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IceCats this weekend...

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10-26-2003, 11:36 AM
  #1
210
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IceCats this weekend...

After missing opening night due to a wedding I saw my first 2 IceCat home games this weekend. Friday saw the Cats totally outplayed for most of the game by the Springfield Falcons (Phoenix Coyotes) in a 5-3 win, and were again mostly outplayed in a 3-2 loss to the Portland Pirates (Washington Capitals). Despite being outplayed there were a lot of positives.

We'll start with the goaltending. Reinhard Divis played both games and is the reason both games were as close as they were. In both games Divis came up huge while the Cats were playing shorthanded, making 4 or 5 saves that would have easily been ESPN "Top 10" material. The only negative was a breakaway vs Peter Ferraro (SPR) that I would have liked to see more agressiveness from Divis, but with the move Ferraro put on I doubt it would have mattered that much.

With the forwards, Granato does a lot of line shifting so as they game goes on you get a ton of different combos. The lines I saw the most out there Friday was:

Evans/Pohl/Hartlieb
Brown/Panzer/Black
Varlamov/Martins/Glumac
McLaren/Martins or Evans/Hemingway

Saturday's lines were:

Evans/Pohl/Hartlieb
Brown/Panzer/Glumac
Varlamov/Martins/Black

Corrinet and McLaren played mixed into the above 3 lines, with Corrinet playing both LW and RW.

The big issue was a lack of quality shots. It seems like most players are thinking to pass instead of shooting. That often resulted in shots from bad angles or into traffic. Many good scoring chances were lost by forwards making the extra pass.

Forwards that stood out:
Marc Brown seems to have returned to his '01-02 form by taking advantage of opening in the offensive zone and heading to the net when the opportunity arises, which are things that he didn't do last season. He is still one of the best penalty-killers on the team. Sergei Varlamov apparently used the last couple weeks to learn how to play defense as he threw more hits in the last 6 periods then he normally throws in 6 months. Like last season he's a threat to score from just about anywhere in the offensive zone. Mike Glumac played 2 very solid games and looks like a great pick-up for the Blues. Unfortunately, Colin Hemingway may be in over his head. His terrible play on Friday and a health Corrinet lead to his not playing Saturday. He had such a terrible game that he was beat up ice twice by Steve McLaren in the same shift.

Injuries both in St. Louis and Worcester have resulted in a very young defensive corps for the IceCats. The lines used both nights primarily were:

Virtue/Vandemeer
Byrne/Coleman
Pollock/MacKenzie

Granato did shuffle these lines as well, but all 6 defenseman played just about an equal number of shifts.

For as young as the defense is they played pretty well. A few mistakes were made, but often times it was a case of being too agressive. As they learn the speed of the game and get used to the style of the guy they are teamed with I expect the defensive corps to be the backbone of the team.

D-men that stood out:
Trevor Byrne showed why he's listed as one of the top-3 defensive prospects, and has excellent movement without the puck. He's not afrraid to jump into the play and has enough speed to get back into position on defense. Aaron MacKenzie plays very well on both ends of the ice and has a wrist shot that is one of the best I've seen in a while. John Coleman must have blocked over a dozen shots this weekend.

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10-26-2003, 12:23 PM
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c-carp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 210
After missing opening night due to a wedding I saw my first 2 IceCat home games this weekend. Friday saw the Cats totally outplayed for most of the game by the Springfield Falcons (Phoenix Coyotes) in a 5-3 win, and were again mostly totally outplayed in a 3-2 loss to the Portland Pirates (Washington Capitals). Despite being outplayed there were a lot of positives.

We'll start with the goaltending. Reinhard Divis played both games and is the reason both games were as close as they were. In both games Divis came up huge while the Cats were playing shorthanded, making 4 or 5 saves that would have easily been ESPN "Top 10" material. The only negative was a breakaway vs Peter Ferraro (SPR) that I would have liked to see more agressiveness from Divis, but with the move Ferraro put on I doubt it would have mattered that much.

With the forwards, Granato does a lot of line shifting so as they game goes on you get a ton of different combos. The lines I saw the most out there Friday was:

Evans/Pohl/Hartlieb
Brown/Panzer/Black
Varlamov/Martins/Glumac
McLaren/Martins or Evans/Hemingway

Saturday's lines were:

Evans/Pohl/Hartlieb
Brown/Panzer/Glumac
Varlamov/Martins/Black

Corrinet and McLaren played mixed into the above 3 lines, with Corrinet playing both LW and RW.

The big issue was a lack of quality shots. It seems like most players are thinking to pass instead of shooting. That often resulted in shots from bad angles or into traffic. Many good scoring chances were lost by forwards making the extra pass.

Forwards that stood out:
Marc Brown, who seems to have returned to his '01-02 form by taking advantage of opening in the offensive zone and heading to the net when the opportunity arises, which are things that he didn't do last season. He is still one of the best penalty-killers on the team. Sergei Varlamov apparently used the last couple weeks to learn how to play defense as he threw more hits in the last 6 periods then he normally throws in 6 months. Like last season he's a threat to score from just about anywhere in the offensive zone. Mike Glumac played 2 very solid games and looks like a great pick-up for the Blues. Unfortunately, Colin Hemingway may be in over his head. His terrible play on Friday and a health Corrinet lead to his not playing Saturday. He had such a terrible game that he was beat up ice twice by Steve McLaren in the same shift.

Injuries both in St. Louis and Worcester have resulted in a very young defensive corps for the IceCats. The lines used both nights primarily were:

Virtue/Vandemeer
Byrne/Coleman
Pollock/MacKenzie

Granato did shuffle these lines as well, but all 6 defenseman played just about an equal number of shifts.

For as young as the defense is they played pretty well. A few mistakes were made, but often times it was a case of being too agressive. As they learn the speed of the game and get used to the styl of the guy they are teamed with I expect the defensive corps to be the backbone of the team.

D-men that stood out:
Trevor Byrne showed why he's listed as one of the top-3 defensive prospects, and has excellent movement without the puck. He's not afrraid to jump into the play and has enough speed to get back inot position on defense. Aaron MacKenzie plays very well on both ends of the ice and has a wrist shot that is one of the best I've seen in a while. John Coleman must have blocked over a dozen shots this weekend.
great work 210, thanks for the recaps and summaries.

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Old
10-26-2003, 02:02 PM
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Thanks 210. We depend on you on all things IceCats (except opinions about Tom Koivisto).

I agree about Coleman, Byrne and Hemingway. I saw them all in the Bridgeport exhibition game. Thought Coleman showed his veteran savvy. I'm very hopeful that Byrne might be in St. Louis next season. To me, Hemingway needs to get a lot stronger. Guess he'll be in Worcester for at least two years.

Why didn't Sanford play one of the games this past weekend?

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Old
10-26-2003, 02:13 PM
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I don't know why he didn't play...many of us were surprised that he didn't play Saturday.

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10-26-2003, 02:39 PM
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Thanks 210, that was an excellant read. Its nice to here those updates we dont ever get here. Dont forget guys worcestor tickest go on sale nov. 1 for the game at savvis.

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10-26-2003, 11:00 PM
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what's wrong with schefflemier?

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10-27-2003, 03:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by execwrite
Why didn't Sanford play one of the games this past weekend?
FWIW.....Yahoo has Sanford as being traded to PHO on 10/23, I've looked for other sources and can't find one, so I'm assuming it's a mistake on Yahoo's part.

http://hockey.fantasysports.yahoo.co...lid=2638&num=2

Look under the 23rd's listings, it was the first on the page when I posted this.

Again, without a second source, I'm not reading much into this. Yahoo is known for it's many mistakes in it's fantasy leagues.

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10-27-2003, 07:14 AM
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Nice job 210; I don't get to see many Ice Cats games anymore but I was back east this weekend and saw both games -- my first of the season.

I liked Varlamov, Pohl, Panzer, Brown and Martins upfront. They certainly will be the keys to the offense this year. I also thought Glumac and Hartlieb will add both size and some scoring. Hemmingway had a tough night Friday as he did not seem to play a lot and when he did, he did not do much. Maybe it's just a confidence thing.

I agree with your assessment of the defensemen. I believe Byrne will be the best of the lot. He has size, skating and is very composed. I do not recall him playing on the PP and wonder why. With his skill and composure, he would be a natural there. MacKenzie looked quick and played well at both ends, but I wonder if he could handle the physical play at the next level. Coleman did look very good and shows that he is older and more experienced. .... Pollack looks the same, good speed and can shoot but seems to be all over the ice would be better in a pick-up game.

Thanks for the update 210. Please continue -- I won't be back for a while.

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10-27-2003, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hecht
what's wrong with schefflemier?
Sheff is injuered, I think it's his hand...I'll check my notes when I grab them out of the car later.

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10-27-2003, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBo_Bleeds_Blue
FWIW.....Yahoo has Sanford as being traded to PHO on 10/23, I've looked for other sources and can't find one, so I'm assuming it's a mistake on Yahoo's part.
That listing is an error.

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10-27-2003, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purple_heart
Pollack looks the same, good speed and can shoot but seems to be all over the ice would be better in a pick-up game.
That's always been one of the things he's had to work on...he's too "busy", he needs to settle down a touch.

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10-27-2003, 11:19 AM
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And this post is just because I've never had 4 consecutive posts on a message board before.

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10-27-2003, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 210
And this post is just because I've never had 4 consecutive posts on a message board before.
Sorry - the NHL has instituted a "Luxury Post Tax" this season. You will be assessed a 25 cent fee.

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10-27-2003, 01:23 PM
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210 - what did you mean by saying pollack would be good for short stretches?

 
Old
10-27-2003, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by blues4
210 - what did you mean by saying pollack would be good for short stretches?
He's just not "full time" NHL material yet. Far too many small holes in his game that have to be worked on.

He could easily give you many good shifts for a game or two but after that the scouting of future opponents will pick up what he can't do and he'd be a huge liability.

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10-27-2003, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBo_Bleeds_Blue
FWIW.....Yahoo has Sanford as being traded to PHO on 10/23, I've looked for other sources and can't find one, so I'm assuming it's a mistake on Yahoo's part.

http://hockey.fantasysports.yahoo.co...lid=2638&num=2

Look under the 23rd's listings, it was the first on the page when I posted this.

Again, without a second source, I'm not reading much into this. Yahoo is known for it's many mistakes in it's fantasy leagues.
Yaheck! has quickly become a source of idiocy. I'm in a couple of the public leagues, and I've been trying for the past two weeks to get them to make Patrik Elias available at LW. He's listed as a C, but if you've watched any of the Devils games this year, or picked up a Hockey News, you'd see that he was on a line with Scott Gomez and Grant Marshall.

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