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GDT--PRE-SEASON--Toronto Maple Leafs Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins--7:30 pm EST, Sep. 24/08

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09-25-2008, 11:45 AM
  #526
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As long as they're right around 50%, I'm happy.

And it looks like they all are....except for Grabo.

This Grabo kid simply isn't an NHL centre.

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09-25-2008, 11:49 AM
  #527
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Has Kulemin outplayed Grabovkski or Mitchell ?

If this was simply all about the play in two exhibition games then Kulemin would be starting the season in the AHL. If he was a late round pick rather then a high one with large expectations then he would be earmarked for the Marlies at this stage. That is not an attack on Kulemin but a fact based on play, but also understandable that patience and adjustment is going to be a big factor in that performance when evaluating his play early on. .

The skill and talent level of players comes into play as well as contracts and bunch of other things when it comes to roster decisions.

Gravbovski had 8 goals and 20 points in 12 AHL games last year.. John Mitchell had 20 goals and 51 points in 79. (ignoring the NHL games Grabovski played). That suggest a very different level of skills here. In fact Mitchell is not really even competing with Grabovski and Kulemin for a roster spot. He is trying to take Moore or Devo or Bell's spot on the active roster.

One exhibition game is not enough time to pass judgment, although I agree Mitchell is playing well enough to keep getting more chances to earn a spot with the big team but he is not auditioning for the #1 center spot.
You've claimed that the exhibition season this year will be a whole new thing for Leafs fans and the most impressive Leafs will get their spots. So are you going to be upset if Kulemin is put in the AHL infavour of Mitchell, as long as their current play continues?

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09-25-2008, 11:49 AM
  #528
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Has Kulemin outplayed Grabovksi or Mitchell ?

Is this was simply all about the play in two exhibition games then Kulemin would be starting the season in the AHL. If he was a late round pick rather then a high one with large expectations then he would be earmarked for the Marlies at this stage.

The skill and talent level of players comes into play as well as contracts and bunch of other things when it comes to roster decisions.

Gravbovski had 8 goals and 20 points in 12 AHL games last year.. John Mitchell had 20 goals and 51 points in 79. (ignoring the NHL games Grabovski played). That suggest a very different level of skills here. In fact Mitchell is not really even competing with Grabovski and Kulemin for a roster spot. He is trying to take Moore or Devo or Bell's spot on the active roster.

One exhibition game is not enough time to pass judgment, although I agree Mitchell is playing well enough to keep getting more chances to earn a spot with the big team but he is not auditioning for the #1 center spot.
never have I ever seen more made of 12 GAMES...especally 12 AHL GAMES....than Grabo's 12 last year. That's 12 games.

12.

And of course, Grabo is older.

Here's how they compared at the same age....age 22 (what Mitchell was last year, and Grabo the year before):

Grabovski: 66gms, 17gls, 54pts (Plyffs: 20gms, 4gls, 11pts)
Mitchell: 71gms, 20gls, 51pts (Plyffs: 19gms, 8gls, 12pts)

That's how they both looked at the same age in the AHL.

Does that suggest "a very different level of skills" ?

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09-25-2008, 12:00 PM
  #529
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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
Has Kulemin outplayed Grabovkski or Mitchell ?

If this was simply all about the play in two exhibition games then Kulemin would be starting the season in the AHL. If he was a late round pick rather then a high one with large expectations then he would be earmarked for the Marlies at this stage. That is not an attack on Kulemin but a fact based on play, but also understandable that patience and adjustment is going to be a big factor in that performance when evaluating his play early on. .

The skill and talent level of players comes into play as well as contracts and bunch of other things when it comes to roster decisions.

Gravbovski had 8 goals and 20 points in 12 AHL games last year.. John Mitchell had 20 goals and 51 points in 79. (ignoring the NHL games Grabovski played). That suggest a very different level of skills here. In fact Mitchell is not really even competing with Grabovski and Kulemin for a roster spot. He is trying to take Moore or Devo or Bell's spot on the active roster.

One exhibition game is not enough time to pass judgment, although I agree Mitchell is playing well enough to keep getting more chances to earn a spot with the big team but he is not auditioning for the #1 center spot.
Kulemin can start in the AHL if that is how it has to work, wouldn't bother me. I was referring to two players of similar age and experience playing the same positon and the different attitudes a lot of people seem to have towards them.

No doubt that Grabovski is very skilled but he hasn't shown yet that he has to be placed on a higher level as an NHL player prospect. Maybe a few more games will change that but I am liking Mitchell's game better at this moment.

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09-25-2008, 12:11 PM
  #530
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not happening.

you can wave goodbye to kulemin if he goes down to the ahl. fletcher guaranteed him top 6 mins and that's what he'll get.

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09-25-2008, 12:25 PM
  #531
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Does that suggest "a very different level of skills" ?
Here is a skills level verses stats comparison

Mikhail Grabovski (Jan 31 1984) Resume includes: (Ages 19-21)
Quote:
2003-04 - Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik - RSL - 44 gp .. 6-11-17 points 28 pims
2004-05 - Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik - RSL - 60 gp .. 16-20-36 points 34 pims
2005-06 - Moscow Dynamo - RSL - ........- 48 gp .. 10-18-28 points 28 pims

Totals RSL..........................................153 gp 32-49-81 points 86 pims
+ World Championships...........................18 gp 9-8-17 points 4 pims
Nikolai Kulemin (Born Jul 14 1986) Resume includes: (Ages 19-21)

Quote:
2005-06 Magnitogorsk Metallurg - RSL - 31 gp .. 5-8-13 points 8 pims
2006-07 Magnitogorsk Metallurg - RSL - 54 gp .. 27-12-39 points 42 pims
2007-08 Magnitogorsk Metallurg - RSL - 57 gp .. 21-12-33 points 66 Pims

Totals RSL........................................142gp ..53-32-85 points 113 pims
+ World Championships........................16 gp .. 3-4-7 points 2 pims
Grabovski and Kulemin in fact have very similar stats (adjusted for age) using 3 years of Russian Super League performance as a gauge + bonus World Championships (high level hockey).

The entire Leafs Nation is ranting and raving about Kulemin as a Leaf prospect.. However to this point as prospects go, Grabovski's resume is not all that different statistically as 11 RSL games and 4 points is all that separates the two prospects. Fletcher took a gamble on Grabs with a 2nd and 5th and I bet if it was Kulemin that Fletcher had brought in at that cost Leaf Nation would be crowning him Exec of the year.

All prospects are suspects until proven one way or the other, but I can assure you that Leafs management does not see Grabovski or Kulemin verses Johnny Mitchell as equals.

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09-25-2008, 12:39 PM
  #532
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53 goals to 32 goals, pretty well a wash. Thanks for doing all that work.

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09-25-2008, 12:47 PM
  #533
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53 goals to 32 goals, pretty well a wash. Thanks for doing all that work.
What now you're not aware that assists also count in the player point totals? What a ridiculous post that was of yours.

Some players are better goal scorers and some are better playmakers, and have different strengths and abilities in styles of play to generate points. This is rather basic hockey knowledge stuff here after all. Therefore Gravbovski's 49 assists verses Kulemin's 32 tend to bring their POINT totals overall in-line..

How come you keep defending Jason Blake by pointing out his 50+ points, when he only had 15 goals, if that is all that counts in your World?


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09-25-2008, 12:57 PM
  #534
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What now you're not aware that assists also count in the player point totals?

Some players are better goal scorers and some are better playmakers, and have different strengths and abilities in styles of play to generate points. This is rather basic hockey knowledge stuff here after all. Therefore Gravbovski's 49 assists verses Kulemin's 32 tend to bring their POINT totals overall in-line..

How come you keep defending Jason Blake by pointing out his 50+ points, when he only had 15 goals, if that is all that counts in your World?
I'll make you a deal, if in a couple of years Kulemin is on his last gasp trying to stay in the NHL then I will concede your point.

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09-25-2008, 01:06 PM
  #535
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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
Here is a skills level verses stats comparison

Mikhail Grabovski (Jan 31 1984) Resume includes: (Ages 19-21)


Nikolai Kulemin (Born Jul 14 1986) Resume includes: (Ages 19-21)



Grabovski and Kulemin in fact have very similar stats (adjusted for age) using 3 years of Russian Super League performance as a gauge + bonus World Championships (high level hockey).

The entire Leafs Nation is ranting and raving about Kulemin as a Leaf prospect.. However to this point as prospects go, Grabovski's resume is not all that different statistically as 11 RSL games and 4 points is all that separates the two prospects. Fletcher took a gamble on Grabs with a 2nd and 5th and I bet if it was Kulemin that Fletcher had brought in at that cost Leaf Nation would be crowning him Exec of the year.

All prospects are suspects until proven one way or the other, but I can assure you that Leafs management does not see Grabovski or Kulemin verses Johnny Mitchell as equals.
At this point, IMO Mitchell has outplayed both Kulemin and Grabovsky. If Mitchel continues to show to be the better player over the two mentioned, should Mitchell not get a shot in the line up, even though management aspirations are high for both Grabo and Kulemin? Best player takes the spot IMO, at this point Mitchell IMO has proven to be pretty good. FTR, I did enjoy watching Grabo, and Kulemin had the tools IMO, (skating, size, hockey sense) to be a good player.

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09-25-2008, 01:11 PM
  #536
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At this point, IMO Mitchell has outplayed both Kulemin and Grabovsky. If Mitchel continues to show to be the better player over the two mentioned, should Mitchell not get a shot in the line up, even though management aspirations are high for both Grabo and Kulemin?

Best player takes the spot IMO, at this point Mitchell IMO has proven to be pretty good. FTR, I did enjoy watching Grabo, and Kulemin had the tools IMO, (skating, size, hockey sense) to be a good player.
Mitchell has definitely earned a look.

His spot won't be top 2 lines though.

I think Johnny M has to work his butt off for 16 minutes a game to stay, but I get the feeling others could do half as much work, but accomplish more.

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09-25-2008, 01:14 PM
  #537
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Mitchell has definitely earned a look.

His spot won't be top 2 lines though.

I think Johnny M has to work his butt off for 16 minutes a game to stay, but I get the feeling others could do half as much work, but accomplish more.
I agree, I like his all around game and hope he can maintain it in the NHL. Haven't seen his buddy Williams play, is there any word on if and when he will get some minutes, (only caught the first period last night).

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09-25-2008, 01:15 PM
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Mitchell has definitely earned a look.

His spot won't be top 2 lines though.

I think Johnny M has to work his butt off for 16 minutes a game to stay, but I get the feeling others could do half as much work, but accomplish more.
They pretty much have to give the spots to those working the hardest and performing the best regardless of their names.

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09-25-2008, 01:31 PM
  #539
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They pretty much have to give the spots to those working the hardest and performing the best regardless of their names.
Working hardest doesn't always mean performing the best.

I'd never accuse Sundin as being the hardest working Leaf over the years.

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09-25-2008, 01:35 PM
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Working hardest doesn't always mean performing the best.
Thus the "and".

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09-25-2008, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ULF_55 View Post
Mitchell has definitely earned a look.

His spot won't be top 2 lines though.

I think Johnny M has to work his butt off for 16 minutes a game to stay, but I get the feeling others could do half as much work, but accomplish more.
This has been a big problem in Toronto for as long as I can recall. If you believe the hearsay, regarding Wilson giving all these guys a clean slate, then Mitchell, after 2 games, has nothing to worry about because as far as I can tell, not only has he been our best player under 25, he's been our best player period.

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09-25-2008, 01:46 PM
  #542
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Originally Posted by TML4LIFE View Post
At this point, IMO Mitchell has outplayed both Kulemin and Grabovsky. If Mitchel continues to show to be the better player over the two mentioned, should Mitchell not get a shot in the line up, even though management aspirations are high for both Grabo and Kulemin? Best player takes the spot IMO, at this point Mitchell IMO has proven to be pretty good. FTR, I did enjoy watching Grabo, and Kulemin had the tools IMO, (skating, size, hockey sense) to be a good player.
Well then you will be happy to know that Grabovski and Kulemin have both been promoted to the Top line in today's practice and will play as a unit in a future game as per RW.

Mitchell is skating on the 5th line in practice with the bubble players still working hard and trying to crack the 23 man roster.

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While the Leafs still lost the game, Wilson saw enough from his new pairings to give them another look at Thursday's practice. The team’s line combinations in practice were as follows:

Nik Antropov - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin

Niklas Hagman - Alex Steen - Alexei Ponikarovsky

Jason Blake - Matt Stajan - Jiri Tlusty

Jamal Mayers - Dominic Moore - Ryan Hollweg

Boyd Devereaux - Mark Bell - John Mitchell

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09-25-2008, 01:55 PM
  #543
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Well then you will be happy to know that Grabovski and Kulemin have both been promoted to the Top line in today's practice and will play as a unit in a future game as per RW.

Mitchell is skating on the 5th line in practice with the bubble players still working hard and trying to crack the 23 man roster.
I'm growing tired of this teams tactics. What exactly does this say to the Mitchell's of the world?

"John, you were one of our top performers in the pre-season, but, spots were promised to guys we've barely seen, and well, have fun at Ricoh!".

If i'm a leaf prospect, i'm wanting a trade out of dodge, to a team that rewards performance.

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09-25-2008, 02:06 PM
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Pens' fan here, and was at the game last night. Just coming to say that Schenn really impressed me last night. Might be a 'well duh' comment but I certainly was not watching specifically for him, but he just grabbed the attention with his play. Especially for an eighteen year old. You have a keeper who will be something special in coming years.

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09-25-2008, 02:08 PM
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I'm growing tired of this teams tactics. What exactly does this say to the Mitchell's of the world?

"John, you were one of our top performers in the pre-season, but, spots were promised to guys we've barely seen, and well, have fun at Ricoh!".

If i'm a leaf prospect, i'm wanting a trade out of dodge, to a team that rewards performance.
Like I posted earlier in the thread .. This all comes down to prospect talent evaluations and skill levels. Mitchell is not in Tlusty, Grabovski or Kulemin's league in that regard. The ceiling for those other three is much higher. Doesn't mean they can't bust but their opportunities will be much greater to ensure they don't as Leafs have a lot invested in the trio and hopes for the future with them.

RW said he would like to see Leafs high-end potential prospects Grabs and Kully with his top forward Antropov.. He tried them in the 3rd period yesterday and the line scored and showed some promise. The Russian language barrier and communication increasing with the trio seemed to have helped the kids adjustment.

John Mitchell continues to skate with the big team and has worked hard in exhibition games and trying to knock one to the lower end players Bell, Devo off the team to earn a spot on the 23 man roster. To this point I think he is ahead of Bell and pretty even with Devo as to who make up forwards 13 and 14 on the roster. Moore and Hollweg were also in that 4th line mix but after seeing them both in game 1 RW all but locked them in as 2/3rds of his 4th line at this point. Jamal Mayers is currently skating as the 3rd member of that trio and Mitchell will not be knocking him out of that spot.

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09-25-2008, 02:10 PM
  #546
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I'm growing tired of this teams tactics. What exactly does this say to the Mitchell's of the world?

"John, you were one of our top performers in the pre-season, but, spots were promised to guys we've barely seen, and well, have fun at Ricoh!".

If i'm a leaf prospect, i'm wanting a trade out of dodge, to a team that rewards performance.
Too much is made out of the lines at this point. I don't recall ever seeing anyone identified as "bubble players". More someone trying to create drama that's not there, you'll get use to it.

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09-25-2008, 02:12 PM
  #547
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Well then you will be happy to know that Grabovski and Kulemin have both been promoted to the Top line in today's practice and will play as a unit in a future game as per RW.

Mitchell is skating on the 5th line in practice with the bubble players still working hard and trying to crack the 23 man roster.
I have high hopes for both of those players, and I think they could be good, (kulemin especially). At the end of training camp, if Mitchell doesnt get a spot and continues to out perform the other players, that would be disapointing. You yourself justified Fletch's many aquisitions that have created log jams at both forward and defence, because it creates competition and brings out the best in the players. What's the point of that excercise if players have already earned a spot based on potential and not meritt? Sounds pretty redundant to me.

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09-25-2008, 02:20 PM
  #548
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Thus the "and".
I read it as:

(hardest working and performing) - mandatory relationship

not

(hardest working and / or best performing) - optional relationship

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09-25-2008, 02:22 PM
  #549
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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
Here is a skills level verses stats comparison

Mikhail Grabovski (Jan 31 1984) Resume includes: (Ages 19-21)


Nikolai Kulemin (Born Jul 14 1986) Resume includes: (Ages 19-21)



Grabovski and Kulemin in fact have very similar stats (adjusted for age) using 3 years of Russian Super League performance as a gauge + bonus World Championships (high level hockey).

The entire Leafs Nation is ranting and raving about Kulemin as a Leaf prospect.. However to this point as prospects go, Grabovski's resume is not all that different statistically as 11 RSL games and 4 points is all that separates the two prospects. Fletcher took a gamble on Grabs with a 2nd and 5th and I bet if it was Kulemin that Fletcher had brought in at that cost Leaf Nation would be crowning him Exec of the year.

All prospects are suspects until proven one way or the other, but I can assure you that Leafs management does not see Grabovski or Kulemin verses Johnny Mitchell as equals.
Kulemin has nothing to do with what I said.

And I have yet to figure out how to ever effectively use RSL statistics. They structure the game much differently there, and give out stats differently. I would never make any projection based on RSL stats.

AHL stats we can get a good read on.

I can't say much about the Grabovski-Kulemin comparison you put up there - Kulemin has the edge even in your comparison, and that's even with you for some reason ignoring playoff scoring (Kulemin: 35gms, 13gls, 20pts, Grabovski: 12gms, 2gls, 2pts).

If we use all the RSL stats, including playoffs:

Kulemin: 197gms, 66gls, 105pts
Grabovski: 164gms, 34gls, 83pts

But the big difference is that Kulemin is known for his physical and defensive game, whereas Grabovski is known only for his skill.

So basically, your stats show me to guys good (but not great) pure skill, but one guy with an NHL body and game, and the other without.

But again, this doesn't change the fact that Mitchell has looked better than Grabovski in pre-season, and has equalled his production in the AHL at the same age.

Mitchell and Kulemin both have NHL bodies and games, Grabovski does not. He better be MUCH better in skill level to be considered better than them.


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09-25-2008, 02:25 PM
  #550
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Like I posted earlier in the thread .. This all comes down to prospect talent evaluations and skill levels. Mitchell is not in Tlusty, Grabovski or Kulemin's league in that regard. The ceiling for those other three is much higher. Doesn't mean they can't bust but their opportunities will be much greater to ensure they don't as Leafs have a lot invested in the trio and hopes for the future with them.

RW said he would like to see Leafs high-end potential prospects Grabs and Kully with his top forward Antropov.. He tried them in the 3rd period yesterday and the line scored and showed some promise. The Russian language barrier and communication increasing with the trio seemed to have helped the kids adjustment.

John Mitchell continues to skate with the big team and has worked hard in exhibition games and trying to knock one to the lower end players Bell, Devo off the team to earn a spot on the 23 man roster. To this point I think he is ahead of Bell and pretty even with Devo as to who make up forwards 13 and 14 on the roster. Moore and Hollweg were also in that 4th line mix but after seeing them both in game 1 RW all but locked them in as 2/3rds of his 4th line at this point. Jamal Mayers is currently skating as the 3rd member of that trio and Mitchell will not be knocking him out of that spot.
That's a reasonable, and justified explanation Mess, but it doesn't make it any easier to swallow.

I'm confident that the right decision will be made in regards to Mitchell. I'm a firm believer that Wilson will play who he wants to play. Torrey Mitchell, Vlasic, and Doug Murray weren't projected into San Jose's plans going into camp last year, and all 3 did enough to warrant a longer look, and ended up sticking. I'm hoping this is the case this year, in Toronto.

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