dick on the ice (in a good way) and I hope to see him in a Caps uniform in the future. He seems incapable of playing at half speed or in scrimmage mode and was hitting anyone he could. He kept his feet moving, drew a penalty and bounced right up after Cassavant almost decapitated him with a hard elbow to the head. The Caps really should sign him up.
And last but not least was Circles. While I am sure that Jeff George also looked good during practice, Nyls was good today I thought. I could tell that he has bulked up but he seemed quicker than I remember. He had made some very nice passes, was creative and seemed engaged. He also had some moments where he was not all there but so did most of the Vets. Shwedy and I just disagree. I saw today the skills that got him that contract.
But he is such an odd guy. During the first intermission, the team was in the locker room talking to the coach and Nyls was still sitting on the bench all by himself and occasionally talking to one of the trainers. I know his rep is that he is distant and aloof but that was just odd.
I'll be there tomorrow if anyone wants to meet up.