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*OFFICIAL* Plymouth Whalers 2013-14 Season Thread

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09-17-2013, 08:10 AM
  #51
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Whether to return Wilson is a tough call for the Caps. He really took a step forward last year and is probably ready to move on from the OHL. However, depending on their roster depth, he may not get a lot of playing time in Washington this season, which doesn't help his development. The AHL is not an option this year for him. It will be interesting to see what they decide. And I wouldn't worry about Wilson picking up bad habits if returned to Plymouth. As you said, Vellucci is not one to let that happen, plus Wilson has a great work ethic -- so I doubt he would have an issue anyway.

Our tickets arrived in the mail yesterday, so I am officially ready for the season to start this weekend.

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09-17-2013, 06:09 PM
  #52
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Whether to return Wilson is a tough call for the Caps. He really took a step forward last year and is probably ready to move on from the OHL. However, depending on their roster depth, he may not get a lot of playing time in Washington this season, which doesn't help his development. The AHL is not an option this year for him. It will be interesting to see what they decide. And I wouldn't worry about Wilson picking up bad habits if returned to Plymouth. As you said, Vellucci is not one to let that happen, plus Wilson has a great work ethic -- so I doubt he would have an issue anyway.

Our tickets arrived in the mail yesterday, so I am officially ready for the season to start this weekend.
I got my tickets as well. After doing some DC reading, it only makes sense that he is coming back. McPhee would have to pull off some major stuff to make it so Wilson could stay. I just don't see him staying there with no minutes. They know this, Wilson knows this, and I am sure that he won't want to be a healthy scratch for the better part of a year. My money goes into the Wilson comes back in less than two weeks from now.

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09-17-2013, 08:30 PM
  #53
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I got my tickets as well. After doing some DC reading, it only makes sense that he is coming back. McPhee would have to pull off some major stuff to make it so Wilson could stay. I just don't see him staying there with no minutes. They know this, Wilson knows this, and I am sure that he won't want to be a healthy scratch for the better part of a year. My money goes into the Wilson comes back in less than two weeks from now.
The selfish Whalers fan in me hopes you are right. I would love to see him play here for one more season. It's been fun watching Wilson grow from an inexperienced kid into one of the top power forward prospects. During his first season in Plymouth, many fans in our section would comment on how he always played so hard on every shift, and he's continued to put forth that same effort as his skills have improved. I think he's going to have a long and successful pro career.

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09-18-2013, 01:11 PM
  #54
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There is a good summary of Wilson's situation in Washington in this article.

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09-18-2013, 08:17 PM
  #55
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There is a good summary of Wilson's situation in Washington in this article.
Thanks for posting that article. Sounds like they are going to send him down at some point. Like how the ducks let rackell stick around just long enough before that ten game mark, but man wilson is playing some good hockey right now. He scored a nice redirection in the 2nd pre season game against Boston. He clearly can create space for himself amongst the big boys. As you mentioned, the whalers fan in us wants him back one more year. He'll be a hell of a player in the NHL one day

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09-20-2013, 08:13 AM
  #56
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Plymouth Hotel Suggestions

Do any Whaler fans have suggestions of hotels / bars near the Arena for someone coming from out of town? Any comments appreciated!!

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09-20-2013, 09:11 AM
  #57
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Do any Whaler fans have suggestions of hotels / bars near the Arena for someone coming from out of town? Any comments appreciated!!
There are seven hotels at 6 mile and I-275 in Livonia. There are also several places to dine and have a drink in that same area, too many choices to list. This is about 5 miles from the arena.

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09-20-2013, 09:19 AM
  #58
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How does Plymouth look this year? Still without guys at camp? What should I expect next Thursday?

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09-20-2013, 09:44 AM
  #59
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How does Plymouth look this year? Still without guys at camp? What should I expect next Thursday?
Guys still at camp are Connor Carrick, Tom Wilson, and Ryan Hartman as of right now. This years team will still have the same M.O. as in years past, a tough, hard working team to play against that will still have skill in the lineup. Yes they have gotten younger and lost players like Trocheck, Noeson, Heard, Meurs, Rackell, Levi, and Wilson is still up in the air. But I like the players taking over the main workload this year...guys like Ryan Hartman, Matt Mistele, Vilardi, Sandlak, and Connor Chatham (who Vellucci thinks should be a first round pick this year). Victor Crus-Rydberg from Sweden has also had a good camp and has a lot of skill. Zach Lorentz and Carter Sandlak, as well as Connor Sills can provide that hard nosed physical game, as well as score some goals.

In goal Ned should be one of the better netminders in the league this year. When he took over the number one job as a rookie last year he posted a 19-2-1 record. Nothing is guaranteed, but I expect him to be solid in net this year. The defense actually doesn't look that bad. Carrick is still in Washington as of right now, but Curcuruto will be in Plymouth to start the season and he has developed nicely into an offensive defenseman. Rookie Mathieu Henderson is a great skater who plays that style as well (based on what I've heard). Josh Wesley came over from the NTDP and should be a solid presence on the back end also. This team is a playoff calibre team, but to go anywhere as far as they did last year would be a miracle. A lot of other good teams in the league.

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09-20-2013, 10:07 AM
  #60
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Do any Whaler fans have suggestions of hotels / bars near the Arena for someone coming from out of town? Any comments appreciated!!
There is the Hilton Gardens at M-14 and Sheldon Road (about a mile from the arena), and a couple of motels at I-275 and Ann Arbor Road -- a Red Roof Inn and I think a Comfort Inn. Those will be an easy 3 mile drive to the arena.

There are lots of restaurant options in the area. Downtown Plymouth has a very active bar/restaurant nightlife, and is only a couple of miles from the arena. Our favorite is the Ironwood Grill. Others we frequent downtown include Sean O'Callahan's, Box Bar (great beer selection) and Penn Grill. Outside of downtown, The Rusty Bucket at Sheldon and 5 Mile (one mile from the arena) has very good food and service. For convenience, the restaurant at the arena (CJ Brewery) is not bad if you can get a table (plan to be there 2 hours before the game), but all the other places I mentioned have better food.


Last edited by Whalers Fan: 09-20-2013 at 10:15 AM.
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09-21-2013, 10:12 AM
  #61
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Game looked pretty one sided at times, London can move the puck around really well, no matter who they have out of the lineup. There was about 3 different times when london had the puck in plymouths zone for a while and the Whalers just couldn't clear the puck. Plymouth had some solid scoring chances including a breakaway by Lorentz and Liam Dunda was stopped point blank in the slot. Those chances though, were spread out, there was really no sustained pressure from the Whalers. A few PP chances for Plymouth but the power play never really got set up, London won a lot of face offs and loose puck battles.

The 3rd period was the best period of the game i thought. More back and forth play and Plymouth had a nice 3 way passing play but just couldn't elevate the puck over Stolarz. I paid close attention to the youngest whaler Liam Dunda. He was physical whenever he had the chance and went to the front of the net, he almost had a goal. Alex Peters fumbled the puck at times but he jumped into the offense a little bit and had a few shots on net. It was just nice watching Whaler hockey again, and seeing some of the Whaler pups make their debuts. Can't wait for the opener tonight!

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09-21-2013, 09:25 PM
  #62
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Hey guys, rumours out of belleville tonite have Gaunce heading to the whalers when he is returned. What do you guys have that could fit well with the bulls?

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09-22-2013, 01:24 AM
  #63
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Returning from the home opener and it was an enjoyable game. Lots of tight battles and excellent goaltending from Ned. He was the well deserved 1st star. I was pleased to see Hartman back in action. Curcuruto played superb as captain. That guy has some serious moves and is all around a strong hockey player.

It's amazing how drastic teams can change in one season in the OHL. We are much younger but that same fight and edge are solidly still with the Whalers. Times like this man am I glad we've got Peters, Malysa, Lorentz, Sills, Mistele leading this team (as of now).

Chatham had our 1st goal of the season was a beauty, too bad he was thrown out in the 1st. Wesley was noticeable in a good way on D, Sandlak made a strong impression on me. I was surprised, overall our new guys fit in very well skill wise. There was some great plays and chances created this game.

We had a lead into the 2nd but you could tell it was only a matter of time. Several shifts we were getting hemmed in and Ned was unreal keeping the Whales in it. Finally an inevitable goal and then game winner in the 3rd. Erie earned it all the way. They grinded hard as a team to get a gritty win.

I am as excited to watch this team as last season. It will be an uphill battle but I see much room for development and building. We are going to lean heavily on our established players but we know the sky's the limit for what can be proven this year.

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09-22-2013, 06:41 AM
  #64
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My impressions from the home opener:

The team had problems generating offensive pressure. This is probably a product of all the new players, and hopefully will become less of an issue as the season rolls on. After watching all the great forechecking last season, that was one area that was noticeably missing from Plymouth's game last night. I would expect Vellucci will have them working on that a lot in practice, and if Wilson does end up getting sent back he will help a lot in that area.

The defense was pretty solid, which we would hope to see from the more veteran group. Of the newcomers on D, Wesley impressed me. I didn't notice Henderson out there much, so I guess he didn't do anything bad. Rathgeb, however, looked very shaky throughout the game, making numerous mistakes. I would guess he'll be the one not dressing for games when Carrick returns.

Dunda is one big kid, especially for a '97! He really stood out with his size during the player introductions before the game. It will be interesting to see how he develops.

It was a pleasant surprise to see Hartman in the lineup last night, as I had not heard that he had returned yet. He got checked in the head as he returned to the bench after a shift in the 1st period, which I thought would result in some later fireworks, but Hartman seemed to forget about the incident within a couple of shifts. That shows some maturity on his part, as he spent way too much time in the penalty box early last season.

Overall, I though both teams played a little sloppy. McDavid was very quiet on the Erie side -- I thought he played better in his first visit here last season.

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09-22-2013, 07:17 AM
  #65
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Henderson was a scratch last night. How rathgeb looked last night was how Henderson looked against London. Yea it was a sloppy game, I think losing Chatham in the 1st hurt our forecheck a bit, as he is a big body with some skill. Mcdavid's line was a lot more noticeable in the 3rd. He had a nice spin move down low to get the puck to brown at the side of the net. I liked burakovsky a lot as well. That line will put up some points this year.

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09-22-2013, 09:01 AM
  #66
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Henderson was a scratch last night. How rathgeb looked last night was how Henderson looked against London.
Well, that explains why I didn't notice Henderson last night. I didn't pay much attention to who was scratched. That assessment of his performance in London does not sound encouraging. Hopefully Carrick will be back soon from Washington. Adding him will give the Whalers three solid defensive pairings.

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09-22-2013, 09:23 AM
  #67
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Well, that explains why I didn't notice Henderson last night. I didn't pay much attention to who was scratched. That assessment of his performance in London does not sound encouraging. Hopefully Carrick will be back soon from Washington. Adding him will give the Whalers three solid defensive pairings.
Haha no worries, I will say Henderson is a better skater than rathgeb is. I did notice that in London, but it was his first game in the ohl so well see. I would imagine he had some jitters/adjusting to the pace of play. I think he'll play on Thursday. I'd like to watch him more closely.

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09-22-2013, 01:03 PM
  #68
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Dunda is one big kid, especially for a '97! He really stood out with his size during the player introductions before the game. It will be interesting to see how he develops.
Liam Dunda was a steal in the 6th round. I thought he should have been a 3rd round pick.

Alex Nedeljkovic I think is the best goalie available for the 2014 draft. The way he moves from post to post is so fast its incredible to watch. In that London game, I was left shaking my head in disbelief at one of his saves with his right leg. His reflexes and flexibility are outstanding. U can see a ton of focus in his eyes.

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09-22-2013, 01:58 PM
  #69
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Liam Dunda was a steal in the 6th round. I thought he should have been a 3rd round pick.

Alex Nedeljkovic I think is the best goalie available for the 2014 draft. The way he moves from post to post is so fast its incredible to watch. In that London game, I was left shaking my head in disbelief at one of his saves with his right leg. His reflexes and flexibility are outstanding. U can see a ton of focus in his eyes.
He will be away Thursday for the american prospects game right? Thats what other Petes fans are saying! Hope its true cause I dont want to have to face him!

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09-22-2013, 02:48 PM
  #70
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He will be away Thursday for the american prospects game right? Thats what other Petes fans are saying! Hope its true cause I dont want to have to face him!
Yes, I forgot about that. Connor Chatham will be there too so he won't be in the lineup. It'd be nice to see Zach Bowman get his first start in the OHL.

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09-22-2013, 03:04 PM
  #71
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He will be away Thursday for the american prospects game right? Thats what other Petes fans are saying! Hope its true cause I dont want to have to face him!
Thats right.

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09-22-2013, 03:35 PM
  #72
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Alex Nedeljkovic I think is the best goalie available for the 2014 draft. The way he moves from post to post is so fast its incredible to watch. In that London game, I was left shaking my head in disbelief at one of his saves with his right leg. His reflexes and flexibility are outstanding. U can see a ton of focus in his eyes.
The Whalers have enjoyed a long run of solid goalies over the past 8-9 years -- Justin Peters, Michael Neuvirth, Jeremy Smith, Matt Hackett, and Scott Wedgewood. However, I think Nedeljkovic could end up being the best of the bunch. He showed so much poise as a rookie being thrust into a starting role on a contending team last season, and he should continue to improve as he develops. NHL teams do not seem very willing to spend high draft picks on goaltenders, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him go in the 2nd round next summer.

The downside to having such a good, young goalie is that there will not be much playing time for the two other young goaltenders on the roster -- Zach Bowman and Riley Corbin. If Bowman impresses enough to give the team confidence he can be the backup, it would not surprise me if Vellucci tries to trade Corbin. He's done that in the past to give players an opportunity elsewhere or open up playing time for a young tender here -- both Neuvirth and Smith were traded.

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09-23-2013, 10:50 AM
  #73
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Some quick thoughts through two games

So, wanted to give my thoughts on out first two games. I know that it is two games, but we have looked downright dreadful save a few spots. Alex Nedeljkovic looked solid, and probably saved us from a 8-0 beating in London. Some of the saves he made were fantastic. Other then him, we looked like we were in slow motion. We picked it up against Erie, although they are a worse team then London, but let off the gas in the third and tried to coast home.

Now, I'm not going to run off and hit the panic button just yet, because we have some guys at camps, and it's early, but it does worry me just a bit the way we started.....

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09-23-2013, 11:00 AM
  #74
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Connor Carrick has been assigned to Hershey of the AHL.

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09-23-2013, 11:20 AM
  #75
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Connor Carrick has been assigned to Hershey of the AHL.
Not good for Whalers fans.

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