Just filed my notebook for tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin. Here are a few tidbits from the weekend that didn’t make it …
• Every line factored into the scoring in both games. The Jordan Morrison-Shawn Collymore-Chaz Johnson line wasn’t on the ice for a goal Saturday until Johnson’s overtime winner (although Collymore was off during the 4-on-4), but Karl Taylor was pleased with their play and suggested that the balanced scoring will continue.
“They played hard,” Taylor said. “Just because they don’t get points – we have three lines. One of the things we want to do this year is have everybody going through the power play. We feel with our depth, we don’t have to just have two units. We want all nine forwards rolling on it, getting a look. That’s why our scoring is spread out, because everybody’s got an opportunity.
“The emotion may have got (Johnson) going, but I thought he was playing well up to that point, even though that line didn’t produce anything until the last play.”
• In the second period Saturday, Eric Doyle did something we haven’t seen a lot of Reign defensemen do every game – jump up to join an odd-man rush and score a goal.
Taylor wants to see it more often.
“That’s been a big push for us through training camp – we want our D activated and joining the rush,” he said. “We need to score more this year. It’s been a challenge for us the first two years, scoring, and one of the ways you can do that is get your D to be part of your offense. Last year, we had two or three D in the top five in scoring for us. They’ve always been a part of it based on how we run our power play, but we really want to see them activate.”
With the occasional exception of Andrew Martens, most Reign defensemen have been content to get their scoring opportunities by shooting from a distance. This season, Taylor thinks he has a few more speedskaters.
“Eric’s a guy that’s going to join the rush. So is Reggie (Traccitto) and so is David (Walker). We expect everybody to do it. Even Chad (Starling), who’s a stay-at-home D-man, has to join the rush. That’s his responsibility to put pressure on the other team. it’s an uncomfortable feeling for the coach when you see the D activating like that. You want to forecheck, but you don’t want to get caught underneath the rush. It doesn’t feel good. I don’t like it when I coach against it, that’s one of the reasons I want to instill it.”
• Martin Jones hasn’t yet been tested in a shootout at the professional level, but he said his junior career prepared him for a penalty shot Saturday. Stockton was up 4-3 at 5:38 when David Walker hooked the Thunder’s Chris D’Alvise from behind. Jones won the duel, a critical sequence that allowed the Reign to tie the game later and send it to overtime.
“I kind of like the shootout. I had a bit of it in the (WHL). The save was a big point in the game.”
• The Reign outshot the Thunder 30-27 on Friday and 32-20 on Saturday.
• The Reign finished the weekend 3-for-9 on the power play and 7-for-9 on the penalty kill.