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Vitali Yeremeyev Solid in 1st NHL Start

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Vitali Yeremeyev, the 25 year old goalie from Kazakhstan, has had a superb first season in North America. He started the year in the ECHL, then moved up to the AHL and was dominant there, and now he finds himself in the NHL wearing a 3rd different jersey this season.

Yeremeyev’s NHL debut came a few weeks ago as he relieved Kirk McLean in a 4-3 loss against the Hurricanes. But Yeremeyev got his first chance to start a game yesterday when goalie Mike Richter was unable to go because he had fluid drained from his surgically repaired knee a few days earlier. The game wasn’t a memorable one for Yeremeyev, as the Rangers put forth one of their worst efforts of the season in a 4-1 loss to the Bruins at the FleetCenter.

It all started 33 seconds into the game when Bill Guerin took an innocent shot from the sideboards that Yeremeyev deflected away with his stick, but the puck hit off Brian Leetch in front and trickled right back into the net. Since Yeremeyev doesn’t speak English, the lack of communication showed. Guerin scored another one, this time 13:49 into the 1st period. Guerin was allowed to stand right in front of the goalie and tap in a pass from behind the net to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. The Rangers defense just stood there and didn’t even make an attempt to knock Guerin down or not give him position. Radek Dvorak was able to put the Rangers on the board when he scored 17 seconds into 2nd period. But with the Rangers on the power play a few minutes later, the Bruins were able to score again. The third goal was another mista Read more »

The Last Line Of Defence

by Larry Bradley
on
The Brampton Battalion hockey club have made a bold move in their charge towards a playoff birth. Just before the 6 p.m. trade deadline on Wednesday (01/10/01), Battalion Head Coach and G.M. Stan Butler announced the acquisition of Barrie Colts veteran goaltender Brian Finley. Finley, when 100%, may be the final piece of the puzzle for an already talented Brampton club. Last years OHL Playoff MVP has been sidelined with a groin injury since early December and played in only 16 games for the Colts this season. The Sault Ste. Marie native will join his new club Thursday and may not dress for Friday’s game against the London Knights. There is no word as to when he will see his first start for Brampton. The deal also sent the Battalion Mississauga’s seventh round pick in the 2001 OHL Priority Selection and Kitchener’s fourth rounder in 2002.

In return, the Colts receive backstop David Chant, blueliner Tyler Hanchuck and pivot Matt Grennier. Chant, Hanchuck and Grennier are all expected to join the Colts for this weekend’s trio of games starting Friday night in Sudbury.

Finley’s OHL experience should be a great asset in the development of up-and-coming keeper Brad Topping. Look for Topping to take on the starting position until Finley returns from his groin injury. On paper, Brampton has one of the best looking teams in the league. Two top 10 picks in the 2000 NHL entry draft (D-Rostislav Klesla, COLM 4th / LW-Raffi Torres, NYI 5th) and two of the top 20 North American skaters projected in 2001 (D-Jay Harrison, 7th / C-Jay McClement, 20th). Read more »

NOJHA: Jeff Whitfield Update

by Brad Coccimiglio
on
Name: Jeff Whitfield
Team: Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHA)
Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Position: Defense
Number: 5
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 200 lbs
Many of you may remember a feature that I did around mid-October about
young defenseman Jeff Whitfield of the Soo Thunderbirds. Well, I’m back
to give you a report on his progress since then.

Whitfield has shown some steady improvement since the start of the
season, especially in the last month or so. The improvement has come
more in his defensive game than his offensive game, but both have
improved.

I believe one of the reasons for the improvement in Whitfield’s play
has to be the increase in confidence shown by Thunderbird head coach Jim
Capy. Capy has been giving the young defenseman a slight increase in ice
time and he plays in many different situations. Where some coaches may
hold their youngsters on the bench during a penalty kill or in the 3rd
period of a tight game, Capy does use Whitfield in some of those
situations. That increase in ice time from Capy also helps boost the
confidence of Whitfield.

I mentioned in my previous article that Whitfield had a short fuse.
Well, he is no longer letting his temper, and opponents, get the best of
him. This has helped Whitfield in the sense that he is on the ice more
working on his skills.

Whitfield needs to improve his upper body strength, but considering he
is so young that should come with some time as he still has time to fill
out. At. 6’2″ and 200 lbs it’s scary to think that Whi Read more »

ECHL Roundup

by Parker Neale
on
It is just past the midway point in the ECHL 2000-01 season and a number of teams are already threatening to run away with their divisions. Trenton has dominated all season and currently has a ten point lead over second-place Richmond. In the Northwest, Peoria and Dayton are both on four game winning streaks and are within two points of each other for the division lead. However, Toledo is a distant nine points behind second-place Dayton. In the Southeast, South Carolina has been able to ride their league-best sixteen road wins to a strong thirteen point lead over second-place Pee Dee. And, Louisiana has a seven point lead over Jackson in the Southwest. Look for all of these teams to contend for the Kelly Cup when all is said and done.

In terms of individual player statistics, the top five point-getters have been consistent all year long. They are, in order, Brent Cullaton or Tallahassee, Jeff Bes of Pensacola, Dany Bousquet of Pee Dee, Scott King of Charlotte and Jay Murphy of Louisiana. These players also dominate the leaderboard for goals and assists with Bousquet leading the league in goals with twenty-eight and Cullaton tied with Kevin Hilton of Charlotte for most assists with thirty-four. In terms of penalty minutes, Kevin McDonald of Roanoke has 212 in 39 games while second-place Jason Hamilton of Wheeling has an impressive 211 in only 27 games.

Between the pipes, it is not surprising that there is a direct relationship between the best goalies and the best teams. The top five goaltenders by GAA are Scott Stirling of Trenton, Jody Leh Read more »

The Weekend Warrior

by Randy Nicholson
on

Another in a series of weekly articles summarizing activity in Leafland during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations, commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.

Berard news: Media reports this week indicated that there may now be renewed hope for Maple Leafs’ defenseman Bryan Berard in his bid to resume a once promising NHL career … Berard recently consulted with Connecticut-based eye specialist Dr. Donald Teig who is said to be optimistic that surgery to replace the lens in Berard’s right eye could give him the necessary 20/400 vision needed to play in the NHL again … before this can happen, Bryan requires at least one more procedure to clean up scar tissue left over from the original injury … after this has been accomplished, a decision can be made on the eye’s ability to hold such an artificial lens in place … if it can be successfully implanted, the lens would essentially replace the iris that Berard has lost and he would have a legitimate chance to pass a qualifying sight test … the Maple Leafs have been completely unable to replace Berard’s sheer bravado on the blueline and would certainly welcome him back with open arms if he can play again …

Rumours: The ACC was abuzz when principal owner Steve Stavro visited with Pat Quinn in the Coach’s room following the loss to Washington on the 6th – speculation centered on a major player move that might require high level approval (to significantly alter the team’s payroll) – it is also widely believed that getting Eric Lindros i Read more »

Prospects get a look

by pbadmin
on

Because of injuries many prospects have been called up from Cincy. And some of these prospects are here to stay. Petr Tenkrat is probably the most notable. His ability coupled with his work ethic has made him stand out with his 8 pts (4-4) in 10 games. The game winning goal in overtime against the Panthers will be embedded in Gauthier’s mind for a long time to come. Definitely a highlight real to communicate the effort that is expected to upcoming team members and veterans alike.

Giguere has been recently called up with Roussel being claimed off waivers by Edmonton. Although Giguere is 0-2 as a Duck in the big pond, he is an all-star in the minors and one of the main reasons the Cincy club is hovering in the upper echelon of the AHL standings. Look for Giguere to start more games this season in order to gain some valuable experience.

Andy McDonald the Hobey Baker finalist has potential to be strong in a position the Ducks are loaded with at Center. We’ve already seen him called up a couple of times this season where he’s getting a feel for the big leagues. Andy will probably center the 3rd or 4th line next year. Expect a steady stream of prospects to be called up and down the rest of the season to evaluate their potential with the big boys given the Ducks position in the playoff picture. After the stream trickles down it would not surprise me to hear rumors of a drastic trade to a team needing extra firepower in the playoffs for a good crop of prospects and/or draft picks. But remember, they’re rumors until Gauthier pulls the trigger.

Rangers prospect stats update

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Week Of 12/31/00 to 1/12/01

Player         Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Pavel Brendl  Calgary   WHL    26  29  23  52   24   21
               Czech    WJC     7   4   6  10    8    8

This Week: 3 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 3 P, 4 PIM, +2


Player           Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Jamie Lundmark  Seattle   WHL    20  17  17   34  19   3
               Canada    WJC     7   4   3    7   6   4

This Week: 3 GP, 2 G, 0 A, 2 P, 4 PIM, +3


Player         Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Filip Novak   Regina    WHL    40  13  28  41   42   20

This Week: 5 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 4 P, 4 PIM, +6


Player              Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Garret Bembridge  Saskatoon  WHL    42  27  23  50   16  -15

This Week: 5 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 3 P, 0 PIM, Even


Player             Team       League   GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Evgeny Gusakov   Baie-Comeau   QMJHL   33  11   20   31  68  +5

This Week: 1 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, 0 PIM, Even


Player             Team      League   GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Premsyl Duben   Baie-Comeau   QMJHL    23  0   7   7  24  -5

This Week: No Games Played Read more »

Flyers Midterm System Review Part I: Graduated Prospects

by Bill Meltzer
on

Graduated Prospect Report: :

The best news in the Flyers development system this season has come from the NHL level. The team leads the NHL in goals scored by rookies. Additionally, 20 year old NHL sophomore Simon Gagne , coming off a strong rookie campaign, has taken the next step toward the stardom that seems inevitable if he stays healthy.

The NHL news is not all positive, however. Defenseman Andy Delmore has lacked consistency and goaltender Brian Boucher has fallen victim to a horrendous sophomore slump and has had the starting goaltending job snatched away from him by 29-year old Roman Cechmanek , a veteran Czech league and international star who finally decided to give the NHL a try after the Flyers drafted him in the 2000 entry draft and gave him the type of contractual flexibility he sought– enabling him to have the choice to return home if things didn’t work out here. Obviously that is no longer an issue. Cechmanek has more than proven that he belongs in the NHL. Indeed, Cechmanek has arguably been the Flyers most valuable player to date. However, since he does not qualify as an NHL rookie and was already a known quantity– at least in the international hockey community– Cechmanek will not be considered a “graduated” prospect.However, give Flyers head European scout Inge Hammarström full marks for recommending that the Flyers use a draft pick on the veteran.

Simon Gagne: Gagne started out slowly this season due to a nagging groin pull. Since then, he has gone on two goal scoring tears that Read more »

Mid-Season CSB’s Released

by pbadmin
on

CSS Rankings Provided Courtesy of NHL.com


Central Scouting Service Mid-Season Rankings
North American Forwards and Defensemen

First Round

Rank Player             Team                         Birthdate   HT      WT  Pos Shot
  1  Spezza, Jason      Windsor                      13-Jun-83  6'2     204   C   R
  2  Weiss, Stephen     Plymouth                     03-Apr-83  5'11 ½  178   C   L
  3  Hamhuis, Dan       Prince George                13-Dec-82  6'0 ½   195   D   L
  4  Umberger, R.J.     Ohio State                   03-May-82  6'1 ½   198   C   L
  5  Milroy, Duncan     Swift Current                08-Feb-83  6'0     175  RW   R
  6  Whitney, Ryan      U.S. National U-18           19-Feb-83  6'4     200   D   L
  7  Harrison, Jay      Brampton                     03-Nov-82  6'3     200   D   L
  8  Popovic, Mark      Toronto-St. Mike's           11-Oct-82  6'1     194   D   L
  9  Komisarek, Mike    U of Michigan                19-Jan-82  6'4     232   D   R
 10  Gleason, Tim       Windsor                      29-Jan-83  6'0 ½   199   D   L
 11  Hemsky, Ales       Hull                         13-Aug-83  6'0     170  RW   R
 12  Colaiacovo, Carlo  Erie                         27-Jan-83  6'1     184   D   L
 13  Thorburn, Chris    North Bay                    03-Jun-83  6'2     198   C   R
 14  Watson, Greg       Prince Albert                02-Mar-83  6'1 ½   200   C   L
 15  Armstrong, Colby   Red Deer                     23-Nov-82  6'1 ½   180  RW   R
 16  Read more »

Ohio State Report

by Josh Caton
on
There’s been no happy New Year for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Mired in the midst of the five game losing streak including losses to Cornell, Clarkson, and three defeats to Western Michigan, the Bucks host eighth-ranked Michigan at the Schottenstein Center Jan. 12-13.

There couldn’t be a better time to get talented freshman R.J. Umberger and Dave Steckel back in the lineup. The two centermen, both listed as top prospects in the 2001 draft by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau, have missed the last four games playing with the U.S. junior team. It’s no coincidence the Buckeyes failed to register a point without their top two centers in the lineup. Both Umberger and Steckel are expected to skate against the Wolverines.

Can matchup with rival Michigan can spark the slumping Bucks? In the past month, Coach John Markell’s team lost senior co-captain and leading blueline scorer Andre Signoretti due to grades. Then the team lost high scoring affairs to Cornell (6-5, OT) and Clarkson (7-6) in the Everblades College Classic tournament. Markell wanted better defense, and he got it: The Bucks managed to hold down high-flying Western Michigan to three goals in both of last weekend’s contests—and lost each time, 3-1 and 3-2.

In the absence of Umberger and Steckel, sophomore center Luke Pavlas (1-3-4) and junior winger Nick Ganga (0-4-4) led OSU in scoring.

Ohio State remains fourth place in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings, with an overall record of 10-9-1.


Notes:
Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman named Ja Read more »