In a league where offensive stars like Jason Spezza, Derek Roy, Patrick
O’Sullivan, Stephen Weiss, Nate Robinson, and Rick Nash are the most
recognized. There are players known as the “grinders” who open up the
for these skill players to score. They are the players that drive to the
net, throw the hits, and the type of players that always give their all,
you always want them out on the ice during the crucial moments of a tight game. Here are (in my opinion) the best grinders in the “O” in no particular order:
Daniel Paille (6’0″ – 184lbs) In only his second year in the league,
Guelph’s Danny Paille has lived up to the expectations put on him when he
was drafted 6th overall in the 2000 OHL draft. Paille is one of those
players who you need on your team. Paille, 17, fits a lot of grit and
leadership into his 6’0″, 184lbs frame. The leadership skills he shows on a
nightly basis, may just land him the “C” next year, as this years captain Morgan McCormick moves on. Paille’s main attributes are his work along the
boards, his 100% a shift work ethic, and his ability to take the
to score goals. When I watch Paille play, he really reminds me of a young
Adam Deadmarsh. He has a great balance of skill and grit, he also shows a
lot of character off the ice. Look for him to be selected during the first
two rounds of the 2002 NHL entry draft.
Kris Vernarsky (6’2″ – 207lbs) Kris is a veteran of the Ontario Hockey
League, in this, his fourth season. His offensive ability is beginning to
show a little more than it has in t Read more »
Springfield, Ma. The U-Mass Minuteman took on the U-Conn Huskies Sunday at the Springfield Civic Center. The Minuteman jumped out to a 3-0 start before the Huskies scored late in the second period. The two teams each played a hard fought third period with the Minuteman sneaking by with a 6-5 win.
The U-Mass Minutemen dominated the first period, but U-Conn Sophomore goalie Artie Imbriano only let one goal by him. Minutemen Freshman Sean Regan scored at the 4:25 mark of the period. U-Mass had the only penalty when senior Martin Miljko was called for interference.
U-Mass continued the domination they had in the first period scoring three more goals in the second period, including two on the power play. The Minutemen scored the first goal of the period by Miljko only 10 seconds into a power play. U-Conn Senior Trent Landry was spending time in the penalty box for hooking. Miljko picked up his second goal of the game when he lit the lamp at the 14:29 mark. The Minutemen added to their lead when Freshman Greg Mauldin scored 3:03 later, while the Minutemen were on a power play. At the time of the goal U-Conn Senior Mike Boylon was in the penalty box for cross checking. U-Conn finally beat U-Mass Senior goaltender Mike Johnson. The U-Conn goal was scored when Boylon made up for his penalty, which led to the fourth U-Mass goal.
The third period started with a goaltender change. The U-Mass Minutemen put Freshman Tim Warner in the net. U-Conn took advantage of the goalie change and Boylon scored his second goal of the game. U-Mass put a three go Read more »
Patrick DesRochers is off to a shaky start this year. His statistics look so poor mostly due to an 8-4 loss he suffered a couple of weeks ago when he allowed all eight goals on 30 shots. He played decent in both games this weekend, losing in Worcester (4-2 with 30 saves) and winning against Manchester (5-4 with 28 saves).
He’s done a better job in controlling rebounds this season. Being a butterfly style goalie, he’s down on the ice a lot, so the majority of goals he allow are top shelf. He does not play the puck very well and needs to stay in the net more often until he improves on that. DesRochers certainly doesn’t look like a former first-round pick and has a long way to go if he plans on making it to the NHL.
Kirill Safronov is still very sound defensively, leading the team with a plus-minus rating of +9. The second-year professional leads all defensemen on the team in scoring with seven points (one goal, six assists). Safronov has seen a lot of time on the power play this season. Safronov has been called up with the Coyotes but hasn’t played in any games yet.
Dan Focht defensive play has improved greatly over the last couple of seasons, but he’s still slow and doesn’t contribute anything to the offense (he’s scored only four goals in over 200 professional games). He’s a big guy at 6’6″ and 240 pounds, however he doesn’t fight very well. Focht has a tendency to take a lot of unnecessary minor penalties. It doesn’t appear as if he’ll ever be a consistent player at the NHL level.
David Cullen is a small, offensive-min Read more »
Well lets take a look first at the offense, when the
Kings had their playoff run last spring they had 3
lines that were putting up offense, Jozef Stumpel was
centering Ziggy Palffy and Adam Deadmarsh, Bryan
Smolinski was on a “stopper unit” 2nd line with Nelson
Emerson and Glen Murray, and rookie Eric Belanger was
centering Luc Robitaille and Ian Laperriere to form an
all French-Canadian 3rd line. Right now three of those
guys (Robitaille, Stumpel and Murray) are no longer
with the club and Emerson is out indefinitely with a
head injury. Once Jason Allison gets his legs back and
gets used to this team the Kings will boast one of the
deadliest 1st lines in the NHL with Allison between
Palffy and Deadmarsh, the problem lies in the 2nd and
3rd lines. Bryan Smolinski and Steve Heinze are
quality 2nd line forwards, the problem is they have
yet to find a consistent linemate since Murray was
dealt. Jaroslav Bednar an overage Czech who lead the
Finnish League in goals has been a bust with only 1
assist in 10 games, journeyman Randy Robitaille can
fill in when called upon but cannot be expected to be
a regular scoring line contributor. The Kings need to
address this problem shortly, they are clearly a 2nd
line LW short of 2 full scoring lines, which you need
to have to win in the NHL.
On the blueline the Kings have been strong for the
most part, keeping the shot totals down and playing a
sound positional game. Aaron Miller returned last
night vs. Detroit and his strong defensive play will
help even more. Offensively its been the Mathieu
Schnei Read more »
Lobb out for Season
During the third period of Sunday night’s game versus his former team, the London Knights, Aaron Lobb was checked by the Knights’ Sean Dixon. Dixon’s hip connected with Lobb’s knee and resulted in a season ending injury. Although Dixon received a kneeing major and a game misconduct, the hit was deemed legal and no action will be taken.
Surgery will be scheduled soon to repair Lobb’s damaged anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee. The Lightning will be picking a surgeon, while the Guelph Storm aid his recovery by focusing on a regimen to increase his upper body strength and help him add bulk to his 6’4 frame.
Eklund earns honors
Brown Goaltender Brian Eklund was named ECAC Goaltender of the Week on November 7th. In Brown’s season opener on November 3rd, Eklund stopped 27 of 29 shots to give Brown a 4-2 victory over Harvard.
This marks the third time in his career Eklund has earned the honor and the second time in a row. Eklund received the honor in the final week of the previous season after he stopped 48 of 51 shots.
In three games with Brown this season, Eklund has a 2.68 goals against average.
Lightning shuffle the deck
On November 9th, the Lightning acquired defensemen Josef Boumedienne and Sascha Goc and left wing Anton But from the New Jersey Devils in
exchange for defenseman Andrei Zyuzin.
Next, they reassigned defenseman Mathieu Biron and right wing Nikita Alexeev to Springfield (AHL) and recalled Boumedienne, Goc and left wing Read more »
Andrei Markov -D (Drafted-98(6/162))
Due to a combination of his strong play, and injuries to Stephane Quintal and Patrick Traverse Markov was called up to Montréal on November 6th. He’s continued his strong play since the call, and has contributed during each of the 4 games he’s played. Overall, the Russian defenseman has played 12 AHL games. He has 10 points (4-6-10), and was a league leading +14 with 7 minutes in penalties. One of his goals was scored on the powerplay.
Ron Hainsey -D (Drafted-00(1/13))
Hainsey remains unable to play. He suffered a wrist injury on October 24th, and could return to action within the next week. Overall, the 6’3″, 200-lbs defenseman has played 7 games. He has 6 points (3-3-6), and is +3 with 6 minutes in penalties. Despite missing 3 games Hainsey still leads the team with 25 shots on goal.
Mike Ribeiro -C (Drafted-98(2/45))
Riberio continues to split his time between Montréal and Québec. The latest trip had him returning to Québec on November 6th. He’s managed 4 points through 2 games since his return. All 4 points came during a 5-4 loss to Manitoba. Overall, the shifty center has played 6 AHL games. He has 6 points (2-4-6), and is +4 with 14 minutes in penalties. One of his goals was scored on the powerplay.
Michael Ryder -W (Drafted-98(8/216))
Ryder was shutout through 1 game since our last update. He was a healthy scratch during 2 of Québec’s 3 games this week. Overall, the 6’1″, 195-lbs winger has played 9 games. He has 4 points (2-2-4), and is +5 with 2 minute Read more »
By Robert Neuhauser and Ivana Paulova
Czech and Swiss Under-16 teams met for the first time in a series of three games that are going to be played this weekend. Check out the recap of this game including the coache’s and player’s comments!
On November, 9th, 2001 there was the first playing day of a three-game series in which the Under-16 teams of the Czech Republic and Switzerland test their skills against each other. The first contest took place in Kralupy nad Vltavou a town only 10 miles from Czech capital Prague. Like every year, the Czech roster boasts lots of NHL prospects. Those players, born 1986 are still far away from being concerned as players who will turn into sure-fire NHL stars but already at this time it is obvious that some of them will probably be called blue-chippers coming the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. On the Czech side goalie Marek Schwarz, a Sparta Praha midgets starter is most likely going to be another in a long series of quality Czech netminders, defensemen Adam Lukacovic, also from Sparta, captains the squad as Jakub Sindel is on a stint with the Under-17 team, and he along with Lubomir Stach of Vsetin are also very good prospects who can have a NHL future. At forward the brightest stars are Michal Birner, a Slavia Praha midgets sophomore, Karel Hromas and Jan Dusatko of Sparta and Vitkovice midgets winger Petr Pohl.
And those players took on the Swiss squad. The Czech team seemed to be in control of the game since the opening faceoff and Radek Smolenak had the first scoring chance on his stick as he received a pass as he crossed the Read more »
By: Dmitri Ponomarenko
By: Eugene Belashchenko
Trio of Avangard’s Hawks: A Kalashnikov machine gun or a hockey stick?
year two of Omsk’s forwards, Stanislav Chistov and Alexander Svitov, who were
drafted in the first round 5th and 3rd overall, had to switch their hockey
uniform for kaki pants and shirt. Due
to the conflict between Avangard and NHL Anaheim and Tampa Bay teams, the young
players became military personnel and had to spend several weeks in barracks.
The players hardly had time to resume playing in the Super League when
clouds appeared above their heads once again.
This time they were claimed by the Department Read more »
Right-winger Jason King has been named the player of the month for October by the Mooseheads.
King netted 17 goals along with 5 helpers totalling 22 points in just 11 games during the month of October. It should be noted that the 20-year-old managed to get a point per game during 10 of the 11 games. Not too shabby considering a 7-2-2 record for the month.
After turning the big “2-0″ on September 14, the talented forward recorded five games with more than one point in each during October and also turned a lot of heads when he set a single-game team record of 5 goals in an 8-3 win over Baie-Comeau on October 10. King also netted a pair of goals and added 2 helpers for a four-point night on October 6 against Val-d’Orand led to an 8-6 win. The following night, he led the Mooseheads to a 6-4 victory over Rouyn-Noranda, contributing a hat trick. October 24 also saw King with a hat trick against division rival, Moncton Wildcats, and also handing the Cats a 7-2 defeat.
The crafty winger also managed game-winning goals against Baie-Comeau (October 12, 8-3) and Shawinigan (October 14, 3-2) and scored the game-tying goal on Hull (October 16, 2-2). King is also becoming well-above his already-noticable proficiency on special teams–netting 3 powerplay goals and 4 shorthanded goals during October.
Hats off to Jason for having a great October!
Mooseheads’ Director of Hockey Operations Marcel Patenaude has announced that defenseman Milan Jurcina has been invited to represent the Slovakian Republic in the 2002 World Junior Read more »