The organizers of this tournament had to be unhappy after the first night
of action. A bench clearing brawl initiated by Ty Jones gave the tournament
a black eye and had to hope for better results during Tuesday night’s games.
Unfortuantly, it went from fight night to blowouts. The Detroit Red Wings
and Chicago Blackhawks were blown right out of the Grand Traverse Bay area
and ended up somewhere across Lake Michigan. Or at least it seemed that
way. If you liked watching teams self-destruct, this was your night.
GAME 3 – Detroit VS. Nashville
On paper, this game looks even. Both teams have a marquee prospect in
Brian Finley and Jiri Fischer. Each lack much depth at forward. But on the
ice it was a much a different story. While the Wings didnt play awful, the
defense rested in stretches. The Predators took the lead 10 seconds into
the game and never looked back, beating the Red Wings 6-3.
The Predators scored three goals in the first and again in the second
period and that was more than enough. The Predators had no real star on
this night but they did have a solid defensive game. Ed Hill, Brett Angel,
and Kent Sauer all had strong defensive efforts. Sauer also added two
assists. Martin Bartek added a goal and an assist leading the offense.
Konstantin Panov also had a strong night, scoring a goal and having several Read more»
With twenty four days to go before the puck drops on the 1999/2000 Western Hockey League Season all teams in the West Division are well into training camp. Seattle seems like a sure fire pick to lead the division with all their offensive fire power but you can never count out a Don Hay coached team like the Tri-City Americans or perrenial powerhouse Kamloops Blazers. Kelowna returns a solid nucleus and finally have a solid netminder in Kevin Swanson and they could make some noise before all is said and done. Portland and Spokane appear to be two teams searching for a new identity after big runs for the Memorial Cup two years ago and appear headed for very long seasons near the basementof the division. Following are my pre-season picks from top to bottom and a brief synopsis of each team.
Training Camp is about to start for the newly revamped New York Rangers.
News and Notes:
The Rangers finally cut ties with Scott Fraser. The organization had hoped
for another Adam Graves type player but he did not develop in New York or
Hartford as they hoped. His contract was bought out, but not before Neil
Smith offered him to Chicago for Doug Gilmour or anything. Fraser may try
out with Chicago but is also being sought out by many European teams. Fraser
had 28gp-2-4-6p totals in New York last season.
Now a look at Questions and Youth up front.
The No. 2 center slot as of now has been handed to Manny Malhotra by the
media. However John Muckler is a stickler for factoring in youth to such
high stress positions. Malhotra last year averaged 6 minutes per game
and mostly at the no. 4 spot. Although Malhotra showed many that he can play
at this level, he was instructed to add some
size to his already hulking 6-3 215 frame during the offseason. However Read more»
After discontinuing their top minor league affiliate in Adirondack, the Detroit Red Wings recently announced a deal that will see approximately eight of their prospects placed in Cincinnati for the 1999-2000 season. The AHL’s Cincinnati Mighty Ducks are Anaheim’s top minor league affiliate. With Detroit’s new farm club not beginning play in Toledo until 2000-2001, the organization needed to find a home for their top prospects. How will the Cincinnati roster take shape this season?
Beginning in the crease, there is little room for Detroit’s top young net minders, Jason Elliott and Aren Miller. Last season’s starter, Tom Askey, is expected to return after a sparkling 1998-1999 season. Askey posted a 2.72 goals against average along with a .918 save percentage, and also saw NHL post-season minutes against Detroit when Guy Hebert was lost to injury. The backup position also appears to be set, with Gregg Naumenko recently signing a two-year pact with Anaheim. Naumenko, an undrafted free agent, was named to the WCHA first all star team and received the WCHA rookie of the year award. Detroit’s top prospect in the crease, Jason Elliott, will likely be loaned to an IHL franchise to earn a starting position. Elliott was the starter in Adirondack for much of last season, but after a spectacular first half he struggled down the stretch. Aren Miller could find himself anywhere this year – likely as a backup in the AHL or IHL, but without a strong training camp possibly the ECHL.
GAME 1 – Detroit VS. Chicago
The rivalry between these two teams was renewed on Monday night. The game
ended up with 32 penalties and numerous brawls. Even with all the penalties,
the game still ended up deadlocked at a 3-3 tie. Jack McCracken steered away
33 shots while Jonathan Pelletier stopped 30. Chicago held a 3-1 lead in the
third only to see the lead go away when Brent Hobday scored and just over a
minute later, Anton Borodkin tied it. Detroit prospect Ryan Barnes got
plenty of shots in the form of physical play but also added an assist on the
scoresheet. Yuri Butsayev and Borodkin had a goal and an assist playing on
a line together for Detroit. Highly touted prospect Jiri Fischer played a
decent game and ended up a +1 for the night. Ryan Gaucher also played solid
for the Wings.
Chicago’s Mark Bell lived up to his billing by notching a goal in the
first. Rob Mara, coming back from injuries, had a strong game, with good
overall play and adding two assists. Kyle Calder also had an impressive
night as he notched a goal and an assist. As expected, Ty Jones also played
a physical game joining Barnes. Next up for Detroit will be Nashville,
while Chicago will take on St. Louis.
Det - Butsayev, 1 (Borodkin,Barnes) 9:00
Chi - Bell, 1 (Couture,Mara) 15:00
Chi - Griffin, 1 (Calder,Mara) 10:27
3rd Period- Read more»