With all the WHL Western Conference teams having twenty games or less on their schedules, heres some speculation on how the season will finish and playoffs will play out. These are solely the thoughts and ponderings of this writer and may not be accurate, however with the stretch run just underway, thought it would be fun to put my choices out to provoke some debate. Here goes!
While the Cougars will likely play better in the playoffs, I’m not sure Thompson or Stanton are handling the pressure of a stretch run very well. Thompson was great against Kamloops in the recent loss, but I’m not sold. Hamhuis really is the glue that holds the entire Cougar back end together and he at some point this year is going to start slowing down and having some off nights, which appears is beginning to happen. He was brilliant in the first game against Kamloops last weekend, but in the second game was average by his standards, coughing up the puck, not as effective moving the puck and not as physical. When caught out of position didn’t appear to have a lot of gas to get back either IMO. They need scoring and I’m not sure even the addition of Foster will remedy that problem. Likely to finish third in B.C. Division and could slide as low as fourth with a first round exit IMO.
Kelowna will go as far as Bendera can take them and his return to the line up this weekend will be a tonic for a lot the Rockets current ailments. When on his game, Bendera can win games on his own which might be what the Rockets need to gain some confidence. If Shane can backstop the Rockets to a couple wins Read more»
This is the second part of the mid-season Top 20 prospects update.
12. Miroslav Blatak
Team: Zlin, CZE
Draft: 2001 draft, 4th round, 129th overall
Previous rank: 16
Miroslav is having a very good rookie year with one of the best teams in Czech Republic, Zlin. In the last 20 games of the season Miroslav has received increased ice-time, and that has led to increased offensive numbers. Blatak has 4 goals and 5 assists in 34 games in his rookie season in the Czech Extra League. He also had a great WJC and was the top scoring defenseman with 3 goals and 4 assists in 7 games.
Plus: Smart, skating, shot, passing, hard worker.
Minus: Size?, lack of physical presence.
Potential: Two-way top 6 defenseman
13. Drew MacIntyre
Team: Sherbrooke, QJMHL
Draft: 2001 draft, 4th round, 121st overall
Grade: 6.5 Read more»
the Saskatoon Blades who recently enjoyed a four game winning streak,
including 3 in a row at home slipped a notch recently this past weekend and
were in danger of falling into the east division basement. The Blades were
winless in a three game in three night Alberta road trip. On Friday, the
Blades fell behind early to the Medicine Hat Tigers by a score of 4-0 and
could never really get back into the game. The Blades got to within 2 goals
on a pair of tallies by WHL eastern conference player of the month Justin
Kelly but that would be as close as the Blades would come losing 5-3 to the
Saturday night the Blades were in Lethbridge to play a Canes team
who has really beaten up on the Blades so far this year outscoring them 20-8
in three previous meetings. This time the Blades were able to stay close
but not close enough losing 4-2. Jeremy Jackson salted the game away with
his 26th of the season with 1:13 remaining in the game. With a 2 game
losing streak going entering Red Deer, the Blades could have easily folded
with a pair of home games on the horizon but that wasn’t the case.
the Blades looked past the fact the Rebels had won 11 in row and looked past
the fact they are defending Memorial Cup champs. The Blades stayed close
all night long and forced OT but lost 3-2 in overtime. The trip wasn’t
exactly a success for the Blades but they faired pretty well on the road
against some very tough teams. The Blades still only have 1 win vs Central
Division teams this season.
Last nights game vs Read more»
SYRACUSE CRUNCH NEWS
RWRobert Korn has been called up by the Blue Jackets. Kron, at 34 years of age, has been recalled after a 6 game stint, which he registered 2 goals and 4 assists. On the season, Kron has 2 goals and 9 assists with the Jackets
LWMathieu Darhce has been reassigned to the Crunch after a brief stint with the Jackets which saw him register one assist in 5 games.
Preston Mizzi has been recalled to the Syracuse Crunch. Jonathan Schill has been relocated to Dayton to make room for this. Other players being relocated to Dayton of the ECHL include goaltender Karl Goehring
As of Wednesday, February 6th
Credit www.theahl.com for statistics Read more»
WHL WEST STARS WIN, SO OHL CLAIMS THE HERSHEY CUP
RIMOUSKI – The Western Hockey League’s Western Conference All-Stars defeated
the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Dilio Conference All-Stars 9-4
Wednesday night in the final game of the 2002 Hershey Cup CHL All-Star
As a result the WHL, the Ontario Hockey League and the QMJHL all finish the
series with identical 1-1 records, but the OHL was awarded the Hershey Cup
on goal differential. The inaugural Hershey Cup was won last year by the
QMJHL’s two all-star teams.
Jared Aulin of the Kamloops Blazers and Paul Gaustad of the Portland Winter
Hawks both scored twice for the WHL stars, while Joe Balej (Portland),
Brandin Cote (Spokane), Joey Hope (Portland), Eric Johannsen (Tri-City) and
Dustin Johner (Seattle) added singles.
Karl Fournier (Acadie-Bathurst Titan), Yanick Lehoux (Baie-Comeau Drakkar),
Michel Outlet (Rimouski) and Olivier Fillion (Acadie-Bathurst) replied for
the QMJHL Dilio Conference All-Stars, which became the first Quebec team to
lose at the Hershey Cup.
The WHL East led 3-2 after one period of play and the QMJHL Dilio Conference
All-Stars tied the game early in the second period. But six consecutive
goals by the WHL East All-Stars gave the WHL its first win at the Hershey
The OHL wound up the 2002 Hershey Cup CHL All-Star Series with a 1-1 record
with a plus three goals differential, the WHL was 1-1 and even while the
QMJHL was 1-1 and minus three. The QMJHL Dilio Conference All-Stars out-shot
the WHL East All-Stars 42-25 before 4,76 Read more»