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If there is one thing that stands out about Brendan Bell it is his skating ability. He “has a powerful stride (and is) able to catch up on opposing breaking players” and is lateral movement “very good, probably his forte.” He goes on to say that “Bell’s defensive positioning is key to his defensive success and uses his exceptional side-to-side movement to block out opposition players.”
However, there is more to the Leaf’s 3rd round pick than that. Bell also comes with a burgeoning transition game included. His first pass is almost always a safe one by choice which is a comfort to a good many coaches who more often than not have to try to hammer that point home. While Dole points out that “(he) might need to become increasingly aggressive to create more offense,” he also goes on to say that Bell is “very good as the trailer (and his) puck control allows for few turnovers in the neutral zone.”
The rearguard while possessing a great slapshot and wristshot from the point “might need to shoot more” according to Dole who explains that “a typical Brendan Bell shot is a low wrister through traffic (which is) very effective in terms of tips.” As for his puck control once in the offensive zone this and stopping it from getting out over the blueline are again marked as strengths and part of what the writer terms “great offensive instincts and anticipation.”
Be that as it may, there are things that the blueliner can improve on. While “his ability to read plays quickly allows him to position himself and find loose pucks” helps him out in front of the net, the corner Read more »
Timo Parsinnen, Sami Pahlsson, Petr Tenkrat, Antti Jussi Niemi, and even Kevin Sawyer all these players started the season on the pond, some flourished and showed the ability to play in the NHL like Sawyer and Pahlsson, then there’s players like Timo Parsinnen who is having a little trouble getting adjusted to the North American ice surface but on a high note he has been playing great the past couple of games for the Cincy ducks.
Tenkrat was showing signs of improvement in every department except that he was showing a different skill every night never putting them together which is why he was traded, the ducks aren’t going to wait around for players to develop anymore they learned their lesson after players like Antti Aalto and Jeremy Stevenson never produced. Sami Pahlsson has been excellent this season contributing at both ends of the ice, his modest offensive skill and great defense make him a big part of Anaheim’s future.
Kevin Sawyer is currently leading the NHL in penalty minutes ahead of Donald Brashear, which is not bad for a rookie. Kevin has given the ducks what they’ve been lacking for the past couple of seasons, a hard nosed physical player who gets underneath opposing players skin, Sawyer stirs the pot.
Niemi has been a big disappointment this season and I don’t know why, the guy hits like a freight train but doesn’t like to hit often, Niemi has average offensive ability but plays like his hands are made of stone, Niemi better gain some confidence in his abilities soon or he might find himself on a new team just like Petr Tenkrat did.
Giants Make Changes Focused on Future
In just over a month, the Giants have changed their look and it appears to be with a focus on the future. Of note, the club seems to be slowly stockpiling up on young netminders. The transactions go as follows:
October 11: Acquire 18-year old forward/defenceman Jack Redlick [6’3″, 215#], from the Kamloops Blazers for the Giants’ 5th round Bantam Draft Pick in either 2002 or 2003.
Week of October 22: Trade 20-year centre old Paul Deniset for Prince Alberts’ 5th round Bantam Draft Pick.
Week of October 22: Acquire former Regina Pat, 20-year old centre Ryan Thomas [5’10”, 200#], and former Swift Current Bronco, 20-year old defenceman Clay Thoring [5’11”, 175#], through Free Agency.
November 10: Trade right winger Joe Bitz to the Regina Pats for 17-year old Mark Sargent, a goaltending prospect.
November 10: Trade 18-year old local boy and Giants’ history-maker, centre Tyson Mulock to the Regina Pats for 18-year old centre Chad Bassen [6′, 187#].
November 10: Trade 20-year old, left winger Scott Henkelman to the Kamloops Blazers for 17-year old right winger Josh Bonar [6’2″, 175#], and 17-year old goalie Jordan McLaughlin.
For the Giants, a return to playing some successful hockey will come once they focus on their defensive (and physical) play at both ends of the rink. On occasion, there is a player whose prese Read more »
Ales Hemsky seems to have re-adjusted to life back in the QMJHL, as he was named the player of the week on November 5th. Hemsky notched 4 goals and had 10 points in only 3 games during the week previous to his honor. He also posted a +4 rating, and now has 24 points in 15 games.
The Hamilton Bulldogs have gone on a nice roll, unbeaten in their last 6 games, and now sit second in the Canadian Division with an 8-4-2 record in 15 games. Marc Lamothe has 3 consecutive home shutouts, and may just be the next goalie that gets to open the gate for Tommy Salo. While Kevin Brown continues to lead the team in scoring, Jason Chimera and Brian Swanson are hot on his tail. Sven Butenschon may also find himself back in the “bigs” soon if his game continues to roll, posting 10 points in 15 games.
This is the first recap from the officially declared best European hockey league which is the Czech Extraleague. One of the teams that has a pretty good chance of winning the title is Sparta Praha. Club with an excellent backround and enough money to buy good players with very perspective future. Sparta’s roster is loaded with stars this season, their names won’t say much to North American hockey fans but in the Czech Republic they are well known.
Let me just briefly tell you about the changes that took place during the summer in Sparta’s roster and not only in it. Sparta didn’t win the Extraleague last season and ended up second. But considering the poor performance in the course of the year it can still be seen as success. Sparta played different hockey in the play-offs then in the regular season but assumingly they didn’t play by their heart as much as the team around Jiri Dopita did (meaning Vsetin). Still being secon Read more »