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Sharks Team Defense

by Mike Delfino
on

There’s some good news and some bad news for the Sharks. The good news is that the Sharks have one of the best young defensive corps in the league, a position that will take the Sharks as far as talent on the blue line can take them. The bad news is that the Sharks also have one of the youngest defenses in the league, which not unlike raising children, results in a lot of excitement, and a lot of frustration as well.

With the Sharks’ system of defense first, it is essential that they get defensive production not only from the blue line, but also from the forward positions while on the transition. The Sharks have reason to be happy with the defensive play of Brad Stuart, Scott Hannan and Shawn Heins back on the blue line, however, it has often been from the forwards where the Sharks have lacked defensive production.

As Shawn Heins finishes his unusual road to the NHL, he has found himself in various roles for the Sharks, and has done quite well. Not only has he stepped in on defense as the team’s seventh defenseman, but he has also stepped in nicely as a fourth line wing when necessary.

Heins’ best weapon has always been his shot, which has been clocked as the hardest shot in professional hockey. In the past however, he has always struggled in reading defenses, reacting accordingly, and getting his shot unleashed at the right times.

This year, while his reaction times still leave something to be desired, he is reading plays much better, and thus has learned to use his shot to his advantage better. He has improved his accur Read more »

Brendl and Lundmark Lead Their Teams Closer To The Gold

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

World Junior Championships

  • Jamie Lundmark and team Canada faced off against team USA today in the Quarter Finals. Lundmark scored the game winning goal to defeat the USA 2-1 and advance to the Semi-finals. While on the Power Play, Lundmark took a cross-ice feed from Dany Heatley, and then roofed the puck into the net to eventually win the game for Canada and eliminate the USA’s chances at winning a medal. Jamie also played aggressive throughout the game, as he picked up 4 penalty minutes (2 for an unsportsmanlike conduct and 2 for slashing). Lundmark currenlty has 6 points (4 goals, 2 assists) and 6 penalty minutes in 5 games so far. He is tied for 1st on the team in points with forward Mike Cammalleri and also leads everyone in the tournament in face-offs, with a 70.13 winning percentage. Canada faces off against team Finland in the semi-finals in their next game. The Canadians and Finns tied 2-2 earlier in the tournament.
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2001 A.C. – After Comrie

by Jeff Bromley
on
Mike Comrie has left the building, and the city and the area, all for the bright lights and greener pastures of
the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. Turn out the lights, stick a fork in ‘em, the Kootenay ICE are done, right?
Wrong, and there are twenty-four other hockey players in the ICE dressing room who are out to prove it.

The post Mike Comrie era began last week in haste as the Kootenay ICE took a possible three of four points
from the Brandon Wheat Kings in a two game doubleheader over the weekend at the RecPlex. In the
4-1Friday night win and 3-2 overtime loss on Saturday, the ICE proved two things. That they indeed have
depth to spare and that the club can play an in-your-face, physical, mucking in the corners brand of hockey.

Skating with a line-up depleted of no less than seven skaters on Friday and nine on Saturday with the loss
of Bret DeCecco to a concussion and Cole Fischer midway through the first frame with re-aggravated back
spasms that also caused him to miss Friday’s contest, from a sheer count of so-called impact players, things
did not look good for the ICE. Missing Jarret Stoll and Zdenek Blatny at the World Junior Championships,
Comrie signing with the Oilers, Svatos still out with transfer problems from Slovakia, standout rookies Andy
Thompson and Adam Taylor at the under-17 tournament in Truro, Nova Scotia and Aaron Rome going
down Friday night with a shoulder injury, needless to say, there was a lot of room on the bench. Do the
math and the ICE were missing seven of their top eleven scorers on the club. A precarious Read more »

Rangers Prospects Shine at WJC

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

World Junior Championships

  • Jamie Lundmark and team Canada have played 1 game since I last updated. Lundmark scored 2 goals in an 8-4 win over Switzerland today. Lundmark currenlty has 5 points (3 goals, 2 assists) and 2 penalty minutes in 4 games so far. He is tied for 1st on the team in points with forward Mike Cammalleri and is tied for 5th in the whole tournament, with 11 other players, with his 5 points.. Canada is currently 2-1-1 as the opening round comes to a close. They face team USA in their next game.
  • Pavel Brendl and the Czech Republic have played one game since I last updated. The Czech’s defeated Slovakia today by a score of 5-0. Brendl was the star of the game for the Czech Republic, as he registered a goal and 3 assists in the game. Brendl currently has 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) and 4 penalty minutes in 4 games so far. He leads the Czech Republic and the whole tournament with his 7 points. The Czech Republic is currently 4-0-0. They face Sven Helfenstein and team Switzerland in their next game.
  • Sven Helfenstein and team Switzerland have played 1 game since I last updated. Helfenstein was held scoreless in an 8-4 loss to team Canada. He got his name on the scoresheet however as he did take a penalty during the game. Helfenstein currently has 2 points (2 goals) and 4 penalty minutes in 4 games so far. Switzerland’s record is 1-2-1. Helfenstein and Switzerland take on the Czech Republic in their next game.
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Rangers prospect statistical update

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Week Of 12/21 to 12/30

Player         Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Pavel Brendl  Calgary   WHL    26  29  23  52   24   21
       Czech Republic  WJC     4   2   5   7    4    6

This Week: 4 GP, 2 G, 5 A, 7 P, 4 PIM, +6


Player           Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Jamie Lundmark  Seattle   WHL    20  17  17   34  19   3
                Canada    WJC     4   2   3    5   2   1

This Week: 4 GP, 2 G, 3 A, 5 P, 2 PIM, +1


Player         Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Filip Novak   Regina    WHL    35  12  25  37   38   14

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


Player              Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Garret Bembridge  Saskatoon  WHL    37  25  22  47   16  -15

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


Player             Team       League   GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Evgeny Gusakov   Baie-Comeau   QMJHL    32  11   20   31  68  +5

This Week: N/A


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

This Week: N/A


Player            Team      League  GP  G  A   P  PIM  +/-
Nathan Martz  New Hampshire  HE     17  3  7   10    8    2

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

Czech Republic vs. USA WJC game recap

by Robert Neuhauser
on
Before the teams went out on the ice, it was clear that this game will influent the final
standings of the Group A. The winner of this game will be the winner of the group and will
meet the fourth best team of the Group B in the quarterfinals and so has a better chance to
qualify for the semifinals. All players and coaches were aware of this fact. Jaroslav Holik
told the Czech guys to play defensively responsible and not to take bad penalties just like in
the previous two games. The US guys know how to play powerplay and too many minutes with a man
in the penalty box cost strength, which is needed in the last minutes. The US squad is maybe
the hardest opponent the Czechs have to face in the group and they had to prepare for this game
with a video session. The US goalie is one of the biggest prospects in all of hockey, Rick
DiPietro, first man taken overall at the 2000 NHL draft, the defense boasts first rounders
Paul Martin and Ron Hainsey the front line the likes of Jeff Taffe, Brett Nowak, Andy Hilbert,
Kris Vernarsky, Damian Surma or Jon DiSalvatore. Along with 2001 top prospects Tim Gleason and
Mike Komisarek at defense and David Steckel with R.J. Umberger at offense.

Head coach Jaroslav Holik started the game with using 3 lines, the fourth line which played well
against Kazakhstan was benched again. The USA squad played its typical aggressive, hard, in-your-
face style of hockey with great forechecking, but the Czechs knew what was waiting for them.
And they made the best thing possible, Pavel Brendl grabbed the puck, avoided the hit and 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.

Catching up: December 16th – the Maple Leafs fall to Calgary in overtime 6-5 … December 19th – defenseman Nathan Dempsey was dispatched to St. John’s despite some very solid play in 8 games with the team … the move was made in order to maintain optimum roster flexibility as waivers would have been required in order to return Dempsey to the Rock following 10 NHL starts … rookie Petr Svoboda is recalled in order to fill Dempsey’s spot and produces decidedly mixed results in the ensuing games … December 20th – the Leafs are stoned by Mike Dunham and fall to Nashville at home 3-1 … December 21st – Boston shuts out Toronto 4-0 and only Tie Domi seems concerned … December 23rd – the Leafs provide their fans with the only gift of the Christmas season with a convincing 5-2 victory over the Habs in Montreal … December 26th – rookie goaler Milan Hnilicka backstops the Thrashers to a 5-3 win over Toronto in Atlanta … December 27th – the Maple Leafs send a belated Christmas gift to NHL headquarters at Mario Lemieux’s homecoming party by neglecting to defend against the superstar in any meaningful way as the Pens embarrass Toronto 5-0 … December 28th – Captain Sundin calls for a shake-up of his struggling (I would have used a much saltier word) team as many thousands of Maple Leafs Read more »

Woeful Isles To Give Kolnik A Shot

by Jonathan Litterine
on
The New York Islanders are supposed to be better then they are
playing.
As everybody knows when things don’t go right roster moves are made. It
is
now Juraj Kolnik’s turn. The former Rimouski Oceanic Star is due to make
his
NHL Debut against the Atlanta Thrashers on December 29. Kolnik who just
turned 20 on November 13th is a childhood friend of Islanders defensemen
Branislav Mezei. Both grew up in Nitra,Slovakia. Kolnik is hoping to
duplicate the success of former Rimouski grads Vincent Lecavalier and
Brad
Richards, both are currently playing with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Since
98-99 Kolnik has had 190 points in 109 QMJHL games. He has split time
this
year with Lowell and Springfield of the American Hockey League. Kolnik
is a
amazing offensive player with great skills. His problem is defense. He
has a
one track mind, offense and nothing else. The Islanders can’t score and they give up too many
goals. If
Kolnik can help them in any form the Islanders will be thrilled. Yet
Kolnik
alone can’t put them in the playoffs. The Islanders need a lot of help.
Maybe
General Manager Mike Milbury can get them help in some trades.

Sens prospect update

by Richard Polonsky
on

The look at Senators prospects and how they are doing this year.

Petr Schastlivy:

GM G A P +/- PIM
14 12 3 15 3 7

Anton Volchenkov:

Volchenkov is Ottawa’s only first rounder not playing in the NHL (Daigle being the exception). He will need time to develop, so don’t expect him for another couple years. He is physically strong and solid on his skates. He has made the Russian squad for the World Junior Championships while playing for Krylia Sovetov of the Russian second division. Scouts said he was the best blueliner at a recent 1981-born tournament in Sweden.

Teemu Sainomaa:

Playing for Jokerit of the Finnish elite league, Teemu is getting limited ice time because of his age. He has been selected to play for Finland’s National Junior team for the WJC.

Todd White:

Leads Grand Rapids in scoring (27-19-15-25) and is a major reason for their early success.

Alexandre Giroux:

Was invited to Canadian National Junior selection camp but was among first cuts. Among the leaders in QMJHL with 63 points in 38 games playing for the Hull Olymiques.

Simon Lajeunesse:

Having a bad year on a bad team sportng a 3.95 GAA to go with a 9-19-1 record.

Antione Vermette:

Right behind Giroux in the scoring department with 62 points in 41 games for the Victoriaville Tigres of the QMJHL.

Jan Bohac: Read more »

Czech Republic vs. Sweden WJC game recap

by Robert Neuhauser
on
The young Czechs opened their schedule at the WJC on Tuesday, December, 26th with
the game against Sweden. The event took place in front of 1500 spectators at the CSKA Arena
in Moscow at 4:30 p.m. (Russian time). The Swedes presented much less hyped squad than last
year when their roster included the likes of Daniel and Henrik Sedin or Henrik Zetterberg, all
of whom are expected to be future NHL stars. But don’t judge the Swedes wrong, their players
have loads of talent and also this year’s team has NHL prospects on the roster, for example
Henrik Lundqvist, NY Rangers goaltending prospect, Lars Jonsson future Boston Bruins rearguard
and a lot of prospects at forward – Jonas Andersson and Daniel Widing (both Nashville), Jari Tolsa
and Per Backer (both Detroit), Jonas Nordqvist of Chicago or Tim Eriksson, a Los Angeles Kings
talent. Two huge talents contains also the Swedish roster, Boston Bruin Martin Samuelsson and a
2001 highly touted prospect Fredrik Sjostrom. So it’s for sure that the Swedes aren’t weak – they
are never weak at the WJC. And this team was the first opponent of the Czechs on their way to
defend the championship title.

As goalie Tomas Duba stated in an interview, the whole team was nervous before the puck dropped.
But after this happened, there was no sign of nervousness. The young Czechs played great defensively
and it was clear that this game won’t be a high-scoring contest. The Czechs were faster, more
aggresive and created some scoring chances. Tomas Duba in the net wasn’t very busy during
the first period. Henrik L Read more »