The Wolf Pack of Hartford, Connecticut are also struggling thanks to a myriad of injuries and call ups and to yet stiffer competition but there are some bright spots in Hartford.
THE SCORING: AHL journeyman Derek Armstrong who was so close to signing a contract to play in Europe to start the season is the Pack`s leading scorer with 14 goals and 44 points through 36 games. Brad Smyth continues to hit the net with 26 goals and 40 points through 36 games while center Mike Harder has registered 10 goals in 33 games. Mike Mottau leads the way on defense with 5 goals and 21 points while fan favorite Kenny Gernander with 7 goals and 20 points lead the way. Looking through the roster…defender Burke Henry continues to play better hockey registering a tough 87 penalty minutes, 4 goals and 14 assists. Newcomer Jeff Ulmer(7-10-17) and veteran Tony Tuzzolino(7-9-16)have also been noteables. Veteran defender Drew Bannister (4-14-18) has been positive. Ryan Bast acquired waivers from the New York Islanders started out quickly but then has down a major slump registering only one goal in 29 games.
THE NETS: Have seen many pucks this year due to the call ups and injuries to Jason Doig but Vitali Yeremeyev (6-5-1 1.94gaa 2sho) has shined in the pipes. With the bright play of Vitali, Swedish import Johan Holmqvist has posted (10-5-2 2.71 1sho) totals.
OTHER NEWS AND NOTES: The Pack have struggled a bit this year at the gate average just over 6000 per game. For those who would wish to catch a glimpse of a few prospects take the trip up to Hartford for Read more»
Notebook — 1/8/2001
Ott has blast in World Juniors
Canadian sparkplug Steve Ott has returned home from his bronze-winning World Juniors team and named an official CHL all-star representative. He will play for the OHL side in the WHL-OHL all-star clash on January 24th.
Steve has thoroughly enjoyed his tour of duty for the Canadian World Juniors team — grinning from ear-to-ear all the while, poking fun at the Russian announcers who couldn’t pronounce his name, high-fiving players on the bench, playing his high octane, smack-talking best, and just having a rip-roaring great time.
For the tournament’s 7 games, Ott compiled 3 points (2 g, 1 a), 26 penalty minute (team leading), and earned Canada-wide recognition for his performance in a Canadian victory over the U.S.
Allegedly, Ott skated up to touted U.S. goalie Rick DiPietro before the match-up and with Messier-eque confidence “guaranteed” that he would score a goal that very game. Naturally, Ott scored during that very game — erasing the U.S.’s 1-0 lead in the 1st period. Canada went on to win 2-1.
(source: Toronto Sun, Terry Koshan)
London Knights Trade Rumors
According to London Free Press writer Morris Dallas Costa, defenseman/captain Dan Jancevski is the subject of trade rumors in London.
1. Milan Kraft, C
Has done nothing to remove himself from the top spot in the Pens prospect list. Very solid player, makes very few mistakes. Reminds a lot of people of a young Ron Francis with a better scoring touch, although he’s not the playmaker that Francis is.
2. Sebastian Caron, G
Sebastian has been hot and cold for the Pens in his rookie season. Named AHL Goaltender of the month for November, but has had some bad performances in Oct and Dec. A .886 SvPct isn’t great, but for a rookie, it’s not bad and he’s learning on the job.
3. Konstantin Koltsov, LW
When he plays for his Russian squad, he’s played well. A bit inconsistant, which causes him to be benched (or scratched) at times. Played well for a very bad Belarus team in the World Junior Championships.
4. Josef Melichar, D
Played well enough in camp to eearn a spot with the NHL club, but after the first few games, was in and out of the lineup. Sent back to Wilkes-Barre after the Pens acquired a few “veteran” defenseman and Kasparaitis and Laukkanen came back from injuries. He’s still quite young and has plenty of time to get himself back into the lineup. Will defintely be a part of the Pens future on defense, along with Ference and Rozsival.
5. Andrew Ference, D
They all said he was too small. Fortunately for the Pens, they forgot to tell Andy. It unfortunate that they can’t find a spot for him on the NHL squad, because he deserves it. Solid offensively, solid defensively. Strong power play pointman. 1 of 4 WBS Read more»