On Friday night, for two periods the Amerks looked exactly like like a team that was dominated in consecutive appearances on home ice last weekend. By the end of the first two frames, the Amerks had officially been outscored 14 to 6 while on home ice. Fortunately, what followed was a magnificent 3rd period and an overtime win. Even though the Amerks heaped on 29 shots and a power play goal, the teams special teams issues are far from resolved as they only converted one of their six opportunities.
Sahir Gill played a solid game for the most part, and even kick started the comeback with an opening goal in the historic final period. However, there was certainly room for improvement so I’m going to rate his performance a B.
Offensively, I love what Gill brings to the table. He is a speedy winger who is strong on the puck and does an amazing job on the boards. I was shocked to see how good he was with the puck in traffic, especially under heavy pressure behind the net. Gill was consistently able to win the puck in dirty areas of the ice and get off clean passes to teammates. He plays every bit as hard and physical on the boards that Hudson Fasching should (and does it with a much slighter build). On the breakout, he also did a good job of stretching the defense and creating space for Moses and Porter to skate the puck.
Defensively, Gill was less consistent. He did a decent job in the forechecking game, but still wasn’t a game changer. And for the most part, only applied token pressure. Then again, major forechecking effort isn’t something that normally goes hand-in-hand with playing first line minutes. Inside his own blue line Gill was much more active. In fact he was all over the ice. It was great to see his high energy level, but positional discipline was an issue for him. The empty spots he created led to a lot of switching and chaos in front of Linus. It was a major factor in the first two goals that Laval scored.
Overall, I don’t think that Gill is exactly a first line talent, but he does enough things well to make him a fantastic complimentary piece. You could easily plug him into any spot on the roster, and I have now doubt that he will be successful. Going forward I would like to see more positional discipline out of him and a continuation of his ability to hit small windows shooting the puck.