The positive first.....you know, because I'm such an optimistic kind of guy.....
Our powerplay was terrific. The Sedins are starting the season off in great form and are a continual threat.
Hodgson. I really liked what I saw from him tonight. He's skating faster and with more strength this year, he's got great vision and some really deft hands, he's shooting and getting it through to the net, and creating openings in the defense with his puck control, unfortunately he needs a couple of linemates that read his freestyle thinking more intuitively, Higgins is a smart player and I'm sure he'll gel with CoHo given a bit more time. I also was encouraged by the report that he may move to the wing and showed him practicing with Kesler (I think that's what I saw, PVR was jumping around alot tonight and that was one of the times).
Our forecheck was solid, we forced some good turnovers and made Philadelphia scramble a fair bit.
Our offense in general was good, if not for several posts and a crossbar (I think) that game has a different outcome, even allowing for the post that bailed us out at one point. Philly came in having allowed only a single goal so far this year, we potted 4 on a night where we really weren't at our best, and only showed up for around 20 minutes all told. This team can score, and they can do it almost at will when they get going.
Now for the less than positive.....
Our defensive coverage, not terrible, but not exactly rock solid.
Our PK, average at best.
Our coach, Luongo should have been done on the 4th goal. We battled to within one 3 times, and he couldn't close the door, we even tied it, and he gave up the winning goal less than a minute later. Even giving him a bye on the first and second goals, it was obvious the way this one started that it was not going to be Roberto's night in net. Call a spade a spade and quit giving up 2 points because you want to give your prize stallion a chance at redeeming himself.
Goaltending. Easily the worst part about this game. What has everyone been talking about in regards to Luongo of late? His ability to lock it down for the team when they need him to make "that save" to steal the game.....or at least give them the chance to snag a point. He couldn't do it. Granted there were 2 great shots that beat him tonight, but hey, the great goalies (you know the one's making $10M a year) find a way to stop at least one of those. He looked average on every goal tonight. Why he's doing this lay down and take away the bottom of the ice almost every time the puck gets in close is a mystery because it's not working. He doesn't move side to side with any kind of purpose or urgency. He makes terrible decisions with the puck (nothing new here). He's playing deep in his net but dropping into a butterfly that is more appropriate for a goalie who is playing a foot out in front of his crease and pucks are sneaking by him towards the low corners (fortunately tonight they all just missed). It was just pathetic to watch again tonight.
The positive does out-weigh the negative tonight though, even in the face of losing a game where had we put Schneider in after the 3rd goal we probably would have walked away with 2 points. Our team showed no sense of panic, we controlled the play when we wanted to. I'd also like to mention that Ballard played a better than average game, and his skating and willingness and ability to rush the puck and push the play through the neutral zone is really nice to see, hopefully he can get settled into a role that doesn't have him in AV's bad books. His defensive zone coverage was a bit loose tonight, but so was most of the team's.