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Boston Bruins’ Prospect Update- The Defense

by Vincent Fusaro
on
Player “report cards” are largely a subjective matter. The task becomes even trickier when dealing with prospects, because improvement from previous seasons is as important, if not more so, than actual play or sky-high statistics. So, instead, this is a general run-down on some of Boston’s prospects currently playing for the Providence Bruins. No grade, no ranking, just an update- how current play compares to past, how they’ve contributed , and what they need to improve.

Elias Abrahamsson

Little has changed with Elias. In fact, many were surprised when Boston renewed his contract this summer. Abrahamsson is still an inconsistent physical defender prone to taking bad penalties. With Martin Grenier waiting in the wings, Elias could find himself out of a job next October.

Jon Aitken

No longer a member of the Boston Bruins’ organization, Aitken’s contract was bought out shortly after training camp. What was most surprising about this situation is that Jon actually finished out last season with three rather successful games in Boston. He also had an impressive AHL playoffs, even providing some offense by putting his booming slapshot to good use.

We’ll never know if Aitken could have had an impact in Providence or Boston, because he was not dressed for any P-bruins games, even prior to his buyout. Currently, Aitken is trying to further his career by playing in various European leagues. From all reports, he has thus far been less than spectacular. Jon’s future in the NHL is highly questiona Read more »

Belleville Bulls Recap

by Bill Thompson
on

Welcome to the inaugural article on the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League. I will be writing an article twice a month, one on the 15th and one on the 30th. I will include a brief summary of the games since the previous article along with some ongoing stats and rankings of Bulls players. I’m going to have some fun with this, but I am quit serious in my conclusions and beliefs. I hope some scouts look up this page once and while and maybe some injustices can be avoided, such as Kyle Wellwood being ranked behind numerous players with less hope of making the NHL than I do. Enough with the niceties let’s analyze some hockey.

PETERBOROUGH at BELLEVILLE (Feb. 14)-

About 2700 fans trekked through blizzard like conditions to witness a rather uninspired game by both teams. The Bulls looked bored out there and the Petes lack of offensive talent made for some lengthy neutral zone play. When the Petes did come up with some chances, Paulo Colaiacovo was there to shut them down. Colaiacovo faced 28 shots, stopping a 3 on 1 and a 2 on 1 on his way to the victory. At the other end, Joey MacDonald was solid for the Petes, but a 5 on 3 power play for the Bulls to start the 3rd period would prove to be too much for him as Randy Rowe put home 2 quick goals. Rowe ended the night with a hat trick and an assist. His third goal gave him 50 on the year in his 47th game, making him the fastest to reach 50 in Bulls history, topping Dave MacLean’s record by 7 games. The Bulls also received an excellent game from Read more »

Pressure builds on the Hawk prospects to pan out -part one

by Bill Placzek
on

It is increasingly clear that the face lifts by both former G.M. Bob Murray and current G.M. Mike Smith has done little to lift the team’s major league skin and eliminate the crow’s feet of post season elimination.

Granted there have been some bright spots, the biggest being the added offensive production of l’il Steve Sullivan, at almost a point a game pace since his wavier pick up from the Toronto house cleaning in order that they might be able to add the enigmatic Dmitri Khristich.

Tampa Bay decided Michael Nylander would never play defense and was only effective when in control of the puck, and a risk when he didn’t have it. There were absolutely correct but when placed at centre with Sullivan they are able to be dominant players on the attacking end of the rink,albeit a liability without it. Regardless,without their presence the Hawk offense would be far limited without them.

Besides Amonte and an occasionally on night from the gentle giant Eric Daze, the Hawks have had to fill the rest of the roster with players who would never be considered more than “pieces” elsewhere.

They did cushion their rosters with 32 yr. old rookie Steve Poapst, who has had hard times catching the NHL speed guys,Chris McAlpine, 29 yr. old, an undersized hard hitter who is at best a #5 guy. As is Kevin Dean whose off ice hardships with his premature son have compounded his poor play.

Other plugging has come at times from the still not so ready for prime time Nolan Baumgartner and everyone’s prospect to be, Steve McCarthy.

Chicago’s pre Read more »

New Rankings for Caps Prospects, 10-20

by Rick Davis
on
John Blankenship and Jeff Charlesworth contributed to this article.

11. Chris Corrinet, C, Princeton (NCAA), Capitals’ fourth choice, 107 overall in 1998
ECAC – 23 games, 11 goals, 10 assists, 28 PIM

John’s comments: Another big player who has good athletic ability. Skates well and has a very good shot. Needs to be a little more physical. He’s a hard worker and may follow in Jeff Halpern’s footsteps and make the Caps. Most likely will play in Portland if he signs.

Rick’s comments: I had Chris rated #11 and John had him rated #12. He has shown consistent improvement in each of his four years at Princeton. He was even leading the ECAC in goals for a while earlier this year. Size, athleticism, and intelligence will all make it easier for him to make the Caps, but unless he absolutely blows up at camp, expect to see him in Portland.

Jeff’s comments: Chris is going to be a player you’ll be hearing a lot about very soon. Although he has been a point-per-game scorer in college, his totals won’t be that high in the NHL. His size and work ethic will make him a solid player in the pros though. There will be expectations of Chris jumping right into Washington, but will start off next season in Portland.

12. Remi Royer, D, Portland (AHL), acquired by Capitals from Chicago, 2000
AHL – 34 games, 1 goal, 6 assists, 126 PIM, -8
Read more »

Hlinka gets his chance and never looks back.

by Caitlin LoCascio
on
Portland Pirates’ fans have admired the workhorses. Inaugural season’s
Michel Picard (‘93-‘94) will forever be remembered by team supporters; Kevin
Kaminski (‘93-’95, ‘97-’98) will always be sorely missed; recently called
up Trent Whitfield played every game like it was Game 7 of the Stanley Cup
Finals and that can never be forgotten. Now there is a newcomer, a 24 year
old from Slovakia who just wanted a chance to prove himself. All he asked
for was a try, and he blew everyone away.

Martin Hlinka has never been drafted. He was a last minute invitee to the
Washington Capitals training camp after he turned a few heads in the UHL.
He was the only invitee to be suited up at the season’s opening game with a
last-minute 25 game tryout with the Pirates. Well before those 25 games
were up the organization inked him to a deal, and no one has looked back
since.

Hlinka will never be described as a flashy player, but he does it all and he
does it well. Basic skills, such as skating, are something not enough
players have down pack, or at least don’t utilize, but he makes it all
count. His work ethic is proving highly contagious, and the players on his
line are the better for it. He has racked up 26 points in the past 28 games
and has become a key part of the team’s power play, penalty killing, and
other special unit teams.

Being a newcomer with a hastily thrown together contract, Hlinka is
restricted to the AHL for at least the remainder of the season. Until then,
the Pirates’ fa Read more »

Home at Last ?

by Corine Gatti
on

After busing for over 1,000 miles on their last road trip, home wasn’t as sweet as it should of been. Their fatigue on the ice captured what was to follow. Norfolk didn’t anticipate that when they laced up their skates that they would play one of their worst games of the season and continue on a four-game skid. Admirals came into Tuesdays game against the Syracuse Crunch leading among teams with fewest goals allowed in the league (2.39). But that changed when the Crunch who are in the midst of a three-game winning streak (20-26-6-2) (63 points),but who are also in fifth place, hammered Norfolk 5-1 in front of an announced crowd of 3,739.

A trapper to keep an eye on? The Crunches, netminder Jean-Francois Labbe (2.96 GAA, (12-14-5 overall) has more saves than any other goaltender in the league (1078). It was to a battle of the netminders in the first period .
Both counterparts only combined 15 shots on goal and rendered no goals. Syracuse Radim Bicanek on a pass from Bill Bower made a slap shot at the 3:24 mark. On a power play, Mathieu Darche slipped the puck in at the right side of the crease making it 2-0 Syracuse. Norfolk answered back when team leading scorer, Casey Hankinson (G-22) plucked the puck out Syracuse defensive zone at 10:45.

A dry spell? In the third, the Crunch moved up when Bill Bower (leads team with G-16) shot from the stick side at 1:54. Thus making it 3-1 Syracuse. Norfolk struggled to get any advantages. The only sound you could hear was the sound of sneers and jeers among the few fans that stuck it out. Norfolk’s re Read more »