With all the WHL Western Conference teams having twenty games or less on their schedules, heres some speculation on how the season will finish and playoffs will play out. These are solely the thoughts and ponderings of this writer and may not be accurate, however with the stretch run just underway, thought it would be fun to put my choices out to provoke some debate. Here goes!
While the Cougars will likely play better in the playoffs, I’m not sure Thompson or Stanton are handling the pressure of a stretch run very well. Thompson was great against Kamloops in the recent loss, but I’m not sold. Hamhuis really is the glue that holds the entire Cougar back end together and he at some point this year is going to start slowing down and having some off nights, which appears is beginning to happen. He was brilliant in the first game against Kamloops last weekend, but in the second game was average by his standards, coughing up the puck, not as effective moving the puck and not as physical. When caught out of position didn’t appear to have a lot of gas to get back either IMO. They need scoring and I’m not sure even the addition of Foster will remedy that problem. Likely to finish third in B.C. Division and could slide as low as fourth with a first round exit IMO.
Kelowna will go as far as Bendera can take them and his return to the line up this weekend will be a tonic for a lot the Rockets current ailments. When on his game, Bendera can win games on his own which might be what the Rockets need to gain some confidence. If Shane can backstop the Rockets to a couple wins Read more »
Maxime Ouellet, Goaltender, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 30 GP, 2.65 GAA, .912 SV%
Pavel Brendl, Right Wing, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 37 GP, 10 G, 16 A, 26 P, +1, 10 PIM
Bruno St. Jacques, Defenseman, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 29 GP, 3 G, 8 A, 11 P, +11, 39 PIM
Tomas Divisek, Center, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 48 GP, 10 G, 15 A, 25 P, -9, 32 PIM
Vaclav Pletka, Left Wing, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 45 GP, 17 G, 17 A, 34 P, -4, 33 PIM
Francis Lessard, Defenseman, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 47 GP, 0 G, 5 A, 5 P, -8, 193 PIM
Jim Vandermeer, Defenseman, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 48 GP 1 G, 7 A, 8 P, -10, 52 PIM
Joe DiPenta, Defenseman, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 50 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 3 P, +10, 65 PIM
Jesse Boulerice, Left Wing, Philadelphia(AHL) Read more »
Coming into the 2001-02 season, defenseman Henrik Tallinder was touted as being one of the Buffalo Sabres’ better prospects. He had just finished a championship season with TPS Turku in Finland’s top league, an accomplishment that only added to his reputation, and which served to add to the anticipation of his arrival in North America.
Henrik’s debut was somewhat delayed due to a knee injury suffered early in Buffalo’s training camp, but he has not disappointed since joining the Rochester Americans’ roster. The smiling Swede seems to have adapted quickly to the style of play favored on these shores, to the point where he has logged as much as 25+ minutes a game. Tallinder does, indeed, look like a very promising prospect.
I caught up with Henrik following a recent practice, where we briefly discussed his career and his approach to the game. The following is a transcript of that conversation, with "HF" designating my questions and "HT" being Henrik’s answers.
: Last year, you played in Turku, Finland. What differences have you noticed between playing in Turku, and playing in the AHL?
: It’s a pretty big difference. Over here, it’s more hitting, and the play goes more, like- the transition game is much more forwards-and-backwards, and offense and defense is much faster than it is back home. Back home, it’s more sideways-to-sideways instead of up-and-down, if you know what I mean.
: You guys won the championship last year. That must have been exciting f Read more »
Washington Capitals 2000 Entry Draft selection Igor Schadilov could be ready to jump into the AHL next season, but is General Manager George McPhee ready to convince Igor to make the jump?
Igor was drafted by the Capitals in 1999. He was selected in the 9th round (249th overall) and is considered to have the ability of being a great two-way defenseman. When Igor Schadilov was originally drafted, he was left towards the bottom of the depth chart for his Russian Super League team. But the Caps liked what they saw, and decided to take the chance. Low and behold having been previouisly stuck behind such Russian defensive prospects such as Andrei Markov(Montreal), Alex Proshkin and Alexander Khavanov(St. Louis)…Igor has emerged this season on the number one defensive pairing for his squad.
In 2000, Igor played on the Russian Junior National Team at the Five Nations and Four Nations tournaments. After his strong performance at the Four Nations tournament, where he registered a +2 rating in 3 games, Igor was invited to take part in the training camp for the World Junior Championships. He helped the his team to win the Silver medal at the 2000 U20 WJC with his goal and an impressive +8 rating.
Currently with Severstal Cherpovets of the Russian Super League, Schadilov has scored 5 goals and 2 assists. In a game on December 2nd, Igor scored 2 goals and was named the number one star for the game. RussianProspects.com recently nominated Igor for player of the week honors.
Despite being drafted late, Igor should be offered Read more »
WHL WEST STARS WIN, SO OHL CLAIMS THE HERSHEY CUP
RIMOUSKI – The Western Hockey League’s Western Conference All-Stars defeated
the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Dilio Conference All-Stars 9-4
Wednesday night in the final game of the 2002 Hershey Cup CHL All-Star
As a result the WHL, the Ontario Hockey League and the QMJHL all finish the
series with identical 1-1 records, but the OHL was awarded the Hershey Cup
on goal differential. The inaugural Hershey Cup was won last year by the
QMJHL’s two all-star teams.
Jared Aulin of the Kamloops Blazers and Paul Gaustad of the Portland Winter
Hawks both scored twice for the WHL stars, while Joe Balej (Portland),
Brandin Cote (Spokane), Joey Hope (Portland), Eric Johannsen (Tri-City) and
Dustin Johner (Seattle) added singles.
Karl Fournier (Acadie-Bathurst Titan), Yanick Lehoux (Baie-Comeau Drakkar),
Michel Outlet (Rimouski) and Olivier Fillion (Acadie-Bathurst) replied for
the QMJHL Dilio Conference All-Stars, which became the first Quebec team to
lose at the Hershey Cup.
The WHL East led 3-2 after one period of play and the QMJHL Dilio Conference
All-Stars tied the game early in the second period. But six consecutive
goals by the WHL East All-Stars gave the WHL its first win at the Hershey
The OHL wound up the 2002 Hershey Cup CHL All-Star Series with a 1-1 record
with a plus three goals differential, the WHL was 1-1 and even while the
QMJHL was 1-1 and minus three. The QMJHL Dilio Conference All-Stars out-shot
the WHL East All-Stars 42-25 before 4,76 Read more »
SYRACUSE CRUNCH NEWS
RWRobert Korn has been called up by the Blue Jackets. Kron, at 34 years of age, has been recalled after a 6 game stint, which he registered 2 goals and 4 assists. On the season, Kron has 2 goals and 9 assists with the Jackets
LWMathieu Darhce has been reassigned to the Crunch after a brief stint with the Jackets which saw him register one assist in 5 games.
Preston Mizzi has been recalled to the Syracuse Crunch. Jonathan Schill has been relocated to Dayton to make room for this. Other players being relocated to Dayton of the ECHL include goaltender Karl Goehring
As of Wednesday, February 6th
Credit www.theahl.com for statistics Read more »
By Mike Buskus
Albany Week in Review #18
Trickle-down effect from Devils?
With the news, reported by Sports Network and AP on Monday afternoon, February 4, 2002, that the New Jersey Devils had agreed to terms with veteran goaltender, John Vanbiesbrouck, to return to the NHL club, the inevitable speculation “down on the farm” in Albany is this: who gets the boot in net?
To date, the Albany River Rats have followed a “rotation” system, in which Ari Ahonen and Scott Clemmensen have alternated starts. Though Ahonen is slightly ahead in statistical measures (2.97 goals-against; .913 save percentage, versus 3.11 GAA and .910 save percentage for Clemmensen), Clemmensen has, in the opinion of this writer, been sharper lately. The Boston College graduate did get pulled several weeks back in a “rematch” of the “Frozen Four” against Karl Goehring (late of North Dakota, now with the Syracuse Crunch). However, it was Clemmensen who weathered blizzards of shots in Hartford, facing 48 shots (with 46 saves) and 45 shots (with 40 saves) on successive Saturdays at the Hartford Veterans’ Memorial Civic Center. This past week, Clemmensen earned “first star” in Rochester with his 38-save effort backstopping a 1-1 tie against the Amerks.
While some teams have experimented with a three goaltender system, usually that is a temporary expedient while an out-placement is sought for one of the three. With J.F. Damphousse thus destined to be shipped out of East Rutherford, New Jersey, as soon as the “Beezer” is in game shape, the questi Read more »
The Viking Cup is a traditional tournament of the European Under-18 teams, who square off against
the Canadian university teams or Junior A leagues selection teams. Just like every year,
the Czech Under-18 team takes part in this tournament. The young Czech travelled overseas
already in mid-December, before the Viking Cup tournament they played five exhibition games.
All of them turned out to be wins of the Czech team and so they could feel ready for the
main tourney. That didn’t turn out to be a huge success, the Czechs recorded just one win
in the regular group games and in the quarterfinals they were beaten by the AJHL Junior A
Selects. Bright individualities on the Czech roster were on display again, mostly goalie
Lukas Mensator, defensemen Martin Cizek and Tomas Linhart and forwards Jakub Koreis, Jan
Kubista and Jakub Langhammer. All of them gave their best to the team and could be in the
spotlight also against those older opponents. So let’s have a look how the games were!
Czech Republic – Augustana Vikings 1:5
After the five relatively easy wins in the exhibition games the young
Czechs faced the first Viking Cup opponent. The Augustana University
Vikings team had lots of older players on the roster, some already
reaching their prime at 27. The Czechs had trouble with dealing with
the faster pace of game than in the exhibition games plus they had
two days off before this match. Near the halfway mark of the first
period Lonnie Granley gave the lead to the Augustana team. Read more »
In its policy towards the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, the National Hockey League is doing the same mistake as the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev when he tried to implement “perestroika” and “glasnost” some 15 years ago. Gorbachev thought he would reach his objectives by giving the people a little of everything, a little of communism, a little of capitalism and a little freedom. The result was a bit of a mess.
The debate in North American sports media since the hockey season started shows, when one can read between the lines, that the NHL has the same kind of ambivalent feelings towards what should be the biggest show in hockey history. The league wants to be a big part of the show, but not too much. It wants the Olympics to be perceived as something great, but not too great. At least not to the point where it overshadows the NHL All Star game.
The NHL has paid serious money in order to have its logotype integrated with the Salt Lake 2002 logo. Almost every official NHL publication it boasts the Olympic “Hockey Rules” slogan. But when Slovak, German and Latvian players beg to be released for the preliminary round of the Olympic tournament, instead of telling the team GM:s: “Let them go”, the league commissioner looks the other way.
The NHL loves to poach on Olympic ideals, but when a half-injured player declines All-Star game participation in order to be fully fit for the Olympics, a high ranked NHL-official threatens with a fine.
The NHL’s basic problem stems from the fact that North American team sports are not used to i Read more »
QMJHL ALL-STARS LOOK TO WIN ANOTHER HERSHEY CUP
RIMOUSKI – The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League can win its second Hershey
Cup Wednesday night when the QMJHL Dilio Conference All-Stars take on the
Western Hockey League’s Western Conference All-Stars in the third and final
game of the 2002 Hershey Cup CHL All-Star Series.
Game time is 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on RDS in Quebec and
on Rogers Sportsnet.
The inaugural Hershey Cup was won last year by the QMJHL’s two all-star
teams and the league has a chance to make it two for two by winning
Wednesday night’s game, to be held at the Colisee de Rimouski, the beautiful
home arena of the l’Oceanic de Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey
The 2002 Hershey Cup CHL All-Star Series opened up in Ottawa on Jan. 16,
when the QMJHL Lebel Conference All-Stars defeated the OHL East Conference
All-Stars 4-2. Frederic Faucher of the Drummondville Voltigeurs sparked
Quebec with a pair of goals, while Jonathan Bellemare of the Shawinigan
Cataractes added three assists.
Matthew Lombardi of the Victoriaville Tigres and Jason Pominville of the
Cataractes scored the other goals for the winners. Olivier Michaud of
Shawinigan, Jean-Francois Racine of Drummondville and Pascal Leclaire of
Montreal all played very well in the victory before 5,439 fans in Ottawa.
Zenon Konopka of the Ottawa 67’s and Blaine Down of the Barrie Colts scored
for the OHL, while Peter Budaj and Andy Chiodo of the Toronto St. Michael’s
Majors and David Chant of the Barrie Colts played in Read more »