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09-26-2003, 08:43 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Montreal
Country: Canada
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Hamilton Bulldogs Preseason Report

I went to the Hamilton - Toronto preseason game today. Most of the players there were junior tryouts, although some drafted faces could also be seen (Archer, Shasby, Milroy, TB prospect Holmqvist).

Hamilton lost 3-1 unfortunately. We were leading in the first but they came back with three unanswered goals on Michaud. It was a fun, very physical game, although there was only one fight. This Hamilton tryout player who's 6 foot 7 got in a fight with some other pesky goon and won.

Marois scored the only goal on a slow deflection that the Toronto goalie should have had. It was a minute and a half into the game.

Other than that, though, nobody was all that impressive. MacLellan was really pesky and gritty, making the opponents mad and frustrated. Also good was a character named Laplante, who seemed to be the receiver of every hit in the game but didn't seem to be affected at all. Still, his offensive play was weak.

There wasn't much to write home about. Milroy was invisible, as was Marois after the goal. Thinel had a grudge going with some Toronto player that almost broke into a fight. The only thing I noticed about Shasby was a perfect pass he received at the Toronto blueline - he attempted to take a slapshot but managed only a weak little whack before having the puck taken away and carried into Hamilton territory. Yuck. Balej as well was nowhere near last year's preseason form. He wasn't ever in the action and also missed a nice pass in the Toronto zone. Holmqvist was big and strong (kind of looks like Marcel Hossa) but, alas, doesn't belong to the Habs.

Overall, this team was nowhere near what you'd expect our farm team to look like. This makes sense as this game was mostly based on checking out junior tryouts and such, so it's obvious that most of these players will be cut and never seen from again. I wouldn't mind seeing that 6 foot 7 hulk (forgot his name) being signed because we could use his size and strength to protect out Hamilton propsects. As well, Laplante could be used because he is a determined workhorse, and MacLellan seems to have some good, responsible defensive abilities for a player of his age. Other than that, though, you won't be seeing anybody else making an impression. At this point I can't see how any of Archer, Milroy, or Balej could ever make the big team... let alone lifetime minor leaguers Thinel and Marois. These players are only going to reach the NHL if they work REALLY hard and improve by leaps and bounds like Ryder and Ward are currently in the process of doing. Whether they have the necessary work ethic is the big question here...

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