Posts Tagged ‘David Desharnais’

It’s time to put up or shut up for the Cincinnati Cyclones. The ‘Clones are currently 6-7-0-3 for 15pts, which puts them squarely at the bottom of the North Division, not to mention the Eastern Conference as a whole. Sure, the Boys have played the fewest games in the League, but even in a perfect world where they win the 10 games in hand, they still won’t have as many points as Division leader Chicago with 26 games played.

The remainder of December will see the Cyclones play 9 games, all against North Division opponents; facing Chicago twice, Toledo 3 times and Kalamazoo 4 times. Given the current record against the North Division it’s a scary stretch for the squad. The Cyclones have played well, often carrying the tempo of the game, but it hasn’t translated to wins and while the ‘Clones might be a better team than say Toledo, Chicago and perhaps even Kalamazoo, those teams hold a key advantage over the Cyclones right now. They believe they are going to win when the puck drops. The next 9 games gives the Boys a chance to turn that around and climb up the standings. In our eyes anything less than 6-3 over the next nine games has to be considered a disappointment. It’s time to put the all the excuses about being a young team and roster moves in the past and put 60 minute efforts together.

While the next 9 games aren’t going to put the Cyclones in the playoffs,  but they could make it very hard for the ‘Clones to battle for playoff position down the stretch.

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Defensive question marks…

The Cyclones have been doing a great job of keeping Their opponents shot totals down. However, as we’ve had a chance to watch more games we’ve come to the conclusion that is has less to do with the D-zone play as it does Their offensive zone game and forecheck. The Boys are doing an excellent job of keeping the puck deep in the opposition’s end of the ice and even when not in possession of the puck the forecheck has been clogging the neutral zone and creating turnovers to get the Boys back on the puck. It’s when the opposition gets offensive zone possession that things get scary; the Cyclones have a hard time regaining puck control and breaking out. Whenever the opposition makes their way into the Cyclones’ zone it usually ends up as a quality scoring chance.

Turning on the offense…

The offense has starting coming together but there are still some things we don’t like. The transition play is great, at least from the neutral zone forward, and the offensive zone sets are starting to mix the point shots  through traffic with working the puck from the corners to the front of the net but everything comes off the left side. If we had a $5 bill for every shot taken from the left faceoff circle we’d be very close to retiring. We’ve always like the “overload” system but the Cyclones but at some point the puck needs to get reversed. Reversing the puck from one side to the other makes the goalie move and oftentimes causes an offensive player to get lost by the defensive coverage.

Specialty slump…

Since out last post the special teams have slipped a bit. Both power play and penalty kill units are ranked middle of the pack. The power play has dropped to 19% and the penalty kill has dipped to 81%. Those are respectable but they aren’t going to win you a lot of games. In out last post we brought back Chuck Weber’s special teams formula and since that post the total has dropped to an even 100%, which as described last post, probably isn’t going to win very many games but probably shouldn’t lose too many either.

Koger gets his shot…

The Cyclones resident Hungarian got a call to the AHL where he’ll join the St. John’s Ice Caps. Daniel was a player we had earmarked as a game changer early on. It was just a matter of him getting used to the smaller North American rinks. He got off to a slow start but over the last few weeks he gave Cyclones’ fans a look at what he has to offer. He’s got good size and has proven he can play the more physical North American game. So far he’s logged one game with the Ice Caps with no points to show for it, but if he can play with similar form to what he had the last few games with the ‘Clones there’s no reason to think he won’t be there awhile.

Have we seen this before…

In 2007-2008 the Cyclones had a wee fellow by the name of David Desharnais. The year the Cyclones find themselves with a player of similar stature, Anthony Luciani. We’re not going to say that Anthony is the 2nd coming of the Wee Wonder, but we see some similarities in their games. Anthony has some solid puck skills, as we saw illustrated by his backhand, top shelf game winner the other night against Greenville. The question is if Anthony can develop the body control and vision to excel the way David did.

Calling in the Cavalry…

Over the past few weeks the Cyclones have had to deal with a very thing roster. We’ve seen Mike Liambas play defense, and perform well we might add, and well as numerous FNGs from the SPHL and FHL. While not being game breakers, Jeremy Klaver, Tyler Fletcher, Justin Barr, Berkley Scott and Kevin Swider performed suitably in their call ups. As the Cyclones head into this rough North Division stretch reinforcements from San Antonio in the form of Joe Devin, Garrett Wilson and, for the first time this season, Angelo Esposito. The three should provide some extra offensive punch over a stretch of games when goal scoring will be needed.

And then there were two…

After an what seemed like an eternity of waiting the Cyclones finally have 2 affiliated net minders which can be utilized. Chet Pickard has played well to start the season and there’s no reason to think that won’t continue but let’s face it, he was going to need some rest at some point. Enter Brian Foster. The fans pick as 2010-2011 MVP made his was to Cincinnati from San Antonio and got his first start last Saturday against Dean Stork’s Road Warriors. We’ll be honest, perhaps it was the travel, but Foster didn’t look sharp in the 6-5 victory. We’ll be keeping an eye on how Skalde utilizes the two net minders.

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About a month ago I suggested the Cyclones would need to win about 60% of Their games from here on out and getting to .500 by the All Star break would be a good start. Well, the All Star break has come and gone, the Cyclones sit at .500 (17-17-7, 41pts) which is good enough for 8th in the Conference. The downside is that They are in a playoff position technically but are really on the outside looking in. The 2 teams chasing the Cyclones are the Kalamazoo Wings (40pts) and the Toledo Walleye (39pts), both of which have 2 games in hand on the Cyclones.

To make matters worse, it wasn’t that long ago when the Cyclones had 3 game series with Division leading Wheeling which could have flipped the standings. Instead the Cyclones won just 1 of the 3 games getting out scored 15 to 7 in the process.

The Cyclones have 31 games remaining, in order to reach the 75+ points which will probably be required to make the playoffs They will have to earn roughly 40pts. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for error.

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It wouldn’t be a season…if the Cyclones didn’t play the South Carolina Stingrays at some point. That’s exactly what the Cyclones will get this weekend as the ‘Rays come to town for a 3 game series. The rivalry, which dates back to the 07-08 season, usually takes place in the post season but with the post season in question for the Cyclones, the series will be a good test for the Cyclones moxie. The Sting Rays currently sit in 5th place in the Conference, 11 points clear of the Cyclones.

Lip Service…If you attend the Cyclones Coach’s Show or listen to Nick Brunker’s pregame segments you’ve heard things like “we’re built to win close games,” and “when we come out strong and make things difficult…” come from the Coach’s and players’ mouths. The problem is, all to often the Cyclones give up early goals and play soft in Their own zone and the game is out of reach. Until there is a hard effort on a consistent basis for 60 minutes They will continue to struggle.

Roster Changes…Over the past few games the Cyclones have seen a few new faces join the line up. First, Chase Watson came over in a trade from Trenton. Then David Sloane finally rejoined the team after spending the bulk of the season on IR. Also, in the midst of call ups and suspensions Jon Higgins and Tyler Fletcher joined the squad.

Watson, who was acquired from Trenton for the dreaded future consideration has performed admirably in his 1st 3 games with the Club posting 1 goal and 2 assists for 3 points.

Sloane, who spent most of the season on IR was a guy that CycWords had high hopes for. Unfortunately, he failed to live up to expectations and has since been released.

Higgins and Fletcher where both called up from Knoxville of the SPHL mostly to fill ins. Both were serviceable but have since been released.

Speaking of call ups…Dylan Hunter has been up in Milwaukee for some time and I don’t think he’ll be back anytime soon. With Jamie Lundmark leaving the Nashville organization for Europe there should be a semi permanent spot in the Admirals line up for Hunter.

Cyclones All Star Brian O’Hanley spent some time in Rochester prior to the ECHL All Star break where he notched his first AHL goal.

Former Cyclone Chris Mueller made his NHL debut shortly after we put him on out Christmas list. He tallied his 1st NHL point January 16th against the Chicago Blackhawks. He notched 2 more on the 18th in helping JP Dumont log a hat trick.

Catching up the success of current and former Cyclones wouldn’t be complete with mentioning David Desharnais and Cedrick Desjardins. Desharnais tallied his 1st NHL goal on January 12th against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Desjardins was called up to Tampa Bay over Christmas, mostly to get some NHL level practice in. When Tampa’s back up goalie was injured it opened the door for Cedrick to dress for the Lightning. Ceddy would ultimately play in back to back games, winning them both. His 1st NHL win came against the Montreal Canadiens.

2 Return…When the Cyclones take the ice tonight against the Sting Rays They will have the services of Ryan Del Monte and Adam Comrie. Del Monte returns after playing 15 games with Worchester. His grittiness is something the Cyclones could really use right now. Adam Comrie, returns from a brief call up to Rochester.

There could be more help on the way…Nashville has reassigned Chris Muller and Matt Halischuk to Milwaukee. The Preds are inactive until after the NHL All Star break so this is most likely a short term assignment. However, if it is long term it could send someone out way. We’ll keep and eye on it and report if we hear anything further.

 

-Mike-

Now three exciting weeks into the 2010-11 season, we’d like to start what hopes to  be a weekly catch-up with some Cyclones alumni now playing elsewhere. Have a request? Let us know!

– 2010 Kelly Cup co-MVP Robert Mayer was thrown into the fire as the starter in Hamilton, and has become the Bulldogs’ starting goaltender in the absence of starter Curtis Sanford, out with a larynx fracture. Mayer is 3-2-0-1 with a 2.94 GAA and 0.878 SPCT. He should return soon to the backup position as Sanford returns.

– 2008 phenom David Desharnais has not lost a step and has picked up where he left off last year; in 7 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs, he has 3-7-10, good for 12th in the AHL.

– 2008 Cup MVP Cedrick Desjardins is 2-2 with Norfolk with a 2.02 GAA and 0.922 SPCT. After an offseason trade he has settled into the Tampa system as their #3 goaltender. And look how much he’s grown up!

– The little big guy, Jean-Michel Daoust, is now with the Houston Aeros after signing a two-way with the Minnesota Wild in the offseason. He has five points through seven games.

Dustin Sproat has 5-12-17 through 15 games with Nottingham (England) — and 35 penalty minutes?

– 2002-03 forward and Miami product Evan Cheverie – brother of current goaltender Marc Cheverie – has 16 points in 14 games with Lillehammer (Norway).

-Dannielle

– Although it was never a looming possibility, there is one more team to mark off the Chuck Watch map: Hamilton. The Canadiens have hired Randy Cunneyworth and Randy Ladouceur to be the head and assistant coaches (respectively) of the Hamilton Bulldogs this fall. Cunneyworth was formerly the head coach of the Rochester Americans, who are still in search of a head coach. According to Kevin Oklobzija of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, things seem to be at a relative standstill on the Amerks side of things. The other two AHL openings remaining are Binghamton and Springfield.

– Per the Canadiens’ official page, four former Cyclones have re-signed one-year two-way deals: David Desharnais, Cedrick Desjardins, Ryan Russell, and JT Wyman. Wyman, 24, and Desharnais, 23, made their NHL debut with Montreal last season. Wyman, who saw limited action with the Cyclones in 2008-09 in an attempt to convert the winger to a defenseman, had a strong season for the Hamilton Bulldogs, earning himself a 3 game call up, and played his debut against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Desharnais enjoyed a six game stint with the Habs, tallying an assist. He jumped immediately to the AHL after his outstanding 2008 season, putting together 58 and 78 point seasons back to back with Hamilton. His 78 points broke the Bulldogs’ single-season point record held by Jason Chimera. Desjardins and Russell have been limited to AHL duty, but have seen great success in their two seasons apiece. Desjardins, 24, the 2008 Kelly Cup MVP, shared the 2010 Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award with teammate Curtis Sanford, awarded to the goaltending tandem owning the lowest goals against average. Russell, 23, has scored 39 goals in 153 games in the last two years and was a combined +43. He scored the shorthanded overtime game winning goal for the Cyclones in game 5 of the American Conference finals to send them on to the Kelly Cup Finals where they would ultimately win in 6 games. According to Capgeek, all four will make league minimum at the NHL level, and between 60,000 and 65,000 with the Bulldogs.

Reports out of Montréal are that yet another Weber product — David Desharnais, 2007-08 Winner of All Things Shiny — has been recalled to the Canadiens. He’s the second one in as many days.

Montreal and Nashville’s rookie camp rosters have finally hit the web, and quite a few familiar faces will be making their way to their respective clubs.

MONTREAL: Among the 29 players to hit the ice in Brossard, Quebec with the Habs on September 7th are former league MVP David Desharnais, 2008 American Conference-clinching goal scorer Ryan Russell, 2008 Kelly Cup MVP Cedrick Desjardins, and forward/defenseman JT Wyman. [Full roster here.] Other names of note: Dany Masse & Robert Mayer. Masse, 21, is a QMJHL graduate who had 110 points in 68 games with Drummondville last year, before an injury knocked him out of the postseason. He isn’t expected to spend much time in Cincinnati, but could see some action early on while making up for lost time after missing this summer’s Canadiens prospect camp. Mayer, 19, went 26-25-4 (.900, 3.25) with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL. The way the Canadiens’ depth chart looks, if Halak is not moved before the season, he could factor to be the fifth goaltender in the system and could see action in Cincinnati.

NASHVILLE: The Predators open their rookie camp up on September 8th with quite a few familiar names — ’08 Cup winner Ryan Maki, ’09 playoff point-per-game man Ian McKenzie, 26-goal-scorer Mark Van Guilder, as well Mark Santorelli and defenseman Mark Matheson who saw limited action in Cincinnati. They travel to Duluth, GA to battle the Atlanta rookies on September 14 & 15. [Full roster here.] Notable names: Jeremy Smith and Chet Pickard. Mark Dekanich split time in net with Drew MacIntyre in Milwaukee, but with the departure of MacIntyre to Atlanta, it appears to be between Pickard and Smith to fight for the second spot, with the other seeing time in Cincinnati. Smith, 20, went 15-18-5 with Niagara and Plymouth of the OHL, while Pickard went 35-12-3 with the Tri-City Americans of the WHL. Chances are, Smith will make an appearance in Cincinnati if Pickard’s success translates to the professional ranks.

–Dannielle

Former Cyclones on the d’camp roster for Montreal this year:

David Desharnais
Ryan Russell
JT Wyman

(Full roster here.)

Not many, but a few notable names (Desharnais & Russell) at least. As for Montreal’s in-camp goalie selection, I wouldn’t get too excited, they have five goaltenders on the roster, all under the age of 20. The odds of seeing one are probably slim. Montreal’s not overly deep in goal, so it may be a free agent goaltender kind of year in Cincinnati. At any rate, I’ll keep an eye on the reports out of d-camp, you never know what could be headed our way come October.

–Dannielle