Will Year Five Be The Charm?
The game of hockey and the NHL is full of many logic beliefs and theory systems. Some of the most widely held ideas are actually contradictory to one-another. It isn’t a nice cookie-cutter world where you can input A and automatically assume that you will get an output of B, but in the midst of these sometimes unexpectantly generated results against the ‘rules’ we hold dearest, there still are some factors that do seem to play true time and again. One such passage that has historically played a very significant impact upon those who have played the game is the ‘magic’ of the fifth year and/or age 22/23 season.
Simply put, there is some pretty suggestive evidence to indicate that a very large segment of players don’t actually arrive at their highest levels until they have either played a full four seasons and are in their fifth campaign, or are in the season where they turn 23 years of age. I use these two qualifiers because not everyone gets to the NHL at age 18 and thus some have their 23rd birthday before their fifth season.
The timing for this article is inspired by the arrival of two youngsters from the Boston Bruins reaching this juncture.
If you look at the current point leader board at the beginning of December for the NHL, it might be surprising to see that both Sergei Samsonov and Joe Thornton are firmly entrenched among the top 20 producers in the league.
Sergei Samsonov is actually 8th in league scoring after games as of Sunday, December 2nd. He does have games in hand to play on four of Read more »
After the home tournament in Olomouc and Prostejov, Czech Under-20 team head coach Jaroslav
Holik stated that there will be changes needed before the last preparational tournament
for the upcoming the WJC that was held in Vaasa, Finland. Now we see that the changes will have to be
more serious. The Czech team finished at the last place again and that makes lots of Czech
fans, who are hoping in keeping the WJC gold medal streak alive, quite mad. They want to
see their players fight for gold and not to struggle. So let’s have a look who could be named
to the final roster and there will be lots of CHL names there. They are more needed than
ever. The Czechs don’t have a very strong 1982 birthyear and with the problems the teams
build of players playing in Europe had expect at least seven CHL players to make the team.
The only problem is that the arrival of Columbus Blue Jackets’ blueliner Rostislav Klesla
and Colorado Avalache left wing (but played his whole career at center) Vaclav Nedorost
remain a dream. So who is the reality?
Lukas Hronek – HC Slavia Praha goalie got his chance after the starter Roman Malek suffered
a broken jaw and he stunned the Extraleague with his savvy play and spectacular saves.
Along with Martin Barek played for all junior teams consisting of 1982 born players. A very
mature goalie for his age with exceptional quickness and reflexes, Lukas couldn’t play in
Finland because of an injury but he seems to be a lock on the WJC team.
Martin Barek – Barek backstopped Pardubice juniors on Read more »
Hurricanes Sharpen Game Against Blades
The Hurricanes continued their march back to the CHL top 10 tonight by handing the Blades a 4-1 loss. Lethbridge used a great first period to push their home record to an an impressive 11-3-1, the Blades fell to 4-7-1 on the road.
The Canes came out flying in the first just as they’ve done all year long. It was the usual suspects getting the scoring started as Ryley Layden notched his 11th marker of the year, Nathan Barrett and Tim Green assisted on the goal. Less then two minutes later the Canes added another to their total as Brett O’Malley took advantage of a Blades give-away and flipped a shot low blocker side on Michael Garnett, who started in net for Saskatoon. The second goal silenced the Blades fans in attendence, which was quite a surprise amount since a trip from Saskatoon is a mighty trek. The Blades continued what was turning into a bad period when Tim Preston took a cross-checking minor. The Canes put the league’s fourth best powerplay to work and it wasn’t long before it clicked.Tim Green finished off a beautiful pass from New Jersey Devil draft pick Phil Cole. Green fired home a one timer from the side of the crease after Cole made a bullet of a pass across from the opposite point, Garnett didn’t have a chance. The Canes weren’t done yet and either was Tim Green. Green scored his second of the game, 16th of the season, with less then a minute left when he took a soft Nathan Barrett pass and fired the puck high blocker side past Garnett. The assist to Barret was his second of the night, he now has a league l Read more »
I must say that I am somewhat surprised regarding the nature of responses my last article on the Canadian Olympic dilemma provoked. I have watched a number of interviews with Wayne Gretzky and detected a level of stress under his calm demeanor and Hollywood smile. Surely, he is looking forward to when the selection process is finally over and he can pass off this carefully chosen team to a coaching staff that will further shape and test this squad. Once this occurs, he will be able to become a fan again along with millions of other Canadians. In response to the last commentary, many of you debated over who should and should not be selected. One name in particular stood out from the rest…..this being Patrick Roy. This is especially interesting given the events of the past week and warrants further discussion.
Recently, star goaltender and future Hall of Famer Patrick Roy announced that he would not be attending the upcoming Olympics in Salt Lake City. Roy is staying “true to form” by avoiding media and being reclusive. Although documented reasons for his decision have not come forth, many speculate that he is not willing to fight for a job or play second fiddle to another netminder. Consequently, there have been mixed reactions from the general public.
Some individuals may actually be relieved by this news.
There are those of us who feel that Patty may be too old and that his career is winding down. Others feel that he has been fortunate to play on elite teams and that his numbers do not accurately represent his level of talent. Supporters o Read more »
The Brampton Battalion’s two Jays – Jay Harrison and Jay McClement, earned invitations to the 2002 Canadian Junior Team selection camp to be held at York University’s Beatrice Ice Gardens in Toronto from December 10th to 17th. The two OHL veterans are hoping to join their coach, Stan Butler, to the Czech Republic to help Canada reclaim the gold medal that has eluded them since 1997.
Harrison (Toronto, 3rd round 2001), vying for a spot on the team for the second consecutive year, is a fourth-year defenseman enjoying his best offensive season thus far in 2001-02. With five goals and 13 assists in 26 games thus far, he has already reached a personal high in goals for a season and is two away from his personal best in points.
Harrison saw little ice time as the 7th defenseman on the Canadian team that won bronze in Moscow last year, but gained valuable experience and hopes to use that to his advantage during the selection camp and during the tournament. While his offensive numbers are relatively impressive this season, Harrison’s real and natural strengths are found in his own end. If he does in fact make the team, Harrison’s defensive abilities will likely see him called on to kill important penalties and to neutralize some of the opposition’s top marksmen.
However, despite his extensive experience in international play (he also played in the 1999 World Under-18 tournament, earning top defenceman honours) and his presence on last year’s National Junior Team roster, Harrison is no lock to make this year’s squad. Besides the fact that names like Bouwmees Read more »
Marek Svatos, Center, Kootenay (WHL)
Stats: 23 GP, 22 G, 15 A, 37 P, 22 PIM, -2
Kurt Sauer, Defenseman, Spokane (WHL)
Stats: 24 GP, 0 G, 8 A, 8 P, 30 PIM, +15
Blake Ward, Goaltender, Lethbridge (WHL)
Stats: 15 GP, 7-5-3, 3.02 GAA. .889 SV%
Charlie Stephens, Center, Guelph/London (OHL)
Stats: 20 GP, 5 G, 10 A, 15 P, 31 PIM, -19
Danny Bois, Right Wing, London (OHL)
Stats: 27 GP, 6 G, 7 A, 13 P, 89 PIM, -9
Aaron Molnar, Goaltender, London (OHL)
Stats: 14 GP, 4-8-2, 4.05 GAA, .870 SV%
Agris Saviels, Defenseman, Owen Sound (OHL)
Stats: 25 GP 1 G, 18 A, 19 P, 17 PIM, -7
Colt King, Left Wing, Guelph/North Bay (OHL)
Stats: 22 GP, 4 G, 5 A, 9 P, 49 PIM, -11
Cody McCormick, Right Wing, Belleville (OHL)
Stats: 28 GP, 6 G, 6 A, 12 P, 56 PIM, Even
Darryl Bootland, Right Wing, Toronto (OHL)
Stats: 23 GP, 15 G, 20 A, 35 P, 50 PIM, +17
Peter Budaj, Goaltender, Toronto (OHL)
Stats: 19 GP, 10-5-4, 2.43 GAA, .921 SV%
Pierre-Luc Emond, Center, Cape Breton (QMJHL)
Stats: 32 GP, 9 G, 7 A, 16 P, 25 PIM, +5
Sergei Klyazmin, Left Wing, Halifax (QMJHL)
Stats: 25 GP, 14 G, 21 A, 32 P, 22 PIM, +6
Brian Fahey, Defenseman, Wisconsin (WCHA) Read more »
After interviewing Raffi Torres and Juraj Kolnik, the Islanders staff still hadn’t thrown me out so I decided to get one more interview in. I had a chance to sit down with soft-spoken, first-year Swedish defender Dick Tarnstrom. Tarnstrom has the distinction of being the only player in the Islander organization not drafted or traded for by Mike Milbury. Here’s what the big Swede had to say when I caught up with after practice.
Hockey’s Future: What do you consider yourself, more of an offensive or defensive defenseman?
Dick Tarnstrom: I like to play a little of both, but I guess I’m more of a defensive defenseman.
HF: What’s it like being paired with Roman Hamrlik compared to Eric Cairns?
DT: It doesn’t really matter who you play with, you have to be responsible (on the ice), but they are both great to play with.
HF: Was it easier coming over (to the NHL) being that you are a little older? Was it an easier adjustment?
DT: I’ve had experience with the (Swedish) National Team and playing in Sweden, so yes, its been a little easier (adjusting).
HF: Does it help having fellow Swedes, like Mats Lindgren and Kenny Jonsson on the team with you?
DT: Yeah, they’re both good guys and I’ve played in the World Juniors with them.
HF: How has Chris Osgood helped the defense? Read more »
Jackets CHL PROSPECT UPDATE
Western Hockey League
Shane Bendera – G – Red Deer Rebels
Shane Bendera was one of two Columubs goaltending prospects to be named to Canada’s World Junior Tryout for the 2002 World Junior Championships. And why not? The tale of the tape shows that Bendera definitely deserves to take the trip to not only the camp, but to the Czech Republic as well. Bendera has posted an impressive 11-3-3 record, registering a 2.03 GAA and a .926 GAA. Bendera leads the WHL in both statistical categories, and is 4th in the league in wins, only 4 back of the leader, despite playing 8 fewer games.
Ben Knopp – RW – Moose Jaw Warriors
When I see the statistics on the season Ben Knopp is having, I get discouraged with his progress. He’s managed 17 goals in 29 games, adding 12 assists as well (17-12-29). However, a trip to the +/- column quickly shows that Knopp is still a one-dimension player. His –12 is second worst on the team, and is easily the most disgusting stat on the team considering Knopps offensive production. He’s been much more of a liability on the ice than he should be, and needs to desperately work on defensive zone play.
Kiel McLeod – C – Kelowna Rockets
McLeod has began to have the season the Blue Jackets organization has hoped he will. Although he sits fourth in team scoring with 9 goals and 22 points (9-13-22), he’s second on the team in Points Per Game with 1.22, behind only Calgary superprospect Chuck Kobasew. McLeod i Read more »
CALGARY, AB – The Western Hockey League is pleased to announce that 13 players from the WHL has been chosen to attend Canada’s National Junior Team’s Selection Camp from December 10-17 at the Beatrice Ice Gardens in North York, Ontario.
Three players from the WHL (Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Hamhuis, Jarret Stoll) are returning players, having captured bronze with Canada at the 2001 World Junior Hockey Championship.
A total of 36 players will compete at the 2002 selection camp with the goal of being chosen on the final roster of 22 that will participate for Canada at the 2002 World Junior Hockey Championship in Czech Republic, December 25-January 4, 2002.
Thirty-four of the thirty-six players are from the Canadian Hockey League, Canada’s premier junior hockey league. Including the 13 players from the Western Hockey League, there are 12 from the Ontario Hockey League, nine from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and two players who are currently playing in the U.S. College ranks.
Five of the WHL players previously represented Canada as members of the Canada’s National Under 18 team program (Jared Aulin, Nathan Paetsch, Jarret Stoll, Scottie Upshall, Jeff Woywitka).
There are also four members of the Personnel Staff representing Team Canada from the Western Hockey League. Marc Habscheid, Head Coach of the Kelowna Rockets and former member of Team Canada’s Gold Medal Team in 1982 is Team Canada’s Assistant Coach and Assistant Coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings, Mark Howell is the Video Coach. The Equipment Manager is the Vancouver Giants Tra Read more »