Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Early Returns

Sure its early and what can you tell when the opposition includes guys from Making the Cut, Rudy and pity picks but you can still take something from what has been going on.

- the idea of Sykora at centre is one I had thought about this summer and I like it - would you rather have Horc/Stoll/Reasoner/MAP up the middle and then a loaded right wing (or Lupul on the left) or Horc/Sykora/Stoll/Reasoner; yep I thought so

- the vets have come to camp ready to play and that is a good sign

- Roloson appears to be fine

- both young goalies have looked very good in their first appearance from all accounts

- Schremp has been on the scoresheet for the most part but as expected has been lost in his own end - he's going to get sent down and that's ok - probably best for him in the long run

- MAP has not impressed although it is early and with Sykora at centre he may be heading down anyway, first to come up for injury - last year was his first as a pro - he has to play and hanging around in the pressbox is going to do him little good

- Gilbert has gotten the early notice; good for him and we'll see how he does as the competition stiffens

- Thoreson - see Gilbert but in Pleasure Motors' recap he notes one of many things in Patrick's favour - he knows his way around his end of the rink; add to that the fact that he has some skill and a little grit by the sounds of it and I think he's a darkhorse (maybe not so dark) to make the fourth line if he keeps keeping on

Interesting to note that MacT said no courtesy games this year and good for him - the young guys should be ready to play. With three lines set and Reasoner the fourth line centre that leaves four spots.

Pencil in Peterson as one - why else do you bring him in if not to fill the Todd Harvey role.

Winchester, Jacques, Thoreson and Mikhnov are the guys with the inside track, I think. Winchester is working hard to impress and while I think he's tradebait he makes good sense because he's a guy you can sit. Its not like they're going to send him down to work on his game. Its Jani Rita time for him.

If Thoreson keeps it up I think they have to keep him but of course they don't have to do anything. We'll see - I think its between he and Mikhnov for that last spot (I think Jacques is in) and it will be their play against tougher lineups that will determine who stays or goes.

As for the D - Heyda, Smid and Gilbert for the last two spots. My guess is Heyda gets one - it makes no sense to sit either of the kids in the pressbox so Heyda starts as the number seven guy.


Anonymous said...

This D is patchwork until all teams figure out what they have and a deal is made. I think the quickest decision can be made on Hejda. If he can make it over here, he is the only one that I see having a chance of being an okay #4 D before Christmas out of the 3 you pick plus Bergeron, but he has to play to get there. I really think that he could be sent down early to squeeze 12 games worth of minutes into 10 AHL games. Syvret could end up sitting some more.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Syvret as the 7th - hmm - makes some sense but he's just in his second year pro as well.

I just hate seeing youngsters in the pressbox. Its pointless.

Your point on Hejda is well taken but i guess it depends on whether they see him in that role. I think we might see Bergeron get top four minutes early or Greene - to see if either can handle it/make the jump.

And if Bergeron can't that might be it for him here.

Anonymous said...

Yes, agreed. After I responded, I realized that I had overlooked Greene.

Surely they did not wiggle Hejda out of Buffalo to be another face in the crowd for the last pair. They have several players who could use those soft minutes, but nobody to help with the hard ones. He is on a 2-way and would have to play his way back up - totally different for a 28 year-old with his experience than the kids. He would be taking a pay-cut over what he left back home and he has to believe that he has the inside track to the big club over the kids. Nothing wrong with making him prove it with the meter running. (I think that I have just convinced myself that this is the right thing for Lowe to do with Mr. Hejda.)

Yes, Sykora makes Bergeron's primary attraction redundant this year. The good news is that there is always a market for his skill set and he is signed through next year so they should get something in return if he is moved.

Big T said...


Bergeron signed through next year??? He's signed a deal with Lowe for what seems like the next 15 years. The trick in getting something back for him will be getting someone to overlook his size and just look at his point totals. Does Doug Maclean have anything interesting over in Columbus... he's our guy.


Anonymous said...

MacLean's everyone's guy. He sure could teach that punk Zherdev a lesson by shipping him to Lauren Pronger's hell!