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2012-2013 Connecticut Whale/Greenville Road Warriors Thread (AHL, ECHL)
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11-19-2012, 08:11 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
I've had a chance to watch half the whale games, including a few live, and so far the best offensive players for the whale have been Thomas, Gilroy, Jean, and Newbury.
I think Kreider has been playing a subdued game after he nearly took a guys head off, and after seeing Niemi get rocked the way he did Chris needs to know that it comes with the game. I feel that it will take Chris a while to fully realize just what he has over the opposition and what he can do to exploit it.
By that I mean bang and bruise the Dmen, so as the game goes along they will be worn out and have a tougher time defending Chris. He is a prime athlete, and not too many guys are going to be able to handle him at his size or speed, and especially after Chris buys himself some time and space by asserting himself physically.
Outside of Kreider, I have to say that Kyle Jean is a real find. Scouts did a great job picking him up, as the season goes along I think more fans will be jumping on his bandwagon. What surprised me was just how good his hands were for a man his size. Kid can make a play, and its usually the right play. Jean has showed more skill than Miller thus far, and in my mind has established himself as a legitimate prospect to make the NHL.
Christian Thomas too has been very good, while the stats haven't shown it yet, the kid has a knack for the net, and generates a ton of scoring chances, either with his passing or that shot. His shot can beat an AHL goalie clean, but if he can get it on net more often or not hit the post, he'd have another 4-5 goals. I am looking forward to what he can do as the season goes along.
The whale's biggest issue is that they have too many RH shots on defense, with a lot of guys playing their off side, and teams exploit that by dumping the puck there and forcing the defense to play the puck with their back turned. That's made it tough to get clean break outs for the whale (and also has limited Kreider from getting chances off the rush).
JT Miller can play at the NHL just based on his physical tools. He hasn't been a factor consistently on the offensive end of things, and I don't think he ever does become a guy that breaks 45 points a season, but he does all the things you want in a hockey player, shift in and shift out. Blocking shots, taking a hit to make a play, finishing his checks, grinding the puck down low, establishing a forecheck, killing penalties. Stat watchers won't be impressed, but there is no doubt in my mind that he doesn't end up with the big club.
Overall the whale don't have a lot of depth on their team. Guys like Kolarik, Vernace, Pyett, and Collins, who are AHL vets, have been severely underwhelming. Unlike the big club where you don't play if you don't buy into the system, only half the guys in CT seem to be playing #TheRightWay, which is really whats visible on the ice.
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