By Mike Buskus
Albany Week in Review #18
Trickle-down effect from Devils?
With the news, reported by Sports Network and AP on Monday afternoon, February 4, 2002, that the New Jersey Devils had agreed to terms with veteran goaltender, John Vanbiesbrouck, to return to the NHL club, the inevitable speculation “down on the farm” in Albany is this: who gets the boot in net?
To date, the Albany River Rats have followed a “rotation” system, in which Ari Ahonen and Scott Clemmensen have alternated starts. Though Ahonen is slightly ahead in statistical measures (2.97 goals-against; .913 save percentage, versus 3.11 GAA and .910 save percentage for Clemmensen), Clemmensen has, in the opinion of this writer, been sharper lately. The Boston College graduate did get pulled several weeks back in a “rematch” of the “Frozen Four” against Karl Goehring (late of North Dakota, now with the Syracuse Crunch). However, it was Clemmensen who weathered blizzards of shots in Hartford, facing 48 shots (with 46 saves) and 45 shots (with 40 saves) on successive Saturdays at the Hartford Veterans’ Memorial Civic Center. This past week, Clemmensen earned “first star” in Rochester with his 38-save effort backstopping a 1-1 tie against the Amerks.
While some teams have experimented with a three goaltender system, usually that is a temporary expedient while an out-placement is sought for one of the three. With J.F. Damphousse thus destined to be shipped out of East Rutherford, New Jersey, as soon as the “Beezer” is in game shape, the questi Read more»
Lowell remains in first in the AHL’s North Division with 63 points, 3 ahead of Manchester. The Lock Monsters pulled off an impressive 4-3 win over the Monarchs yesterday, then beat Providence 3-1 today while Manchester lost 5-0 to Portland.
Florida is in 5th place in the ECHL’s competitive Southeast Division with 54 points, 7 points behind Greenville.
Updates for all of the Hurricanes’ prospects are provided in the tables below. The statistics are for the games played since the last update (up to Feb. 1st).
As can be seen, Zigomanis, Svoboda, MacDonald and MacNeil continue to be solid contributors for Lowell while Heerema and Ritchie lead the team offensively each and every game. Moss and Pelletier continue to provide a stellar goaltending tandem for the Lock Monsters. Apparently, Ritchie was loaned back to Lowell after being traded to the Florida Panthers and spending some time with the big club.
In the collegiate ranks, Bayda and Fast are key pieces of the North Dakota and Michigan State offences while Malec, Newman and Surma are putting up some offensive numbers in junior. Due to his lack of play, it is unclear whether Daniel Boisclair is injured or was traded from Cape Breton to another QMJHL team.
Everblades goaltender Randy Petruk has the distinction of being called up directly from the ECHL to the NHL. This past week, with the Hurricanes playing in nearby Tampa Bay and Tom Barrasso out with an injury, Petruk got the call to backup Irbe. His solid season is apparently being noticed by the top brass.
Goaltender Corey Hirsch was in net on Sunday for the first time in nearly two months and walked away with the shutout as the Pirates crushed the Manchester Monarchs, 5-0. Last night, he had 30 saves on 32 shots. Prior to his injury, Hirsch had been having a somewhat disappointing start to the season and these back-to-back wins could mark a turnaround for him.
Veteran defenseman Patrick Boileau continues to have the best season he has ever had to date with the Pirates. He brings a lot to the team and among his most important contributions is his work on the power play. The Pirates are notoriously bad when they have the man advantage, but Boileau is among the few exceptions.
I have received an incredible amount of e-mails regarding the development of Jakub Cutta this season. Whilst he still has a long way to go, he truly has made consistent improvement all season long. He is much more mature he is on the ice. He was thrown out of a game very early on this season after a stupid and unnecessary spearing incident and know that now he would be a lot smarter about it. With plenty of structure, playing time and another year or two of experience, Cutta could be a great defenseman. Portland may not be the best place for him to be at this stage – some time with the Pirates’ ECHL affiliate the Richmond Renegades might do him a world of good.
Rob Skrlac recently joined the Pirates on loan from the Albany River Rats. He was sent here to fill the injured Mel Angelstad’s place and will be with the team through the end of Read more»
While some San Jose Shark players like Gary Suter are nearing the end of their careers, the Sharks have plenty of prospects with the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League, NCAA DI college hockey, various European leagues, and major juniors in Canada. Many readers are likely familiar with many of these prospects, but some of them are not so well known to Shark fans, and perhaps they should be.
Summaries of Shark prospects with the Cleveland Barons will be available at a later date. Of some Cleveland news: Ryan Kraft, Mike Craig, and Jonathan Cheechoo have all been selected to play in the AHL All-Star Game. (Cheechoo as a starter) However, Cheechoo has missed the past 16 games due to injury.
Some prospects that are considered “graduated” are included within the report, and are among those that are probably the least known among the Sharks prospects. Some prospects who do not have their own profile at Hockey’s Future will also feature career stats along with their current season stats. As follows is a report by position of the 40+ San Jose Shark prospects.
All Stats as of February 2, 2002
5’10” 160 lb. Catches: Left
6/16/75 Stockholm, Sweden Read more»