Woeful Isles To Give Kolnik A Shot

by Jonathan Litterine
on
The New York Islanders are supposed to be better then they are
playing.
As everybody knows when things don’t go right roster moves are made. It
is
now Juraj Kolnik’s turn. The former Rimouski Oceanic Star is due to make
his
NHL Debut against the Atlanta Thrashers on December 29. Kolnik who just
turned 20 on November 13th is a childhood friend of Islanders defensemen
Branislav Mezei. Both grew up in Nitra,Slovakia. Kolnik is hoping to
duplicate the success of former Rimouski grads Vincent Lecavalier and
Brad
Richards, both are currently playing with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Since
98-99 Kolnik has had 190 points in 109 QMJHL games. He has split time
this
year with Lowell and Springfield of the American Hockey League. Kolnik
is a
amazing offensive player with great skills. His problem is defense. He
has a
one track mind, offense and nothing else. The Islanders can’t score and they give up too many
goals. If
Kolnik can help them in any form the Islanders will be thrilled. Yet
Kolnik
alone can’t put them in the playoffs. The Islanders need a lot of help.
Maybe
General Manager Mike Milbury can get them help in some trades.

The Weekend Warrior

by Randy Nicholson
on

Another in a series of weekly articles summarizing activity in Leafland during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations, commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.

Catching up: December 16th – the Maple Leafs fall to Calgary in overtime 6-5 … December 19th – defenseman Nathan Dempsey was dispatched to St. John’s despite some very solid play in 8 games with the team … the move was made in order to maintain optimum roster flexibility as waivers would have been required in order to return Dempsey to the Rock following 10 NHL starts … rookie Petr Svoboda is recalled in order to fill Dempsey’s spot and produces decidedly mixed results in the ensuing games … December 20th – the Leafs are stoned by Mike Dunham and fall to Nashville at home 3-1 … December 21st – Boston shuts out Toronto 4-0 and only Tie Domi seems concerned … December 23rd – the Leafs provide their fans with the only gift of the Christmas season with a convincing 5-2 victory over the Habs in Montreal … December 26th – rookie goaler Milan Hnilicka backstops the Thrashers to a 5-3 win over Toronto in Atlanta … December 27th – the Maple Leafs send a belated Christmas gift to NHL headquarters at Mario Lemieux’s homecoming party by neglecting to defend against the superstar in any meaningful way as the Pens embarrass Toronto 5-0 … December 28th – Captain Sundin calls for a shake-up of his struggling (I would have used a much saltier word) team as many thousands of Maple Leafs Read more»

Czech Republic vs. USA WJC game recap

by Robert Neuhauser
on
Before the teams went out on the ice, it was clear that this game will influent the final
standings of the Group A. The winner of this game will be the winner of the group and will
meet the fourth best team of the Group B in the quarterfinals and so has a better chance to
qualify for the semifinals. All players and coaches were aware of this fact. Jaroslav Holik
told the Czech guys to play defensively responsible and not to take bad penalties just like in
the previous two games. The US guys know how to play powerplay and too many minutes with a man
in the penalty box cost strength, which is needed in the last minutes. The US squad is maybe
the hardest opponent the Czechs have to face in the group and they had to prepare for this game
with a video session. The US goalie is one of the biggest prospects in all of hockey, Rick
DiPietro, first man taken overall at the 2000 NHL draft, the defense boasts first rounders
Paul Martin and Ron Hainsey the front line the likes of Jeff Taffe, Brett Nowak, Andy Hilbert,
Kris Vernarsky, Damian Surma or Jon DiSalvatore. Along with 2001 top prospects Tim Gleason and
Mike Komisarek at defense and David Steckel with R.J. Umberger at offense.

Head coach Jaroslav Holik started the game with using 3 lines, the fourth line which played well
against Kazakhstan was benched again. The USA squad played its typical aggressive, hard, in-your-
face style of hockey with great forechecking, but the Czechs knew what was waiting for them.
And they made the best thing possible, Pavel Brendl grabbed the puck, avoided the hit and Read more»

Vancouver Canucks Prospect News

by pbadmin
on

Henrik and Daniel Sedin started off the season strong for the Canucks, but their play has really tailed off as of late. It has been said that some of the Canucks players are getting mad at the Sedins for missing checks, not picking up their man, etc. Some conditioning time down in the minors couldn’t hurt. Could it?

Harold Druken has been really playing well for the Canucks. He scored a hat trick earlier in the season in a 6-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. I hope the Canucks hold onto Druken as he could develop into a nice 25 goal, 50 point man in the NHL.

It’s about time that Bryan Allen starts turning his play up a notch. He has been nothing but a bust since being the 4th overall pick in the 1998 Entry Draft. Everyone tagged him as the next Chris Pronger/Derian Hatcher type player, but weird injuries have sidelined him a lot since being drafted. He needs to make a statement soon, or he could be headed out the door if Brian Burke decides to pull the trigger on some sort of blockbuster deal, probably moving Todd Bertuzzi.

Rene Vydareny recently signed a contract, and was assigned to Kansas City of the IHL to get some playing time. He is currently playing for his native land for the World Junior Championships, and there has been wispers that when he returns he will get his chance with the Canucks. If he performs well, he might cause Burke to make a deal and move out someone like Jason Strudwick or Bryan Helmer.

Nathan Smith was recently one of the 1st players cut for the World Junior Championship Canadian team. I’m not too impressed with his developme Read more»

Rangers News: WJC, Transactions, etc.

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Well, it seems as though the Rangers currently find themselves in the midst of yet another 4 game losing streak this season as they head into Dallas for a game on New Year’s Eve. The Rangers should have won their last 3 games, all losses to Nashville, Carolina and Atlanta. The 2nd year Thrashers destroyed the Rangers last night in every category en route to a 4-1 victory. Mike Richter came back from injured reserve, but he didn’t look any better than what he did a week ago. However, as ironic as it may seem, there is some bright spots currently in Ranger Land and it comes from their prized young prospects, who are currently performing well at the World Junior Championships in Moscow, Russia. Here is some news on how they are doing, and some other transactions that have occured in the last few days.

World Junior Championships

  • Jamie Lundmark and team Canada have played 2 games since I last updated. Lundmark scored a goal on a 2-on-1 in Canada’s 2-2 tie with Finland yesterday, and today Lundmark went scoreless in a 3-1 loss to highly touted prospect Ilya Kovalchuk and the mighty Russians. Lundmark currenlty has 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) and 2 penalty minutes in 3 games so far. Canada is currently 1-1-1.
  • Read more»

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