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12-18-2012, 06:56 AM
Time to Get Down
Join Date: Mar 2002
Originally Posted by
Since it looks like i'm going to be very bored at work for the rest of the month, I was looking over my last ranking to see what I would change and what I liked. While it's been very hard to get a good read on Hamilton this year, since they are such a young team with a new coaching staff and more talent in the league then normal, and especially given that the offense going into last weekend was the worst in the entire AHL at barely over 2 goals per game but some players have really disappointed.
I don't know what the problem is, I found it to be very strange to see Palushaj struggle to produce, to those that only watch him in the NHL they likely don't know what i'm talking about but as someone that has seen just about every AHL game he's played in Hamilton (plus i've seen him in the NCAA and USHL) he has produced every year and been a standout player as well aside from his NHL play where he struggled mightly. So it had been a big shock to see him struggle to produce despite still being one of the top scorers. So I don't know if i'm being too harsh but in watching the games (they are a tough team to watch although hopefully the offense is getting on track) i've been really disappointed with Leblanc and how he's looked. I know he's coming back from injury so i'm just glad he's on the ice after losing Geoffrion and now Palushaj that's going to hurt a lot. I'm not worried about him being an NHLer since he's a smart, hard working player with a solid two way game but I'd like to see him create more chances offensively.
One guy I see I had too high was Holland as he's really cooled off, I was worried about his lack of strength but thought that his smarts and skills would off set enough for him to be an effective player. Hopefully he can take this experience and look to build off it over the next few years in Hamilton. Still like his offensive game and his tweets are pure gold from the ones i've seen at least.
On the other hand I knew at the time I had MacMillan too low, he's got to be higher as I really like what i've seen from him. He's another one that you have to be concerned over the lack of lower body strength but he's so quick and hard working that he always keeps his feet moving but is smart about it. Plus he can take a few years to work on getting stronger and filling out, he's a very fun player to watch though.
I know others really wanted Vail higher but I still like where he's at but will keep it in mind for the year end rankings. Another guy I know others wanted higher was Nattinen, I'm still not sure what to make of him in regards to his NHL future but he has looked solid with the Dogs and of late has really picked it up, if he can continue to produce at a good clip then there might be something there since he he's got a good frame and is solid in his own end.
The WJC's should be fun to see what Collberg, Hudon and Gally can do. So impressed with what i've seen from them this year especially Gally and Hudon who have been great.
Been trying to keep a close eye on Beaulieu/Tinordi. I personally think the Habs are in big trouble since I think their current group of defensemen is not very good at all and a major weakness for the team if the NHL were to have a season. So what they end up getting out of the 2 first rounders could be very big in what direction this team heads say 5 years from now as they are going to need a lot of improvement on the backend imo and while having Subban around is great he can't do it alone.
Beaulieu you can see he has natural skills with the puck but you can also see he needs a lot of work in his own end and now that he's no longer a teen-ager hopefully he will continue to mature off the ice as well. While he has had his share of ups and downs with the Dogs, clearly he's playing his best hockey as a pro to date and hopefully he can build off this while equally hopeful that the club doesn't end up rushing him to the NHL and lets him take his time to round out his game. Tinordi has also had some ups and downs but I also like what i've seen from him in his own end. I do think many Hab fans are going to be disappointed as I continue to hear them talk about his mean streak but I just don't see it. He can throw some big hits but really he has been playing more smart physical hockey and hasn't really shown any mean streak at least to me. I don't think he has to have a mean streak, as I do think he will use his large frame well but I'm not sure he's going to be someone that's all that nasty to play against.
Gallagher is another that has impressed me, not so much at the start of the season but he's finding his way and it's great to see him putting points on the board and converting some of those many shots he takes. It's still really hard to figure out what his NHL upside is but despite his lack of height i really like how he plays and what he does on the ice.
I know Thrower has had a tough start to the year but I would still keep him where he's at give or take a spot since he brings such an interesting mix of offensive skills to go with his gritty style of play.
It's too bad Pateryn has been out so long, as he was getting some talk on his play in the preseason and it would have been interesting to see how he would have adjusted as the season went on. He should be back by Jan though so hopefully he can get back on track. Would be interesting to see if his D partner at Michigan would end up being his D partner in Hamilton next year or if that will have to wait another year.
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