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Bobby Russell gives a dose of reality

by Corine Gatti
on

HF: What has been your biggest obstacle playing at this level of hockey (AHL).

BR: I wouldn’t call it obstacles, but being in and out of the line up has really given me a hard time. That is my fault. If I were doing everything right, I wouldn’t be in and out of the line up as much as I have been. Also, I need to work on my strength and my on ice vision. That has been my major downfall at this level.

HF: In what way has Trent Yawney (head coach) helped develop your skills more?

BR: He keeps telling me to do the little things right, and for the most part he lets me play.

HF: How are you adjusting to this league after playing at the ECHL level?

BR: Adjustment is a huge step, because in the ECHL you have maybe three or four guys that can play at this level. I need to work on passing better, working on my speed and being there at the right time.

HF: How do you prepare yourself for a game?

BR: I have my twenty-minute workout here, (practice) and I grab a bite to eat of chicken or pasta and nap for a few hours. [Laughing] It’s pretty standard, but that is my typical game day.

HF: Any pre-game rituals?

BR: [Pausing] I can’t say that I do, unless I score a couple days in a row and than I try to remember what I did or what skate I put on first that day.

HF: Who are your heroes off the ice?

BR: My father and mother. Without them I wouldn’t be here. As a kid, they would be up with me at five o clock in the morning for practice. Read more »

Centers with the Coyotes

by Russell Brooks
on

Krys Kolanos has graduated according to Hockeys Future prospects rules

Centers

#1 Jeff Taffe – Minnesota Gophers (26 GP, 22 G, 15 A, 37 P, 16 PIM, -1)

Taffe has had a career year so far as his production from last year has almost doubled. One problem with Taffe is his defensive game is not as strong as his offensive game and he needs to become a better 2-way center. Taffe was one of the key components in the Keith Tkachuk trade and his status is unknown to whether he will try to make the Coyotes roster as of next year or stay in College for his senior season.

#2 Martin Podelsak – Lethbridge Hurricanes (32 GP, 12 G, 20 A, 32 P, 29 PIM, +9)

Podelsak has adjusted well to the North American ice style since he came over to North America in the 2000 CHL Import Draft. Podelsak 2-way game has improved greatly this year. Podelsak is also starting to use is 6’5” frame to his advantage. Podelsak’s future will most likely stay in the juniors for one more year before attmpting to transfer over the to NHL.

#3 Jason Jaspers – Springfield Falcons (40 GP, 17 G, 10 A, 27 P, 35 PIM, +3)

Jaspers is having a great year so far and has even earned a recall with the Coyotes, which he registered a point in three games played. After the Coyotes made the Lewtoski trade, it has opened a door for Jaspers who plays almost an identical style as Lewtoski did. Jaspers will have a shot at making the Coyotes although he will stay at Springfield next year at all likelihood.

#4 Peter Fabus – Dukla Trencin (22 GP, 12 G, 8 A, 20 P, 59 PIM, +12)

F Read more »

Albany Week in Review

by pbadmin
on

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 »

Czech Republic at Viking Cup

by Robert Neuhauser
on
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 »

A look at the Czech Under-17 team

by Robert Neuhauser
on
The Czech Under-17 team has left a very solid impression at the previous World Hockey
Challenge in Manitoba. The players are in their second year of international competiton
and some of them have already played their first games in the Czech senior Extraleague.
It is obvious that just like every year, Czech hockey will have representation among the
top prospects for the respective draft, this time 2003 or 2004. The top Czech 1985 born players
have already made their presence felt, especially the “great line”, consisting of forwards
Vojtech Polak – Petr Vrana – Ivo Kratena. Those three keep terrorising the opposition and
draw some comparisons to the line Jaromir Jagr – Robert Reichel – Robert Holik twelve years ago.
So let’s have a look at the brightest 1985 born Czech players (I included also players
who play regularly for the Under-18, but due to their birthdate are still eligible to play
for the Under-17 team)!

Goalie

Jakub Cech – the Havirov goalie broke into the senior Extraleague this season and his start
made some people turn their heads. Cech plays with a suprising portion of maturity and poise
for a 16-year old goalie in the league, where most goalies are around thirty. He plays a mix
of butterfly and stand-up style which is highly effective. Cech has a very good control of
first shots and is also succesfull against rebounds. Uses his blocker and glove well and
is extremly tough to beat on the high side. He has a good size and covers the net and plays
the angles well. Cech plays with lots of confidence and can keep the t Read more »

Kings AHL Update

by Sean Speer
on

As the American Hockey League gets set to play the 2002 American Hockey
League All Star game on February 14 in St. John’s Newfoundland, it also
seems like a good time to evaluate the play of its newest team the
Manchester Monarchs, the Los Angeles Kings’ affilate. It has been a
successful start to the franchise to say the least.

The Monarchs are currently in tied for fourth overall with 60 points. They
have played extremely well at home and have scored over 160 goals for, which
is comparable to many of the other strong teams in the league. Their goals
against is a little high but definitely not enough for concern, especially
considering goaltender Travis Scott, who may be somewhat of a suprise
since the Monarchs boast two other goalies with NHL experience in Stephane
Fiset and Marcel Cousineau. While Fiset has been injured most of the
season, Scott, who will suit up for the AHL Canadian All Stars, has won 14
games and recorded a GAA of 2.58.

The Monarchs have a strong mix of veteran talent and youth throughout their
line up. Their leading scorer thus far has been Ted Donato with 37 points
in 28 games. Donato has scored over 20 goals three times in the NHL and
probably could be used by a number of franchises in the league. He also will
play in the AHL All Star game but on the PlanetUSA team. Also on forward is
Jaroslav Bednar, who the Kings expected to make their roster after taking
him in the most recent edition of the NHL draft. He struggled early in
North America, but he has settled down as is just below a point-a-gam Read more »

Under-20 WJC: A look back at the Team Finland

by Heikki Kallionsivu
on

After the bronze medal game Finland’s head coach Erkka Westerlund said that team had a good tournament and he was satisfied the way his team played. I can easily understand what he said because in my opinion Finland, Canada and Russia were clearly three best teams at this tournament.

Finland’s defence was just as good Russians or Canadians, but Finns forwards were too small and weak compared to Russia & Canada, especially at wing. Finns played very well as a team and they had the tournament’s best goalie (Kari Lehtonen), but that was not enough. After the tournament Westerlund said that talent-wise the gap between Finland and Russia is big and only four-five Finnish players are good enough to play for Team Russia. I’d like to say Finns have five to six players this good, but the truth is that talent difference between Finland and Canada/Russia is obvious.

Finland had in the tournament one or two average showings (first game against Switzerland, semi-final game against the Czech Republic), but in other games they played well to very well. Their best games were the round-robin matches against Russia (win 2-1) and Canada (win 4-1). Team Finland also played well against Russia in semifinals, but unfortunately Russia played maybe their best game in the tournament. The Russians didn’t take stupid penalties and played a very disciplined defensive game. And in that game the Russians skating was superior, they really flew on the ice the whole 61 minutes. The final game was alot easier for the Finns. The Swiss were tired and the Finns, especially Tuomo Ruutu, wanted to w Read more »

The CHL Daily News

by League Press Release
on

TRI-CITY’S ERIC JOHANSSON IS THE CHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

The CHL Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 3, 2002 is forward Eric
Johansson of the Tri-City Americans.

Johansson, 20, picked up 11 points in four league games this week, including
four goals. His goals included one power play marker, one shorthanded goal
and one game-winning goal as Tri-City managed a 2-1-1 record for the week
(details below).

Johansson beat out the two other CHL league winners for the week ending Feb.
3 to become the third WHL winner of the CHL award in five weeks. Greg
Chambers of the Peterborough Petes was the Ontario Hockey League Player of
the Week while Dominic Noel of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (Offensive)
and Marc-Andre Fleury (Defensive), also of Cape Breton, were the Quebec
Major Junior Hockey League winners.

The CHL Player of the Week is selected from among the three leagues’
nominees and announced in Tuesday’s editions of the CHL Daily News. The CHL
Player of the Month for January will be announced in Wednesday’s CHL Daily
News.

CHL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Feb. 5 – Eric Johansson, Tri-City Americans, WHL
Jan. 29 – Jason Spezza, Belleville Bulls, OHL
Jan. 22 – Jarret Stoll, Kootenay Ice, WHL
Jan. 15 – Brad Boyes, Erie Otters, OHL
Jan. 8 – Ryley Layden, Lethbridge Hurricanes, WHL
Dec. 17 – Andre Martineau, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, QMJHL
Dec. 10 – Shawn Roed, Portland Winter Hawks, WHL
Dec. 3 – Andy Chiodo, Toronto St. Michael’s Majors, OHL Read more »

Loose Pucks

by Ron Valerino
on

FORGE SPLITS WEEKEND WITH DANVILLE

Wings 4 Forge 1 :
NEVILLE ISLAND (Friday, February 1, 2002) — The Pittsburgh Forge Junior A
hockey club lost a 4-1 decision to the Danville Wings. After Danville scored
the only goal of the opening period, Pittsburgh tied the game 1-1 at the
14:16 mark of the second period on a goal by Mike Handza. It was Handza’s
18th goal of the season — which tied him with Pat Levendusky for the team
lead.

The Wings got a goal by Marek Hornak moments later at 17:38 and led
2-1 after two periods. Danville increased its advantage to 3-1 just 38
seconds into the final period when Jeremy Hall beat Pittsburgh goaltender
Tim Heneroty. The Wings closed out the scoring for the night on a
power-play goal by Bryan Marshall with a minute and 23 seconds left in the
contest.

Forge 3 Wings 1 : Read more »

San Jose Prospects Update

by Kevin Wey
on

While some San Jose Shark players like Gary Suter are nearing the end of their careers, the Sharks have plenty of prospects with the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League, NCAA DI college hockey, various European leagues, and major juniors in Canada. Many readers are likely familiar with many of these prospects, but some of them are not so well known to Shark fans, and perhaps they should be.

Summaries of Shark prospects with the Cleveland Barons will be available at a later date. Of some Cleveland news: Ryan Kraft, Mike Craig, and Jonathan Cheechoo have all been selected to play in the AHL All-Star Game. (Cheechoo as a starter) However, Cheechoo has missed the past 16 games due to injury.

Some prospects that are considered “graduated” are included within the report, and are among those that are probably the least known among the Sharks prospects. Some prospects who do not have their own profile at Hockey’s Future will also feature career stats along with their current season stats. As follows is a report by position of the 40+ San Jose Shark prospects.

Statistical Note:
All Stats as of February 2, 2002

Goaltenders

Jonas Forsberg
5’10” 160 lb. Catches: Left
6/16/75 Stockholm, Sweden Read more »

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