While the season is still in full effect, all is good in the state of Colorado. Yet, few fans want to think about the future. Many fans shutter to think about next season, as the Avs could lose 2 to 3 of it’s star players…
Rob Blake is an Av, as Pierre Lacroix once again pulled off a ‘the’ blockbuster deal of the season in order to solidify an injury prone defense. Yet, a somewhat serious injury has left Blake looking to rejoin the Avs sometime during or before the first round. This is the same injury that took Ray Bourque out during last year’s playoffs.
The Kings recently announced that they have chosen to claim Jared Aulin of the Kamloops Blazers in order to complete the Rob Blake trade. Aulin has been having a monster year this season, and has been making scouts look foolish for overlooking him in the first round of last year’s draft. Last season, Aulin was averaging around a point per game until injuries slowed his season down. During training camp this year, Aulin fared quite well, and would have been in heavy consideration to make the team had Chris Drury not been signed.
While I was very impressed with Aulin’s play during training camp, I have been very impressed with the acquisition of Steven Reinprecht from Los Angeles. Reinprecht has become a great asset to both the second and third lines, and looks like he is more comfortable with the type of role that former Av and current Bruins winger Brian Rolston was unable to settle into. His energetic play has breathed new life into the Yelle-Podein-Hinote-Reinprecht combination, Read more »
Junior Player of the Year 2/19 – 2/25
Peter Hamerlik (Kingston)- 2 games, 0-2, 4.20 GAA, .841 SvPct
Jeremy Van Hoof (Ottawa)- 2 games, 0 points
Darcy Robinson (Red Deer)- 4 games, 1 assist, 2 PIM
David Koci (Prince George)- 3 games, 7 PIM
Joel Scherban (London)- 3 games, 1 goal, 2 assists
Tomas Skvaridlo (Kingston)- 2 games, 1 assist
Steve Crampton (Moose Jaw)- 3 games, 4 PIM
Shane Endicott (Seattle)- 1 game, 1 goal
Jan Fadrny (Kelowna)- 1 game, 0 points
Michel Ouellet (Rimouski)- 3 games, 1 goal, 6 assists
Player of the Week
Ouellet 46 (5)
Fadrny 36 (5)
Endicott 32 (5)
Hamerlik 32 (3)
Crampton 13 (1)
Scherban 12 (1)
Van Hoof 1
Junior Player of the Year 2/26 – 3/4
Peter Hamerlik (Kingston)- 3 games, 0-1, 3.72 GAA, .897 SvPct
Jeremy Van Hoof (Ottawa)- 4 games, 1 assist
Darcy Robinson (Red Deer)- 2 games, 4 PIM
David Koci (Prince George)- 2 games, 1 assist, 17 PIM
Joel Scherban (London)- 3 games, 0 points
Tomas Skvaridlo (Kingston)- 2 games, 4 assists, 4 PIM
Steve Crampton (Moose Jaw)- 4 games, 3 goals, 1 assist, 14 PIM
Shane Endicott (Seattle)- 5 games, 1 goal, 4 assists, 2 PIM Read more »
The Tight Race in the Western Conference Continues
While the Nor’Easter (winter hurricane) was blowing out side. The tight race continues in the Western Conference. The three teams in the Western Conference: Norfolk, Cincinnati, Kentucky will continue to battle for its throne in the Southern Division.
The first place Cincinnati Mighty Ducks came to the Scope hoping to add miles between its counterparts for the race for the Kelly Cup. But they fell 4-1 in front of a pleased crowed of 4,488.
“There is no place like home? ” Norfolk is 24-10. The last time the Admirals lost at home was February thirteenth against the Syracuse Crunch. On the Road? The road has not been that kind.
“Some say it was a terrible road trip, we’re young and we have to learn. We don’t have the best road record but we have the best home record and that is the bottom line, said Aaron Downey.
That’s an understatement. Norfolk has found itself 10-17on the road. They recently snapped a seven game losing streak on the road. Norfolk is currently hanging in third place with seventy-nine points.
“ Home ice is our bread and butter,” said Matt Henderson who secured the final goal.
The Admirals scored on two of three power plays for the lead and added another making it 3-0. Norfolk is 2 for 56 on there power plays. The Ducks who are fifteenth in the league in power plays only capitalized on one of four in the second round at 2:24. There were a total of nine points from different players contributed to the first period. Read more »
Welcome to the end of the regular season report for the Belleville Bulls. It has truly been an incredi-bull season as the media likes to say. Picked by many prognosticators to come last in the very tough eastern division, the Bulls stepped up and took their first ever division title in their 20th year. With the departure of Jonathan Cheechoo, Justin Papineau and coach Lou Crawford for the AHL and then the trading of Cory Campbell (Memorial Cup MVP – 1999) at the beginning of the season, it looked bleak for the Bulls to say the least. However, little did people know, the Bulls head scout Floyd Crawford and his subordinates had stocked the team with young talent over the past couple of years.
I am proud to say I called Wellwood a superstar last year when I first saw him play. He just takes control of the game in the offensive end and the result has been an OHL scoring title in his second year in the league. He beat Jason Spezza (the #1 prospect for the upcoming NHL draft) by 2 points, 118 to 116. Randy Rowe was an overager this year and he made the most of his final year in the OHL, tying a 16-year-old Bulls record with 64 goals. This guy has NHL tools, but needs to get a little more feisty on the ice. The other sniper on the bulls top line was Branko Radivojevic who put on some weight since last year and up’d his point total by 30 points. I believe we will see him in a Colorado Avalanche jersey in the near future. The second line also played well with young Matthew Stajan centering Nate Robinson and Mike Renzi, which g Read more »
In the USHL as in any hockey league, goaltending is the key to winning games. If you get a good, solid goaltender then you can ride them all the way through the playoffs on to glory. Here is the 2000-2001 USHL Top Prospects list, this season it will come in 3 sections consisting of goaltending, offense and defense. The USHL has had a history of having some fantastic goaltenders in the past and this year is no exception. Here is a list of the top 5 goaltenders in the USHL in my eyes.
1. Jure Penko Green Bay Gamblers – When it comes to talent, hands down Jure Penko takes the prize as the top goaltender in the league this season. Jure is a tall, slender goaltender that is very agile and just continues to get better with each game. Penko loves a challenge and has been a top performer all season long. The Gamblers have played 54 games to date and Penko has shown he is a trooper as he has played in 44 of them. During those 44 games Penko has posted a 26-8-10 record. Penko has compiled a sparkling 2.39 GAA to go along with a .914 saves percentage on over 1,000 shots this year. Jure is a player who has nerves of steel and does not back down to the pressure as the Gamblers have played in some close games this season. He has been the horse of their team and will be a key for them in the post season.
2. Bobby Goepfert Cedar Rapids RoughRiders – Good things come in small packages, that is a perfect description of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders superstar goaltender. Bobby is small if you look at his size but if you watch him play, Read more »
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.
Playoff redemption: Maple Leafs fans everywhere are left searching for answers after yet another disturbing week of pathetic efforts turned in by the team … though it has long been said that this year’s club was constructed to achieve greater post season glory, even this tiny shred of hope is becoming increasingly difficult to trust … the overall lack of defensive commitment and team cohesion evident lately is appalling and certainly doesn’t suggest the likelihood of anything positive happening this spring … the much ballyhooed grit added to the team prior to the beginning of this season was nowhere to be seen when the Sabres made them look like a group of frightened children in Buffalo earlier this week … its true that there are still many talented players on the roster and several veterans known for their leadership qualities … Pat Quinn remains an excellent bench coach (recent calls for his dismissal are patently insane) and Cujo has won playoff rounds single handedly on several occasions in the past … the Stanley Cup playoffs may offer a final chance for redemption to a squad that has underachieved badly since Christmastime but, based on recent developments, it would be foolhardy to actually expect that this will happen …
Rumours: Toronto fans disappointed by the team’s failure to add a marquee name or two prior to th Read more »
The continual posturing and infighting that goes on between the NHL and the player’s union, the NHLPA, has now spilled over and is directly affecting the CHL and the three leagues under its umbrella; the WHL, OHL and QMJHL. A press release was issued recently by the National Hockey League Player’s Association that the union had filed suit in court to stop the Ontario Hockey League from restricting overage players from playing in that league unless they had signed a USA Hockey or a Canadian Hockey Association playing card. In essence, the rule restricts players making the jump from the NCAA to the CHL because American College players don’t sign USA Hockey playing cards, as only players in American junior leagues are required to do so.
The rule put in place by the OHL and the subsequent litigation filed by the NHLPA is the recent fallout over a decision last year by former NHL arbitrator Lawrence Holden who ruled that Michigan Wolverine rearguard Mike Van Ryn would be eligible for free agency if the New Jersey Devils who drafted him and held his rights didn’t sign him by the NHL Draft deadline, two years past the day they were drafted, as is the rule for all drafted junior players. Van Ryn left college to join the Sarnia Sting of the OHL as a twenty-yr-old and argued that now that he was a junior hockey player, the signing deadline/free agency rules should also apply to him. The NHL arbitrator agreed with Van Ryn and when the New Jersey Devils didn’t sign him, he signed with the St. Louis Blues as an unrestricted free agent last summer. Similarly, Mike Comrie Read more »
The QMJHL regular season ended last Tuesday night, with Chicoutimi
and Rimouski getting the last two tickets for the Spring’s Last Dance. Here
is the QMJHL playoffs picture.
The regular season
The Shawinigan Cataractes dominated the QMJHL
and finished first overall with an eyes-popping 116 points, 15 more than the
runner up, the Val-d’Or Foreurs. This season has been noticeable for
the obvious strength of the Lebel Conference compared to the Dillio Conference.
Four teams of the Lebel Conference (Shawinigan, Val-d’Or, Victoriaville and
Rouyn-Noranda) had more points than the 90 points of the Dilio Conference leader
the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Also, three Dilio Conference teams (Rimouski,
Chicoutimi and Québec) participating to the playoffs would have been
excluded of the Lebel Conference playoffs.
Let’s get it on! Read more »
With less than three weeks remaining in the AHL’s regular season, the Providence Bruins are beginning to look ahead to the playoffs. However, if you ask their fans, they’d probably tell you that the P-Bruins have been looking ahead to the playoffs since Christmas.
When Santa Claus made his trip around the world, the P-Bruins were the best team in the American Hockey League. Owners of a 20-6-3-2 record (45 points), Providence was off to its best start in the nine-year history of the franchise. Despite lacking the services of their top two goaltenders in Andrew Raycroft and Kay Whitmore, who were both playing in Boston in place of injured Byron Dafoe and John Grahame, the P-Bruins managed to dominate the first half of the AHL season. ECHL import Judd Lambert was stopping everything in sight, newly-signed Eric Manlow and Peter Vandermeer were leading the league in points and power play goals respectively, and a young defensive corps led by Nick Boynton and Jonathan Girard were limiting opponents to a league-low 24 shots a game.
Three months later, the P-Bruins find themselves stumbling into the playoffs with a 30-27-10-4 record (74 points), good enough for third-place in the New England Division. Eight points behind second-place Hartford, the P-Bruins’ hopes of attaining home-ice advantage for the opening round of the playoffs are all but gone.
What happened to this team in the span of the last three months is not a secret. The mystery is how such a grand collapse could happen to such a talented team. Indeed, the P-Bruins ha Read more »
The Kootenay ICE held the 2001 edition of their team awards banquet this past Tuesday at the Town & Country Inn Ballroom and similar to his play on the ice, team Captain Dean Arsene, nicknamed Captain Crunch for his punishing hits on opponents all season long, made his presence felt by being honored four times. The ICE leader captured the club’s Best Defensemen trophy for the second year in a row, the Community Relations award, also for the second year running, the Plus/Minus Award and the coveted Players Award voted upon by his teammates. Arsene, always the consummate team player, was overwhelmed with the honors bestowed upon him. “It’s definitely a nice honor, especially being my last year. I was pretty shocked last season when I received those awards, this year I’m pretty much overwhelmed,” said Arsene. “It’s a great honor to a part of this organization and being recognized among the players on this team makes it a pretty special night.” Arsene, who’s in his last year of junior eligibility doesn’t yet know what the future holds. At this juncture however, the well-spoken Captain of the ICE is focused solely on one thing – the playoffs and the defense of the WHL Championship. “Obviously, like every hockey player’s dream is to play pro at some level, which would be ultimate for me. I’d like to be able to have the chance to play pro somewhere but if that doesn’t work out there’s the CIAU route which is not a downer. There’s a lot of great players like Belak, Burt and Poole from our organization that have gone and their great players,” said Arsene. “Right now the playoffs Read more »