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Old
12-07-2011, 03:39 PM
  #751
Polaris
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Just to add to the pile of questions, I'm wondering where my fellow Blues fans see McRae slotting into the lineup next season, if at all?

He's leading the Rivermen with 13 goals (although Sterling has 12 in five less games), which means he has already surpassed his goal total from last season. He has also elevated his PPG clip compared to last season (from 0.56 to 0.65 or so). In his call-up last season, he seemed to excel at times at faceoffs, but I can't seem to find his AHL faceoff percentage.

Can he perhaps replace Arnott in the lineup next season as the third line center? It seems like a perfect place for his skillset, especially if he's as decent at faceoffs as I'm assuming.

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12-07-2011, 03:46 PM
  #752
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Just to add to the pile of questions, I'm wondering where my fellow Blues fans see McRae slotting into the lineup next season, if at all?

He's leading the Rivermen with 13 goals (although Sterling has 12 in five less games), which means he has already surpassed his goal total from last season. He has also elevated his PPG clip compared to last season (from 0.56 to 0.65 or so). In his call-up last season, he seemed to excel at times at faceoffs, but I can't seem to find his AHL faceoff percentage.

Can he perhaps replace Arnott in the lineup next season as the third line center? It seems like a perfect place for his skillset, especially if he's as decent at faceoffs as I'm assuming.
I think McRae can be the third-line center next year. Hard to see that Arnott has much left in the tank for another season.

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12-07-2011, 03:54 PM
  #753
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Can he perhaps replace Arnott in the lineup next season as the third line center? It seems like a perfect place for his skillset, especially if he's as decent at faceoffs as I'm assuming.
Possibly, but it will depend more on his defense than his offense. Personally I think they'll work him in with relatively sheltered 4th line C duties and let his play dictate his minutes from there. Sobotka will probably start as the #3 C.

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Old
12-07-2011, 04:18 PM
  #754
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Possibly, but it will depend more on his defense than his offense. Personally I think they'll work him in with relatively sheltered 4th line C duties and let his play dictate his minutes from there. Sobotka will probably start as the #3 C.
Yeah, McRae will definitely be eased into the lineup. He is great at faceoffs, so he could become our ace and take situational faceoffs. Start out on the 4th until he proves he should get more playing time. He'd probably get some PP time because of his faceoff ability, which would make a huge difference by keeping possession right off the faceoff, which we have trouble with.

He also struggled to score at the start of the season, so his point production has really improved. I think he could end up with 30 goals and 60 points, which would be a huge improvement.

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12-07-2011, 04:54 PM
  #755
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Here's my thoughts:

Allen: I've seen him play several times this year and its hard to point to the issue. Recall that he was the #1 AHL goalie stat-wise the 1st half of last season, then faded in the 2nd half. He's now just starting the way he ended last season. IMHO, he wasn't as good as his stats showed early last year, but still overall good.

What I see this season is that he's overplaying the shot; ie being out of position after a shot, too much motion or poor angles. Don't see weakness like glove or 5-hole...most goals seem to be those scrambles around the net or on odd man breaks where he has rarely made the big save. Confidence, right now is likely the key issue. Bishop has looked much more calm and confident. Not giving up on Allen at all. He's shown he can win at this level.

Ponich: not much change since last post on him. He's playing bottom pairing so not getting tons of ice time. Plays on PK and seems to do well. Just don't notice him much, which is ok, but those with NHL talent tend to stand out. Still time though.

McRae: slow start to season, but has really picked up his game. Has had about everyone as linemates like Sonne and Peluso recently, so don't be surprised his assists are low. He has made some great drives to the net (Erik Cole like), making d-men look bad, but not sure that will work at the next level. He has stood out as NHL material to me (speed better than expected). Don't know about face-offs as I never seen that stat kept for AHL. We seem to lose 90% of draws, so no one has made a good impression on me at least.

Cheechoo: just confirming what has been said for several years now, he still has the heart and the hands, but dang he is slow.

pleasent surprises: Fairchild, Peluso (more fights + better hockey)
disappointing: Allen, Cundari, Cheechoo a bit, as he couldn't hang with the 1st line

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12-07-2011, 05:34 PM
  #756
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby Blues View Post
Here's my thoughts:

Allen: I've seen him play several times this year and its hard to point to the issue. Recall that he was the #1 AHL goalie stat-wise the 1st half of last season, then faded in the 2nd half. He's now just starting the way he ended last season. IMHO, he wasn't as good as his stats showed early last year, but still overall good.

What I see this season is that he's overplaying the shot; ie being out of position after a shot, too much motion or poor angles. Don't see weakness like glove or 5-hole...most goals seem to be those scrambles around the net or on odd man breaks where he has rarely made the big save. Confidence, right now is likely the key issue. Bishop has looked much more calm and confident. Not giving up on Allen at all. He's shown he can win at this level.

Ponich: not much change since last post on him. He's playing bottom pairing so not getting tons of ice time. Plays on PK and seems to do well. Just don't notice him much, which is ok, but those with NHL talent tend to stand out. Still time though.

McRae: slow start to season, but has really picked up his game. Has had about everyone as linemates like Sonne and Peluso recently, so don't be surprised his assists are low. He has made some great drives to the net (Erik Cole like), making d-men look bad, but not sure that will work at the next level. He has stood out as NHL material to me (speed better than expected). Don't know about face-offs as I never seen that stat kept for AHL. We seem to lose 90% of draws, so no one has made a good impression on me at least.

Cheechoo: just confirming what has been said for several years now, he still has the heart and the hands, but dang he is slow.

pleasent surprises: Fairchild, Peluso (more fights + better hockey)
disappointing: Allen, Cundari, Cheechoo a bit, as he couldn't hang with the 1st line
Thanks - great report. Fairchild and McRae are having very good seasons.

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12-07-2011, 05:38 PM
  #757
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I'd have a little bit of reservation with McRae taking Arnott's place on the 3rd line in terms of defense, but the reality is Arnott is going to be the 4th line center if folks are all healthy. I've been impressed with Arnott's defense and his opportunism on offense. He shows a lot of hockey sense and experience. McRae would invariably have some rookie growing pains. You have to figure Tarasenko on the 3rd line, too. I'd like to see a bit of experience to balance out that youth.

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12-07-2011, 06:58 PM
  #758
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Originally Posted by 2 Minute Minor View Post
I'd have a little bit of reservation with McRae taking Arnott's place on the 3rd line in terms of defense, but the reality is Arnott is going to be the 4th line center if folks are all healthy. I've been impressed with Arnott's defense and his opportunism on offense. He shows a lot of hockey sense and experience. McRae would invariably have some rookie growing pains. You have to figure Tarasenko on the 3rd line, too. I'd like to see a bit of experience to balance out that youth.
So you're of the opinion that Arnott will be re-signed?

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12-08-2011, 07:19 AM
  #759
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby Blues View Post
Here's my thoughts:

Allen: I've seen him play several times this year and its hard to point to the issue. Recall that he was the #1 AHL goalie stat-wise the 1st half of last season, then faded in the 2nd half. He's now just starting the way he ended last season. IMHO, he wasn't as good as his stats showed early last year, but still overall good.

What I see this season is that he's overplaying the shot; ie being out of position after a shot, too much motion or poor angles. Don't see weakness like glove or 5-hole...most goals seem to be those scrambles around the net or on odd man breaks where he has rarely made the big save. Confidence, right now is likely the key issue. Bishop has looked much more calm and confident. Not giving up on Allen at all. He's shown he can win at this level.

Ponich: not much change since last post on him. He's playing bottom pairing so not getting tons of ice time. Plays on PK and seems to do well. Just don't notice him much, which is ok, but those with NHL talent tend to stand out. Still time though.

McRae: slow start to season, but has really picked up his game. Has had about everyone as linemates like Sonne and Peluso recently, so don't be surprised his assists are low. He has made some great drives to the net (Erik Cole like), making d-men look bad, but not sure that will work at the next level. He has stood out as NHL material to me (speed better than expected). Don't know about face-offs as I never seen that stat kept for AHL. We seem to lose 90% of draws, so no one has made a good impression on me at least.

Cheechoo: just confirming what has been said for several years now, he still has the heart and the hands, but dang he is slow.

pleasent surprises: Fairchild, Peluso (more fights + better hockey)
disappointing: Allen, Cundari, Cheechoo a bit, as he couldn't hang with the 1st line
Faceoff losses is the mist noteable standout on this team. Fairchild is a pleasant surprise and although Pelsuo may be league fighting champ his hockey sense needs to improve. Allen is in a slump and will recover. Funny what you say about Cundari and Cheechoo, in the last 5 games at least, they seem to be the workhorses with the former having moved himself up to top 4 d, probably the most consistent and physical.

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12-08-2011, 10:07 AM
  #760
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 Minute Minor View Post
I'd have a little bit of reservation with McRae taking Arnott's place on the 3rd line in terms of defense, but the reality is Arnott is going to be the 4th line center if folks are all healthy. I've been impressed with Arnott's defense and his opportunism on offense. He shows a lot of hockey sense and experience. McRae would invariably have some rookie growing pains. You have to figure Tarasenko on the 3rd line, too. I'd like to see a bit of experience to balance out that youth.
You might be able to put Tarasenko on a line with Berglund and Perron and have McRae center for Stewart and Steen.

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12-08-2011, 03:45 PM
  #761
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Originally Posted by hardware73 View Post
Faceoff losses is the mist noteable standout on this team. Fairchild is a pleasant surprise and although Pelsuo may be league fighting champ his hockey sense needs to improve. Allen is in a slump and will recover. Funny what you say about Cundari and Cheechoo, in the last 5 games at least, they seem to be the workhorses with the former having moved himself up to top 4 d, probably the most consistent and physical.
On Cundari, he was my biggest positive surprise last season, so expected even more. He did start badly and is now the official whipping boy of the STH around me. Agree he looked better the last couple games.

On Cheechoo, I said "a bit" disappointing as many of us expected him to tear it up on a line with Hensick and Sterling, but he couldn't keep up. Nesbitt moves up in his place and it works. Cheechoo does work hard and gets PP points, but should not be outplayed by Nesbitt.

I thought Peluso would spend time in Alaska this year, but instead has been getting decent ice time and playing better then he has before. So I'm pleased.

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12-08-2011, 05:14 PM
  #762
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Is Ponich playing policeman tough. That is what he needs to do to make it to the NHL. Be a defensice D Man who can body check and make players pay for taking liberties with his teamates.

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12-08-2011, 05:46 PM
  #763
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Is Ponich playing policeman tough. That is what he needs to do to make it to the NHL. Be a defensice D Man who can body check and make players pay for taking liberties with his teamates.
More than all of that, I think he just needs to be able to play solid defense. Be good positionally, prevent shots and chances, and make the simple play to reverse the puck, clear the zone, or get it to his forwards. That's the basic requirement for anyone, regardless of size. So, in order to make it, he has to do that at a high level in the AHL. He could be a very punishing player, but if he can't do that, he has no future in the NHL.

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12-10-2011, 12:22 PM
  #764
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Grachev seems to have done well. Their reporter wrote this:

Bednar on Grachev's 1st game down: "... he was one of our best players. Strong guy, created chances, killed penalties, did everything."


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12-13-2011, 08:00 PM
  #765
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i would have to agree that cheechoo is a workhorse...but definately slow...he is great at setting up plays too

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12-17-2011, 05:44 AM
  #766
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from pjstar.com 12/17

RIVER READINGS: Rivermen rookie defenseman David Shields left the game with what is believed to be a concussion. ... The Rivermen were already without defensemen Jake Gannon (concussion) and Mark Cundari (concussion), winger Jay Barriball (concussion) and center Brett Sonne (concussion). ...

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12-18-2011, 07:37 AM
  #767
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Big Ben with his 3rd shutout of the season in a 2-0 win last night. He is now 12-8-3 with a 2.24 GA and a .930 save %. Impressive.

Fairchild was +2 last night and now is +20 in 26 games. He has far exceeded my expectations.

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12-18-2011, 10:28 PM
  #768
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I just noticed that the Rivermen released Mike Radja back to his ECHL team. Isn't that the same guy who got into a brawl with TJ Oshie in an elevator back in 2008?

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12-18-2011, 11:26 PM
  #769
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I just noticed that the Rivermen released Mike Radja back to his ECHL team. Isn't that the same guy who got into a brawl with TJ Oshie in an elevator back in 2008?
I believe public urination was the charge for the two

http://www.collegehockeynews.com/new...6/24_radja.php

Quote:
The pair had been charged with disorderly conduct, reportedly stemming from public urination in a stuck elevator at Oshie's apartment building. The two were part of a group socializing after their two teams played a game in late December 2007.

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Old
12-19-2011, 12:57 AM
  #770
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I believe public urination was the charge for the two

http://www.collegehockeynews.com/new...6/24_radja.php
Ah, my bad. I always get that story confused, especially since the story came out in bits and pieces and a lot of speculation was thrown around.

Good times though, I'd imagine.

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12-19-2011, 04:16 PM
  #771
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Originally Posted by execwrite View Post
from pjstar.com 12/17

RIVER READINGS: Rivermen rookie defenseman David Shields left the game with what is believed to be a concussion. ... The Rivermen were already without defensemen Jake Gannon (concussion) and Mark Cundari (concussion), winger Jay Barriball (concussion) and center Brett Sonne (concussion). ...
This is getting bad...all concussions. Also read that Ponich is now out with lower-body injury and Peluso didn't play Sat. or Sun. due to injury. If I hear anything new on these 2 I'll post it here.

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12-20-2011, 04:19 PM
  #772
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Is Peluso one of the top heavyweights in the AHL?

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12-20-2011, 04:40 PM
  #773
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Is Peluso one of the top heavyweights in the AHL?
Yes, definitely. He's currently fourth in PIMs. Doesn't lose many.

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12-21-2011, 05:29 AM
  #774
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Some good highlights and Ponich fight.

He is a big boy.

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12-24-2011, 07:52 AM
  #775
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from pjstar.com

He [Jake Allen] struggled mightily in the AHL this season, and hit the Christmas break with a 2-8-1 record, 3.74 goals-against average and .893 saves rate.

But in his last four starts before the break, Allen showed signs of breaking out, posting a 2.56 goals-against with a .932 saves rate while going 1-3 for a Rivermen team whose offense produced just two goals per game.


(Allen is playing in the Spenger Cup tournament in Europe starting Monday.)

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