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05-15-2009, 05:22 PM
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The Memorial Cup...

...starts tonight on the NHL Network for those of us in the U.S. I love watching the Memorial Cup so much. It's such a rare treat to be able to watch Canadian Major Junior here in the States. Well, at least down south of the Mason Dixon Line.

Anyway, the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League, captained by Coyotes draft pick Colin Long are taking on the Memorial Cup host team the Rimouski Oceanic. Keep an eye on Rimouski's big scoring winger Jordan Caron, who may be considered by the Coyotes as a possible selection either with Calgary's 20th overall pick, assuming they give it to us, or our own 36th overall pick(Kelowna defenseman Tyson Barrie is also often projected to go in the first half of the second round). Also, Tyler Myers, who was the cause of much debate around here, last draft, is still with Kelowna, so we can get a good look at what we passed over for Mikkel Boedker.

Later this weekend, tommorrow I believe, Drummondville, and 2009 eligible Dmitri Kulikov will be taking on Windsor and 2009 eligible Ryan Ellis. So there is some potential interest there, as well, as far as Coyotes ties are concerned.

Other '09 eligible kids in the tourny include defenseman Jesse Blacker of Windsor(ranked 47th by Central Scouting), defenseman Gleason Fournier of Rimouski(62nd), winger Stepan Novotny(93rd), winger Philippe Lefebvre of Drummondville(106th), defenseman Collin Bowman(147th), center Gabriel Dumont of Drummondville(153rd), and winger Evan Bloodoff of Kelowna(167th). Just in case any catch your eye.


Last edited by rt: 05-15-2009 at 05:34 PM.
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05-15-2009, 05:41 PM
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...starts tonight on the NHL Network for those of us in the U.S. I love watching the Memorial Cup so much. It's such a rare treat to be able to watch Canadian Major Junior here in the States. Well, at least down south of the Mason Dixon Line.
As someone who spent most of his teen years at OHL games in Plymouth... Major Junior is so awesome. We really need to a CHL system in the US, three regional leagues with a playoff memorial cup style. We already have the USHL... add 2 more.

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05-15-2009, 05:42 PM
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As someone who spent most of his teen years at OHL games in Plymouth... Major Junior is so awesome. We really need to a CHL system in the US, three regional leagues with a playoff memorial cup style. We already have the USHL... add 2 more.
What's wrong with NCAA hockey?

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05-15-2009, 05:47 PM
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What's wrong with NCAA hockey?
The quality of Major Junior is higher, but both are entertaining.

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05-15-2009, 06:10 PM
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Well, if Long ever makes the NHL, we won't have to worry about his ability to grow a playoff beard. That's a pretty good one for a nineteen year old, well at leat compared to me.

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05-16-2009, 02:05 PM
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Well, if Long ever makes the NHL, we won't have to worry about his ability to grow a playoff beard. That's a pretty good one for a nineteen year old, well at leat compared to me.
The thing that suprised me most about Long is how easily he is pushed off the puck. We all thought Turris spent alot of time on his ass. I can't imagine how Long scored 91 points from the seated position. Truly amazing. The discouraging part is that, unlike Turris, Long is older than most of his competition.

I was quite impressed with Jordan Caron, on the other hand. He moved pretty well for such a big kid, and seemed to have good offensive instincts. He was definitely snake bitten, and couldn't seem to buy a goal, but he definitely created at least half a dozen solid scoring chances for himself. I honestly think Caron had as many LEGIT scoring chances as the rest of his team combined. Rimouski was badly dominated and the 4-1 score seemed closer than the game actually was. However, Caron was easily the best forward on his totally outclassed team. I really liked how he wasn't afraid to go to the front of the net, seemed to have knack for good deflections, and how he really seemed to give a **** that his team was getting their ***** handed to them(he was more than willing to get involved in scrums and even got in the face of 6'7'' Tyler Meyers). He also saw time on both the PP and the PK. On the negative side, he was guilty of watching the play a little bit. He was especially guily of being a spectator, at times, in the defensive zone. Also, he seemed to want to cheat a little bit, hanging out, waiting for that long stretch pass. Although, that may have more to do with his team being blown out. I mean, hey, why not go for broke in that situation? To his credit, he did get that pass a couple of times and did convert them into solid scoring chances. So really, no harm, no foul, there.

I'm excited to see more of Caron as this competition continues these next few days(I don't think Rimouski is long for the tournament). If he turns in more performances like that, I don't think he lasts until thirty six. A big kid, with the athletic ability to move that large frame around so well, with the skillset he demonstrated, on top of his grit and will, should make him a very appealing draft possibility to any NHL team.

I'm pumped to get a look at Kulikov vs. Ellis today. I wasn't especially impressed with either at the WJCs, so I'm eager to see what they can bring to a more level playing field. Also, I'm sure Greg Nemisz's name came up at least once in the Olli Jokinen trade negotiations, so it will be interesting to have a look at him. Not to mention young OHL sensation Taylor Hall, who may be our pick at #1 overall, next draft, if the league is running our team next season(I'm kind of joking. I hope. ).


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05-17-2009, 06:52 PM
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Anyone who could've watched today's game, and chose not to...needs to punch themselves right in the face. One of the best games I've seen in a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time. AMAZING game. Sooooooooo damn good.

Caron is a badass, btw, and I'd be thrilled if we got him with the Calgary pick. Very big power forward who can skate, finishes every check, mixes it up, will go hard to the net, has a ton of skill as far as passing and stickhandling, protects the puck very well, while getting 1st unit PP and 1st unit PK time. A ton of potential in this package. Already 6'21/2'' and over 200lbs, while being remarkably fast and agile for his size, he'll only get bigger. He will likely end up 6'3'' 215ish, while being a very good skater, and more than willing to throw his weight around. If he can translate his offensive game, LOOK OUT!

On the downside, he seems fairly inconsistant from shift to shift regarding his work ethic. Possibly a product of being used so much(he's seemingly always on the ice). Sometimes he doesn't do a whole lot of hard work along the boards and can be guilty of cherry-picking in the defensive zone. Much of that may have to do with being one of the more skilled players on his team. I noticed a lot of the same from Boedker in his Memorial Cup run. It seems somewhat common in juniors for the more skilled players to kind of watch the grunt work being done in their own zone, just waiting for the puck, so they can go put it in the other net. That said, he's very good on the PK, so the defensive ability is there, it's just inconsistant. This problem isn't isolated to his own zone, though. Sometimes he works very hard on the forecheck, protecting the puck very well along the boards. Sometimes he just stands there, hoping his teammate comes out with it, so he can rip it towards the net. Same goes for the PP where sometimes he'll park himself right in front of the goalie, and sometimes he'll hang out in "Nagy-Land" off to the side, where he doesn't have to battle, just hoping for a juicy rebound, and not providing a screen or much of anything at all.

So he's not perfect. If he were, he'd be slated for the top ten on the first round and not the last ten of the first.

So in short, he's got a ton of potential, and I really like what his overall game may turn into. His biggest downside is that he's eighteen. If he continues to play like an eighteen year old, he'll bust. Who can't you say that about?

Also keep in mind that I've seen him play exactly two times.

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05-18-2009, 11:29 PM
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Kulikov has not impressed me in the WJCs or the Memorial Cup, so far. I'm really wondering what the hype is about. Then again, I've only seen him play in five, or so games. Aside from being able to eat a lot of minutes, he's extremely hit or miss from play to play. Sometimes he makes a fantastic play with the man advantage, and sometimes he makes a retarded play. In both tournaments he's had some ebarassingly bad, terrible, terrible, bone headed mistakes. From what I've seen he's weak at clearing his zone, too. He just can't seem to get it out. Just plain weak on the puck in his own zone. He seems confused and lacking confidence when defending a rush, too, often making the wrong decisions. I think he was on the ice for like four goals tonight, and I'd blame him for two of them. Like I said, I haven't seen nearly enough of him, but I've been quite disappointed. He's shown flashes, but also had terrible blunders. Overall, a ton of potential, but a TON of kinks to be worked out. That's not a top ten pick, to me. That's a mid to late first. At least from what I've seen, which isn't much.

Put it this way, Jared Cowen was 100xs more impressive at the LAST Memorial Cup, as a 17 year old than Kulikov has been THIS year as an 18 year old. From what I've seen, again not a whole lot, Cowen is the much, much better player.


P.S.

Those of you not watching, need to start. CHL Memorial Cup is some of the most entertaining hockey you'll ever watch. For pure entertainment value, ignoring the stakes(which is hard to do, granted), I just may prefer it to any other hockey tournament in the world.

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05-19-2009, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by rt View Post
Kulikov has not impressed me in the WJCs or the Memorial Cup, so far. I'm really wondering what the hype is about. Then again, I've only seen him play in five, or so games. Aside from being able to eat a lot of minutes, he's extremely hit or miss from play to play. Sometimes he makes a fantastic play with the man advantage, and sometimes he makes a retarded play. In both tournaments he's had some ebarassingly bad, terrible, terrible, bone headed mistakes. From what I've seen he's weak at clearing his zone, too. He just can't seem to get it out. Just plain weak on the puck in his own zone. He seems confused and lacking confidence when defending a rush, too, often making the wrong decisions. I think he was on the ice for like four goals tonight, and I'd blame him for two of them. Like I said, I haven't seen nearly enough of him, but I've been quite disappointed. He's shown flashes, but also had terrible blunders. Overall, a ton of potential, but a TON of kinks to be worked out. That's not a top ten pick, to me. That's a mid to late first. At least from what I've seen, which isn't much.

Put it this way, Jared Cowen was 100xs more impressive at the LAST Memorial Cup, as a 17 year old than Kulikov has been THIS year as an 18 year old. From what I've seen, again not a whole lot, Cowen is the much, much better player.


P.S.

Those of you not watching, need to start. CHL Memorial Cup is some of the most entertaining hockey you'll ever watch. For pure entertainment value, ignoring the stakes(which is hard to do, granted), I just may prefer it to any other hockey tournament in the world.
I share your concerns regarding Kulikov. He's on a world stage, and this is exactly the time he should be shining.

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05-23-2009, 04:16 PM
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Colin Long's Kelowna Rockets in the final against Windsor tomorrow.

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