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Whale Suffer Disappointing Loss to IceCaps

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11-05-2011, 11:00 AM
  #1
Leslie Treff
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Whale Suffer Disappointing Loss to IceCaps

The Connecticut Whale’s 6-3 loss last night to the St. John’s IceCaps was the first loss at home in regulation this season. The Rangers’ AHL affiliate is having an outstanding beginning of the 2011-12 season, and, until last night, the team had not played a game since the first week of the season in which [...]

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11-05-2011, 11:19 AM
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Leslie, you need to start using the proper name: "Whalepack"

How has Johnson been? Seems he was like a sieve last night. He's put up some gaudy numbers this year.

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11-05-2011, 11:24 AM
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Leslie Treff
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The previous numbers are deceptive; he was good, but not great. I was surprised that he was picked for Goalie of the Month. There were several other very good candidates--there were times during the month where Johnson was not even the best goalie on the team.

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11-05-2011, 11:42 AM
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NYR Sting
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Good job, Leslie. Thanks for the continued insights. Jon, let me call your attention to the following excerpt:

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One defenseman who played well last night was Pavel Valentenko. Back only a week from a groin injury, Valentenko is playing a better game than he did during training camp in New York. If he continues to play at this level, he should get another look in New York before the New Year.

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11-05-2011, 12:00 PM
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He won't get another look here at all. He's about #9 on the depth chart right now. I don't care if he ever plays a real game for us at all, to be honest. His only shot is if we have major injuries.

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11-05-2011, 12:13 PM
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offdacrossbar
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little known fact

the rough translation of valentenko from russian to english is: law school student with a freakish number of posts

see now that explains alot.


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11-05-2011, 01:28 PM
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What I have not seen over the last few games needs to be mentioned too. First, although Mats Zuccarello had a beautiful assist last night, he has not been dominating the four games this week. His first two games back in the AHL had everyone scratching their heads as to why he was re-assigned. But in the last four, Zuccarello does not look out of place in Connecticut. And he should. Maybe its just a temporary lull, but, with his skill level, Zuc should be standing out in the AHL pretty much every night.
I agree that Zuke hasn´t been so dominating as the first games, but last night I thought he, together with JAM, was the Whale´s best player. He had a couple unbelievable passes that put Mitchell pretty much point blank, Mitchell defenetily should have scored a couple more goals on his passes. He makes plays very few others are able to.

The question is how dominant should he be in the AHL to play in the NHL? Was Avery and Deveaux more dominant than Zuccs? I don´t know, but 8 points in 6 games are some pretty good numbers. Only Newbury has those kind of numbers (9 points in 6 games). JAM and Mitchell also has 9, but 5 more games played than Zuke.... I would say he dominates.

That said, I think most of us have accepted that we have seen Zuccarello in the Rangers´ jersey for the last time. My guess is that he will be in Sweden before Christmas, if he isn´t in some miraculously way traded to another NHL-team....

He´ll just have to keep up the good play and produce points, and hopefully som scouts will notice it.

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11-05-2011, 01:35 PM
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I see Bourque is back, good good...........any chance Hagelin gets the call soon?

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11-05-2011, 01:56 PM
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Leslie Treff
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Originally Posted by TigerJack View Post
I agree that Zuke hasn´t been so dominating as the first games, but last night I thought he, together with JAM, was the Whale´s best player. He had a couple unbelievable passes that put Mitchell pretty much point blank, Mitchell defenetily should have scored a couple more goals on his passes. He makes plays very few others are able to.

The question is how dominant should he be in the AHL to play in the NHL? Was Avery and Deveaux more dominant than Zuccs? I don´t know, but 8 points in 6 games are some pretty good numbers. Only Newbury has those kind of numbers (9 points in 6 games). JAM and Mitchell also has 9, but 5 more games played than Zuke.... I would say he dominates.

That said, I think most of us have accepted that we have seen Zuccarello in the Rangers´ jersey for the last time. My guess is that he will be in Sweden before Christmas, if he isn´t in some miraculously way traded to another NHL-team....

He´ll just have to keep up the good play and produce points, and hopefully som scouts will notice it.
Each player needs to do different things to get the call, depending on what their role will be and what their skill set is. For Zuccarello, he is a small skilled forward who needs to show that he can create, finish, and do these things within a very confined space. In other words, you need to be noticing him pretty much every time he is on the ice. I don't think its helpful to compare him to what others are doing, because what is expected is different.

Yes, he created beautiful plays for Newbury a couple of times last night, but at other times, he was invisible. Plus you have to look at those creations and say to yourself, would he have the space to do that in the NHL? Would he have even gotten there without being knocked off the puck in the NHL? What I am saying is that what he has been doing may not be enough to get the Rangers interested in giving Zuc a chance at a top 6 role.

The best thing would be to trade him, but that presumes there is more value now than there would be later this season--and I am not sure that's true. If Zuccarello goes back to Europe without the Rangers okaying it (why should they do that if they want to trade him and are waiting?), they New York will retain his rights and he will probably never play in the NHL. If he stays in Connecticut and plays his heart out, he has a chance with the Rangers and can interest another team in him. If the Rangers feel that a deal that's offered is the best that they are going to get, then they will pull the trigger. But this is very early in the season to trade Zuccarello and get good value for him. Just my opinion.

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11-05-2011, 04:42 PM
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Zuccarello will not be back in Sweden by Christmas--he's stated over and over that his goal is to establish himself in the NHL. If he breaks his contract with the Rangers (not suggesting he will--there's been absolutely nothing to suggest that), he will never get that chance.

I am rooting for Zuccarello to succeed--have been from day one. But, the negative comments that some of his supporters have posted since he was sent down is getting tiresome. I'm glad that Zuccarello seems focused on what he has to do: play hard and play creatively. He has to make it impossible for the Rangers to ignore him. That's the only way he's going to get back into the lineup. They are not going to re-call him to play on the 4th line.

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11-05-2011, 04:42 PM
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Ilovemymum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie Treff View Post
The Connecticut Whale’s 6-3 loss last night to the St. John’s IceCaps was the first loss at home in regulation this season. The Rangers’ AHL affiliate is having an outstanding beginning of the 2011-12 season, and, until last night, the team had not played a game since the first week of the season in which [...]

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Zuke had a pretty bad hit and a minor concussion in between. That could maybe explain some of the "downturn". AHL is not a good place for players like him in the long run.

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