It is increasingly clear that the face lifts by both former G.M. Bob Murray and current G.M. Mike Smith has done little to lift the team’s major league skin and eliminate the crow’s feet of post season elimination.
Granted there have been some bright spots, the biggest being the added offensive production of l’il Steve Sullivan, at almost a point a game pace since his wavier pick up from the Toronto house cleaning in order that they might be able to add the enigmatic Dmitri Khristich.
Tampa Bay decided Michael Nylander would never play defense and was only effective when in control of the puck, and a risk when he didn’t have it. There were absolutely correct but when placed at centre with Sullivan they are able to be dominant players on the attacking end of the rink,albeit a liability without it. Regardless,without their presence the Hawk offense would be far limited without them.
Besides Amonte and an occasionally on night from the gentle giant Eric Daze, the Hawks have had to fill the rest of the roster with players who would never be considered more than “pieces” elsewhere.
They did cushion their rosters with 32 yr. old rookie Steve Poapst, who has had hard times catching the NHL speed guys,Chris McAlpine, 29 yr. old, an undersized hard hitter who is at best a #5 guy. As is Kevin Dean whose off ice hardships with his premature son have compounded his poor play.
Other plugging has come at times from the still not so ready for prime time Nolan Baumgartner and everyone’s prospect to be, Steve McCarthy.
Chicago’s pre Read more»
Welcome to the inaugural article on the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League. I will be writing an article twice a month, one on the 15th and one on the 30th. I will include a brief summary of the games since the previous article along with some ongoing stats and rankings of Bulls players. I’m going to have some fun with this, but I am quit serious in my conclusions and beliefs. I hope some scouts look up this page once and while and maybe some injustices can be avoided, such as Kyle Wellwood being ranked behind numerous players with less hope of making the NHL than I do. Enough with the niceties let’s analyze some hockey.
PETERBOROUGH at BELLEVILLE (Feb. 14)-
About 2700 fans trekked through blizzard like conditions to witness a rather uninspired game by both teams. The Bulls looked bored out there and the Petes lack of offensive talent made for some lengthy neutral zone play. When the Petes did come up with some chances, Paulo Colaiacovo was there to shut them down. Colaiacovo faced 28 shots, stopping a 3 on 1 and a 2 on 1 on his way to the victory. At the other end, Joey MacDonald was solid for the Petes, but a 5 on 3 power play for the Bulls to start the 3rd period would prove to be too much for him as Randy Rowe put home 2 quick goals. Rowe ended the night with a hat trick and an assist. His third goal gave him 50 on the year in his 47th game, making him the fastest to reach 50 in Bulls history, topping Dave MacLean’s record by 7 games. The Bulls also received an excellent game from Read more»
Player “report cards” are largely a subjective matter. The task becomes even trickier when dealing with prospects, because improvement from previous seasons is as important, if not more so, than actual play or sky-high statistics. So, instead, this is a general run-down on some of Boston’s prospects currently playing for the Providence Bruins. No grade, no ranking, just an update- how current play compares to past, how they’ve contributed , and what they need to improve.
Little has changed with Elias. In fact, many were surprised when Boston renewed his contract this summer. Abrahamsson is still an inconsistent physical defender prone to taking bad penalties. With Martin Grenier waiting in the wings, Elias could find himself out of a job next October.
No longer a member of the Boston Bruins’ organization, Aitken’s contract was bought out shortly after training camp. What was most surprising about this situation is that Jon actually finished out last season with three rather successful games in Boston. He also had an impressive AHL playoffs, even providing some offense by putting his booming slapshot to good use.
We’ll never know if Aitken could have had an impact in Providence or Boston, because he was not dressed for any P-bruins games, even prior to his buyout. Currently, Aitken is trying to further his career by playing in various European leagues. From all reports, he has thus far been less than spectacular. Jon’s future in the NHL is highly questiona Read more»
The Islanders recently signed two of Baie-Comeau’s top players, Marco Charpentier and David St. Germaine. Both players attended Islanders’ training camp last fall, but returned to juniors as free agents. Previous to these signings the Islanders had no prospects in the QMJHL, but now have two king-pins off the first place Drakkar.
Marco Charpentier is a 6’0″ 200lbs, slick right winger who is second on the team in scoring. He just reached the 50 goal and 100 point plateaus, and was recently named Runner-Up for QMJHL Offensive Player of the Month, during which he scored 14 goals and 27 points in 10 games. Marco is currently 6th in the league in scoring with an even 100 points, and third in goals with 51, in only 58 games. He also has 74 PIM, a testament to his gritty play. Earlier in the year, Charpentier had a 5 game goal scoring streak, which ties for 10th longest in the league this year, as well as a separate 11 game point scoring streak. Charpentier is a great addition to the Islanders family and brings speed and scoring to the table.
Teammate David St. Germaine has been the backbone for Baie-Comeau’s division leading campaign. He is second in the QMJHL in wins and has been solid for Le Drakkar all season long. His .898 save percentage is 7th best in the league and his 3 shutouts are tied for third best among QMJHL goalies. At 5’11” and 175lbs St. Germaine is on the smallish side, but his quick reflexes allow him to cover the net effectively.
Both Charpentier and St. Germaine are 20 year olds in their final year of juniors. Read more»
The glory days are over. Everything was said and done about the last WJC, the players celebrated
the victories and now play in their respective leagues in the Czech Republic or Canada. Rostislav
Klesla said his statement about the Canadian play at the WJC, Don Cherry replied, but that was
yesterday. By this time it’s time for the Under-20 teams to start over. 1981 born guys are gone
and those born 1982 or later took their place. The first test for those teams took place in
Fussen, Germany, the city where the 1999 Under-18 WJC was played, in the first week of February.
Jaroslav Holik, head coach of the Czech Under-20 team, selected a whole new team, which
consisted of top Czech junior hockey league players with minimum of playing experience in the
Czech Extraleague. It was the first meeting between the 18-year old players and the charismatic
head coach, who wanted to get to know something about the players. For this reason were 2000
World champions Vaclav Nedorost and Tomas Plekanec left at home. They’re proven enough and they
have their roster spots ensured in the Under-20 team. They both play important roles for their
Extraleague teams and the Extraleague games will give them more than those against the players
of their own age in Fussen. By the way, Vaclav Nedorost was selected to perform for the Czech
senior national team at the Sweden hockey games, but he suffered a shoulder injury during his
practice with HC Ceske Budejovice and the injury prevented him from participating at the event.
A brand new team, using four complete lines, Read more»