Well lets take a look first at the offense, when the
Kings had their playoff run last spring they had 3
lines that were putting up offense, Jozef Stumpel was
centering Ziggy Palffy and Adam Deadmarsh, Bryan
Smolinski was on a “stopper unit” 2nd line with Nelson
Emerson and Glen Murray, and rookie Eric Belanger was
centering Luc Robitaille and Ian Laperriere to form an
all French-Canadian 3rd line. Right now three of those
guys (Robitaille, Stumpel and Murray) are no longer
with the club and Emerson is out indefinitely with a
head injury. Once Jason Allison gets his legs back and
gets used to this team the Kings will boast one of the
deadliest 1st lines in the NHL with Allison between
Palffy and Deadmarsh, the problem lies in the 2nd and
3rd lines. Bryan Smolinski and Steve Heinze are
quality 2nd line forwards, the problem is they have
yet to find a consistent linemate since Murray was
dealt. Jaroslav Bednar an overage Czech who lead the
Finnish League in goals has been a bust with only 1
assist in 10 games, journeyman Randy Robitaille can
fill in when called upon but cannot be expected to be
a regular scoring line contributor. The Kings need to
address this problem shortly, they are clearly a 2nd
line LW short of 2 full scoring lines, which you need
to have to win in the NHL.
On the blueline the Kings have been strong for the
most part, keeping the shot totals down and playing a
sound positional game. Aaron Miller returned last
night vs. Detroit and his strong defensive play will
help even more. Offensively its been the Mathieu
Schnei Read more»
Patrick DesRochers is off to a shaky start this year. His statistics look so poor mostly due to an 8-4 loss he suffered a couple of weeks ago when he allowed all eight goals on 30 shots. He played decent in both games this weekend, losing in Worcester (4-2 with 30 saves) and winning against Manchester (5-4 with 28 saves).
He’s done a better job in controlling rebounds this season. Being a butterfly style goalie, he’s down on the ice a lot, so the majority of goals he allow are top shelf. He does not play the puck very well and needs to stay in the net more often until he improves on that. DesRochers certainly doesn’t look like a former first-round pick and has a long way to go if he plans on making it to the NHL.
Kirill Safronov is still very sound defensively, leading the team with a plus-minus rating of +9. The second-year professional leads all defensemen on the team in scoring with seven points (one goal, six assists). Safronov has seen a lot of time on the power play this season. Safronov has been called up with the Coyotes but hasn’t played in any games yet.
Dan Focht defensive play has improved greatly over the last couple of seasons, but he’s still slow and doesn’t contribute anything to the offense (he’s scored only four goals in over 200 professional games). He’s a big guy at 6’6″ and 240 pounds, however he doesn’t fight very well. Focht has a tendency to take a lot of unnecessary minor penalties. It doesn’t appear as if he’ll ever be a consistent player at the NHL level.
David Cullen is a small, offensive-min Read more»
Springfield, Ma. The U-Mass Minuteman took on the U-Conn Huskies Sunday at the Springfield Civic Center. The Minuteman jumped out to a 3-0 start before the Huskies scored late in the second period. The two teams each played a hard fought third period with the Minuteman sneaking by with a 6-5 win.
The U-Mass Minutemen dominated the first period, but U-Conn Sophomore goalie Artie Imbriano only let one goal by him. Minutemen Freshman Sean Regan scored at the 4:25 mark of the period. U-Mass had the only penalty when senior Martin Miljko was called for interference.
U-Mass continued the domination they had in the first period scoring three more goals in the second period, including two on the power play. The Minutemen scored the first goal of the period by Miljko only 10 seconds into a power play. U-Conn Senior Trent Landry was spending time in the penalty box for hooking. Miljko picked up his second goal of the game when he lit the lamp at the 14:29 mark. The Minutemen added to their lead when Freshman Greg Mauldin scored 3:03 later, while the Minutemen were on a power play. At the time of the goal U-Conn Senior Mike Boylon was in the penalty box for cross checking. U-Conn finally beat U-Mass Senior goaltender Mike Johnson. The U-Conn goal was scored when Boylon made up for his penalty, which led to the fourth U-Mass goal.
The third period started with a goaltender change. The U-Mass Minutemen put Freshman Tim Warner in the net. U-Conn took advantage of the goalie change and Boylon scored his second goal of the game. U-Mass put a three go Read more»
In a league where offensive stars like Jason Spezza, Derek Roy, Patrick
O’Sullivan, Stephen Weiss, Nate Robinson, and Rick Nash are the most
recognized. There are players known as the “grinders” who open up the
for these skill players to score. They are the players that drive to the
net, throw the hits, and the type of players that always give their all,
you always want them out on the ice during the crucial moments of a tight game. Here are (in my opinion) the best grinders in the “O” in no particular order:
Daniel Paille (6’0″ – 184lbs) In only his second year in the league,
Guelph’s Danny Paille has lived up to the expectations put on him when he
was drafted 6th overall in the 2000 OHL draft. Paille is one of those
players who you need on your team. Paille, 17, fits a lot of grit and
leadership into his 6’0″, 184lbs frame. The leadership skills he shows on a
nightly basis, may just land him the “C” next year, as this years captain Morgan McCormick moves on. Paille’s main attributes are his work along the
boards, his 100% a shift work ethic, and his ability to take the
to score goals. When I watch Paille play, he really reminds me of a young
Adam Deadmarsh. He has a great balance of skill and grit, he also shows a
lot of character off the ice. Look for him to be selected during the first
two rounds of the 2002 NHL entry draft.
Kris Vernarsky (6’2″ – 207lbs) Kris is a veteran of the Ontario Hockey
League, in this, his fourth season. His offensive ability is beginning to
show a little more than it has in t Read more»