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Penguins Search For Success

by pbadmin
on

A string of injuries, a struggling defense and a tremendous amount of “bad luck” tie the Pens and their affiliates together with inconsistent success. Each of them desperately needs to improve their records if they hope to make it to post season play.

The latest example of bad luck came when goaltender Tom Barrasso was handed a 4 game suspension by the NHL, for carelessly using his stick and breaking the forearm of center Yanic Perreault. Jean-Sebastien Aubin was called up from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to fill the void.

Aubin has been rather impressive this season, but is no match for Barrasso in terms of puck-handling skills. When you’re a team who struggles in the defensive zone, it’s nice to have a goalie that can play the puck. On the bright side however, Aubin did prove himself with 5 solid outings prior to being sent down to the American Hockey League.

It’s uncertain whether Aubin or Skudra will put in the most ice time during Barrasso’s absence, but Aubin is by far the favored candidate.

Pittsburgh’s loss, is now also Wilkes-Barre’s loss. They too have been left without a preferred number one. Statistically speaking however, Aubin has struggled in the American Hockey League this season. Prior to December 1st, he was 0-4. Thankfully, hard work did not go unmerited that evening as 27 saves and a team full of determination inevitably led to an overtime victory.
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Kootenay Ice: ICE CHIPS

by pbadmin
on

WHERE WE ARE AT:

The Ice are now 17-8-4-0 after finishing their six-game road trip. This puts the Ice in second place in the Central Division and 3rd overall in the WHL. The first half of the trip saw them go through Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Swift Current. This road trip saw the Ice play the top two ranked teams in the CHL. The Calgary Hitmen are ranked number one and the Swift Current Broncos are ranked number two (at the time this article is written.) The road trip seems to be where the Ice play their best game having only lost 3 of their road games so far this season. The Ice are 9-2-4 on the road. The 3 losses are to Lethbridge (2) and Swift Current. The second half of the road trip saw the Ice match up against the Calgary Hitmen, Seattle Thunderbirds and the Portland Winterhawks.

POWER PLAYS AND PENALTY KILLS:

The difference in play is strongly evident when you look at whether a team is at home or on the road, or if they are leading the game or playing catch up. When you look at the Ice’s power play percentages, you can see that the Ice are evidently stronger on the road than they are at home. The Ice are 5th in the league with their “on the road” power play, but are ranked number 12th for their power play on home ice. Their penalty kill is very similar. On home ice (9th in the league) and on the road (2nd in the league.) You can thank the excellent goaltending by Dan Blackburn for about 2/3 of the penalty killing.

NEWS & NOTES:

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Rangers Crown Jewels: Net Results

by pbadmin
on

Sometimes in the world of professional sports we get so caught up in the state of the game we forget the underlying facts. As I visit sites on the Internet and listen to a million unemployed GM’s I soon realize that many of them simply have no idea what they are talking about. They talk about the Rangers prospects and obviously the first two to come up are the Rangers crown jewels, 1999 first rounder’s Pavel Brendl and Jamie Lundmark. Perhaps the most disturbing thing is how uninformed they are about the situations of these two very talented but very different players. They assume that they are simply draft day busts by looking at the stats, but the simple truth is that to understand where these kids are coming from you must look far beyond the numbers. Fortunately there are some observers (including the Ranger’s brass amongst others) who have realized this, but for the rest of the pack the answer simply isn’t clear to them.
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The Swiss 1999 U-20 WJC Roster

by Martin Locher
on
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Updated Rangers Prospect Rankings

by pbadmin
on

With the ongoing season I have re-rated some of the Rangers prospects. Although the “top 22″ rankings are from the beginning of the season, changes have been made in the positional analysis. This lists consists of NON-CURRENT NHLer’s and for the most part players under 26. Basic comments have been made. Players selected, signed no earlier than 1997.

NOTE: With the acquisition of Rich Pilon via the waiver wire, prospect Dale Purinton and P.J. Stock return to the minor league Affiliate in Hartford of the American Hockey League and to our positional analysis. Jason Doig, Mike York, Kim Johnsson and Jan Hlavac have been dropped as they are in New York with the Rangers. This list as of 12-3-1999.
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Mighty Ducks: Quarter Report Card – Part 1

by Martin Dittman
on

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim are off to one of their best starts of their young history. The same can be said for their AHL affiliate, the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks. The baby Ducks have been helped thanks to depth and their new partial affiliation with the Detroit Red Wings.

The addition of the Wings has turned around the AHL team and has certainly helped the baby Duck players. They are now getting a chance to play with more skilled players. A welcomed change for a team that has never had much depth in their AHL system.

With the first quarter of the season already done, its time to get out the report cards and start grading.

Vitaly Vishnevski – Defense; Grade: B+ (Cincy)
Vitaly has been pretty good in his first AHL season. Nothing real fancy, and he has been doing some good work. A disappointment has been in the offensive department. Although he is not considered an offensive player, he should be contributing more. Fortunately, he is improving at that making him a much more solid player. He has racked up 35 penalty minutes in 17 games and had a tremendous pre-season delivering his trademark big checks. Vitaly will have to be more offensive when he joins the high flying NHL Ducks.

Niclas Havelid – Defense; Grade: A- (Anaheim) Read more »

Adam Mair: “Capital”izing on his Chance

by pbadmin
on

Imagine, as many of us have, that you are playing your very first NHL game. Stomach tied in knots, palms, very sweaty indeed. Then imagine that game is game #3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals and you are 20 years old. Frightening!!!

Well as all Maple Leafs’ fans know, there was Adam Mair in last season’s NHL playoffs, bowling over Pittsburgh Penguins’ goaltender, Tom Barrasso, as he goes to the net to followup on a Tie Domi shot. Not only does he bowl-over the Penguins’ netminder, but he has the presence to flip a rebound, backhanded, into the net for his first NHL goal in that first NHL game. A workman-like goal, from a workman-like, young man.

Many had Adam pegged for a role on the Toronto Maple Leafs when the 99-00 season started, but management felt more seasoning was necessary. To St. John’s he went, and after a bit of a slow start, he scored 10 pts. in his last 10 games for a struggling team. Then, opportunity came knocking.
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Unlikely Rookies Contributing to Capitals

by pbadmin
on

They’ve been hearing it all their lives: “You’re too small”, “You haven’t scored enough”, “Undrafted players never make it to the NHL”. Well, don’t look now, but Glen Metropolit and Jeff Halpern are doing just fine, thank you very much. They may have taken different paths to get here, but they are living out their dreams that seemed out of reach for so long.

At the start of last season, Metropolit and Halpern were wondering when and if their NHL careers would ever start. One year later, they were standing on the ice at the National Car Rental Center in Miami on opening night wearing their Capitals uniforms. Metropolit began last year with the IHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins without an NHL contract. It was his second year with the Griffins, and his fourth pro season during which he had played for five different teams. Halpern was playing out his senior season at Princeton University, and although there was interest from NHL clubs, he was prohibited from signing a contract until he had graduated. But by the end of the 98-99 season, both had come to terms with the Caps, and were playing in the AHL with the Portland Pirates. Glen played in twelve games, scoring five goals and eight points, while Jeff suited up for six games – scoring two goals and three points.
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Pavel Rosa- Goaltending Key?

by pbadmin
on

Pavel Rosa is considered one of the top prospects in the Kings organization. He is 11th in the IHL in scoring and has had success on the NHL level. Rosa’s promise is undeniable. The bad news is that his considerable potential will likely never be in a Los Angeles Kings’ sweater.

Pavel Rosa started the season in Long Beach for the second year in a row. Rosa has shown his skills there, posting 23 points in 25 games (8 goals, 15 assists), but has yet to crack the big club’s lineup. The reason? Pavel Rosa may be the key to keeping Storr and Fiset.

Pavel Rosa is coveted by many teams and may well be packaged with one of the goalies for a big name star. The reason he cannot stick with the Kings? Size. Size in terms of height and heart. Rosa is notorious for taking shifts off- something that you can get away with in the minors but not in the NHL when you are 5’10″ and 188lbs. His size is even more glaring if you look down the pipeline. If Rosa were to stick, he would likely be on a top line that the Kings are hoping would include Justin Papineau. That lack of size would spell doomsday for the Kings.

I personally like Rosa, but he has no real position. He is not a center, and is really too small to play forward in the evolving NHL. Sure there are a lot of smaller players prospering right now, but they all have the speed and skating ability that Rosa lacks. His lack of defensive awareness also figures to hamper him in Andy Murray’s system.
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Purinton on Broadway

by pbadmin
on

General Manager Neil Smith announced the recall of Wolf Pack tough-guy Dale Purinton and the demotion of P.J. Stock and Terry Virtue.

Purinton, 23, has tallied one goal and one assist in 20 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL) this season. He ranks second in the AHL and leads the club with 128 penalty minutes. The 6-3, 214-pound defenseman has registered five goals and nine assists for 14 points, along with 715 penalty minutes in 116 career professional matches with Hartford and Charlotte (East Coast Hockey League).
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The follwing
players are invited to the training camp, which starts on December 16th.
Height in cm,
Weight in kg; both is based on club or SEHV information

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