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2012-2013 Connecticut Whale/Greenville Road Warriors Thread (AHL, ECHL)

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Old
11-17-2012, 02:50 PM
  #626
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Originally Posted by Uncle Howie View Post
Curious, how is McIlrath doing? and what do you realistically expect from him going forward?
still hasn't played yet this year after getting hurt over the summer

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11-17-2012, 03:24 PM
  #627
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I wouldn't be surprised if Kreider left the Whale to join a European league if the lock out drags on.
The Rangers would certainly be surprised and he'd be suspended immediately. Because he is waiver exempt, he has no control.

He has to learn how to play where he is. He has enough talent that he should be able to thrive in every situation, ultimately. I think many people are underestimating how difficult it to make the jump from college to professional hockey. Kreider will break out, he just has to get used to the grind of playing so many games, the increased intensity and the fact that he is playing against players who are older and at least as strong as he is.

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11-17-2012, 03:39 PM
  #628
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The Rangers would certainly be surprised and he'd be suspended immediately. Because he is waiver exempt, he has no control.

He has to learn how to play where he is. He has enough talent that he should be able to thrive in every situation, ultimately. I think many people are underestimating how difficult it to make the jump from college to professional hockey. Kreider will break out, he just has to get used to the grind of playing so many games, the increased intensity and the fact that he is playing against players who are older and at least as strong as he is.
I was suggesting more along the lines that playing with the Spermwhales does his devolpment more harm than good, and that NYR mgmt would allow him to seek employment somewhere else.

Watch one game and see how many passes he gets behind, in front of him, or in his skates... Let alone the other spermwhales that can't keep up with his hockey IQ. I feel a little sorry for him.

I had great hope he'd mesh with Kolarik, but he's only been a shadow of himself after the injury... Instead he's having to play with 3'5" 110lbs Kelsey Tessier losing every important d-zone faceoff...

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11-17-2012, 04:22 PM
  #629
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I was suggesting more along the lines that playing with the Spermwhales does his devolpment more harm than good, and that NYR mgmt would allow him to seek employment somewhere else.

Watch one game and see how many passes he gets behind, in front of him, or in his skates... Let alone the other spermwhales that can't keep up with his hockey IQ. I feel a little sorry for him.

I had great hope he'd mesh with Kolarik, but he's only been a shadow of himself after the injury... Instead he's having to play with 3'5" 110lbs Kelsey Tessier losing every important d-zone faceoff...
Sounds like a lot of excuses here. I don't think a coach like Torts would want to hear any of these excuses. Great players play great on any line or any team. It really is up to Kreider. There is no question he has the great wheels, great size and etc to be a really good/great Professional Hockey Player. It took Kreider a few years in college to start dominating so it may take a few years in Pro hockey also.

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11-17-2012, 04:44 PM
  #630
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Sounds like a lot of excuses here. I don't think a coach like Torts would want to hear any of these excuses. Great players play great on any line or any team. It really is up to Kreider. There is no question he has the great wheels, great size and etc to be a really good/great Professional Hockey Player. It took Kreider a few years in college to start dominating so it may take a few years in Pro hockey also.
This has been beaten to death. He's not a dynamic player like some of the other prospects (Granlund, Baertchi, Tarasenko, Kuznetzov). However if he's put with talent he can be just as good or better then them. It's the exact same scenario it was in BC. He's playing with good players, but that doesn't mean they are capable of getting him the puck. That's why he had underwhelming numbers at BC, and will have on the Whale.

And for all the discussion he has looked fine out there. Guys like Newbury dump the puck in and they take it to the net. He needs players that will slow the tempo down and find him. Boyle is a hell of a lot better of a center then Erik Christensen, but he'd look a hell of a lot worse centering Kreider.

He's never been a "do it all himself" type of player, and he never will be. I'm really surprised its taken professional coaches and managers so long to figure it out; a player doesn't put up pedestrian numbers like he does and still get looked at as a top 10 prospect for any reason.

Give him personnel and he'll produce. He doesn't have that.

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11-17-2012, 04:50 PM
  #631
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Originally Posted by Osminator View Post
I was suggesting more along the lines that playing with the Spermwhales does his devolpment more harm than good, and that NYR mgmt would allow him to seek employment somewhere else.

Watch one game and see how many passes he gets behind, in front of him, or in his skates... Let alone the other spermwhales that can't keep up with his hockey IQ. I feel a little sorry for him.

I had great hope he'd mesh with Kolarik, but he's only been a shadow of himself after the injury... Instead he's having to play with 3'5" 110lbs Kelsey Tessier losing every important d-zone faceoff...
Kreider isn't mentally fragile like say MDZ, where one bad pass will send him into a downward spiral for weeks at a time.

The AHL is without a doubt the best scenario for him right now. He dealt with personnel issues at BC, and he'll be fine with the Whale.

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11-17-2012, 04:55 PM
  #632
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This has been beaten to death. He's not a dynamic player like some of the other prospects (Granlund, Baertchi, Tarasenko, Kuznetzov). However if he's put with talent he can be just as good or better then them. It's the exact same scenario it was in BC. He's playing with good players, but that doesn't mean they are capable of getting him the puck. That's why he had underwhelming numbers at BC, and will have on the Whale.

And for all the discussion he has looked fine out there. Guys like Newbury dump the puck in and they take it to the net. He needs players that will slow the tempo down and find him. Boyle is a hell of a lot better of a center then Erik Christensen, but he'd look a hell of a lot worse centering Kreider.

He's never been a "do it all himself" type of player, and he never will be. I'm really surprised its taken professional coaches and managers so long to figure it out; a player doesn't put up pedestrian numbers like he does and still get looked at as a top 10 prospect for any reason.

Give him personnel and he'll produce. He doesn't have that.
Kreider has to learn how to produce in less than "ideal" circumstances too. He isn't always going to playing "his game" under Tortorella--he's going to be playing a dump and chase sort of game up in the NHL too, with linemates that have less talent than he does. At some point, if he's really that good, he's going have to make the players he's playing with better, rather than rely on those players to make him better. That's the mark of an excellent player.

In any case, my argument is that he's in the process of learning what he needs to do to be a professional hockey player. No more, no less. It's never as easy as it looks.

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11-17-2012, 05:08 PM
  #633
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Originally Posted by Brooklyn Ranger View Post
Kreider has to learn how to produce in less than "ideal" circumstances too. He isn't always going to playing "his game" under Tortorella--he's going to be playing a dump and chase sort of game up in the NHL too, with linemates that have less talent than he does. At some point, if he's really that good, he's going have to make the players he's playing with better, rather than rely on those players to make him better. That's the mark of an excellent player.

In any case, my argument is that he's in the process of learning what he needs to do to be a professional hockey player. No more, no less. It's never as easy as it looks.
And he's been Beanpot MVP twice, had two excellent WJCs with less then ideal linemates, won two national championships, including being his teams best player for the second won, and been the youngest player invited to the WC for the US in god knows how many years.

Yet he's never looked better then when he was playing with the Rangers in the playoffs. For the foreseeable future, he will be getting minutes with skill centers like Richards and Stepan, as well as a defense core that can't shoot for ****, but they all have excellent passing skills.

I agree, it's a tough transition to the AHL. I don't think his stats (which aren't even terrible) are a representation of "learning the ropes" though.

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11-17-2012, 05:27 PM
  #634
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And he's been Beanpot MVP twice, had two excellent WJCs with less then ideal linemates, won two national championships, including being his teams best player for the second won, and been the youngest player invited to the WC for the US in god knows how many years.

Yet he's never looked better then when he was playing with the Rangers in the playoffs. For the foreseeable future, he will be getting minutes with skill centers like Richards and Stepan, as well as a defense core that can't shoot for ****, but they all have excellent passing skills.

I agree, it's a tough transition to the AHL. I don't think his stats (which aren't even terrible) are a representation of "learning the ropes" though.
There is no guarantee who he will play with on the Rangers and in any case, there are no NHL games being played at all right now. Plus, just because Kreider played well in the playoffs doesn't make him an automatic star in any league.

Kreider had an advantage in the playoffs--very few people had really seen him play. That' not the case anymore and coaching staffs in the AHL have a gameplan when they play the Whale. He's going to have to learn how to deal with the attention any good prospect faces on and off the ice.

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11-17-2012, 08:26 PM
  #635
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Kreider scored early in the third to tie the game, and Bourque scored moments later. Pack win 2-1.

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11-17-2012, 08:58 PM
  #636
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Kreider scored early in the third to tie the game, and Bourque scored moments later. Pack win 2-1.
Get the sense that not being able to find the back of the net often for CK will be good contrast for when he starts playing at an elite level fitting of his skill and size; knowing what he's doing and what he isn't doing when he's scoring and failing to score at the AHL/NHL level.

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11-17-2012, 10:09 PM
  #637
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I like that Bourque seems to be finding his game a bit.

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11-18-2012, 02:13 AM
  #638
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Kreider has obviously had a much different learning curve. His speed is still a factor but alone it ain't enough. He has to learn to do more, and to his credit he did exactly that at the NCAA level over his 3 yrs when again speed was not enough. He's a student of the game and I'm confident he'll figure it out.

If there's one player benefiting from the lockout, it's Kreider. I really think that spending a bit of time in the AHL is helpful to him. He may never even realize it, he may think he lost time because of the lockout, but he'd be struggling and frustrated in the NHL if not for the lockout. Instead, he'll make a much smoother transition because of the pro experience he's getting.

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11-18-2012, 03:35 AM
  #639
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What's the word on Yogan? He's not getting goals or assists, which is a bit disturbing, but is he doing anything else? From what I've seen in past years and his stats this year, e seems to be a lesser version of Dale Weise or even a poor man's Greg Moore. What am I missing here?

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11-18-2012, 09:12 AM
  #640
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What's the word on Yogan? He's not getting goals or assists, which is a bit disturbing, but is he doing anything else? From what I've seen in past years and his stats this year, e seems to be a lesser version of Dale Weise or even a poor man's Greg Moore. What am I missing here?
i hope not... to me he is sounding like Dan LaCouture.. at least he played more than 300 games in the NHL.

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11-18-2012, 10:41 AM
  #641
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i hope not... to me he is sounding like Dan LaCouture.. at least he played more than 300 games in the NHL.
Needs a year to understand AHL/NHL pro style from what I've seen, albeit only a few scratchy streams.

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11-18-2012, 11:06 AM
  #642
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Love Jim Cerny's player interviews. I really dislike evaluating players in conventional ways. There's so much to take into consideration when evaluating a player and one of those things is personality and how it meshes with their style, mentality, history and expectations etc. Jim's interviews are really great for this kind of stuff especially since he likes to throw twists in his questions.

One thing about CK is that he's apparently super super super focused and uptight before games. As much as it's preference and individual player differences and maturity, you'd have to wonder if that's necessarily a good thing for a guy who's already so serious. I think that overall mentality and placing a lot of pressure on himself in a serious and direct fashion might be one thing CK will have to work out.

Edit: love Jean's dynamism from his interview. Something bright and energized about his mentality and approach and not just personality.

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11-18-2012, 05:24 PM
  #643
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For anyone who cares, here are highlights of last night's Whale game.

Kreider has a sick chance at 1:30 and then scores at 1:41:


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11-18-2012, 05:47 PM
  #644
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For anyone who cares, here are highlights of last night's Whale game.

Kreider has a sick chance at 1:30 and then scores at 1:41:

Not a dominant win, a rebound and a bit of a fluky goal but hopefully that'll get a few players going.

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11-19-2012, 07:30 AM
  #645
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11-19-2012, 08:11 AM
  #646
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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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11-19-2012, 08:54 AM
  #647
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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.
Thanks for taking the time to do that write-up. I am happy to hear Thomas is starting to show his offensive talent. How has Bourque looked?

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11-19-2012, 09:39 AM
  #648
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Thanks for the post, Mikos. Very informative. Please continue to share with us!

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11-19-2012, 09:52 AM
  #649
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Thanks for taking the time to do that write-up. I am happy to hear Thomas is starting to show his offensive talent. How has Bourque looked?
Hey its my pleasure. With the lockout still going on I'll probably take more games to get my hockey fix.

Bourque isn't the quick little waterbug that I was hoping he would be. He is a lot faster than your bottom line AHL competition but there isn't enough hustle in his game to see that on a shift by shift basis.

He ends up as being unnoticeable for the most part, and while that may be a compliment for a defensive defensemen, its a slight against Bourque. He's got the tools to be an energy player, but lacks the energy.

Thomas on the other hand, hustles, fights through checks, and brings more hunger to the game than Bourque.

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11-19-2012, 10:31 AM
  #650
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I have not been able to catch a Whale game in person yet but have tuned into 10ish streams and Mikos I argree with just about everything you wrote.

Thomas is really coming on as of late. He's doing a much better job at finding ways to get his shot off. I think being put on the point on the PP was a big confidence booster for him, as that is where he did a ton of damage in the OHL. Honestly I was really not impressed with him at the beginning of the year but he's turned it on.

Jean, like you said, looks like a fantastic find. The sample size is still small, but his play has been impressive. He's a strong skater for his size but more importantly is strong on the puck. Great hands and consistently creates offense.

On the flip side, have not been overly impressed by Yogan or Hrivik to this point. However, each player has absolutely has great moments. The difference between AHL and NHL players is often consistency. Time will tell of they can find it.

And lastly, speaking of consistency - that is one of the more impressive aspects of JT Miller's play so far. At least as it relates to moving the puck, finishing hits, and working the transition game. His strengths have literally gone unchanged with the OHL-AHL shift. It's hard to tell he's a 19 y/o that's for sure. Mikos I agree that he has not consistently delivered offensively thus far. But when he has delivered (see goal vs Albany) it has been in a pretty big way. He's a player who the Rangers need to take it slow with, but like you said I think he does a ton of things at a pro-level already. The WJC should be a really good chance for him, with more open ice to make plays and an expanded role.

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