The Wolves have what seems like fewest viable prospects than they have in several years. Makes notes go very quick.
I always put these kind of notes together on a sheet of yellow paper after watching games, regardless of whether it goes directly into an article or simmers until the next opportunity. On the flight back from San Antonio, I lucked out and was upgraded to first class, and when I didn't like the way I had laid out the jersey numbers and crumpled up a sheet of paper, a hand appeared to dispose of it for me. Wow, that's service. Normally I just throw it towards the cat so she can bat at it.
One other item first: it's -3 degrees in Chicago right now, and that's before wind chill. I heart San Antonio.
8 Machacek - He got a lot of ice time since he was on the PP and PK. Goes to the net. His skill level isn't that of a top two line guy in the NHL. He can't dipsy doodle, but he hasn't stopped trying. He makes the most of what he has though, and it's those kind of guys who usually make it.
9 Holzapfel - Has skill, but the borderline second liner type. His ice time was not plentiful against San Antonio (Granato explained why which I'll put in the AHL update). Quick release on shots. His skating is very bow-legged and might benefit from some tweaking. He wouldn't help an NHL team yet. He's being sheltered from defensively-taxing situations, so it's hard to see how he'll get better at it that way.
20 Kaip - Plays on the PK and is precisely as expected, a very solid checker.
23 Stuart - He looked very good in Game 1, but had a bad game in 2. Took a penalty in the faceoff circle before the puck was even dropped by hooking Kolarik (who embellished).
25 Lewis - Looked good -- quick off the mark, physical and patient, but for crying out loud keep your stick on the ice. It's like he's playing lacrosse. Such a simple thing but it would increase his effectiveness dramatically. He might be a little over eager to jump into the play too.
28 Pospisil - Played on the fourth line and was nearly invisible when out. The only thing noticable was circling the net and centering to the front. Nothing came of it.
29 Sterling - Like Holzapfel, Sterling is being kept away from situations in which he might be a defensive liability, like defensive zone faceoffs. Still scoring opportunistically, the kind of goals that are harder to come by in the NHL because things don't break down as much.
32 Kulda - Looked very sharp in his first game back from injury. Good passes, good defense, hitting. He was probably the best defenseman in Game 2.