Clouston a But(ler) Man?


Bobby Butler did what nobody expected him to do, earn ice time.  Many went into this game thinking Bobby Butler’s dressing for this game was the equivalent of a signing bonus, and Clouston would begrudgingly throw the kid a shift or two, if he had to, I guess.

But lo and behold, the kid had game.  Sure, he wasn’t a phenom, he didn’t score, he didn’t throw any devastating checks, but the kid not only held his own, he read the play, put himself in positions to score, created scoring opportunities, and with solid effort, drew an important penalty late in the game.  All of this with ZERO professional experience, and virtually no practice time.  If he had twirled around on one shift, and left the ice even, it would have been a success, but to be given shifts, late in a trailing game, at home…this is a borderline miracle.

I have no idea if we just witnessed the best game Butler will ever play in the NHL, even maybe his last, but I for one was wholly impressed, and I suspect the same could be said for Clouston.

Bobby, here’s a little advice, spend the summer in Ottawa, go see Tony, bend the ear of Mike and Alfie, and come to camp ready to play…there’s 900k in it for you, and I’m not sure about you, but that’ll probably be the best money a recent UNH grad will make, 3.2 GPA or not!

As for the game itself, that was probably the best post season tune up this squad has had yet, tight checking, restricted officiating, and never quit shot blocking by the opposition.  Carolina played very much as NJ will, and like NJ, hung in as a result of good defense and opportunistic scoring.  The Sens won the regulation game everywhere but the scoreboard, and in the post season, moral victories aren’t worth a damn.  Hopefully the Sens learned to trust their game, and to not lose focus, even for a shift, or that’ll be the shift that allows the winning goal against.

Karlsson was magic out there, once again, but not perfect, and I’m really hoping Clouston can rein him in just a bit defensively, as he seems to be getting a little over extended, and in the post season, that’ll cost the team.  The kid has all the confidence in the world, and I love that, but it can guile him into trying to do too much if he’s not careful.  Coach him Cory…like you need me to say it!

Elliott was good, if not great.  2 of the 3 goals were probably deflections, and the third was dumb luck.  That being said, Els got a bit scrambly, but always managed to  come up with the puck.  All in all a very good game, and what I hope to see on a regular basis from Elliott going forward, let’s hope he’s in a zone.  No denying he’s earning his starts, and #1 status.

Spezza, what can I say, the guy has been this teams best player down the stretch, even when the team was struggling.  Is it confidence, line mates, his health, or all of the above?  Who knows, and frankly, who cares, just so long as he keeps it up.  You’re turning heads Jason, in all the right ways.

Once again Kovy drifts around, then shows up to light the lamp, telling his detractors to get stuffed.  Classic.

Post season locked up…nice, very, very nice.

GN

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7 Responses to “Clouston a But(ler) Man?”

  1. Woozle man Says:

    playoffs, woo!

  2. What a game. There were a couple of moments where I wanted to drown Karlsson in the pond out back (except that I don’t have a pond) and there were a number of moments (especially that 2nd goal) where I wanted to adopt him.

    Spezza was amazing too. Foligno is looking a little more comfortable and got some OT ice as I recall, or was it late 3rd period. Just so much more positive than last year.

  3. GN:

    “Erik” is learning every shift, don’t over coach him, like the power play you have to take chances and stay up and in to score. Kelly was the designated “Centerman Helper” and did not have a particularly good game in his own end nor did Karlsson…Sutton is talkin’ to him every shift…this is good because then Andy feels partially responsible for what’s going on!

  4. What I find interesting is the contract terms between bozak and butler (from capgeek.com):

    Bozak:
    SEASON TYPE AHL SALARY SALARY BONUSES CAP HIT
    2009-2010 TWO-WAY $65,000 $875,000 $2,850,000 $3,725,000
    2010-2011 TWO-WAY $65,000 $875,000 $2,850,000 $3,725,000

    Butler:
    2009-2010 TWO-WAY $67,500 $900,000 — $900,000
    2010-2011 TWO-WAY $67,500 $900,000 — $900,000

    The two contracts are close. The Bozak one though is ladden with bonuses leading to an inflated cap hit ..

    thoughts ?
    Sam

  5. GN I posted comparing the contracts for Butler and Bozak. somehow that comment never made it . The point being that the two contract are similar except that for Bozak it is laden with performance bonuses making the cap hit v. high.

  6. Foligno Winchester and Butler had some good chemistry, whether that means we’ll see Butler much again before playoffs is up in the air, but it bodes well for camp if he comes in good shape. Needs to add meat over the summer. If he could turn into a Winchester type that can score …

    Kovy waits in the weeds sometimes and strikes a killer blow then retreats. As long as he gets the odd playoff OT goal or contributes here and there with a timely assist he won’t be the goat. He has nearly a point per game in the playoffs over his career. Only Alfie and Spezza are in that club on this team so he’ll be needed.

    It’s scary how good Karlsson can and likely will be. I see the next Brian Rafalski …

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