ALBANY, NY. (November 3, 2001). In some respects, it was billed as a battle for last place. The Albany River Rats were in last place in the Eastern Conference (1-6-1-2, for 5 points in 10 games), with their opponents (and former “Mid-Atlantic Division” rivals), the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in last place in the Western Conference (2-9-1-1, for 6 points in 13 games).
The loser could claim the title to last place in the 27-team American Hockey League (if Albany lost, they would indisputably have the fewest points; if WBS lost, they would have the lowest win percentage.
Neither team wanted to be called losers, and each provided excitement, a bit of opportunism (on turnovers) and the fans (including about 50 from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) saw ten goals on the night, five per team. A small Saturday crowd of 3,131 showed up, with the rest presumably home watching the World Series.
Devils’ prospect, Christian Berglund, made the worst turnover of his AHL career, with an unbelievably dumb give-away inside his own defensive zone late in the second period. By then, the Rats had clawed their way back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the score. Berglund had the puck in his zone, on the boards near the edge of the circle. No opposing player was pressuring him. In what presumably was a mental lapse, he passed the puck straight across the ice, practically on the hash marks. Standing in the middle of the slot, with no River Rat in sight, was Tom Kostopolous (who, last night in Quebec got the overtime game-winner for WBS). Kostop Read more »
If you have watched the Rangers closely this season, Dan Blackburn has been a pleasant surprise. There were not many people who actually believed he could make the NHL at 18-years-old, but he is proving them wrong. In 6 games (5 starts), he is 2-3-0 with a 3.21 goals against average and a .899 save percentage. His numbers are not sparkling, but he has shown that he is not out of place in the NHL. The majority of the goals he has allowed have been mostly because of the Rangers’ horrible defense. There are not many goalies in this league who can consistently make 2 or 3 saves on one play. The Rangers’ defenseman have been horrible at picking up their man in the defensive zone and can’t clear the puck away from the net to save their life. Blackburn has made at least 1 or 2 outstanding saves in each game he’s played, and it was no different Friday night against Carolina. Blackburn was able to slide across the crease on one play with the pads stacked to stuff a Carolina attempt at a tap-in goal. The shot hit Blackburn right above the knee and he was down for a few minutes, but he shook it off and remained in the game. Minutes later he robbed another Carolina player in the slot with a lightning-quick glove save on a shot labeled to the top corner. That save was featured on ESPN’s Top Plays on Sportscenter that night.
Even though Blackburn has been impressive, the Rangers still have to ponder whether or not to keep him for the season or send him back to the Kootenay Ice of the WHL. Blackburn has up until 10 games before his contract kicks in and thus the Range Read more »
By Mike Buskus
ALBANY, NY. (November 2, 2001). Scott Clemmensen got his first professional start tonight in Albany. (He played 20 minutes in relief of Martin Brodeur during the Devils’ 6-1 loss to Washington on opening night, stopping 3 of 4 shots.) With Devils’ General Manager, Lou Lamoriello, chief scout, Dave Conte, and countless other Devils’ scouts and senior management watching, Clemmensen played capably, but his defense did not do him justice in front of the net. The 3-1 loss belonged to the blueliners, rather than to the netminder, before the crowd of 5,888 at the Pepsi Arena.
The main bright spot for the River Rats tonight was winger Jiri Bicek, who generated strong short-handed chances while killing penalties, gave some spark to the offense and relentlessly chased down loose pucks. He also scored the lone Albany goal, a power play goal from the right wing circle. For his efforts, the media bestowed “third star” on Bicek, though this writer would have elevated the honor to “second” in a valiant effort in a losing cause.
Tonight, NHL referee Paul Stewart made another comeback effort. A year or so ago, battling back from cancer, he went down to the AHL to demonstrate his abilities in the orange armband. This evening, while rehabilitating from an unspecified injury, Stewart was on the ice before the teams’ pre-game skate, skating around the ice. When his name was announced as referee, a sizeable number of fans applauded, a rare tribute to referees who are more used to boos than to cheers.
Nothing that the referee Read more »
Detroit Red Wings Top 10 Prospects Update
All of the Red Wings prospects are in action all over the world. In Canada, Usa, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic and Russia. Some are playing good and some arn`t, some of them will play in Nhl, some will not.
So let us take a look at the Top 10 players in the Red Wings organisation and their statistics so far into the season.
1. Henrik Zetterberg, C, 21 years, 6-1, 185, Grade: 8.5
01/02 Stats, Games 16 Goals 1 Assists 5 Points 6 Pim 4
Henrik Zetterberg has shown that last year was not an isolated case, during the pre-season he was dominating games like only he can, with great moves, nice passes, and his great two-way play. He has also become Alternate Capitan in Timra. Henrik played three games with the National Team where he picked up two helpers and played very good overall. So far in the season Henrik has been struggling (1G+5A in 16 games), but he has been playing good but unfortunately he has had some problems with the scoring. Henrik is allready one of the best in Sweden, this year he will look to become THE best and prepare himself for Detroit, and the NHL for the 2002-03 season. Henrik is Detroit`s indisputable Top Prospect and could become top line star in NHL.
2. Niklas Kronwall, D, 20 years, 6-0, 172, Grade: 7.5
01/02 Stats, Games 16 Goals 2 Assists 2 Points 4 Pim 24
Niklas started the year slowely while not picking up a point in the first 6 games of the season, but lately he has reganed confidence and started to produce, in the last 9 games he has scored 2 goals and 2 Read more »
Many people in hockey, and by extension the entire sports world feel that winning is a learned ability. Of course it is first and foremost the product of talent, but it also comes from confidence, and leadership. The two latter characteristics are normally acquired through experience, and can therefore be thought of as part of this learning “curve”.
The Québec Citadelles’ recent success can only help the Montréal Canadiens long-term. This is a franchise with the highest percentage of Montréal owned talent since the team’s inception.
Only 51% of the 1999-2000 Citadelles roster (the first year of its renewal) contained players with direct ties, or contracts with the Canadiens organization. This team finished the season with a 37-38-5 record, and 83 points. It was then eliminated in 3 straight games during the first round of the AHL playoffs.
The percentage increased to 74 % last year. This team finished with a 41-36-3 record, and 89 points. It went on to enjoy some success during the playoffs, but ultimately lost to the eventual Calder Cup champion St. John Flames.
The current team has increased this percentage to an impressive 85%. Twenty-two of the 26 players to dress for the Citadelles this season hold Montréal contracts, and all except for 3 were acquired (but not necessarily drafted) by Rejean Houle. Five of these players are former 1st round picks, while 3 others were chosen in the 2nd round. This could be considered a negative as it demonstrates an inability for some of the team’s top picks to make a quick jump to the NHL Read more »
SOUTHERN CONFERENCE NOTES:
PEE DEE : The Pride today announced that they have signed defenseman B. J.
Adams to a contract, and that they have released right wing Matt Van Arkel.
The Pride claimed Adams, 24, off of waivers from Jackson on Saturday. He
played all of last season with the Toledo Storm of the ECHL, and opened this
season with Toledo, but was released after appearing in one game. The
6-foot-2, 215 pound defenseman played in 69 games with the Storm last
season, registering two goals, 14 assists, and racking up 110 penalty
minutes. To make room for Adams on the roster, the Pride released rookie
forward Matt Van Arkel. In seven games, the Notre Dame graduate had one goal
and was a plus-one.
LOUISIANA: The IceGators goaltender Marc Magliarditi is the Goalie of the
Month for October. The 25-year-old Magliarditi was a perfect 4-0-0 with a
2.50 goals against average and a .912 save percentage while helping
Louisiana to the best start in team history, 6-0-1. Magliarditi, who was
drafted in the sixth round by the Chicago Blackhawks (146th overall) in
1995, opened the month making 23 saves in a 6-3 win at New Orleans in the
season opener, and improved to 2-0-0 with a 4-3 win against Arkansas on
October 14, making 28 saves. The Niagara Falls, N.Y. native made 32 saves in
a 5-2 win at Jackson on October 20 and closed out the month making 20 saves
in a 5-2 win at Mississippi. He finished the month stopping 103 of 113
MISSISSIPPI : The Sea Wolves announced that forward John Evangelist Read more »
The Calder Corner: Handicapping the Field-October
As part of the Calder Corner’s continuing coverage of this year’s NHL prospects, once a month Hockey’s Future will be handicapping the race for the Calder Trophy and presenting you with our Top Ten favourites for the league’s coveted Rookie of the Year Award. Therefore, without further ado CC’s inaugural picks for the silverware:
||Kristian Huselius: Got off to a slow start due partially to a lack of line chemistry, partially due to a habit of looking for the perfect play. Once these problems were solved Huselius went on a tear of monster proportions that he is still in the middle of. With Pavel Bure slumping like he is, his timing has been flawless.
Read more »
When the Wild took Marian Gaborik third overall in the
2000 entry draft they made the young Slovakian very
happy “It’s a great feeling to be the first player who
was drafted by Minnesota ever, and I’m so happy I can
be there.” As this article will show he’s not the only
one happy he’s there.
Marian Gaborik was drafted third overall in the 2000
entry draft by the Minnesota Wild. So far he hasn’t
left Wild Management or the coaching staff second
guessing their selection of Marian as the teams first
ever pick in the NHL’s entry draft. Marian had an
excellent rookie season in the NHL. He was a co-leader
for goals on the Wild with 18 and finishing the season
with 36 points which was enough for him to be the
leading point-getter on the team. While Marian is
still a teenager at age 19 his second year has the
beginning looks of a real successful year. He has
already managed 12 points in 9 games (4+8=12) which is
exactly a third of his totals from his rookie season.
Marian has tremendous speed, linemate Andrew Brunette
said “with Marian using his speed, I don’t think
anybody can catch him, if he can control himself and
use his speed in specific times, he’ll be really
dangerous.” Another thing about Marian is his maturity
and confidence levels they are pretty impressive for a
19-year-old Brunette said this about Marian “I haven’t
come acros many 19-year olds who are as mature and
confident out there as him. The kid is something else”
Jim Dowd another linemate and friend of Gaborik added
“He’s grown so much even fro Read more »
With the their third pick of the 2001 NHL draft, the LA Kings selected
University of Michigan center Mike Cammalleri. Drafting Cammalleri 49th
overall is a really credit to the Kings scouting staff and Dave Taylor.
According to the Hockey News (October 31, 2001), Mark Bavis, KIngs scout who
was killed aboard one of the planes that crashed into the Trade Centers on
September 11, campaigned for Cammallerri, as well as, Ohio State forward,
David Steckel, the Kings 2nd pick. It is truly unfortunate that Bavis will
be unable to see Cammallerri succeed in the NHL because I am fairly confident he will.
It is hard to believe he is already in his junior year. It seems like only
yesterday I witnessed Mike take the Ontario Peewee Championships by storm,
as he nonchalantly smashed the tournament record for points. After that
week, I felt obligated to track his career because I believed, exactly what
many people believed after watching him; we had just saw a player who had a
future in the game.
Cammelleri continued through the Toronto Minor system and then easily
adapted to Tier 2 with the Bramlea Blues. In his rookie year, he recorded
103 points and helped lead his team to the Royal Bank Cup. Following that
year, he received a full scholarship to the NCAA most storied hockey
program, U. of Michigan. And to date he has not disappointed.
In his freshmen year, he recorded a respectable 26 points, which was
reasonable considering he was the youngest player in the CCHA by a full
year. Last in his sophomore year, he was forced to take Read more »