When they recalled Rob Schremp I was of course excited; but also a picture of what I thought a successful game for him would entail and the type of contribution he would bring to the team. Thought he'd have games where the things we remembered were big plays; flashy plays to make things happen and missed opportunities for other players.
Reality has been very different than that; and shows just how far Rob has come even since camp.
What's been most noticeable about his game has been a lot of little things:
- Being on the correct defensive side of the puck.
- Hustling back to catch attackers and clear pucks from below the goal line that could create chances.
- Batting the puck out of the air probably 12 times in 2 games; which might not seem important but it can certainly either save the team from a rush or create a chance. Teammate of mine generated probably 20 goals one year on this skill of his.
- Finishing checks. He's making contact with people; which is really all you need to do to slow people up and wear them down just a little.
- Getting to loose pucks and using his reach/hands to do something with them.
- Making safe dumps when necessary.
- Still being confident enough to bust a sick move when he gets a chance.
- Finding the open areas more effectively than any forward this side of Ales Hemsky at the moment.
That's a whole lot of positives that add up to a guy who certainly looks like he's ready to make a contribution to this team. The nervousness is largely gone, the simple plays are there, and the confidence has returned.
I hope he keeps it up as long as possible of course. The next test will be how he (and the coaching staff) respond after a few iffy shift and/or a subpar game. Hopefully we don't need to talk about that for a while.
As for me; I'm going to head out and order myself a #88 jersey this weekend as a Christmas present for me. I've been waiting for an excuse and now I have it :-)