Olczyk's decisions start tonight

kutdacheez
09-19-2003, 04:25 AM
Eddy Olczyk's base for cut decisions are going to start tonight in Wheeling. Fifty-one players and twenty eight of them aren't going to make it.
This is first time in a long time that we have not had set lines and defensive pairings set before camp opened.
Some of you think M-A Fluery should be sent to Junior to play with the 16 year-olds . . . yet he has the best GAA and SV% of all the goalies in camp.
I read many in the media comparing Rick DiPietro's and Don Blackburn's (so reported) failure to perform as that should be the bench-mark for Fleury. From my two views at Southpointe . . . he's a very quick learner and will be paired with Caron and signed before Oct. 7th (my prediction). Aubin will begin the season in WB/S . . . but is no way out of the mix, either.
Others in camp who stood out "above the others":
Colby Armstrong is much bigger than last year and sort of reminds me of a Mike Ricci type player.
Ryan Malone and Matt Murley, along with Armstrong have shown the most improvement from the end of last year to this training camp.
It's hard to judge the talent because there is so much "inexperienced" in camp. I would say after the four games we will have a pretty good idea.

(BTW, how many will be at M-A Fleury's first game Saturday night? A little note, I was at Mario's first game . . . you might want to get a walk up ticket, although he could get hammered . . . it should be a night to remember.)

Some (not here very much last season) who I think have a GOOD CHANCE of making the opening roster (from what I observed of their effort and ability in camp) are:
FORWARDS:
Colby Armstrong (work in corners exceptional)
Kris Beech (larger and gives air of confidence)
Konstantin Koltsov (speed in unbelievable)
Tom Kostopoulos (both times never stopped working)
Guillaume Lefebvre (most underrated of all forwards)
Ryan Malone
Matt Muley
Brian Holzinger (Don't like him . . . but he looked better than I thought)

Those not all that impressive:
Milan Kraft (still to me) looks to go through the motion
Matt Bradley (maybe some of you saw something)
Michal Sivek (bigger, but play similer to Kraft's)
Rico Fata (Hmmm?) Fast, but didn't impress me in the two games

DEFENSEMEN:
Drake Berehowsky
Paul Bissonette (would never know he was a rookie just drafted)
Ross Lupaschuk (I still maintain that he stays up here)
Brooks Orpik (very consistent)

That's my finding from camp. Should be interesting to get everyone's opinion after Saturday night's game.

Der Schweinehund
09-19-2003, 04:37 AM
Brian Holzinger (Don't like him . . . but he looked better than I thought)

Whomever has kidnapped the real Cheez, please return him immediately. Next, I expect this false-Cheez to rave on about the merits of mentoring. :rolly:

Paul Bissonette (would never know he was a rookie just drafted)

Saw him play (live - not TV) at least a half dozen times last season. Not surprised at all to see this. This guy is going to be our captain and leader in the not too distant future.

I see you didn't mention him, but what are the thoughts about Chiodo? Although he has been in the shadow of Fleury, I see nothing but rave media reviews about him this training camp.

Based on these great reports as well as media accounts, I certainly have the belief that the performance by the players (as a whole) at training camp has far exceeded my expectations. Anyone else feel this way?

Koltsov71
09-19-2003, 05:27 AM
I was expecting much more from Michal Sivek, and to a lesser degree Milan Kraft. They had better step up their performance in the preseason games.

kutdacheez
09-19-2003, 06:16 AM
Whomever has kidnapped the real Cheez, please return him immediately. Next, I expect this false-Cheez to rave on about the merits of mentoring. :rolly:

I don't think so, Schweinhund!

I see you didn't mention him, but what are the thoughts about Chiodo? Although he has been in the shadow of Fleury, I see nothing but rave media reviews about him this training camp.
I didn't get to see every game during those two days and one of them I didn't get a roster sheet and had to guess who the players were.

Based on these great reports as well as media accounts, I certainly have the belief that the performance by the players (as a whole) at training camp has far exceeded my expectations. Anyone else feel this way?
I think that if you put a group of youngsters together some will look better than others and that don't give much to detewrmine a conclusion. The next few games will. I am actually changing seats will someone to sit closer to Fleury. So I can mentor him. :p

Jacob
09-19-2003, 10:03 AM
Some of you think M-A Fluery should be sent to Junior to play with the 16 year-olds . . . yet he has the best GAA and SV% of all the goalies in camp.

Chiodo has the best GAA I believe, at 1.9 or so. But Fleury does have the best save percentage (which doesn't mean a whole lot). Do you think we should send Caron to the minors because Chiodo and Fleury's stats are better?
And how many 16 year olds are there really in the Q? One I can think of had a hat trick in his first game. Most of his competition will be 19, 20, and 21 year olds.

I read many in the media comparing Rick DiPietro's and Don Blackburn's (so reported) failure to perform as that should be the bench-mark for Fleury. From my two views at Southpointe . . . he's a very quick learner and will be paired with Caron and signed before Oct. 7th (my prediction). Aubin will begin the season in WB/S . . . but is no way out of the mix, either.


He better be a quick learner. He'll have to adjust from shots by Guilleame LeBag-eau-donuts to shots by the likes of Sakic and Sundin.
Instead of Joe Schmoe French Canadian crowding his crease, it'll be Eric Lindros and John Leclair.

Edzo said something the other day that, to me, made Fleury almost a lock to be sent back (possibly signed first) to Cape Breton. He said Fleury needs to play as often as possible. Do we really want to subject him to 4 goals against per night in the NHL just yet? There's always the chance that he dominates training camp and gives them no reason to send him back, but even then his NHL performance should be on a game-by-game basis. As soon as he faulters, he goes back. Since you went to southpointe twice you should have noticed that Fleury still has plenty to work on.

Colby Armstrong is much bigger than last year and sort of reminds me of a Mike Ricci type player.

No question. He gained what, 5-10 lbs.? I don't think he gained that much in the last 2 years combined.

GoRyanMalone
09-19-2003, 11:11 AM
save percentage (which doesn't mean a whole lot)

Going over this again, I disagree. Maybe because it's still the preseason.. Great post~!

DJ Spinoza
09-19-2003, 12:53 PM
I will not be attending tommorow, because I am friggin broke.:mad:

Anyways, read little into the training camp tournament. It gives you a little idea of who has improved and who may make the team, but really, those decisions will be made over the next few weeks. IE, during the preseason games, not after an intersquad tournament.

The guys who are on the roster have earned a shot to show a little more, that's pretty much it. Fleury would have been kept anyways, but he has been the consensus best goalie so far.

We'll see how things shake up after the next three days. Some of your opinions, and mine, will change.

I do not think Malone or Bissionette will be on the starting roster. Malone will definitely play in Wilkes Barre though, Bissionette might play there. Malone has been good, but he probably needs a good full year of AHL play.

We'll see.

davemess
09-19-2003, 01:18 PM
Bissionette is in the same situation as Fleury, its either the NHL or back to Juniors. He is only still around because the team wants to reward him for a good camp with some game time. He will be reassigned after he plays a game or two.

kutdacheez
09-19-2003, 01:24 PM
Chiodo has the best GAA I believe, at 1.9 or so. But Fleury does have the best save percentage (which doesn't mean a whole lot). Do you think we should send Caron to the minors because Chiodo and Fleury's stats are better?
Stick it in your ear Jacobv2 . . . you are right about the GAA Chiodo had a 1.95 GAA. Are you the official Pens Stat man or do you just guess to the .05? As to the best SV% not meaning a lot . . . why do you think they managed to keep that stat for so many years?


And how many 16 year olds are there really in the Q? One I can think of had a hat trick in his first game. Most of his competition will be 19, 20, and 21 year olds.
I have obviously a different opinion than you about how you learn. I think learning while competing against the best compition is the best method and you think playing against those much inferior is the best learning experience.


He better be a quick learner. He'll have to adjust from shots by Guilleame LeBag-eau-donuts to shots by the likes of Sakic and Sundin. Instead of Joe Schmoe French Canadian crowding his crease, it'll be Eric Lindros and John Leclair.
So are you going on record that he can't handle it? Or what?

Edzo said something the other day that, to me, made Fleury almost a lock to be sent back (possibly signed first) to Cape Breton.
Although I've had season tickets for 9 years now and attend a few away games each year and have been to about to session each summer at Southpointe . . . I still haven't had a private one on one with any coach. So I'll have to take your word for it.

Do we really want to subject him to 4 goals against per night in the NHL just yet? There's always the chance that he dominates training camp and gives them no reason to send him back, but even then his NHL performance should be on a game-by-game basis. As soon as he faulters, he goes back.
So if anyone "faulters" you would punish them, eh? LOL.

Since you went to southpointe twice you should have noticed that Fleury still has plenty to work on. I don't disagree with that. All of our goalies do. And your point is?



No question. He gained what, 5-10 lbs.? I don't think he gained that much in the last 2 years combined.
Look, Jocobv2, I don't know if you have a cactus needle in your shorts or what. I just reported what I saw. To me Colby Armstrong looks much larger than he did at this camp last year. Maybe not.

kutdacheez
09-19-2003, 01:28 PM
I do not think Malone or Bissionette will be on the starting roster. Malone will definitely play in Wilkes Barre though, Bissionette might play there. Malone has been good, but he probably needs a good full year of AHL play.
I've been around long enough to know that the camp doesn't tell all. But it does tell some. As to Bissionette he won't be in WB/S. It's here or back to Junior.

kutdacheez
09-19-2003, 01:29 PM
How many of you guys are making your statements based on seeing and how many based on reading?

DJ Spinoza
09-19-2003, 01:45 PM
Both.

Jacob
09-19-2003, 01:53 PM
Stick it in your ear Jacobv2 . . . you are right about the GAA Chiodo had a 1.95 GAA. Are you the official Pens Stat man or do you just guess to the .05? As to the best SV% not meaning a lot . . . why do you think they managed to keep that stat for so many years?

I meant training camp, training camp doesn't mean a whole lot. If Fleury had a GAA over 3 my opinion of him wouldn't have changed in the slightest.

I have obviously a different opinion than you about how you learn. I think learning while competing against the best compition is the best method and you think playing against those much inferior is the best learning experience.

That's correct. Because there is little risk of failure if he's sent to Cape Breton, and there's still plenty he can learn. Offensive situations will be abundant, even if the competition will be lackluster compared to the NHL.

So are you going on record that he can't handle it? Or what?

Nope. Cleary (to me anyway), I stated that it should be a game-by-game basis, starting with preseason.

Although I've had season tickets for 9 years now and attend a few away games each year and have been to about to session each summer at Southpointe . . . I still haven't had a private one on one with any coach.

Hey, me neither. But I do have a TV. And I manipulated the remote control to bring Fox Sports Net on the screen, and low and behold Edzo was saying the above.

So if anyone "faulters" you would punish them, eh? LOL.

How would he be punished? If he isn't ready, he isn't ready. It surely is not in his control. He can only do his best. But if he can't cut it, he has no reason to be in the NHL. Do you disagree with that or something?

I don't disagree with that. All of our goalies do. And your point is?

I was implying specifically his stick work and his positioning in plays that are behind the net. These are things that WILL be exploited in the NHL. Hey, Aubin's no magician with the stick, nor is Caron, but they know their limitations, and each have varying degrees of experience.

Look, Jocobv2, I don't know if you have a cactus needle in your shorts or what. I just reported what I saw. To me Colby Armstrong looks much larger than he did at this camp last year. Maybe not.

And I'm not sure what's wrong with you, because I was agreeing with you. Good lord man.

How many of you guys are making your statements based on seeing and how many based on reading?

Seeing for me, and many others too, I would assume. Training camp isn't some secret, you know.

tom_servo
09-19-2003, 02:24 PM
I have obviously a different opinion than you about how you learn. I think learning while competing against the best compition is the best method and you think playing against those much inferior is the best learning experience.

It's a little more complex than that, kutdacheez.

One of the objects of training camp is to get prospects on smooth learning curves. You also want to do that while benefitting the team.

There are only two choices for Fleury this season -- the juniors (where he'll play in the WJC's again), and the NHL (...If he were eligible for the logical next step up, the AHL, I don't think there'd be much question regarding his destination).

If they place him in the NHL this season, he'll either:

A. Play a lot of games, emerging as a genuine NHL goaltender

B. Play a lot of games, allowing many goals, hurting his confidence and his team

C. Warm the bench, spending the game as a clipboard jockey getting only infrequent experience in the progress

A is obviously the least likely to occur, since so few goaltenders have done anything worthwhile at age 18. And according to the coach, C is out of the question. So, logically, that leaves B -- and that would only hurt him.

It's no secret that goaltenders take longer to adapt to the NHL than any other position. And if he fails, the team fails. So why would you contest that putting him in a sink or swim situation is the best way to go?

kutdacheez
09-19-2003, 07:24 PM
A is obviously the least likely to occur, since so few goaltenders have done anything worthwhile at age 18. And according to the coach, C is out of the question. So, logically, that leaves B -- and that would only hurt him.

That could be . . . and the following isn't any proof one way or the other about number one overall draft picks, either. Just more food for thought.
Some people contend that many of the (number one overall)forwards and defensemen should spend more time in Junior, also. Yet here are some stats of Number one picks and how their team finished,
plus or minus points from the team's previous year.


Year Drafted - Pick - Team - Difference
1969 - Rejean Houle - Montreal - +5
1971 - Guy Lafleur - Montreal - +9
1973 - Denis Potvin - N.Y. Islanders - +26
1975 - Mel Bridgman - Philadelphia - +5
1976 - Rick Green - Washington - +30
1977 - Dale McCourt - Detroit - +37
1978 - Bobby Smith - Minnesota - +23
1979 - Rob Ramage - Colorado - +9
1980 - Doug Wickenheiser - Montreal - -4
1981 - Dale Hawerchuk - Winnipeg - +48
1982 - Gord Kluzak - Boston - +14
1983 - Brian Lawton - Minnesota - -8
1984 - Mario Lemieux - Pittsburgh - +15
1985 - Wendel Clark - Toronto - +9
1986 - Joe Murphy - Detroit - +15
1987 - Pierre Turgeon - Buffalo - +19
1988 - Mike Modano - Minnesota - +6
1989 - Mats Sundin - Quebec - +15
1990 - Owen Nolan - Quebec - +15
1991 - Eric Lindros - Philadelphia - +8
1993 - Alexandre Daigle - Ottawa - +13
1994 - Ed Jovanovski - Florida - +46
1995 - Bryan Berard - N.Y. Islanders - +16
1996 - Chris Phillips - Ottawa - +6
1997 - Joe Thornton - Boston - +30
1998 - Vincent Lacavalier - Tampa Bay - +3
2000 - Rick DiPietro - N.Y. Islanders - -6
2001 - Ilya Kovalchuk - Atlanta - -6
2002 - Rick Nash - Columbus - +12

tom_servo
09-19-2003, 08:47 PM
I was careful to phrase it "goaltenders." It does seem safer to start Fleury lower.

kutdacheez
09-20-2003, 04:35 AM
Jacobv2: I apologize for the tone of my post, after rereading your original blurb . . . I think I just got ticked-off at the tone of question: Do I think Caron should be sent to the minors because Chiodo and Fleury had better stats . . . was a little shot below the belt. I also miss-read the Edzo thing . . . I thought you claimed to have a private audience with Eddie Olczyk.

IMO the whole Fleury thing has to do with two things:

(1) What are the factors to determine if he is performing well enough to stay in the NHL, and I believe it has more to do w/Fleury's mental makeup . . . and,

(2) If he isn't signed to a contract can a 2004-05 non-season have on him becoming a Free Agent in the 2005-06 season according to the present rules.

IMO the definition of risk comes in the form of calculated risk and using common sense. What does "safe" really mean? Many people told me when I was in school that my ideas of having my own business was not the road to go . . . that going thru a more tried, proven, safe road was the way to proceed. I got it from it from everyone . . . how to play it safe. What history says, etc.. It made me want to puke. Teachers, some family members . . . mostly the cautious . . . not that there is anything wrong with that . . . that's the way they were educated . . . no matter what, don't fail.

Well, I didn't follow that path.
After graduation from UP and on to medical school I got an idea for a business and went after it. Almost 100% of my peers, professors, mentors told me how risky this move was and recommended otherwise . . . then I realized that every one of them worked for someone. They viewed risk and reward different from what I did. I viewed failure as a quick step to learning. Enter the mentor . . . DJ Bennett, will beat me for this.

There was this guy (Mr. Hittie) an eighth grade history and algebra teacher who taught me that being obnoxious and creative sometimes were very similar, but they are not the same thing. I paid a price to determine the difference BTW.

I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the twentieth century German philosopher Enst Cassier, the last man to know everything. From him I learned that it's a good thing to be a generalist; looking at the big picture helps keep you flexible.
I also learned from my father's work with IBM . . . that there are a lot of hardworking, highly talented, narrowly focused people in the business world. In starting my own business, I discovered that you can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can't sell it to other people, you're not going anywhere. In doing my work I've learned that people really enjoy having their minds stimulated and that a whack on the side of the head to get them out of the stereotype thinking can be a positive experience.
If you live by the code of "to err is wrong" then, with that type of attitude, you aren't going to take many chances. If you believe that failing, even a little, penalizes you . . . (e.g., being wrong only 15% of the time garners you only a "B" performance), you learn not to make mistakes. And more important, you learn not to put yourself in situations where you might fail. What this does is lead to, however, is very conservative thought patterns designed to avoid the stigma our society puts on "failure." Many people don't feel comfortable with failure because our educational system (which I think is FUBAR) is based on "the right answer" belief . . . which teaches you to have the right answer . . . be safe . . . keep our mistakes at a minimum.

From a practical point of view, "to err is wrong" makes sense. You just don't put your hands into boiling water. But, in thinking, being creative . . . and in the sports world, I think Carl Yaztremski said it best, "If you want the hits, be prepared for the misses."

Some people use the error or the misses as stepping stones upward . . . some others don't. And that is just one thing that creates such a difference between individuals.

Whether Fleury stays put or is sent to Junior will depend on M-A Fleury the most. Does he feel he belongs here or with the Screaming Eagles? And, also for management to make that determination, not based on playing it safe . . . I hope.

KungFuPenguin
09-21-2003, 04:12 AM
Enter the mentor . . . DJ Bennett, will beat me for this.

Hehehe. You said the M-word.

Der Schweinehund
09-24-2003, 08:23 AM
Enter the mentor . . . DJ Bennett, will beat me for this.

:D I am trying my damnedest to try not to gloat.

kutdacheez
09-25-2003, 09:22 AM
:D I am trying my damnedest to try not to gloat.

Don't gloat too much there, buddie-boy Bennett . . . surely J-S Aubin isn't the goalie mentor? :D