Hudson Fasching continued his strong play on Wednesday by netting a goal in the 5-2 victory against the Senators. His work rate was excellent, but after watching him I feel he still has plenty of work to do before he can effectively play at the next level. I am going to rate his performance a B.
Offensively, Fasching was able to use his strengths to create chances. He drove the net exceptionally well for the duration of the night. It was that net drive that led to his goal. After Fasching made a nice cut to split defenders, Bailey threaded a fantastic backhand pass to Kennedy who centered it to Hudson for a tap in. He continued to work hard in front of net by setting up screens. His net front presence led to several rebound chances for him but he wasn’t able convert any.
His finishing was a weak point Wednesday. He had two dangerous opportunities in the slot that were wasted; the first was a shot wide and the other into the chest of the goalie. More importantly, he seemed outmatched physically. When trying to take on defenders he had a very difficult time getting past them. His hand speed and skills were impressive, but he didn’t play with enough quickness or power to complete his moves. Instead, after getting around his man, Hudson was promptly moved off the puck or beat to it by the next defender. His lack of physicality also led to issues during the breakout. When receiving the puck on the boards to exit the zone, he was knocked off his feet before making an outlet pass on multiple occasions. A player of his size needs to be able to stand his ground in those situations if he has any chance to be successful at the next level.
Defensively, Fasching’s work rate was able to make up for his physical struggles. He took very good angles into forechecking scenarios and used his active stick to generate several turnovers in the offensive zone. He also continued his fantastic work on the penalty kill. The partnership he has developed with Grant has been a major factor in Rochester’s success down the stretch. His aggression on the point made it very difficult to find open shooting lanes. Hudson was caught over pursuing once, but that’s been a rare sight this year.
Fasching missed a good portion of this year with a serious groin injury, but has been a pivotal cog since he has returned. I’m hoping after a healthy camp he can come back a stronger, faster player next year. If that is the case, I think he has potential to become an NHL front man. If not, he can still be a top player at the AHL level.