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"All Things AHL" Part II...

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Old
02-01-2014, 10:12 PM
  #651
Robb_K
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Nice to see Rattie continue to score well, and get important goals. He's doing this with a light, flimsy body possibly a 30=goal season in his first pro year. Imagine how much better he'll be next season, after working with Nelson Ayotte.

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02-02-2014, 11:16 PM
  #652
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Nice to see Rattie continue to score well, and get important goals. He's doing this with a light, flimsy body possibly a 30=goal season in his first pro year. Imagine how much better he'll be next season, after working with Nelson Ayotte.
Even with his lack of bulk, it doesn't surprise me. Blues coaching staff were very surprised in training camp and described him as NHL-ready in the offensive zone a few months after he was drafted.

Very few players suffer from being brought along slowly, but I almost wonder if that could result in bad habits while we're waiting on the rest of his game to come along. I wouldn't guess that's going to be an issue, because the alternative is basically that he performs as an incomplete player who gets creamed at the NHL-level.
But I recall both Perron and Tarasenko trying "junior moves" early on, but quickly adapting due to getting shut down. I hope Rattie is getting the right kind of challenge in the offensive zone that will prepare him for success because he spent two years dominating junior in a way that may not have challenged him well and could very well be in the AHL another couple of seasons before he gets a sniff at the NHL. Good time to develop his overall game, but it just seems possible that it's a long enough time to develop habits that don't work in the NHL, too. I hope he's still just as plastic as ever when he reaches the NHL level.

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02-03-2014, 08:31 AM
  #653
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Even with his lack of bulk, it doesn't surprise me. Blues coaching staff were very surprised in training camp and described him as NHL-ready in the offensive zone a few months after he was drafted.

Very few players suffer from being brought along slowly, but I almost wonder if that could result in bad habits while we're waiting on the rest of his game to come along. I wouldn't guess that's going to be an issue, because the alternative is basically that he performs as an incomplete player who gets creamed at the NHL-level.
But I recall both Perron and Tarasenko trying "junior moves" early on, but quickly adapting due to getting shut down. I hope Rattie is getting the right kind of challenge in the offensive zone that will prepare him for success because he spent two years dominating junior in a way that may not have challenged him well and could very well be in the AHL another couple of seasons before he gets a sniff at the NHL. Good time to develop his overall game, but it just seems possible that it's a long enough time to develop habits that don't work in the NHL, too. I hope he's still just as plastic as ever when he reaches the NHL level.
Overall I think the AHL is the best place for him. He is starting to become more engaged in physical battles and his defense has improved.

On the offensive side, he is becoming more confident which is a big part of his game IMO. He has, however, been making a bunch of cross ice plays that I am not sure will translate. If it does work then we will be in for a treat, but it might be frustrating for him if those plays don't work. We shall see.

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02-03-2014, 09:41 AM
  #654
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Overall I think the AHL is the best place for him. He is starting to become more engaged in physical battles and his defense has improved.

On the offensive side, he is becoming more confident which is a big part of his game IMO. He has, however, been making a bunch of cross ice plays that I am not sure will translate. If it does work then we will be in for a treat, but it might be frustrating for him if those plays don't work. We shall see.
His biggest asset was his hockey IQ. He is making those passes because he "sees" the opening. My guess is that he will make the speed transition to allow him to do that at the NHL level.

Case in point - watch the caps pp. They run the same play over and over - getting the puck down low and then across the ice to Ovie for a one timer. Everyone knows where the puck is going, but it usually still gets to Ovie. I think certain players can see the openings?

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02-03-2014, 06:19 PM
  #655
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His biggest asset was his hockey IQ. He is making those passes because he "sees" the opening. My guess is that he will make the speed transition to allow him to do that at the NHL level.

Case in point - watch the caps pp. They run the same play over and over - getting the puck down low and then across the ice to Ovie for a one timer. Everyone knows where the puck is going, but it usually still gets to Ovie. I think certain players can see the openings?
I would say that Rattie's cross ice vision will probably be comparable to what we are seeing from Roy. The only real difference is Rattie makes those plays far more frequently below or near the face off dot rather than above it. That means two things to me (assuming he continues that trend...for the sake of discussion).

In the AHL there is much more space in the middle of the ice. Thus my question about whether it will translate to the NHL. Defense in the NHL gobble those passes up with greater frequency. So, some decline is inevitable. My question is how much?

Second, I prefer Rattie's tendency to that of Roy because it leads to fewer odd man rushes. Roy likes to make a lot of dangerous passes through the middle. Some work and some tend to be costly. Because Rattie makes those plays down low, there is a better opportunity to either recover the puck or get numbers back on D.

It really is hard to gage his ability to adapt because it is so vision oriented. Luckily, Rattie looks to have plus vision.


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02-03-2014, 09:21 PM
  #656
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I would say that Rattie's cross ice vision will probably be comparable to what we are seeing from Roy. The only real difference is Rattie makes those plays far more frequently below or near the face off dot rather than above it. That means two things to me (assuming he continues that trend...for the sake of discussion).

In the AHL there is much more space in the middle of the ice. Thus my question about whether it will translate to the NHL. Defense in the NHL gobble those passes up with greater frequency. So, some decline is inevitable. My question is how much?

Second, I prefer Rattie's tendency to that of Roy because it leads to fewer odd man rushes. Roy likes to make a lot of dangerous passes through the middle. Some work and some tend to be costly. Because Rattie makes those plays down low, there is a better opportunity to either recover the puck or get numbers back on D.

It really is hard to gage his ability to adapt because it is so vision oriented. Luckily, Rattie looks to have plus vision.
Rattie seems to have very good ice vision. When he sees that that particular pass is picked off by the opposing team, he'll cut down on it when it looks questionable, and keep the puck waiting for an opening, and just make that pass when there is more room. I don't expect it to be a problem. A player with good instincts (as I see in Rattie) will adjust to the new conditions when he moves up a level.

As long as Rattie gains muscle strength and bulk as his body matures, he should be able to protect the puck better, and win battles for the puck, with more regularity, and be able to stand up to the higher physicality, make operating space for himself, and more effectively use the less room in The NHL.

I don't see him failing to shine in The NHL. I think he'll grow his game and be effective in The NHL, and be a natural goal scorer. He knows where to be on the ice, and seems to find a way to get there. I see him continuing to do that in The NHL, albeit, not as easily, and he won't stand out as much, because EVERYBODY in The NHL is a solid, good hockey player. Nevertheless, I'm sure he'll be a regular 25+ goal scorer, at least by his 2nd or3rd NHL season.

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02-03-2014, 09:39 PM
  #657
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Originally Posted by Robb_K View Post
Nice to see Rattie continue to score well, and get important goals. He's doing this with a light, flimsy body possibly a 30=goal season in his first pro year. Imagine how much better he'll be next season, after working with Nelson Ayotte.
Rattie's 170 lbs scares me more then anything, one hit with his head down could quite possibly be all it takes, so considering the Blues window to win it all is now, not 2 years from now. Rattie could be flipped for someone who could put the Blues over the top to finally win it all now is my take on all this Rattie hype, someone who won't help the Blues for at least a couple of years.

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02-03-2014, 10:43 PM
  #658
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Rattie's 170 lbs scares me more then anything, one hit with his head down could quite possibly be all it takes, so considering the Blues window to win it all is now, not 2 years from now. Rattie could be flipped for someone who could put the Blues over the top to finally win it all now is my take on all this Rattie hype, someone who won't help the Blues for at least a couple of years.
I remember reading that he got his weight up to a little over 180 this past offseason. The AHL website also has him listed as 183. However, I bet that his weight does plummet during the season, probably down to the 170 that you listed. He'll be able to get to 190 though within a couple of years.

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02-03-2014, 10:49 PM
  #659
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Rattie's 170 lbs scares me more then anything, one hit with his head down could quite possibly be all it takes, so considering the Blues window to win it all is now, not 2 years from now. Rattie could be flipped for someone who could put the Blues over the top to finally win it all now is my take on all this Rattie hype, someone who won't help the Blues for at least a couple of years.
One bad hit with your head down can cause problems for anyone it doesn't matter If they are 5'5" 150 or 6'5" 250. Instead of looking at size I would look more closely at how he protects the puck or fights for it along the boards against men in the AHL instead of kids in the CHL. That will be a stronger indication of when he is ready versus some arbitrary number in regards to his weight.

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02-03-2014, 11:16 PM
  #660
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I remember reading that he got his weight up to a little over 180 this past offseason. The AHL website also has him listed as 183. However, I bet that his weight does plummet during the season, probably down to the 170 that you listed. He'll be able to get to 190 though within a couple of years.
I think he'll settle in at 190 to 195 in The NHL, and with the proper amount of strength added (assuming he'll work diligently in that area), he'll be fine. With his hockey sense and ability to find the open ice and know where the play is going, and his good shooting ability, he'll take his good scoring ability all the way from juniors, through The AHL, into The NHL. I don't expect him to be a "bust", or a disappointment. Neither do I expect him to be as big a star in The NHL as he was in juniors.

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02-03-2014, 11:27 PM
  #661
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I think he'll settle in at 190 to 195 in The NHL, and with the proper amount of strength added (assuming he'll work diligently in that area), he'll be fine. With his hockey sense and ability to find the open ice and know where the play is going, and his good shooting ability, he'll take his good scoring ability all the way from juniors, through The AHL, into The NHL. I don't expect him to be a "bust", or a disappointment. Neither do I expect him to be as big a star in The NHL as he was in juniors.


190-195 would be good. He just seems too narrow shouldered to carry that much weight. Unless he has Brett Hull legs

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02-04-2014, 12:23 AM
  #662
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Rattie strikes me as one of those guys that has all the tools to be successful, but it's going to be in a top 6 or bust fashion. I just don't think he's got the grit to play a bottom 6 role. Time will tell, and fortunately for us, we've got the depth at the NHL level to bring him along slowly. Although I have to say that the fact that he's at around a 30 goal pace despite his faults is pretty impressive.

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02-04-2014, 05:39 AM
  #663
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Rattie strikes me as one of those guys that has all the tools to be successful, but it's going to be in a top 6 or bust fashion. I just don't think he's got the grit to play a bottom 6 role. Time will tell, and fortunately for us, we've got the depth at the NHL level to bring him along slowly. Although I have to say that the fact that he's at around a 30 goal pace despite his faults is pretty impressive.
I agree. I'm thinking he may be a good trade chip to pick up the center player/prospect we need, as I could see him not really fitting into Hitch's system.

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02-04-2014, 09:57 AM
  #664
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Rattie strikes me as one of those guys that has all the tools to be successful, but it's going to be in a top 6 or bust fashion. I just don't think he's got the grit to play a bottom 6 role. Time will tell, and fortunately for us, we've got the depth at the NHL level to bring him along slowly. Although I have to say that the fact that he's at around a 30 goal pace despite his faults is pretty impressive.
I've never understood the need for grit in the bottom six. It honestly depends on what coach you play for and which line you are paired up against come gametime. With Hitch, bottom line grit is nice, but players like Cracknell and Porter aren't exactly the most gritty players either.

With Rattie, I understand that he's not the biggest player, but saying he won't be successful in the bottom six is only a factor of him not getting enough scoring. He's only useful if he scores, and he wont score a lot in the bottom 6.

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02-04-2014, 02:05 PM
  #665
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Rattie with a goal and two assists in today's 4-2 win. Allen with the win and 31 saves.

Rattie now has 18 goals and 30 points in 45 games - not too shabby.

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02-04-2014, 02:32 PM
  #666
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Rattie with a goal and two assists in today's 4-2 win. Allen with the win and 31 saves.

Rattie now has 18 goals and 30 points in 45 games - not too shabby.
It seems he's really heating up lately.

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02-04-2014, 03:38 PM
  #667
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I've never understood the need for grit in the bottom six. It honestly depends on what coach you play for and which line you are paired up against come gametime. With Hitch, bottom line grit is nice, but players like Cracknell and Porter aren't exactly the most gritty players either.

With Rattie, I understand that he's not the biggest player, but saying he won't be successful in the bottom six is only a factor of him not getting enough scoring. He's only useful if he scores, and he wont score a lot in the bottom 6.
Porter and Cracknell definitely play with some grit. I think you're misunderstanding what I mean when I say grit. I'm talking about going to the dirty areas and using your body. Not necessarily throwing bone crushing hits, mind you, but still being physical. Added on to the fact that typically your third and fourth lines are more defensively oriented just means that Rattie is best suited for a top six role. From what I've heard from our posters who watch him play on a regular basis, his defensive game leaves a lot to be desired. If you're going to be a bottom six player, you have to be defensively responsible.

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02-04-2014, 06:29 PM
  #668
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Rattie with a goal and two assists in today's 4-2 win. Allen with the win and 31 saves.

Rattie now has 18 goals and 30 points in 45 games - not too shabby.
Thanks for the update, tfriede2!!

Game Summary

Andronov has missed the last three games, but not sure why. Anyone know?

Sadly, there is no single, good news source for the Wolves, unlike Dave Eminian's coverage of the Peoria Rivermen for the PJ Star.

The Chicago Sun-Times has some, but local coverage is lacking for a team that was, at one time, more popular than the Blackhawks.

------------

RE: Rattie

I know I'm not the only one who has watched Rattie play with the Wolves (live, tv, podcasted, whatever).

He may be scoring at a slightly higher rate right now, but overall he has been scoring at a decent rate since about Game #10. I did not see him go into any scoring lulls at all. And even when he wasn't on the score sheet, he was often in the mix for at least one good chance per game.

Early in the season, Rattie was very tenacious and was really trying to ply whatever strength he had. He was more active and physical earlier in the season, but was getting boxed out of the corners. Rattie had no chance and he lost confidence due to being overpowered.

I clearly remember in one of my early-season, in-game entries mentioning that, once Rattie adds sufficient lower-body strength, he will look a lot like Jaden Schwartz. I could readily see that Rattie was eager to get into the fray, but was boxed out of the corners so often that he was rendered useless. He tried his ass off and I couldn't help, but see flashes of Schwartz and get very excited.

I 100% okay with hanging onto Rattie, but also trading him. His trade value better be high because, once he gains strength, watch out! He is north and south and his skating, which was judged as being merely decent, is actually better than merely decent.

Defense can be taught.


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02-05-2014, 08:48 AM
  #669
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Andronov has the dreaded "upper body" injury and is supposed to be out until after the AHL all-star break.

As for the coverage, try following @platour68 on twitter and this blog http://www.chicagonow.com/howlin-wolves/

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02-05-2014, 05:54 PM
  #670
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Andronov has the dreaded "upper body" injury and is supposed to be out until after the AHL all-star break.

As for the coverage, try following @platour68 on twitter and this blog http://www.chicagonow.com/howlin-wolves/
Oh yeah! Thanks!

I forgot about Howlin' Wolf. Probably the best coverage of the Chicago Wolves. me derp

----------

Next game is Friday, Feb 7 @ Iowa Wild, 7pm

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02-05-2014, 06:14 PM
  #671
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If Rattie really does look like Schwartz consistently, then there is no reason to trade him unless we get a long-term solution.

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02-05-2014, 06:35 PM
  #672
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If Rattie really does look like Schwartz consistently, then there is no reason to trade him unless we get a long-term solution.
I agree, unless we're flipping for a center prospect of similar value (ex. Bjugstad), then we're much better off keeping him.

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02-05-2014, 08:00 PM
  #673
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If Rattie really does look like Schwartz consistently, then there is no reason to trade him unless we get a long-term solution.
In the spirit of tempering expectations, Rattie has never, consistently, looked like Jaden Schwartz, but he has shown flashes.

Earlier in the season, when he was more physical, it was easy to see the comparisons, but he's adjusted his play to suit his current capability. And that demonstrates a decent level of "hockey IQ".

His tendency was to be physical, but he was discouraged. Once he gains strength, he will, again, tend to be physical.

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02-05-2014, 08:10 PM
  #674
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In the spirit of tempering expectations, Rattie has never, consistently, looked like Jaden Schwartz, but he has shown flashes.

Earlier in the season, when he was more physical, it was easy to see the comparisons, but he's adjusted his play to suit his current capability. And that demonstrates a decent level of "hockey IQ".

His tendency was to be physical, but he was discouraged. Once he gains strength, he will, again, tend to be physical.
Gotcha, that's kind of what I thought. I was worried he'd become a lot more like Eberle and not really fit here, but if he shows the desire to play this style, with a good summer workout routine like Schwartz did will go a long way in the overall style of play that Rattie can be capable of.

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02-07-2014, 07:11 PM
  #675
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Wolves at Wild

Climie in

Longpre bad play and Wild takeaway in front of Climie

Shields looking solid and Wolves early on good fwd support and rotation

Hakanpaa a little shaky slow feet in this FS shift but made up for it with some good play in front

Hakanpaa showed some good backward acceleration

Chorney looks good so far

Wild good rush and Edmundson's was able to get the puck to the middle of the ice, but he stayed with his man on the RW (yes, he plays LD) away from the puck. Good job by Edmundson to stay with his man and not chase the puck.

Andronov is in wearing #15

Cracknell is in

Edmundson great defensive play with Wild fwd down low to the right of Climie and took him down. And then he' again stayed with his man, and creamed a defensless fwd against the glass away from the puck.

Penalty...Edmundson

Wolves PK

Shields looks gassed on that PK

FS now

Im diggin the Beach Hanson Wannstrom line tonight

Dexter...wife...later


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