Yes, I wrote it.
Contend for the Stanley Cup this season 2000-01.
And yes, if that means without Zdeno Chara, so be it.
That is a very bold statement, but the fact is the Islanders for the first time in years have a strong young nucleus of players who are no longer
just happy to be in the Nhl, with several players entering their prime years and an ownership that added the talented veterans that were desperately
needed here for years, in addition this team now has the depth players in its minor league system, as well as an outstanding group of prospects that
have the ability to win one of the few spots on this years team and make a significant contribution.
Many of the players who are returning from
last years 24 win, 300 man games lost to injury season learned that they can beat any team in the Nhl last year because many of those wins came
against the best teams. The Islanders biggest problems was depth and inexperience and players were brought in to address both needs.
Along with a new ownership that will make the changes to improve this season.
Some Very Tough Questions:
1. It took eighty five points to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference last season and ninety the year before that, how do the Islanders make up that kind of ground in one year?
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Ok. First off, the team played much better…*clap clap* Burturlin (if
you’re still wondering) is in Russia and didn’t attend the tournament.
Another notable MIA was Mike Ribeiro. No, I’m not commenting on his
invisible play, he was actually not dressed and I don’t know why.
The first period was pretty much dominated by Ottawa as they quickly
went up 1-0 on a goal by camp invitee Peter DeSantis. Defenseman Jason
Maleyko made it 2-0 shortly thereafter. Not much happened offensively
fot the baby Habs although they still mustered 10 shots. In the second
period Montreal seemed to take immediate control. Although they went
down 3-0 on a goal by Ryan Craig, they fought back after some line
shuffling and made it 3-2 on goals by Jason Baird and Micheal Ryder who
was rocking on this night. Julien Vauclair made it 4-2 for Ottawa and
Eric Chouinard finished off the period with a pretty goal making it
4-3. Although the score didn’t necessarily show it, Montreal dominated
Ottawa. The Ryder-Larrivee-Guite line was the best line on the ice all
night and if not for some heroics from Mathieu Chouinard, Montreal would
have easily walked away with about 5 goals in the middle frame (outshot
Ottawa 16-7). The third period pretty much continued on the same pace,
more heroics from Chouinard but Sean Connors showed a little of his own
magic by making several spectacular saves. Tim Wolfe scored for Ottawa Read more »
*Appeared in One Game or More 99-00
Mike Richter*(Injured sidelined for part of camp)
With Mike Richter`s knee not yet 100% healed J.F.Labbe will likely back-up Kirk McLean to start the season. Outside Shot to Johan Holmqvist and Vitali Yeremeyev. This is the Rangers strongest position. Just a note…many NHL scouts will be in Hartford to see the Rangers prospects between the pipes.
For this year it has to be J.F.Labbe a most dominant AHL goalie. With the recovering Mike Richter on the mend, Labbe may actually get to appear in a couple games. He has lightning fast reflexes and can be a reliable NHL goalie.
Mike Mottau(On Try Out Basis, W/O Contract)
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Slap them sticks on the ice, breakout those funny noisemakers you hear on New Years, dump the confetti from the rafters, the Jr Buds won the rookie tournament and looked pretty good doing it. The line of Lance Galbraith-Luca Cereda-Miguel Delisle was the most productive trio in the round robin with 14 points in 3 games (6 goals, 8 assists), the team as a whole showed it could not and would not be pushed around and more often than not was the team that did the pushing. Players like Peter Reynolds, Mirko Murovic, Michal Travnicek, Vaclav Zavoral, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Ben Ondrus made sure of that. The skating skill of Brad Boyes, Jonathon Zion, Luca Cereda and Ondrus were on full display. About the only downside to the whole thing was the fact that the team gave up an average of three goals per game. While some of this was goaltender error, too many times the Baby Buds after taking a lead got over confident and stopped skating, which sounds strangely familiar. Without further ado, here are the final grades on the players. (Grades will be based how they performed in Kitchener, taking into account the amount of experience each player has)
Brad Boyes-Incredibly smooth in the open and shifty in a crowd, showed great offensive instincts and a knack for clogging opposing passing lanes. Being physical is not part of his game at this time, but he’ll have to improve on that if he wants to be a pro.
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HULL, Quebec – The Florida Panthers concluded the round-robin portion of the
four-team 2000 NHL prospects tournament today, with a 4-2 victory in a
bizarre game against the rookie squad from Tampa Bay. Following a brawl at
9:53 of the second period, Tampa Bay Lightning Senior Vice President and
General Manager Rick Dudley called his team off the bench, forfeiting the
game. Florida had taken a 4-2 advantage on goals by Brad Woods, Morgan
McCormick, Mike Green and Dan Passero, before the fight broke out. Davis
Parley played well in goal, stopping 13 of 15 shots for the Panthers.
The tournament will conclude Thursday, with the Panthers playing in the
afternoon consolation game against the loser of last night’s game between
prospects from the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens. Tampa will play
the Ottawa-Montreal winner in the championship contest at 8 p.m.
FIRST PERIOD: Following an early goal by Tampa Bay’s Sheldon Keefe, the
Panthers took control of the game by scoring three straight. Woods,
McCormick, and Mike Green each tallied for Florida. Green also assisted on
McCormick’s goal. Both Green and McCormick scored goals in Tuesday night’s
action as well. Parley was impressive in net, stopping 13 of 14 Lightning
shots. Tampa Bay out-shot Florida 14-13 in the period. The Lightning
benefited from three power play opportunities (0-3), while the Panthers had
just one chance with the man advantage (0-1).
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Detroit won cleanly in an 8-5 game against the Nashville Predators.
Nashville took an early lead less than a minute into the game when Scott
Hartnell scored, assisted by Greg Classen and Konstantin Panov. Detroit
came back quickly though with Dustin Kuk scoring 28 seconds later. Brad
Twordick went for slashing and Anton Borodkin for holding. Then Brett
Angel was called for holding and a few seconds later Ed Hill for high
sticking. Kuk scored again for Detroit during the 5 on 3 advantage with
the help of Borodkin and Jason Williams. Tim Verbeek (Pat Verbeek’s
little brother) scored on the one man advantage 45 seconds later. Mike
Sgroi and Eric Gooldy played fisticuffs within a minute of the goal,
Gooldy getting the best of Sgroi. There were some rough moments with
Tomas Kopecky getting checked right in front of Nashville’s bench, with
Kopecky precariously half hanging in their bench. A little while later
Classen litterally “crashed” the net, sending the net and Vogel flying.
Kuk went to the box for roughing after doing some stick work to
Hartnell’s neck after Hartnell literally crashed the net, and was laying
in it. Classen scored unassisted on the power play. After the buzzer
for the first period there was a small brawl with a 2 minute minor
handed out to Kuk for slashing.
Nashville came back out with determination and Denis Arkhipov scored a
power play goal 24 seconds into the period. Detroit drew another Read more »
With only two minor penalties and a few stoppages in play the first 12
minutes of the game appeared as if it was going to be a fairly slow
night without much scoring, fighting or penalties. It turned out to be
quite an exciting game with 10 goals, 3 fights and over 50 penalty
minutes. Kent McDonell received a holding call at 11:50 of the first
giving Atlanta the man advantage. Derek MacKenzie sent the puck past
Shane Bendera, with assists from Vladimir Sicak and Mike Weaver. A few
minutes later Trevor Ettinger and Eric Bowen went for a little dance
with each other, each drawing 5 minute fighting majors. With 3 and a
half minutes left to go in the first, Dan Preston made a beautiful drop
pass to Kent McDonell who fired it home using Preston as a screen. With
one minute left in the period Robb Palahnuk and Luke Sellars started
fighting. Sellars helmet fell over his face and hung there over his
eyes, with Palahnuk hanging onto his arms he was helpless. Palahnuk
spun Sellars in a circle and finally Sellars just dropped to the ice.
Each received 5 minutes for fighting.
Twenty-five seconds into the second period Jonathan Schill drew 2
minutes for interference. Vladimir Sicak came close ringing it off the
post on the man advantage but no goals were scored. Columbus drew two
minor penalties a minute and a half apart. Columbus won the face off,
passing it back to the defensemen who went to slam the puck out of the Read more »
Congratulations to all involved as the Leafs’ rookies sailed through this past weekend’s round robin affair undefeated and won the annual Kitchener Tournament. There were many surprises (some good – some less so) amongst the players representing Toronto at this competition. In the end, though, it was exciting just to see all of the Maple Leafs’ best young players together in one place at one time. There is really no better opportunity to get a quick snapshot of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each player in the development system.
Hockey’s Future’s own tournament correspondent, Stephen Holodinsky, will be posting his final grades for all Maple Leafs’ prospects within the next day or two. That said, here’s how each of the boys in blue and white appeared to this observer:
Sebastien Centomo – A Rookie Tournament veteran who shone at last year’s event … Centomo’s experience in this format was telling and he was clearly the more impressive of the Leaf’s netminding prospects … Sebastien is quick and agile but still tends to play too low and will have to adjust when facing NHL caliber shooters … Centomo will be a starter in the QMJHL this season …
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Espen Knutsen has been sidelined by a shoulder injury just one day before leaving for the US with his girfriend Hanne and son Emil.
Knutsen is still expected to be at camp but it is not known whether the injury will effect his play. Knutsen stated that it only hurt when moving the shoulder and there was not any constant pain. He received a cortizone shot from the Norwegian Medical Institute and Dr. Berner. Knutsen also received a MRI. Knutsen noticed the pain when he was struck by a puck in practice with VIF-Oslo hockey. His shoulder will be checked by team doctors upon his arrival in Columbus.
For the naysayers of Knutsen it is believed that this may be just another excuse in case he does not fare well against the larger North American opponents. However a recent poll in Norway`s Daily VG reported that 79 of 115 votes casted believe that Knutsen will play well and have success in the NHL this time around.
Before Christmas a new label will be in Norwegian and perhaps world stores… Espen Knutsen logos will adorn workout clothes. If he does well in the NHL then the product may take off… if he does not… well…. Knutsen will receive a percentage off each sale. From training clothes to soap dishes…the logo will be on a complete line.
GP G A TP PIM +/- PPG SH
Knutsen 66 13 28 41 32 -17 5 3
*Limited with injuries...
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HULL, Quebec – The four-team 2000 NHL prospects tournament continued Tuesday
as the Florida Panthers (0-2) fell to the Montreal Canadiens (1-1), 4-3, in
a wild contest that lasted over three hours. The game featured 12 fights,
280 penalty minutes, an 18-minute first-period delay, and a third period
Panther rally that just fell short. Trailing 4-1 entering the final period,
Florida out-shot (14-5) and out-scored (2-0) the Canadiens in the last 20
minutes, but ran out of time. Morgan McCormick paced the Panthers’
offensive attack with a goal and an assist. Serge Payer and Mike Green
scored the other Florida goals. Montreal’s Ben Guite and Eric Chouinard
each registered a goal and an assist. Six Panthers and five Canadiens were
ejected from the game. Florida will play prospects from the Tampa Bay
Lightning at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The round robin tournament will conclude
with consolation and championship games on Thursday.
FIRST PERIOD: Montreal jumped out to a 3-1 lead in a penalty-filled first
period of play. Eric Chouinard, Jozef Balej, and Ben Guite all connected for
the Canadiens. The lone Panther goal was an unassisted tally by McCormick.
The 19-year-old McCormick is a 1999 Florida draft pick (103rd overall).
Montreal out-shot Florida 13-9 in the period. There was an 18-minute delay
at the 8:22 mark of the first period when the glass shattered following a
check by Florida’s Benoit Morin. The Panthers accumulated 31 penalty Read more »