“OHL’s Top Defenders”
Defensemen usually don’t get the praise that they rightfully deserve. They
battle hard, game in and game out, and are seldom rewarded. That’s why I
have composed a list of (in my opinion) the top ten rearguards in the OHL
(in no particular order). I stress that this is my opinion. I know some
people won’t be happy that I have left out Guelph’s Kevin Dallman and his
points. But I feel that there is more to a defenseman than points. I have
“honourable mention” list of players that I thought of putting on, but
didn’t have the room for them. Enjoy, and pick apart my list all you want.
The first five are below, and the next five will be posted tomorrow.
Mark Popovic (6’1″ – 194lbs) Mark is one of the most skilled d-men in the
entire league. He is the unquestionable leader on the Majors hockey club.
After a terrific camp with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, he was sent back the
the “O” for more seasoning. He is rounding out his game very well. His
skating and his offensive skills are top notch. He is an excellent puck
mover that needs to work on gettingmore physical in front of his net. But
nonetheless, Mark plays a terrific all-around game.
Malcolm Hutt (6’0″ – 195lbs) Malcolm is probably the most underated
defenseman in the OHL. While he is in the top ten in d-man scoring, that
not his calling. Malcolm is an exceptional defensive player who makes a
great first pass. Two words used most often to describe Malcolm are
and “dependable”. He rare Read more »
Here are some notes on the Johnstown Chiefs, Richmond Renegades, Louisiana IceGators, Florida Everblades, Dayton Bombers, and the Pee Dee Pride.
Eric Schneider leads the ECHL in goals scored (9), and is tied for second in the league in power play goals (4).
Both of Chad Onufrechuk’s goals have come in the shootout.
The last time the Chiefs had a three game winning streak was 1/27/01-2/2/01.
Jeff Sullivan is ranked 6th on the Chiefs all-time penalty minute list with 547 PIM.
The Chiefs have not surrendered a goal in the two shootouts they have been in this season.
The Chiefs have only one power play goal in their last 15 chances.
The Chiefs are tied (Columbia) for the league lead with 26 major penalties.
Schneider is currently riding a eight game scoring streak. He has 8 goals and 3 assists during the eight games.
Four of the Chiefs five wins have come by one goal.
Tonight is the first game of a six game home stand.
If Rod Taylor plays tonight he will tie former Chief Bob Woods for most ECHL games played with 599. Taylor has missed the last two games.
Rookie Garrett Prosofsky leads the ‘Gades with 7 goals and 4 assists (11 PTS).
Richmond has been outshot in eight of their eleven games this season.
Former Washington Capital Brad Church was recalled earlier this week by the Portland Pirates (AHL).
The Renegades are 1-3-1 in their last five games. Read more »
Mathieu Darche(LW) – Unable to crack the Blue Jackets opening day roster, Mathieu Darche was quickly relocated to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL. Darche, who was called up for a 9 game stint last year, has not gone unnoticed by the Blue Jackets organization. After compiling 8 points in 9 games (6-2-8) for the Crunch, Darche received a call-up to the big club. In limited action with the Jackets, Darche has been held pointless in three games, with 4 PIM and a –3 rating.
Brad Moran(C) – One of Darche’s teammates on the Syracuse Crunch, Moran has not enjoyed the early season success he’d like to. After scoring 120 points only two seasons ago, Moran has had a tough time adapting to the professional level, recording just 34 points in 80 career AHL games, and only 4 points (2-2-4) in 9 games this season. After recording 3 consecutive 100+ point seasons in junior, the Jackets cannot be happy with the production of the former WHL Player Of The Year and Bob Clarke Trophy winner.
Martin Spanhel(RW) – Spanhel has split duty this season between the AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch and the NHL Jackets. Spanhel, who didn’t make the final cut in the preseason, managed 3 points (1-2-3) in 8 games before receiving his call-up with Darche. Unlike Darche, Spanhel has managed to tickle the twine, with one goal (1-0-1) in four games, while going – Read more »
Adam Henrich (LW, 6’4″, 220) Read more »
It has become a yearly tradition for the marketing
wizards at the NHL offices. No, I’m not talking about
the introduction of another series of extremely horrid
third jerseys by several of the member clubs. I’m
talking the fall release of fan selection ballot for
the mid-season All Star game. Every year the league
releases the ballot, and every year there is some
controversy surrounding those names available for
selection. Why should this year’s game be any
different? Well maybe because the controversy
surrounding this year’s ballot is such an obvious
blunder that it really makes the league look bad.
Normally the NHL has a leg to stand on when it comes
to omissions in the All Star ballot. There is a
surprise player or two who come out of the gate hot
and lead the league in several categories, or the
unknown rookie who makes a big splash and comes out of
no-where, or the aging veteran who has a career year
while he winds down towards retirement. All of these
situations are ones where the league office can be
excused for its short sightedness. But this year the
league really left itself open for criticism by
leaving Calgary Flame poster-boy, and rising star
player, Jarome Iginla, off the ballot.
When you scan the list of leading scorers a few names
jump out at you. Mark Parrish and his twelve goals in
thirteen games is a surprise. Iginla’s team mate
Craig Conroy, and his sixteen points in fourteen games
is a surprise. And perched up at the top of the
scoring race is a surprising Jarome Iginla.
Surprising? To be sitting a Read more »
Art Shoots the Breeze
In case you haven’t heard, Art Breeze is at it again. Breeze, Nathan Dempsey’s agent, has communicated a ‘play me in the NHL or trade me’ request to Leaf management. He’s gone so far to say on the FAN 590, a local radio station in Toronto that if he isn’t traded “he will play (in the NHL) next year and well beyond and come back to haunt some people.”
Without a doubt, there are many who would support Dempsey’s promotion to the ACC among followers of the Blue and White. In limited duty, he has impressed. But let’s be clear here, we are talking about ‘limited duty’. Ripping apart the blueliner’s game it’s fairly easy to add up the pluses and minuses. He’s a puckmoving defenseman who makes a snappy first pass, knows when to shoot, and can fill the role of powerplay quarterback on the second unit. On the downside is an utter lack of size as he is whisper thin at 6’0″ and 170 pounds. Despite good effort, this leaves him vulnerable in the corners and in front of the net.
Compare him to Tomas Kaberle, who is an inch taller, 8 pounds heavier, and five years younger. Kaberle fits the bill almost to a ‘T’ with the exception of a reluctance to shoot at this point in his career. However, more importantly that that is the age difference. Whereas Dempsey is always going to be 170 pounds, the Czech is still young enough to pack on some pounds and get up towards 200 where he will be better able to handle the action near the blue ice in his own zone. And for Dempsey’s value within the Leaf organization, Read more »
The following is the brief interview with Flames GM, Craig Button. This is the first of what will become a quarterly interview with Mr. Button asking him the most up to date questions confronting fans – particularily Flames fans today.
First of all I would like to report that the web site I write for Hockeysfuture has been tremendously surprised by the early success as a result of your trades. On behalf of the Flames fans on that site I would like to say “Thank-you for sticking to your guns and doing what you knew was right even though times were tough.”
I have a few questions I woudl like to ask you. Read more »
Line of Erat, Orszagh, Arkhipov
Prospects Martin Erat, Vladimir Orszagh, and Denis Arkhipov are
making some serious noise in the National Hockey League this year. Erat
leads the Nashville Predators in assists (8) and points (10). He is
also second among rookies in scoring in the NHL. Orszagh, the former
New York Islander, has 3 goals and 6 assists this season while playing
in 14 contests. Arkhipov has 3 goals and 3 assists while centering this
new, exciting line.
Martin Erat, 20, was the biggest surprise out of training camp this
season. The winger has given the
Predators a very nice offensive boost early on in the season. Vladimir
Orszagh, who played last season in the Swedish hockey league, has also
become an offensive force. Orszagh has shown very high intensity and is
not afraid to shoot the puck. Denis Arkhipov played 40 games last
season with Nashville, scoring 6 goals and 7 assists. However, this
year he is getting increased ice time, has moved from winger to the
center position and already has half the points that he had all of last
This line has thrown in almost one-third of the team’s offense and is
giving Nashville fans some exciting hockey to watch. Orszagh is
considered the veteran of line at 23. The
future of the Predators organization could be on the sticks of these
three young players. Orszagh is on pace for
53 points, Arkhipov is on pace for 33 points and Erat on pace for 60
The future captain of the Predators, Scotty Hart Read more »
The Calder Corner
Heatley: 4 Games, 2 Goals (3, 4) 1 Assist
Kovalchuk: 3 Games, 1 Goal (7), 1 Assist
Hamel: 3 Games, 1 Assist
Clark: 2 Games, 1 Goal
Bell: 4 Games, 1 Goal (3), 4 Assists
Willsie: 3 Games, 2 Goals (2,3)
Datsyuk: 4 Games, 1st NHL Goal, 1 Assist
Kuznetsov: 4 Games, 1 Assist
Huselius: 3 Games, 4 Goals (6,7,8,9)
Ference: 3 Games, 2 Assists
Bednar: 1 Game, 1 Assist
Schultz: 4 Games, 1 Assist Read more »
PLAYER OF THE WEEK : New Orleans left wing J.F. Houle
The 5-9 and 205-pound Houle set team records with five assists and seven points in the Brass’ 8-0 win over Pensacola on Thursday. The seven points are a season high for the ECHL while the five assists tied the ECHL season high. Houle added a goal and an assist in New Orleans’ 3-2 win at Jackson on Saturday. The Brass are 5-1-0 with Houle in the lineup. Houle leads New Orleans with nine assists and is second on the team with 13 points and four goals in six games. On behalf of J.F. Houle, a case of pucks will be donated to the New Orleans area youth hockey organization by InGlasco, the official puck supplier of the ECHL.
GOALIE OF THE WEEK : South Carolina’s Jody Lehman
Lehman was 2-0-0 with a 0.50 goals against average and a .980 save percentage in two games last week. He opened the week with 20 saves in a 2-0 win against Pee Dee and then made 29 saves in a 4-1 win over Augusta on Saturday, helping the Stingrays win their season-best fourth game in a row. Lehman is 3-0-1 with a 1.22 goals against average and a .958 save percentage in his last five games, and 5-2-2 with a 2.04 goals against average and a .930 save percentage in nine games.
NORTHERN CONFERENCE NOTES :
WHEELING : On Wednesday the Nailers traveled to Johnstown for their second road game of the season after opening the season in Atlantic City on October 12. Having lost in Atlantic City, the Nailers entered this game in search of their first road win of the season. Johnstown Read more »