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2013-2014 Hartford Wolf Pack/Greenville Road Warriors Thread Part III

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Old
02-15-2014, 10:33 AM
  #51
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Bourque's been playing very well for the last month or so. He's finally showing some real offense at the AHL level. He's also been healthy the whole season. If he keeps it going he might be worth thinking about signing again this summer.

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02-15-2014, 10:36 AM
  #52
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Bourque's been playing very well for the last month or so. He's finally showing some real offense at the AHL level. He's also been healthy the whole season. If he keeps it going he might be worth thinking about signing again this summer.
I hope he gets a cup of coffee before the NHL season is done. I want to see if he's strong enough to compete at the NHL level. If he is, he could be a useful fourth line player. If not, offer him an AHL contract or let him walk.

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02-15-2014, 10:43 AM
  #53
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I hope he gets a cup of coffee before the NHL season is done. I want to see if he's strong enough to compete at the NHL level. If he is, he could be a useful fourth line player. If not, offer him an AHL contract or let him walk.
I don't know if he's earned a shot at the NHL yet. The other thing is he (and probably no one else) won't come up unless there's an injury. Rather not have that happen. But to me Bourque was playing well before the team started getting its act together. Now that Hensick is here--Fast and Lindberg are going (Oscar's now the pack's leading point getter) and Miller's coming on like gangbusters there's more support. It also helps to have good goaltending. Really hard for a team to get in a groove when 10 minutes into a game night in night out you're down by 2 or 3 goals and your starter's got 5 saves. Wolfpack were in a rut for a while practically every game.

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02-15-2014, 11:13 AM
  #54
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I hope he gets a cup of coffee before the NHL season is done. I want to see if he's strong enough to compete at the NHL level. If he is, he could be a useful fourth line player. If not, offer him an AHL contract or let him walk.
i was hoping Bourque can be our version of Nathan Gerbe... maybe he still can..

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02-15-2014, 12:05 PM
  #55
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I don't know if he's earned a shot at the NHL yet. The other thing is he (and probably no one else) won't come up unless there's an injury. Rather not have that happen. But to me Bourque was playing well before the team started getting its act together. Now that Hensick is here--Fast and Lindberg are going (Oscar's now the pack's leading point getter) and Miller's coming on like gangbusters there's more support. It also helps to have good goaltending. Really hard for a team to get in a groove when 10 minutes into a game night in night out you're down by 2 or 3 goals and your starter's got 5 saves. Wolfpack were in a rut for a while practically every game.
I'd like to see if Bourque can float in a fourth line role. We need to know what we have before he's gone, you know? I'm not advocating for anyone being benched to give him a look, but if there's an injury in the bottom six, I'd rather Bourque be the guy that comes up to play five minutes and maybe take a couple shifts on the PK, rather than Miller or Fast.

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02-15-2014, 02:16 PM
  #56
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The Lindberg line starts the period, drives deep aaaaaand... Lindberg takes an embellishment penalty on a trip from Erixon (who isn't penalized).

Bourque doing a good job to steal and take it deep on the PK.

McIlrath and Alliarde battle deep for the puck, McIlrath does a good job bodying him off... and again falls down. But the play allows Allen to pick up the puck and clear. (Allen is so much smoother than McIlrath - although obviously nowhere near as strong - right now.)

Pack kill the penalty... but now are back on the PK due to a delay of game clear over the glass. Playing with fire here. Lindberg to serve. Bourque and Miller playing very well as a PK duo. Although as soon as I type that of course Bourque fans on a clear and the Falcons get a good chance which Grumet-Morris saves.

Pack with another PK. The Falcons have spent most of the first 5 min on the PP.
Why? Isn't he one of HWP' PKs?

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02-15-2014, 02:23 PM
  #57
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Why? Isn't he one of HWP' PKs?
No idea. He was on the first pair PK later in the game.

Also, the announcer could have made a mistake - I didn't actually see him go in the box. (Although I also didn't see him on the ensuing PK either.)

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02-15-2014, 03:11 PM
  #58
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Bourque's been playing very well for the last month or so. He's finally showing some real offense at the AHL level. He's also been healthy the whole season. If he keeps it going he might be worth thinking about signing again this summer.

I would re-sign him. He's a spark plug for Hartford, making everyone else work that much harder. I think some day he'll make a great NHL coach considering how well he understands the game.

He's another kid who may be a long shot, but we shouldn't give up on him.

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02-15-2014, 03:30 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by nyr2k2 View Post
I hope he gets a cup of coffee before the NHL season is done. I want to see if he's strong enough to compete at the NHL level. If he is, he could be a useful fourth line player. If not, offer him an AHL contract or let him walk.

Even if he's not, I wouldn't discard him just yet. He only turned 23 a few days ago in January. Personally I got a lot stronger from 23 to 25 and even more so to 27. The stuff that seemed impossible to lift at 23 was easy by 27. He's worth a two-way NHL contract.

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02-15-2014, 04:46 PM
  #60
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I would re-sign him. He's a spark plug for Hartford, making everyone else work that much harder. I think some day he'll make a great NHL coach considering how well he understands the game.

He's another kid who may be a long shot, but we shouldn't give up on him.
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Even if he's not, I wouldn't discard him just yet. He only turned 23 a few days ago in January. Personally I got a lot stronger from 23 to 25 and even more so to 27. The stuff that seemed impossible to lift at 23 was easy by 27. He's worth a two-way NHL contract.
Agreed that they should re-sign him, although for different reasons. I've been down on him as a prospect basically since his first year or two, because he's just so small. But he has developed into a very important player for HFD. He has been a very dynamic, useful, all-situation player - essentially their Hagelin (back when Hagelin was on the first line).

It's important that HFD get back to winning. Players like Bourque, Hensick and Grumet-Morris provide solid infrastructure and IMO it's worth giving 3-5 of your contracts to guys like that to build a winning environment in the minors and to serve as AHL vets.

I also think that Bourque could be a decent emergency fill-in for the 3rd or 4th line should the Rangers suffer a rash of injuries and need someone to play a few games before they get healthy/make moves to bolster the lineup.

I still very much doubt that he ever finds a regular role in the NHL, but he's a very good player to have in the organization.

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02-15-2014, 05:51 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by BrooklynRangersFan View Post
Agreed that they should re-sign him, although for different reasons. I've been down on him as a prospect basically since his first year or two, because he's just so small. But he has developed into a very important player for HFD. He has been a very dynamic, useful, all-situation player - essentially their Hagelin (back when Hagelin was on the first line).

It's important that HFD get back to winning. Players like Bourque, Hensick and Grumet-Morris provide solid infrastructure and IMO it's worth giving 3-5 of your contracts to guys like that to build a winning environment in the minors and to serve as AHL vets.

I also think that Bourque could be a decent emergency fill-in for the 3rd or 4th line should the Rangers suffer a rash of injuries and need someone to play a few games before they get healthy/make moves to bolster the lineup.

I still very much doubt that he ever finds a regular role in the NHL, but he's a very good player to have in the organization.
I don't know if I'd consider him a good prospect. I don't really think a guy that small on a 4th line is going to work in the NHL that well--there is Stephen Gionta I suppose--but we're not the Devils. I'm kind of intrigued that all of a sudden he's showing real sustained progression. I'm wondering if there's another step or two he can take. He is a well rounded player. The Rangers are probably going to be chopping a bunch of other Hartford and minor league prospects this summer. We'll have more than enough room for him IMO and if nothing else he's a legit AHL player and you can always count on him giving a good effort.

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02-15-2014, 06:46 PM
  #62
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Bourque has always been a favorite of mine, but he really had zero room when we just fired the puck up ice. Now he makes more sense on the ice, but he is of course a tad on the small side and his injuries haven't helped.

He could function in the NHL in a S Gionta role. Not that easy to find a role like that though...

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02-15-2014, 07:01 PM
  #63
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Hartford won't have any prospects coming in next season, while Miller and Fast (or Kristo and Lindberg) will be gone, as will vets like Haley, Asham, Powe, etc.

We will have to replace these guys with some AHL vets. There is no reason to dump Bourque and replace him with a 30 year old AHL scrub finishing off his hockey career.

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02-15-2014, 07:08 PM
  #64
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We seem to be having video difficulties. I can hear Crawford, but I've just color bars on my screen.

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02-15-2014, 07:44 PM
  #65
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Ah, there we go.

Hartford playing league-leading Manchester. The Pack had a PP early on, but didn't convert. LeNevue in nets tonight.

Manchester is a pretty loaded squad. Top line is Pearson-Vey-Toffoli.

Nice chance there. Hughes passes ahead on the wing to Hrivik who skates in deep, crisp drop pass, Hensick with a good shot from the slot, good save by Jones.

Great save on the following play by LeNevue. O'Neill with a pass/shot to Backman who deflects from the near post to the far post and LeNevue does the splits and snags it with his glove. Then, on the following faceoff O'Neill fires a snapshot that hits the post...

...or did it? Ref is checking video during the next stoppage. Takes 3 minutes and confirmed that we're still scoreless.

Good cycle by the Pack leads to a goal. Hensick, Powe and Hrivik control the puck in the left corner and behind the net. Hensick tries a Rick Nash-like move to come out to the middle, but has the puck tipped off his stick. It goes right to Hughes who takes the point shot. Powe and Hrivik are providing a good screen and the puck hits someone, pops up and flutters over Jones to trickle across the line.

Beach is an IDIOT. Crosschecks a Monarch's head right into the dasher taking one of the more obvious penalties you'll ever see.

LeNevue has to make about three saves on Weal from in close. LeNevue looking really sharp.

Pack back in the Manchester zone, McIlrath to Hensick, who hits the post.

Now Haley has taken a penalty. Good play by Miller to intercept at the point and drive Manchester back. Stickhandles away from three guys, killing off a good 10 seconds. Hrivik and Fast also good on the PK.

Oof. Tough goal against the Pack. Backman with a shot that LeNevue easily sends aside... but it takes an odd bounce off the back wall, right out in front and O'Neill taps it home before the Pack defenders know what has happened.

One or two rushes by the Pack, but for the most part the Monarchs have the better of the play in the last 5-10 min, including one barrage where they nearly push LeNevue into the net.

LeNevue was clearly the Pack's best player that period. After him, I'd say Hrivik and Miller. It was pretty choppy and they were mostly back on their heels, especially after the two back-to-back PKs.

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02-15-2014, 07:51 PM
  #66
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Brooklyn- Great stuff, any mention why no Kristo tonight?

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02-15-2014, 07:58 PM
  #67
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Hartford won't have any prospects coming in next season, while Miller and Fast (or Kristo and Lindberg) will be gone, as will vets like Haley, Asham, Powe, etc.

We will have to replace these guys with some AHL vets. There is no reason to dump Bourque and replace him with a 30 year old AHL scrub finishing off his hockey career.
That's kind of what I'm thinking.

Anyway the Rangers IMO should have in mind signing College and CHL free agents just so there will be some incoming players. Expect St. Croix as well to be an AHL player next year.

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02-15-2014, 07:58 PM
  #68
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Brooklyn- Great stuff, any mention why no Kristo tonight?
I was wondering myself. Unfortunately, there were problems with the feed for the first 3 minutes or so and I imagine that was probably when Crawford addressed it, if he did.

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02-15-2014, 08:18 PM
  #69
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Goal changes to Powe - not surprising as it clearly hit at least one player in front.

Pack clearly looking to take the play to the Monarchs at the start of this period. The Miller line pushes Manchester back - good play by Fast to outskate the D and retrieve the puck - but nothing comes of the shift.

Hrivik continues his strong play - very engaged, making crisp passes.

Fast makes a good play to body a Monarch in the offensive zone, strip the puck... and gets called for a penalty. What? Terrible call. The ref was standing behind the two players and had NO view of what happened.

And of course Vey scores on the subsequent PP. Skates into the right circle, a seam opens and he blasts it home.

Hrivik-Powe-Hensick line again cycling well now. Allen joins the play down low, skates wide, behind the net and then passes to Hrivik in front who is absolutely stoned by Jones.

Bourque-Miller-Fast also cycling well. Puck has been in the Monarch zone for a good 45 seconds, but no shots yet. I'd love for Fast to get a little stronger during the offseason. He is incredibly shifty, but he can be disrupted when he's in the corner (still manages to keep control of the puck though). Lindberg line changes in. Lindberg finally gets a shot from the left circle, btu Jones makes the save.

This ref is starting to get on my nerves. Vaive had his stick held in the corner for a good 5 seconds, but the ref misses it. And... as I type that, Fast draws a penalty - tripped going to retrieve the puck in the defensive zone. (He really just got kind of caught up with Weal.)

Pack with a couple of point shots during the PK, but nothing dangerous, no flow for the first half of the PP. Hrivik and Allen working well together in the second half leads to a couple of good scoring chances. One in particular was Allen on the right point to Hrivik in the high slot to Haley all alone to the right of the goal, he skates out front unobstructed, but Jones makes himself big and gobbles it up.

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02-15-2014, 08:21 PM
  #70
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Steve Eminger has returned from the KHL and signed with Norfolk of the AHL.

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02-15-2014, 08:44 PM
  #71
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Lindberg and Beach (of all people) do a good job on the forecheck. Lindberg checks the Monarch into the boards, takes the puck and, as he's being taken down, gets a pass off to Beach who gets a quick shot off in close, but Jones makes the save.

The Monarchs really do have a lot of talent. The Pack are scrappy, but they don't have enough talent outside of the top line. They've had a significant territorial advantage this period, but every time a Vey or a Weal or a Deslauriers is going the other way, they're dangerous off the rush.

Two nice rushes by the Bourque-Miller-Fast line. On one they tic-tac-toe it into the zone (I think Allen may have started it with the breakout), setting up the trailing McIlrath for a wide-open blast from the high slot, but Jones makes the save. On the second one, Fast checks the Monarch in the neutral zone, separating him from the puck, chips it past another Monarch coming in to support and up to Bourque, who skates in, stops, finds Fast who gets a shot off, but has it blocked by the D.

Eh, after the subsequent faceoff, the Pack look dangerous, but Miller is trying to do too much, gets forced to the blue line and they have to come out of the zone. THAT'S what he has to stop doing.

Lindberg sets up Beach a couple of times on the following shift. One, a snapshot from the boards that Jones saves, another he fumbles right in front and has it taken away. Oof.

Hrivik looking dangerous on the next shift, controlling play in the Monarchs zone, but Manchester keeps everything to the outside and nothing comes of it.

Interesting play to note on defense thereafter. A Monarch tries to go wide on McIlrath, but he stays up, forces him wide and behind the net, transitioning without a problem (this is good to see) and then checks him hard into the board on the opposite side. Good play - of course, he nearly lost his balance delivering the check, but he handled the forward going wide better than he typically has in the past. Hopefully this is a sign of improvement.

Pack will open the third on the PP as Bourque made a great play at the very end of the period to drive at the Monarch defenseman with 2 seconds left, forcing him to take an interference penalty. Syvret picks up the loose puck and gets it to Powe who has a glorious chance go wide (may not have counted anyway, however).

Really good period for the Pack, despite giving up the go-ahead goal. Best players were Fast, Hrivik, Bourque and Lindberg. Miller and McIlrath had their moments as well.

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02-15-2014, 08:46 PM
  #72
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Steve Eminger has returned from the KHL and signed with Norfolk of the AHL.
Yup. He played in the games against the Pack last weekend.

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02-15-2014, 09:30 PM
  #73
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Not sure why Gernander starts the Hensick unit on the PP. Allen with a good job to gain the zone, but the Pack can't get anything set up and the puck goes out to center. Pack regather and then Hrivik with a FANTASTIC play to gain the zone, thread the needle between two Monarchs to set up Hensick skating in the slot, but Jones makes the save.

Man, the Pack do everything but score during the second half of the PP. Miller's pass deflects to Bourque who backhands on net. Puck comes back to Fast, who's tripping down and gets two shots off. One into the pad, the second into the post. They get the puck back, Fast set up in the left circle rips a shot, but good save by Jones.

McIlrath with back-to-back stick checks to disrupt a rush. Good stuff there.

Miller line buzzing in the o-zone again, but Weal with a good play to finally take it away.

On the subsequent rush I don't know what happened to the Pack LD, but he loses his man and Fast takes a penalty to prevent Weal from getting a slam-dunk scoring chance. Pack on the PK again.

Pack do a good job killing, but with 19 seconds to go, Hrivik clears and it goes over the glass. 5-on-3. Toffoli has a good chance, but LeNevue makes the save and Johnson clears. They get through the 5-on-3, but with Hrivik still in the box, Vey comes out of the corner, passes to Toffoli coming down the slot and he snipes it high stick side. Pack down 3-1.

O'Donnell promoted to take Beach's spot on Lindberg's line. Looks like the Miller line is getting double shifted.

Miller line again gains the zone and cycles. Again they are able to change while maintaining control (McIlrath with a good play to keep the puck in at the point while this is going on) and Lindberg skates in to get a backhand off from in close. Scrum in front.

Syvret and Nash nearly hand the Monarchs another goal, but the two on one pass skids wide. Beach flattened on the subsequent play and the pack on the PP. Pack keep the puck in the zone for most of the PP, but the Monarchs do a great job keeping the Pack to the outside. One really good opportunity where Miller tried a saucer pass out of the corner between two Monarch defenders, but it bounces over the stick of Hrivik streaking down the slot.

And right back on the PP. Pearson with back-to-back o-zone penalties with less than 10 minutes to play. Coach can't be happy with that. Gernander pulls LeNevue with 2:30 to go to provide a 2-man advantage. And.. oof. Lindberg with a hooking call to negate the penalty before they have much of a chance.

Pack with lots of shots from the outside, but none are great scoring chances. Stop-and-start as Jones is making a bunch of glove saves.

Strategy finally pays off with 1:24. Syvret with the wrist shot deflected in by Jones's defenseman. Technically it's a shorthander as Pearson had just left the box. And then, shortly thereafter, Toffoli ices it with 60 seconds left. The unusual PP EN goal.

Hrivik nearly scores (I thought it went in at first, but apparently it went off the post) - scrum in front, nice job to backhand it while he's being knocked down. And time expires.

Pack lose 4-2. I thought they had the better of the play 5v5, but the Monarch powerplay killed 'em.

Three stars:
Fast
Hrivik
and LeNevue for the saves in the first period to keep them in it.

HM:
Miller
Bourque
Lindberg
McIlrath
Hensick
Allen


Last edited by BrooklynRangersFan: 02-15-2014 at 09:39 PM.
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02-15-2014, 09:38 PM
  #74
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Hartford has been one of the worst offensive teams in the AHL all season. What centers have been blocking him? Oscar Lindberg, sure, but who else? Kyle Jean, who is trash? Andrew Rowe, fellow ECHL-caliber offensive player? Miller has only been there half the year. It's not like Hartford has had some stacked depth at center that was preventing him from getting a look. If he was such a dynamo, they'd put him on a wing somewhere.

I'm not writing him off entirely, and I'm not down on him just because of this season. I've never been impressed. He has always struck me as a "4A" player. He has skill, but he doesn't think the game fast enough or react quickly enough. That has always been my impression of him.

Yeah, he could become a good player down the road. The odds are strongly against him. I just don't see anything in him that scream high-end prospect to me. He looks like Erik Christensen if things go right. If things go wrong, he's your average ECHL All-Star/AHL tweener.
It has nothing to do with who is blocking him. The Rangers organization may not feel he is ready physically for the AHL.

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02-15-2014, 09:40 PM
  #75
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It has nothing to do with who is blocking him. The Rangers organization may not feel he is ready physically for the AHL.
Or, he's just not that good. Time will tell.

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