By Mike Buskus
ALBANY, NY. (November 24, 2001). The weight that the Albany River Rats lifted over their shoulder tonight was not extra poundage they put on with a Thanksgiving turkey dinner. No, instead, the River Rats lifted a proverbial albatross around their neck. Two streaks were ended tonight. The league’s longest winless streak (a baker’s dozen, 13) belonged to the River Rats, dating back to October 20. Also, the home-ice winless mark (half a dozen, dating to October 27), also had Albany’s name on it.
Those dubious marks of distinction may remain in the record books for a while this season, but the emotional outburst on the ice cleared the entire bench and brought the 4,385 fans at the Pepsi Arena to their feet as Albany defeated Rochester, 3-1.
The visitors from Rochester got on the board first, with a turn-and-shoot wrister from right winger Milan Bartovic, midway through the first period. Bartovic’s fourth marker on the season came from the right face-off dot as he spun and snapped the shot past a stationary Ari Ahonen.
Over the next five minutes and change, Rochester got into penalty trouble, with three consecutive infractions giving the Rats power plays that included 4-on-3 and a brief stretch of 5-on-3. However, the Rochester defense was particularly sturdy and Albany had trouble getting the puck in deep. Albany managed only two shots on goal during those three power plays. The best scoring chance came from Pierre Dagenais, at the 15:36 mark. Mika Noronen’s glove stopped Dagenais from the right wing circle.
Jason Ulmer continues to give 100 percent. He definitely has talent and ended the weekend with a goal, an assist, and more time with the Pirates’ special unit teams. Definitely one to watch as he gets better and better with every game.
After a disappointing second half of last season for Brad Church, he has really learned from previous mistakes. His biggest improvement of all is he seems to have learned patience, and it has increased the level of his game tenfold. He is another player who knows how to utilize his size and strength and he is playing at a personal best right now.
Todd Rohloff was out and about at the Civic Center this weekend and all reports are that his physical therapy is going well. He is expected to be back on the ice sometime before Christmas.
Peter Ferraro continues to play well and work hard. However, he is spending too much time in the penalty box on unnecessary penalties and is just a tad sloppy. Peter is a good player; he just needs to clean it up a little to be a great player.
Whilst Chris Ferraro is technically still called-up with the Capitals, he will be indefinitely on ‘day to day’ status. My thoughts and prayers go out to both him and his wife.
Kyle Clark may need to be sent back to Richmond to try and develop some more and give his spot to one of our ECHL prospects – Garret Prosofsky immediately comes to mind. The fact is, Clark is the only forward to have played with the team this season thus far that has no points, and he has accumulated a negative p Read more»
Now that the Canucks have acquired another ‘top-six’ forward, and with Andrew Cassels due back in two weeks or so, our biggest weakness is clearly on defense.
What do we have in our organization in the way of defensemen? Not too much, almost all of our NHL-calibre Defensemen are already in the NHL, and we have a lot of wild-cards. (See Komarniski, Zenith; Vydareny, Rene.) Here is the Canucks’ depth on defense, with seasonal reviews to this point for the defensive prospects.
Bryan Allen was supposed to arrive this year. He began the season with the Canucks, going scoreless, and being victimized on several plays early in the season. Marc Crawford and his assistants decided that it’d probably be best for Bryan to go back down to Winnipeg, and play for the Moose until the Canucks need him again. He’s still a top-drawer defensive prospect, and he’s on pace for a better offensive season than last year in Manitoba, but he’s not much more than a sixth or seventh defenseman on the Canucks now, even in our poor state of affairs on the blueline. More was expected out of him this season, but there’s still time to recover. But it’s better to play 20-25 minutes per game in Winnipeg, than 5-10 minutes in the NHL.
24 Players found the way (back) from Germany into the NHL. Here are the teams and some interesting stats from their spell in Germany:
Sergej Berezin (Phoenix Coyotes)
Pavel Bure (Florida Panthers)
Vincent Damphousse (San Jose Sharks)
Jiri Dopita (Philadelphia Flyers)
Sascha Goc (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Dany Heatley (Atlanta Trashers)
Jochen Hecht (Edmonton Oilers)
Jaromir Jagr (Washington Capitals)
Olaf Kölzig (Washington Capitals) Read more»
After a long time without a Penguins ticket and no article, I’m finally back with a new report. The Penguins have now lost 2 in a row and their record is 8-9-3-2. The Black-And-Gold lost against Vancouver last Wednesday and got beat 5-0 by the Nashville Predators yesterday. The Pens definitely need to shake the team up and score some goals. The powerplay simply has no success, with all the offensive players in Pittsburgh an 8.2 PP% for the last place in the NHL is such a dissapointment. Let’s see what’s happen game by game:
Wednesday, November 21, 2001
Vancouver Canucks VS Pittsburgh Penguins:
A known face was in goal for this game, Peter Skudra who just signed a contract with the Vancouver Canucks played 3 years in the Steel city. Skudra won two games against his old team last year and was searching to repeat his success. At the opposite end, Johan Hedberg was between the pipes.
Led by the good work of Ed Jovanovski, the Canucks played a really good defensive game and made only a few mistakes in this game. That’s the key of the game, they shut down most of the opportunities and their captain led the team for the offense. This captain is an ex-Pen, Marcus Naslund (one of the only bad trade by Craig Patrick). Instead of the 2 goals by Naslund we have to notice the two-points game for Justin Kurtz and the 3 assists for Trevor Linden who is a new player for the British Colombia team. Vancouver 4 – Pittsburgh 1
Friday, November 23, 2001 Read more»