Monday, December 3, 2012

Galchenyuk scores, Sting win 3-2!

December 2nd, 2012

Sarnia Sting defeat Oshawa Generals 3-2

Alex Galchenyuk
- 1 goal (1st period)
- Even rating
- 3 turnovers (1-1st period, 2-3rd period)
- 1 takeaway (3rd period)
- 4-for-5 for face-offs (80.0%)
Clean win - won it back to the point (1st period)
Clean win - won it back to the point (2nd period)
Clean win - won it to winger (2nd period)
Struggle win - batted it away and knocked the puck off the linesmen, which ended up going to the point (3rd period)
Clean loss - puck went to opposing defenseman
Note: All face-offs we taken on the PP.
Time on ice
1st period: 9 shifts - 6:02 TOI
2nd period: 6 shifts - 5:00 TOI
3rd period: 8 shifts - 10:35 TOI
TOTALS: 23 shifts - 21:37 TOI
1st period: Galchenyuk got off to a pretty slow start in his first two shifts. He played well but his line was matched against the Jenner line, which meant a lot of defensive zone play. At some points, they had Galchenyuk's line pinned in their own end. In the first two minutes alone, Oshawa had registered six shots. Five minutes in though, it was Galchenyuk that put his team ahead 1-0, after taking a pass and one-timing it. After that, his line suffered more defensive zone play due to numerous turnovers at their own blue-line, including a pass attempt by Galchenyuk. For the remainder of the period, Gally worked the second wave of the PK unit as Reid Boucher took a few undisciplined penalties, forcing Sarnia to play shorthanded for most of the second half of the period. Galchenyuk had a harder time covering the passing lanes, something he did extremely effective the two nights before this game. He did put tons of pressure on the puck carrier though and took care of any chance of a point shot, which is something we've all grown accustomed to seeing. He also got to take a face-off and won, something Habs fans love to see.
2nd period: With a 3-0 lead, it felt as if Sarnia was sitting back a bit, with their foot half-way on the gas pedal. It was more of the same in the 1st, as the penalty box continued to welcome Sting players. For the most part, Galchenyuk continued doing great PK work on the second wave with Latta. Shortly after jumping on the ice to kill another penalty, Sabourin shortened the lead to two when he beat Anderson. Galchenyuk did not have much time to set up his positioning and Oshawa caught Sarnia on a line change. He also saw some time on the 4-on-4 and cruised into the slot with the puck, but had his stick tied up before he could get his shot off. Late in the second, Galchenyuk had the puck on his stick and an open net to shoot at, but missed wide due to the angle he was shooting from. Galchenyuk also took two more face-offs that period, winning them both.
3rd period: A complete reversal of the first 40 minutes, Galchenyuk's first two shifts of the final period were over two minutes each, as he played the PP. He got a chance to take two face-offs during that time and went 1-for-2, bringing his total for the night to 4-for-5, good for 80.0%. It was Boone Jenner that would find the back of the net though, as he scored to keep his scoring streak of five games alive. Galchenyuk, who was on the ice, fumbled the puck - as did Sarault - and unfortunately saw it land perfectly on Jenner's stick. With the score so close, coach Beaulieu leaned on his first line to not only keep the lead, but increase it as well. Galchenyuk had a perfect chance to do so when he fed Sarault from behind the net with a beautiful backhanded no-looker. Sarault was stopped. In the final few minutes, Oshawa pressed on and had the Galchenyuk line often pinned in their own end. Galchenyuk had a glorious chance to end the pressure when he had the puck on his stick and an open net to shoot at, but his shot was blocked with a stick.
Final word
Definitely a tougher game for Sarnia, prior to the last two games, but they held their own. Galchenyuk may not have been the beast of a point-getter as we've seen him before, but I believe we saw a lot of good out of him, in terms of other aspects of his game. For one, Habs fans have been begging to see Galchenyuk take more face-offs. He took five and won four, so that is a great positive. I need to note though, Galchenyuk may have taken some face-offs but when he did, he immediately converted back to his wing position. Perhaps coach Beaulieu doesn't want to give full back-checking responsibilities to Galchenyuk because of his knee injury from last season. I also enjoyed watching his defensive side come out, especially while playing the neutral zone trap. He pressured the puck carrier at all times, staying side-by-side and using his body along the boards. In all, it was a solid effort for Galchenyuk, more defensively than offensively.

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