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Old
09-13-2006, 10:14 AM
  #1
Blind Gardien
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Rookie Tournament Report Cards

I'll be posting my final take on the rookies in this thread...

Just to give you an idea of how I grade, it's not on an absolute scale, it's relative to my expectation levels for that player, taking into consideration his age, role, etc. So generally speaking a grade of "B" is what I give to a player who I thought did his job pretty much as expected.

GOALIES

Carey Price: C+
The goalies are going to be the toughest ones to grade... Price had just two games and the others just one. Plus they were playing in the larger nets. So inasmuch as I am giving them grades, I wouldn't take those grades very seriously.

Price started off very well... bordering on spectacular IMO... in the first game against Toronto. But he faded and let in a few goals (predominantly up high) that I thought might have been stoppable. He was generally solid in his second start, although personally I don't think he was 3rd star material. I thought his lateral movement was fine and his legwork was outstanding. He played the puck a few times, but generally speaking his excellent puckhandling ability wasn't really on display. My only real complaint was that his much-vaunted calmness and coolness almost seemed a bit too calm and cool at times. No doubt he has his own mental 'zone', but just on appearances he sometimes seemed to get a bit nonchalant even within the game. Like in the final against the Leafs when he didn't seem to be paying very close attention at the end and we got the too-many-men penalty trying to pull him.

All in all, not a bad tournament for Price by any stretch, especially given the circumstances. But as I always end up saying when I watch him play, I expect more from a #5 overall pick. I expect him to be the best goalie on the ice. He wasn't best on his team, and IMHO Pogge is still ahead of him too. Hopefully he'll have another good season to build on in the WHL this year.

Cedrick Desjardins: A
While Price certainly faced the highest level of competition in the tourney in the two games against the Leafs, Desjardins probably had the best single-game performance of any goalie, IMO, perhaps tied with Pogge's game against us. I freely confess that I was no great fan of this signing (no real opponent of it either) as I never really saw Desjardins as a goalie with any NHL potential during the Memorial Cup games. He's a battler, though, and while he may not have any highly refined skills or fall into any tidy stylistic categories, he does seem to have an ability to just 'get the job done'. And he certainly did that in fine style against the Panthers. You can never have too many goalies in the system, and having him around in Cincinnati this year ready to step up anytime we need him with the Bulldogs should be perfect.

Loic Lacasse: B
I'll give him the default "B" because playing against York was really no test of his abilities. I would hope he goes back for an overage year in the Q, as he has yet to really establish himself as a top goaltender there yet, so making the jump to the pros would seem to be premature.


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09-13-2006, 10:31 AM
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Thanks Blind gardien!

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09-13-2006, 10:36 AM
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Thanks BG, looking forward to the rest.

Now on the subject of goaltenders, am I the only one here who's been put off by Price's reaction to the bigger nets? Might be making too much of this. But everybody around the team has been saying how we drafted a character goalie cool as a cucumber who can just zone out of anything bad yet he blew a gasket when he was asked about the bigger nets.

Now maybe it's the opposite, maybe we should take this as a good sign, a guy who's a serious competitor who doesn't like the league messing around with his equipment while he's trying to prove himself to management, but I get the feeling that his frustration might have contributed to him losing his focus in the 3rd of his first game. Do tell if you see it differently.

I don't know, it's just that from what we've been hearing about Price so far, I would have expected him to brush off this bad news as minor inconvenience and not let it affect his mental game.

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09-13-2006, 10:45 AM
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DEFENSE

Ryan O'Byrne: C+
O'Byrne was certainly utilized as the #1 defenseman for the team. But I didn't think he played as consistently well as I expected him to. He certainly had a good start to the game against Florida, but generally speaking I didn't think he really imposed himself on the game the way a player of his age, stature, and talent might have been able to. He had PP time, but didn't get any points. He killed penalties, but occasionally got caught running around. Every defenseman took penalties in this tourney, it was hard to avoid that the way it was called, and it was generally hard for players to have the courage to play with much physicality or aggressiveness either, because they never knew what would be called a penalty and what wouldn't. Nevertheless, I do think O'Byrne was our most physical defenseman. He also showcased his skating strengths on a few occasions, although like I said, I know he can carry the puck a little bit more than he did. Not a bad start for him in his pro career. It was always assumed that he'd have a year or two to hone his craft in the AHL first, and I left thinking that was probably a fairly safe assumption to carry forward with.

Jon Gleed: B
Gleed clearly has some character strengths that make him popular with the organisation, and as he settled into a bit of a groove as the tournament went on, he showed himself to be a basically reliable player. I don't see how he could have any NHL aspirations, though. He doesn't seem to do anything quite well enough to ever be more than a bottom-pairing defenseman wherever he goes, and while the inexperience of this team often thrust him into a more prominent role, I don't think he was necessarily well-suited to that role. The hockey world needs its Mike Lalors too, of course, and while I was down on Gleed with some of his penalty troubles early on, I think all in all, he might eventually turn out to be a decent organisational asset, as he gains experience in the minor pros and eventually can help move the other prospects along.

Mathieu Carle: A-
Carle certainly had a roller-coaster ride in the tourney. From being hammered on his first shift and missing two games, to scoring 7 points against the hapless York squad, he definitely saw the highs and lows. I thought he also had a very pedestrian 'middle' too in the final game against the Leafs. So it's hard to really give him an accurate score. But the more I see and hear of him, the more satisfied I am with the pick. I was certainly amongst those who thought there were better players to be had in the 2nd round of the draft, but he seems to be showing a level of skill and ability that makes him worth the gamble.

Frederic St.Denis: B+
Without a doubt St.Denis was my favourite of the invites. He showed a lot of jump and hustle and was our most consistently dangerous defenseman on the PP. (Excluding the York game, of course). His goals were a bonus, but even without them I think he demonstrated that he belongs in somebody's organisation in the new-NHL environment. It may be a bit difficult for our organisation to justify signing him, given the presence of Sanford and Benoit already, but I would be tempted to throw such considerations out the window and just say, hey, the kid can play, let's put him in the pipeline, even if it's Cincinatti to start with, and see how it goes from there. I believe he does still have the eligibility to play as an overager in the Q this year, so if he's willing to do that and come back next year, I'd be happy to see him.

Martin Frechette: B
It's somewhat difficult to have expectations at all for some of these invites. I thought Frechette was decent and showed some potential to chip in contributions in all facets of the game; decent size, some ability to jump up, willing to play rough. He may need to polish up his footwork and fill out, however. Hopefully his injury in the last game won't be very serious and he too can go back for a successful overage year in the Q and let us see how he has progressed in next year's rookie camp.

Andre Joanisse: B
Again, I didn't really have any expectations for Joanisse, a blank slate for a walk-on. If anything, I would say he was coming on as perhaps our most "stable" guy, he didn't try anything fancy, but he was decent in his role. He has good size, it wasn't really the kind of tournament where he had much chance to show a physical edge, though. If he can work on his quickness and keep playing within himself concentrating on a stay-at-home style, I suppose he might have some Cote-like upside. I don't know where he goes next, though. It's not like the Habs really had a lot of invites around, so presumably they really focused on guys they liked. If they like him, perhaps he could get a deal in Cincinatti for now.

Conrad Martin: B-
Well, as the only rookie to get in a fight, I have to thank him at least for that. Otherwise, he did have some penalty trouble, and if you really want to get technical, perhaps an almost-24-year-old defenseman should have stood out relative to the younger kids in this tournament. I don't know if he stood out as much as his experience advantage should have suggested. As with Joanisse, perhaps if the Habs truly like him they will find a spot for him in Cincinatti, but it's too early based on these 2 games to suggest he's worth keeping an eye on for the long haul IMO.

Cameron Cepek: B
I'm not going to be too harsh in grading Cepek, given that he's just 18 and missed so much time last year. He has a lot of work to do, clearly. He needs to get stronger, and given the way that hockey is evolving, he'll probably have to learn some discipline too. The feistiness he shows is nice, but these days it just leads to penalty troubles, and as entertaining as a bit of smash-mouth hockey can be at times, it definitely doesn't help your team if your depth defenders are putting you at a disadvantage while showing relatively few other redeeming qualities. Cepek showed a couple of flashes that he has some skill, including his goal against York. Lots of time for him to continue to develop, I look forward to seeing the transformation.


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09-13-2006, 10:49 AM
  #5
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I agree on the Price front.

He looked pretty good in the final game against the Leafs. The truth is we pretty much dominated the 3rd period, with most of the play being in the Leafs' zone. Shots were 12-6 for us. Seems like Carey's head got out of the game because it was so quiet at his end of the ice. He certainly isn't as mentally tough as I thought he was.

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09-13-2006, 11:59 AM
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FORWARDS

Guillaume Latendresse: B+
Latendresse is probably the most difficult player to grade amongst the forwards. What are fair initial expectations, really? He did play well, he put up 5 points. He also was given tons of icetime and responsibility on specialty teams. Generally speaking, his skating and overall hustle looked better than I've ever seen from him. I don't mind a little bit of cruise-control play from a PF, that's almost par for the course. But then I ask myself... how much power forwarding did he really do this tourney? True, he showed some great hands at times. He certainly didn't back away from anything, and was strong on the puck when he had it. But at the same time, he seemed to be missing a little bit of the aggressive spark from last year. He wasn't hammering people left and right, he wasn't really a dominating presence in the games, and he was often overshadowed somewhat by other players on the team. Based on the ridiculously high bar he set last year, this tourney to me was not necessarily a step forward for him, although it was still a very good 'solidfying' performance. Interestingly, this would make it seem less likely to me that he'll make the team this year, but at the same time more confident that he'll have a good career, if that makes any sense.

Kyle Chipchura: A
Well, you know I'd give him an A, right? Bias! But honestly, I am just so impressed by the way he plays the game. His play in traffic, his play away from the puck, his effort and focus and creativity, he just seems to think the game at a level above everyone around him. Of course, it would be nice if he had the physical skill to take advantage of that intelligence too, but alas, we can't have everything. His straight-away speed continues to look fine, I have absolutely zero concern about his skating. A bit ragged-looking at times, but I think he has been smoothing out and speeding up over the last couple of years, and he could skate in the NHL right now with no trouble IMO. Chipchura will always have a bit of trouble handling the puck and scoring goals, his hands have no softness whatsoever, but at the same time he does have the ability to surprise you every now and then with a move or a great pass. And his PK work is magnificent, he will be an absolute workhorse for a team with Carbo and Muller behind the bench. I'd say he's the most NHL-ready player from the Habs side in this tourney.

Mikhail Grabovski: A
At least I know the hype is for real now. Grabovsky was electrifying, particularly in the first couple of games. You can argue that yes, he should be dominating, given his age and his experience on the world stage. But nevertheless, I think he validated some of the high praise that he had been receiving from the vocal minority who had seen him previously. He has excellent speed and can handle the puck too at high speed. True, sometimes he gets too fancy or too fast for even his formidable stickwork, but I don't think it's really a flaw. He also seemed to shoot well and go after the puck fearlessly in any amount of traffic, which also bodes well for his ability to step up to higher levels of competition successfully. I thought he looked a little bit bigger than I had been expecting, but still with room to add strength, both upper and lower body. If he can do that successfully it could make his speed and fearlessness that much more effective. It was a good coming out party for Grabovski, for sure. I don't know if there is a spot yet for him in Montreal, he may still need to work on acclimatising to the language, culture, and defensive aspects of the game. But even if he isn't quite ready yet, I imagine we'll see him at some point this year, and hopefully for a long, long time thereafter.

Sergei Kostitsyn: A
I thought Kostitsyn looked a bit tentative early on, playing a bit in Grabovski's shadow, but subsequently he turned it on and started to make his own mark on the game. He was great on the PP, of course, and he complemented Grabovski perfectly on their offensive forays. I didn't really see the occasional nasty side that Kostitsyn sometimes showed in London, he seemed content to play more of a purely high-octane attacking game and didn't make any of his signature surprise hits that I noticed. I don't doubt that he could play in Hamilton, and not necessarily look out of place, but I'm still reluctant to actually hope for that. He has come a long way already since starting in London, and Hunter really gives his top guns the chance to play there. I would still rather see Kostitsyn learning how to handle 30-minutes a game against the best checkers, learning how to be a superstar in the OHL, rather than just trying to learn how to 'fit in' and contribute a little in the AHL.

Mathieu Aubin: A-
Aubin continues to dispel any of the slightly negative preconceptions I had of him. Once he started playing consistently with Grabovski and Kostitsyn he was really able to get into an offensive groove. Even aside from the York blowout, he showed an ability to position himself well for the one-timers, and to use his frame to protect the puck and set up his linemates. I've always had a hard time really warming to the 'big, majestic' type of player who makes things look easy, and Aubin comes close to that prototype at times for me. I sometimes wish he played with more urgency, but then I think he does do that more than I sometimes give him credit for too. I think Aubin might be the player out of him, Kostitsyn, and D'Agostini that I most want to see go pro this year. He may need the more hands-on button pushing to reach the high potential that his skillset gives him, IMO.

Matt D'Agostini: A
D'Agostini had a great tournament and was a perfect complement to his line with Chipchura and Latendresse. He put in a scrappy, johnny-on-the-spot performance, and came away as the goal leader for the team. He has a knack for finding the puck, for finding openings, and for not getting himself into trouble at other times too. I don't know if you could find a glaring strength or a glaring weakness in his play, but he always seemed to find a way to get noticed all the same. I don't think he'll be hurt by playing at any level this season, whether it's AHL, ECHL, or OHL. He'll find a way to fit in and be appreciated wherever he goes. And hopefully in a few years he'll be able to find his way to the Habs too, I wouldn't put it past him.

Ben Maxwell: A
While Maxwell may not have stood out for his flash or his production the way some of the other players already listed did, I think he deserves an 'A' on his report card all the same. Now, you could say that the Montreal coaching staff clearly handed him all that icetime and responsibility, which was somewhat surprising, and that perhaps other players like White or Mikus who didn't show as much might have similarly impressed if they had been given as much responsibility as Maxwell was. But the bottom line is that Maxwell took the icetime, he took the point spot on the PP, he took the PK role and the 5-on-3 assignments, and he turned in a really strong performance. Especially considering his age. There was a palpable effort being made to groom him for a future strong two-way role. He is a very smooth and polished-looking player for his age. He's almost the anti-Chipchura, though. While they were slotted in somewhat similar roles, Maxwell looks more economical, he looks like he can stand to increase his urgency at times, and he lacks the physical strength that Chipchura has. But there is definitely more to his game than the soft/creative/skinny/fast perimeter player that some draft reviews described. It looks like the Habs are really going to push him to exploit the other facets of his potential.

Greg Stewart: B
Stewart was born to be a 'B' player, IMO. He doesn't have much skill, he just plugs away, up and down his wing, forechecks hard and effectively, and backchecks just as hard and effectively. He made a few nice plays, complemented the line he was on with Maxwell and White, and generally oozed "reliability". I think the Habs were really pushing Maxwell and Latendresse into PK roles to test them out, but otherwise Stewart would have been a more natural mainstay there. It will be interesting to see where Stewart ends up this year. It seems like Hamilton has quite a full quota of checking-line players, so I could see Stewart starting in the ECHL.

Ryan White: B
Because he's just 18, I won't try to hold White to the standards that perhaps some might. He was a useful player, particularly after been bumped from the Grabovski line back down to playing with Maxwell. He tried to throw some hits and dig around, although ultimately he didn't get a lot of results for his efforts. He has the look of a 3rd liner, perhaps hopefully a future Mike Keane. I would like to see him really relish that role more, really take on more of a kamikaze persona than I saw in this tournament, though. All in all, decent. He can work on his lower body strength, keep up the skating exercises, and we'll see how he does in the WHL this year.

Juraj Mikus: B-
Mikus ended up being the odd man out for the Habs, generally consigned to the 4th line when he did play, and really didn't get a chance to showcase himself the way some of the other prospects did. I thought he looked a bit taller than I was expecting, with a frame that could accomodate some decent strength once he fills out. It wasn't really a great opportunity to evaluate his potential as a player though, given his limited icetime and lack of talented linemates. Of course, one could argue that he never really grabbed the spotlight and made them play him more either. I thought he moved decently well and seemed to have a solid ability to snap the puck in mid-flight, but as I say, it really isn't much to go on. The good thing is now that he's over in North America this year, we'll have plenty of time to monitor his progress more closely.

Alexandre Picard-Hooper: C+
He was the invitee that I was most looking forward to seeing, but in the end his performance was probably a slight disappointment, even taking into consideration that he was generally pegged in a 4th line role and didn't get a lot of opportunity to show his stuff. He did play in every game, however, and occasionally they did spot him on higher lines to get him a few extra chances. Compared to some of the really really small players in the tournament, I didn't think he looked all that tiny. Small, but it won't be size that holds him back. I didn't see any real explosiveness or quickness from him that might be needed to compensate, however. It seems like maybe he's just a smart, skilled, competitive player who lacks the extra gear needed for the NHL. But he's also just 19, so some of the age allowance should come in for him too, even as a try-out. He'll probably put up big numbers in the Q again, so I won't mind bringing him back for another look-see next year.

Keven Petit: B+
In a very limited role, he still managed to pop in two goals, so that gets him the '+'. He seemed to hustle and stick his nose into everything. Not a lot of natural skill or speed that I could detect, but it was interesting to see him play at this level. I'm sure I've seen him a few times for Gatineau the past few years, but I confess I never really took any notice of him. What kept him out last year? It would be interesting to see if he has a corner to turn as an overager this year.

Pier-Olivier Mouton: B
Well, it's hard to underachieve when the expectations going in were that you were a player invited as a favour to your grandfather and probably didn't deserve to be there. Mouton didn't disappoint, nor did he make himself particularly noticeable in his extremely limited role. Perhaps he would make a good addition to a team like the York University Lions?

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09-13-2006, 12:15 PM
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Good point BG. The biggest problem about Price is not Price himself but Price PICKED AT #5.....That will come back and haunt us I believe, and not necessarily by Brule but there's tons of others as well.

He is nonchalant, thinks that his physical assets will take care of everything. I just hope that he learns soon that it's not the case.

But my biggest problem with him resides in the fact that I would've hope that he would have the best attitude and mental abilities possible and then have to work on some technical aspects.

Not so sure it's that easy to take it from the other way around....I was stunned as well to hear how he took that ''big nets'' news, a guy who had a great maturity and mental toughness like he was suppose to have would not have reacted the way he did.

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09-13-2006, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Munchausen View Post
Thanks BG, looking forward to the rest.

Now on the subject of goaltenders, am I the only one here who's been put off by Price's reaction to the bigger nets? Might be making too much of this. But everybody around the team has been saying how we drafted a character goalie cool as a cucumber who can just zone out of anything bad yet he blew a gasket when he was asked about the bigger nets.

Now maybe it's the opposite, maybe we should take this as a good sign, a guy who's a serious competitor who doesn't like the league messing around with his equipment while he's trying to prove himself to management, but I get the feeling that his frustration might have contributed to him losing his focus in the 3rd of his first game. Do tell if you see it differently.

I don't know, it's just that from what we've been hearing about Price so far, I would have expected him to brush off this bad news as minor inconvenience and not let it affect his mental game.
I couldn't really say. I guess I'd have to see a live interview to really know the context of his alleged gasket-blowing to even react to it at all. I mean, I know some of these young kids, you could select a decent gasket-blowing soundclip over almost any aspect of the game. Chipchura certainly had some words for the refs, for example. I don't think any such things necessarily have to reflect on how they perform in the game.

Various small bits of circumstantial innuendo seem to suggest that Price is a guy who takes his rituals seriously, and he is indeed a goalie that relies on good positioning. I can see how the net switch would hit him harder than some. That said, I don't know why it would hit him in the middle of a game after he had already played a great period in front of the same nets.

I almost wish I had talked to a few of the Habs personnel just to get their vibe on the tourney organisation. I had plenty of opportunity, of course, but I always figure that I don't want to seem like a fan, just mind my own business and let them be. But I could see this tourney being a bit of a nasty surprise for them... they had to travel and arrive to find the nets, probably didn't get to practise with them as much as the Leafs did. They didn't have a dressing room, just part of the garage and their bus. Even in the final game they were hanging around their bus in their gear, in a misting rain, as I was walking back to the streetcars. What was up with that? I mean, most minor hockey rinks I ever played in, you know, small town, wooden-plank seating for a hundred in the stands, still had at least 4 rooms. It was basically SOP. I have a hard time imagining that Ricoh doesn't have more than two, even if they aren't all up to pro standards. Past that, in the tourney final game, does that mean they only have 1 room, if the other finalist is changing on their bus? And what other shortcuts or mishandlings were made too, I wonder? They clearly didn't clean up the stands after games... the same landmark piles of peanut shells and other debris was left from game to game, the garbage cans weren't emptied, etc.

It would be interesting to get the take from somebody on Florida or Montreal about how they were handled. And perhaps to contrast that to how Toronto felt they might have been treated in past tourneys, then. The Robert Guertin shouldn't be able to hold a candle to the Ricoh, yet it seemed like an immensely more welcoming and comfortable environment. Now, not that such things should necessarily have a great deal of effect on how the players play the game, but nevertheless I could well imagine a few blown-gasket-seeming comments stemming from it all.

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09-13-2006, 12:47 PM
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Superb reports, BG. I love reading them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blind Gardien View Post
DEFENSE

Jon Gleed: B
Gleed clearly has some character strengths that make him popular with the organisation, and as he settled into a bit of a groove as the tournament went on, he showed himself to be a basically reliable player. I don't see how he could have any NHL aspirations, though. He doesn't seem to do anything quite well enough to ever be more than a bottom-pairing defenseman wherever he goes, and while the inexperience of this team often thrust him into a more prominent role, I don't think he was necessarily well-suited to that role. The hockey world needs its Mike Lalors too, of course, and while I was down on Gleed with some of his penalty troubles early on, I think all in all, he might eventually turn out to be a decent organisational asset, as he gains experience in the minor pros and eventually can help move the other prospects along.
This remark made me reflect on a conversation I had with Mike Lalor a long time ago, when I was playing hockey for my junior school team. Somewhat in awe of a professional player, I remember mooning about my hockey career because I was a pretty lousy player. To my surprise, he said that he had never been the best player on his teams, at any level, and that he always just worked hard and tried to keep his game simple but effective.

While I'm sure there was some exaggeration, I think there was also some truth in it. Your elegant write-up on Gleed captured that sense perfectly. Thanks for that.

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09-13-2006, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
Good point BG. The biggest problem about Price is not Price himself but Price PICKED AT #5.....That will come back and haunt us I believe, and not necessarily by Brule but there's tons of others as well.

He is nonchalant, thinks that his physical assets will take care of everything. I just hope that he learns soon that it's not the case.

But my biggest problem with him resides in the fact that I would've hope that he would have the best attitude and mental abilities possible and then have to work on some technical aspects.

Not so sure it's that easy to take it from the other way around....I was stunned as well to hear how he took that ''big nets'' news, a guy who had a great maturity and mental toughness like he was suppose to have would not have reacted the way he did.

You guys take yourselves way too seriously. Mental abilities, attitude? Have you ever done a pshychological test on him? Have you ever talked to him? Have you ever heard him speak?

Honestly, just comment on the skill set and leave the innuendo and phychosis to someone actually in the know.

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09-13-2006, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AH View Post
You guys take yourselves way too seriously. Mental abilities, attitude? Have you ever done a pshychological test on him? Have you ever talked to him? Have you ever heard him speak?

Honestly, just comment on the skill set and leave the innuendo and phychosis to someone actually in the know.
Haha, I was thinking the exact same thing, cheers!

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09-13-2006, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Blind Gardien View Post
I couldn't really say. I guess I'd have to see a live interview to really know the context of his alleged gasket-blowing to even react to it at all. I mean, I know some of these young kids, you could select a decent gasket-blowing soundclip over almost any aspect of the game. Chipchura certainly had some words for the refs, for example. I don't think any such things necessarily have to reflect on how they perform in the game.

Various small bits of circumstantial innuendo seem to suggest that Price is a guy who takes his rituals seriously, and he is indeed a goalie that relies on good positioning. I can see how the net switch would hit him harder than some. That said, I don't know why it would hit him in the middle of a game after he had already played a great period in front of the same nets.
Part of me thinks this way too. I was just surprised by his comments about not being able to sleep because of this. I wasn't expecting that from him. But then again, I read it, didn't actually hear it, for all we know he might have been half kidding. So I'll leave it at that.

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09-13-2006, 03:22 PM
  #13
montreal
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Originally Posted by Blind Gardien View Post
DEFENSE

Conrad Martin: B-
Well, as the only rookie to get in a fight, I have to thank him at least for that. Otherwise, he did have some penalty trouble, and if you really want to get technical, perhaps an almost-24-year-old defenseman should have stood out relative to the younger kids in this tournament. I don't know if he stood out as much as his experience advantage should have suggested. As with Joanisse, perhaps if the Habs truly like him they will find a spot for him in Cincinatti, but it's too early based on these 2 games to suggest he's worth keeping an eye on for the long haul IMO.

Thanks for the report BG, nicely done!

Just wanted to point out that Martin is already signed with Cincinnati, which may or may not have had something to do with him being invited but the Cyclones signed him and a couple of his teammates.


Edit: Also of note on defense, remember that whoever played on the left side other then St-Denis, was playing out of position. I beleive O'Byrne was paired up at times with Gleed, so one of them had to be playing out of position since both are RD's, although at Cornell they would play on the PK together, but that was the only time O'B played on the left side that I saw or heard of. 7 of the 8 defensemen were RD's, which in it's self is odd to see so many righties.


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09-13-2006, 04:07 PM
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Wowww!!

Thank you for this report!!!

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09-13-2006, 04:10 PM
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Great report BG

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09-14-2006, 07:11 AM
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Great report!

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09-14-2006, 10:32 AM
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Blind Gardien
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montreal View Post
Thanks for the report BG, nicely done!

Just wanted to point out that Martin is already signed with Cincinnati, which may or may not have had something to do with him being invited but the Cyclones signed him and a couple of his teammates.


Edit: Also of note on defense, remember that whoever played on the left side other then St-Denis, was playing out of position. I beleive O'Byrne was paired up at times with Gleed, so one of them had to be playing out of position since both are RD's, although at Cornell they would play on the PK together, but that was the only time O'B played on the left side that I saw or heard of. 7 of the 8 defensemen were RD's, which in it's self is odd to see so many righties.
That's a really good point, and it might additionally explain why the defense looked especially disorganised in the first game. They didn't have a lot of time to practise or prepare heading into this tournament either, so I can readily imagine that it would have been very difficult for some of them to adjust.

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09-14-2006, 10:45 AM
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Nice work, BG, well written, too. Thanks for the insights.

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09-14-2006, 10:54 AM
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thanks BG great report.

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09-14-2006, 10:55 AM
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Excellent job BG, a pleasure to read.

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09-14-2006, 10:59 AM
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Compliments on the report and thank you for putting in the time to research, organize, and write it.

I still have the feeling that Chipchura's A grade is meant for someone who is destined for the third or fourth line.

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09-14-2006, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teufelsdreck View Post
I still have the feeling that Chipchura's A grade is meant for someone who is destined for the third or fourth line.
I honestly cannot see the 4th line in his ultimate future. Or, if somehow it is, it would have to be due to some as-yet-unknowable disaster/injury befalling him and reducing his potential. Well, either that or we are going to have one helluva star-studded lineup.

And then if he is going to top out as a 3rd liner, my inkling is that he's going to be one helluvan elite one. Like in the days when people might have said that Gainey or Carbo were technically on the "3rd" line... although their impact and importance to the team was actually much higher than that of some other players on the "1st" or "2nd" lines.

Hopefully I'm not jinxing Chipchura in any way with my worshipful view of his play, because after all, I haven't been as thrilled with a Habs prospect since... Terry Ryan.

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09-14-2006, 11:36 AM
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With Chipchura comes the Higgins debate all over again. I feel lots of people just ignore Chipchura's offensive skills simply because he has elite shutdown abilities. Wouldn't you want your 2nd line center to be very responsible defensively? Haven't we learned anything with Higgins?

Chipchura IMO has enough playmaking skills to become a 2nd line center, probably a great one too considering he would complement our more peripheral / offensive minded wingers perfectly. I have complete confidence in Chipchura one day becoming a 1st or 2nd line center who can dominate physically, win key faceoffs and be the defensive conscience on his line while still being able to keep up with very skilled guys.

Chipchura has looked great alongside everybody he's played with so far, including Latendresse and Kostitsyn. There's no reason to think this will somehow change at the NHL level especially considering he missed quite a bit of development with repeated injuries, so we can assume there is still room to grow.

When you have as much hockey sense as Chipchura does you can often compensate fairly easily for a lack of elite hands or skating skills. A guy who can both outsmart and overpower the opposition has a place on a 1st or 2nd line in my book, no matter how slow footed or stone handed he might look to some.

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09-14-2006, 11:46 AM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munchausen View Post
With Chipchura comes the Higgins debate all over again. I feel lots of people just ignore Chipchura's offensive skills simply because he has elite shutdown abilities. Wouldn't you want your 2nd line center to be very responsible defensively? Haven't we learned anything with Higgins?

Chipchura IMO has enough playmaking skills to become a 2nd line center, probably a great one too considering he would complement our more peripheral / offensive minded wingers perfectly. I have complete confidence in Chipchura one day becoming a 1st or 2nd line center who can dominate physically, win key faceoffs and be the defensive conscience on his line while still being able to keep up with very skilled guys.

Chipchura has looked great alongside everybody he's played with so far, including Latendresse and Kostitsyn. There's no reason to think this will somehow change at the NHL level especially considering he missed quite a bit of development with repeated injuries, so we can assume there is still room to grow.

When you have as much hockey sense as Chipchura does you can often compensate fairly easily for a lack of elite hands or skating skills. A guy who can both outsmart and overpower the opposition has a place on a 1st or 2nd line in my book, no matter how slow footed or stone handed he might look to some.
And then what Munchausen just said basically reflects my optimistic belief in what Chipchura will top out as in the NHL.

I probably would be too scared to say something like "I have complete confidence" with regards to that belief, but then, I'm a pretty wishy-washy sort of guy in general, and most of the time I guard my "complete confidences" quite closely in my old age.

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