Last season, the Devils came within one game of defending the Stanley Cup. This season, they will look to regain what was once theirs. The following article will summarize the goaltending, defence, and forward positions. That will be followed up with a team outlook for this season along with a prospect report.
Once again, workhorse netminder Martin Brodeur, coming off his 6th consecutive 30 win season, will be the main man between the pipes for New Jersey. All though he had a sub-par playoff by his standards, he still remains one of the NHL’s most elite netminders. With the upcoming Olympic Games, Martin may elevate his game even further to prove that he deserves to be Team Canada’s starting netminder. Even though it has not been officially announced yet, former Boston College standout Scott Clemmensen looks to be Brodeur’s backup for this season. Not given much of a chance at the beginning of training camp, he out performed fellow netminders JF Damphousse, who was considered the favorite, and Frederic Henry to earn the spot. However, don’t rule out a rotation between Damphousse and Clemmensen, because odds are, Brodeur will play 65-70 games, and the rookies will need to get some playing time, be it in New Jersey or down on the farm with the River Rats.
Despite the fact that this group is starting to show it’s age, it remains one of the strongest defence cores in the NHL. Even at the age of 37, team captain Scott Stevens still continues to be one of the games most feared open ice hitters. He may have Read more»
The European hockey leagues are anything but conservative. Many changes have
been made to the game over the last couple of years and several has panned
out very well. Granted, there has been ill-advised changes such as the
ridiculous helmet-rule, which states that a player must go for a line change
immediately after losing his helmet. If he doesn’t he will get a minor
penalty for delay of game.
Two changes that has helped to speed up the game has been the removal of the
red line offside and the new face-off rule which reduces the length of
breaks in play substantially. If the NHL are truly serious about opening up
and speeding up the game they should consider making these exact changes.
The traditionalists will probably be against the removal of the two line
offside, but it has done a lot to open up the game in Europe which has been
plagued by the trap even more than the National Hockey League. The trap
originated in Europe and has since been adopted by North American coaches as
it is a good way of giving a team with so called limited talent a chance to
win. But, it is boring to watch, and as much as those in love with the game
or employed by the game hate to admit it, the growth of hockey will be
determined by how entertaining it is to watch. Not many fans will turn away
from the game even if teams continue to practice the trap, but it will
certainly be harder to recruit new fans as long as the “chip it off the
glass”-mentality is a central part of a coach’s way of thinking.
At first, the ever defensive Swedish nation Read more»
Leafs Trade for Another Hawk Blueliner
Boy oh boy, words like that get anyone leaning forward in their chair after what happened last year at this time. For those of you who have been on the planet Jupiter the Leafs dealt holdout Alexander Karpotsev to Chicago for Bryan McCabe who just kept getting better and better as the year progressed until he was arguably the best Leaf rearguard in the playoffs. However, this time, don’t expect the transaction to have the same amount of impact. Going to the Hawks was minor league tough guy Shawn Thornton while coming this way was Norfolk Admirals blueliner Marty Wilford. Thornton, despite numerous chances to overtake Tie Domi as the ACC’s resident tough guy, was never able to demonstrate enough skill to keep a job on the NHL level. Wilford, on the other hand, has a couple things going for him. Besides the fact that every organization should have at least one player with the name ‘Marty’, the ex-Hawk farmhand is quite adept at the transition game and is very good in the dressing room. He has been the best defensemen in the Chicago’s minor league pipeline whether it be with Norfolk or Indianapolis the last three years running and in his last campaign totalled 7 goals and 41 assists. If there is anything he does lack it is an NHL burst as far as separation is concerned. At 24 years old he looks to be another veteran hand to help the youngsters along on The Rock but if he proves himself efficient might leap ahead of Nathan Dempsey on the emergency call-up queue because of the extra 30 pounds he has on the long time Leaf. Co Read more»
Panthers Pre-Season Wrap-up
With two days before the Panthers season opener against the Flyers on Oct. 4th, the hopeful Panther prospects have learned who made the opening night roster. 6 Panthers still considered prospect under HF’s criteria have survived the last cuts going into the season opener, while 4 of the Panther sophomores are given the opportunity to build on last season.
An unfortunate concussion has relegated Denis Shvidki to the injured reserve list, and Panther veterans Peter Worrell and Bret Hedican also are starting the season on the IR. These unfortunate injuries have opened up the roster for a few prospects to start the season with the big club, but when those three players come off the IR, some tough decisions will have to be made by management. One transaction that will help clarify the roster is the pick-up of defenseman John Jakopin on waivers by Pittsburgh.
The Panthers named their opening night 22 man roster at 5:00pm on Tuesday, which is one short of the maximum allowed. To follow is my analysis of what prospects and sophomores made the roster and a breakdown of what I see the lineups as being going into the rebound 2001-2002 NHL Season.
Opening Night Prospects
Kristian Huselius, Left Wing: Kristian immediately showed that the hype surrounding him was justified. Playing mainly with Olli Jokinen, Niklas Hagman, and Valeri Bure, Huselius scored 3 assists in 6 pre-season games, and was thrown in all game situations where he was able to adjust accordingly. Read more»
I believe the term is “fire-wagon hockey”, yeah that’s it, that’s the only way to describe the Belleville Bulls style of play so far this season. After 6 games they have scored 35 goals while allowing 23 against, not exactly the New Jersey Devils are they! No, they’re the Bulls and they’re 5-1 to start the season and that’ll suit coach Jim Hulton just fine I’m sure and the fans as well. This is a very speedy and talented team and they have, at present, 2 goalies that are quit capable of handling wide-open play. All of the new additions are fulfilling expectations, which as I said last year is a tribute to the scouting staff of the Bulls. Here is a rundown of the Bulls roster and how each player has looked so far.
#10 Andrew Brown, RW- (6-0-0-0-7) A big strong winger, but doesn’t use size effectively. Needs to go to the net more and start punishing opposing defenders. An average skater, with limited scoring ability.
#7 Rane Carnagie, C- (6-4-3-7-2) The Bulls first round pick is learning extremely fast. This kid has unlimited potential and looks to be a sure 1st or 2nd round pick in the 2003 entry draft. He is very sturdy on his skates and has great moves. He has also shown a good nose for the net with 4 goals already this season.
#13 Andre Deveaux, C- (6-0-2-2-13) The second year man is currently struggling with back problems. He looks to be a bit more focused this year than last, but still looks as if he’s just out for a Sunday skate sometimes. Needs to p Read more»