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Canadiens’ prospects update

by Chris Boucher
on

Ron Hainsey -D (Drafted-00(1/13))

Hainsey managed 3 points through 9 games since our last update. He injured his shoulder during a March 3rd game against Manitoba, and has missed the last 2 games. There’s still no word on a possible return date. Overall, the 6’3″, 200-lbs defenseman has played 49 games. He has 27 points (7-20-27), and is +12 with 18 minutes in penalties. He’s second on the Citadelles in plus/minus, and is tops among the team’s current crop of defensemen. Four of his goals were scored on the powerplay, and he’s directed 101 shots on goal.

Mathieu Garon -G (Drafted-96(2/44))

Garon was recently recalled by the Canadiens, and will back-up Jose Theodore. Overall, the 6’2″, 192-lbs goalie has played 42 AHL games. He has a 20-11-10 record with 2.63 GAA, and a .921 save percentage.

Eric Chouinard -F (Drafted-98(1/16))

Chouinard picked up 6 points through 11 games since our last update. He was shutout by Lowell on March 6th, thereby ending a 4-game point-scoring streak. Overall, the 6’3″, 207-lbs left winger has played 54 games. He has 39 points (17-22-39), and is -1 with 16 minutes in penalties. Surprisingly, he has only one powerplay goal; which actually speaks volumes for Chouinard’s 5-on-5 play this season. He’s also directed 145
shots on goal.

Francois Beauchemin -D (Drafted-98(3/75))

Beauchemin scored 2 goals and added 5 assists through 11 games since our last update. He was shutout during a recent game against Lowell, thereby ending a 3-game point-scoring streak. Overall, the 6’0″, Read more »

Norfolk Picks up Steam in the Playoff Race

by Corine Gatti
on

Intensity.

The heat is on..

The last chapter has opened and the final page awaits an inscription..

And the Admirals’ starting to make notes. The Norfolk Admirals sit in second place three points behind Philadelphia in the Southern Conference are currently embarking on some of their most crucial games of the season. With the Hershey Bears snipping at the heels only four points in the rear- view mirror-the Admirals are running against time with only several games left on the calendar.
If the regular season ended today, Norfolk would be seeded eighth while Philadelphia would place third and Hershey ninth. The team earned three out of four points in its last weekends games against Cincinnati Mighty Ducks.

Game 1 Read more »

What`s available in the system

by Evan Andriopoulos
on

Coach Ron Low and G.M. Glen Sather who have seemingly lost touch with how to motivate the new era of NHL players have basically refused to look at what is available in the system. Certain questions need to be asked. What is available & can it help? Are there other routes available?

After much “hair pulling” Glen Sather finally made a couple “inspirational” moves: The first was to send Dan Blackburn down to Hartford for a little extra work and motivation while calling up Johan Holmqvist to sit on the bench, face NHL warm up and NHL practice shots proved be a good one. Holmqvist returned to Hartford as even a greater asset and that much better of a player. Holmqvist has registered a solid season in Hartford posting a 19-9-6 record with a very respectable 3.12 GAA. Blackburn responded with back to back starts and solid performances for the Rangers.

The second move was to finally bring the self made enigma Michal Grosek up from Hartford where he was playing his normal physical, penalty filled, offensive game. Grosek wracked up 14 goals and 44 points in 48 games and added 167 penalty minutes. His banging style has been something the Rangers have really needed in the past 2 months. He was united with Eric Lindros and added a nice physical presence, one that can even spell a goal and assist when needed here and there. The problem is that Grosek seems to play when he wants to and in the style he wants, then again … Coach Low seems more out of touch of what any player can offer thus nullifying this argue.

Read more »

2004 prospect story: Pavel Rusek

by Robert Neuhauser
on
In the Czech Republic there are some cities, which are known for raising high-quality prospects,
even if they don’t have an Extraleague franchise. One of those cities is definitely Olomouc.
The city which celebrated championship title in the inaugural season of the Czech Extraleague
in 1993.
These days Pavel Brendl is probably the most known Olomouc talent among NHL fans, but he
isn’t a complete product of the Olomouc system. He just played there since the fourth grade.
Die-hard draft fans will know about two more gems, who form along with Vojtech Polak ‘The
Great Line’ of the Czech Under-17 team. These two are Petr Vrana and Ivo Kratena, who left
Olomouc prior to this season. Just like Jakub Cech, the youngest goalie ever to play in the
Czech Extraleague. And Pavel Rusek, the guy the story is about. Because that’s the other
side of the coin. Not having an Extraleague franchise means that all the top prospects leave
when they are about 15 or 16 to join the system of an Extraleague team. Pavel Rusek is a rookie
in the Havirov midgets.

His dad brought him to the arena in Olomouc when he was seven years old. The little Pavel
liked to be active and doing some sport was the best solution for him. He didn’t have his
relatives coaching or playing organized hockey, so it was only his own decision to play the game.
He started also relatively late, most players begin their careers about one or two years
earlier. He said, he wants to play hockey more than any other sport and the parents liked
the idea, so Pavel began to attend the practices. Read more »

Albany Week in Review

by Mike Buskus
on

Albany Week in Review #23

Broken record. No wins this week. Sorry.

Any writer covering a team that is in the basement must, to the reader(s), sound like a broken record. “Hey, didn’t we read that last week?” Well, reporting loss after loss is not exactly a picnic. On the other hand, this writer had occasion this week to run into a former Adirondack Red Wings’ fan (who converted to become a partisan of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute college hockey, rather than an Albany River Rats’ follower). This writer told Ron, the Wings/Engineers’ fan, that “now I know what it was like for you several years ago.” Ron, the Wings’ fan, got a laugh out of that.

You see, in the final two (of 20) years as the AHL franchise for the Detroit Red Wings, the Adirondack Red Wings were not really competitive. In a precursor to this year’s River Rats, the Wings were a mediocre team. In 1998-99, the Wings finished with 53 points in 80 games, with 21 wins, 48 losses, 3 overtime losses and 8 ties. The Wings that year (their last in the AHL) notched only 184 goals. The River Rats won the year’s head-to-head matchup, 9-2-1.

The last Adirondack game in franchise history was played on Saturday, April 24, 1999. It was a playoff game, in which the Rochester Americans won, 2-1, with only 1,732 fans in attendance at the Glens Falls Civic Center. (Fans of reform of the playoff scenario noted that the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, with 76 points in the standings, but last in the Mid-Atlantic conference, got cheated out of a playoff chance, while Read more »

Spezza Rolling Again

by Bill Thompson
on

The St. Michaels Majors are an excellent defensive hockey team but on this night the hometown Belleville Bulls tore into them for 9 goals. Peter Budaj played the 1st and 3rd periods and Andy Chiodo played the 2nd as the Major’s coaches tried to stop the bleeding anyway they could. The Bulls offense is potent and is assisted by the international size ice surface at the Yardman Arena. The Majors on the other hand use their size to their advantage at their home rink in Toronto, which is no bigger than an average living room but that size was ineffective against a strong Bulls team that dominated every aspect of the game including the physical side.

Michael Knight and Dan Growden were the most active Bulls players throwing their weight around, the latter nailing Michael Gough with a textbook hip check that sent Gough off for the rest of the game. Belleville’s captain Matt Coughlin had a less than stellar game on the blueline but redeemed himself with 2 decisive fight wins in coming to the aid of teammates. David Clarkson played with a lot of tenacity, as he seems to be gaining more and more confidence as he gains more valuable experience. He also created scoring chances with some nifty moves in the offensive zone.

The energy and flow are stymied in the small rink and the Majors have geared their team to take advantage of this. They have 10 players listed at over 200lbs and they use this size to clog up the ice and make it almost impossible to create breakout chances. The Majors have the best home record i Read more »

Jackets CHL Prospect Update

by Aaron Vickers
on


Jackets CHL PROSPECT UPDATE

Western Hockey League

Shane Bendera – G – Kelowna Rockets
Bendera’s play has not affected his play since moving to Kelowna from Red Deer earlier in the season. In 27 games with the Rockets, Bendera has posted a 2.64 GAA and a .906 SV%. In total this season, Bendera’s numbers are slightly better, with a 2.46 GAA and .909 SV% in 47 games. The bad news is that Kelowna still only sits in 4th in the BC Division with a 28-25-10-5 record, and with have to play some better hockey to launch themselves deep into the postseason.

Ben Knopp – RW – Kamloops Blazers
Knopp has finally adjusted to his new Blazer linemates, and I’m positive that the Kamloops coaching staff could not be happier. During my hiatus, Knopp has played 14 games, registering 18 points. He now sits at 40 goals and 77 points (40-37-77) in 73 games. His plus/minus is the stat that impresses me most since last update, where he has improved 13 GF, and now sits at +5, the highest its been all season. Knopp leads the Blazers in goals and points, but sits 3rd in points-per-game. The top two spots for that category go to 2002 draftee Scottie Upshall and LA Kings prospect Jared Aulin

Kiel McLeod – C – Kelowna Rockets
McLeod has finally come of his pulled groin which left him sidelined for longer than Rocket fans would have liked. He’s managed go play in 7 games since the last update, playing in only 41 of 68 games for the Rockets this seaso Read more »

Colorado Prospect Update (3/10/02)

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Juniors:

Marek Svatos, Center, Kootenay (WHL)
Stats: (SVK-WJC) 7 GP, 7 G, 1 A, 8 P, 6 PIM, +5
Stats: 49 GP, 36 G, 37 A, 73 P, 56 PIM, +7

Kurt Sauer, Defenseman, Spokane (WHL)
Stats: 57 GP, 3 G, 16 A, 19 P, 71 PIM, +21

Blake Ward, Goaltender, Lethbridge (WHL)
Stats: 35 GP, 11-17-4, 3.58 GAA. .875 SV%

Charlie Stephens, Center, London (OHL)
Stats: 58 GP, 22 G, 34 A, 56 P, 55 PIM, -26

Danny Bois, Right Wing, London (OHL)
Stats: 59 GP, 16 G, 12 A, 28 P, 243 PIM, -12

Aaron Molnar, Goaltender, London (OHL)
Stats: 15 GP, 4-9-2, 3.98 GAA, .870 SV%

Agris Saviels, Defenseman, Owen Sound (OHL)
Stats: 57 GP 5 G, 27 A, 32 P, 33 PIM, Even

Colt King, Left Wing, North Bay (OHL)
Stats: 55 GP, 14 G, 11 A, 25 P, 123 PIM, -30

Cody McCormick, Right Wing, Belleville (OHL)
Stats: 59 GP, 10 G, 16 A, 26 P, 112 PIM, +11

Darryl Bootland, Right Wing, Toronto (OHL)
Stats: 57 GP, 38 G, 56 A, 94 P, 129 PIM, +47

Scott Horvath, Right Wing, Toronto (OHL)
Stats: (UMass-Amherst, HE) 15 GP, 2 G, 3 A, 5 P, 8 PIM, -2
Stats: (Toronto-OHL) 23 GP, 7 G, 5 A, 12 P, 19 PIM, +6

Peter Budaj, Goaltender, Toronto (OHL)
Stats: (SVK-WJC) 4 GP, 3.11 GAA, .919 SV%, 1 SHO
Stats: 40 GP, 24-9-5, 2.31 GAA, .922 SV% Read more »

Goaltending Logjam in Carolina

by Parker Neale
on

The Carolina Hurricanes have a surplus of goaltenders in their system. They recently acquired Kevin Weekes, another “potential” number one man from Tampa Bay. He had become disgruntled over the fact that he wasn’t getting any playing time behind the red-hot Nikolai Khabibulin.

In return, the Lightning receive forwards Chris Dingman and Shane Willis. Dingman has yet to provide any offensive punch at the NHL level during his career. However, you do know what you are getting, a big, physical presence. Willis is suffering through a season-long sophomore slump after enjoying a terrific rookie campaign last year. He appears to have the offensive tools and a change of scenery may be the cure to all that ails him.

Now, back to the matter at hand. What do you do with all of the goaltenders on the Hurricanes depth chart? Irbe, Barrasso and Weekes all command quality playing time. Jean-Marc Pelletier and Tyler Moss are putting up solid numbers in Lowell. Rob Zepp, probably ticketed as the “goaltender of the future” for Carolina, has had to spend the season in the ECHL as there was no more room above. Randy Petruk seems to be knocking on the AHL’s door as well. And, Daniel Boisclair was selected in the sixth round of the past NHL Entry Draft.

How will this play itself out in this way with the big club? Irbe will maintain his status as the number one goaltender (he has a long-term contract while Barrasso doesn’t). Weekes will assume the role of quality back-up that Barrasso has been this season, filling the void that existed in the past. Th Read more »

Albany Week in Review

by Mike Buskus
on

By Mike Buskus

Albany Week in Review #22

Rough road.

The road woes continue. Despite support from about 80 members of the Albany River Rats Booster Club, who made the trip to Portland, Manchester and Saint John (New Brunswick), the Albany River Rats failed to win a game on their recent road trip. The Rats took an overtime loss in Portland (3-2), tied in Manchester (4-4), and were soundly defeated at Harbour Station in Saint John, New Brunswick (6-2).

The current road troubles bring the winless streak away from home to ten games, the second time this season that the River Rats have traveled 10 games in a row without a win. The earlier winless on the road streak ran from October 5, 2001 (the season opener in Providence) to December 1, 2001. The current streak, of equal length, started on January 26 and, at the moment anyway, continues. Only the Cleveland Barons (at 11 in a row without a win) and the Hershey Bears (same number) have had worse road winless streaks this season. However, it is the second time this season for the Rats in the winless-in-ten situation.

The game in Portland went into overtime thanks to a late third-period goal by Steve Guolla (his 21st, leading the team). Jiri Bicek had opened the scoring early in the first, but a pair of Portland goals gave the Pirates the lead. With only seven seconds left in overtime, Trent Whitfield of the Pirates got his second of the night, to send away the Rats, 3-2.

In Manchester, at the new Verizon Arena, pairs of goals by Richard Rochefort and Jiri Read more »

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