Posts Tagged ‘Scott Reynolds’

February was supposed to be moving month for the Cyclones. It was a month that would see them play 12 games in total, 10 of which would be at home. The Boys started the month 2 games above .500 (19-17-7) and battling for a playoff position and despite Their struggles at home this season there was no reason to think the Boys wouldn’t be making a move up the rankings. It wasn’t to be however as the Cyclones would post a .500 (5-5-2) for the month and finish right where they started, 2 games above .500 (24-22-9).

It all started innocently enough with an OT loss to South Carolina. It was a game the Cyclones probably should have won after leading 2-1 into the later stages of the 3rd period but take 5 of a possible 6 points from the South Carolina was a good sign. The wheels came off the bus in the next 2 games against Wheeling. The Nailers handed the Cyclones a 6-3 loss followed by a 6-3 loss. Then came the trades…several of them.

We’ll dive into the trades a little later but if you’re keeping score at home here is how it all went down. On February 7th the Cyclones acquired Paul McIlveen from Greenville for Chris Clackson. Then, not but 3 days later on the 10th, the Cyclones sent Sam D’Agostino and Christiaan Minella to Wheeling for Casey Pierro-Zabotel. Before the ink could even dry on the Pierro-Zabotel deal, Skalde acquired Samson Mahbod and Dan Eves from South Carolina in return for Ryan Del Monte. Things settled down until the end of the month when the Cyclones were required to send Paul McIlveen to Utah to complete the “future considerations” portion of the trade that brought Dylan Hunter to Cincinnati, er Milwaukee as the case may be (definitely more on this one later).

After the player swaps the over all play picked up and the Good Guys went 5-3-1 over the remaining 9 games. The can’t be considered a disappointment by any means, but it was a month that saw the ‘Clones leave some points on the table, as well as give some up to Division rivals like Kalamazoo.

And now on to the trades…

Clackson for McIlveen This was a big upgrade for the Cyclones. Clackson has a gritty, chippy nature to his game but in all honesty that’s about all he has. He isn’t a skilled offensive player and he’s average in his own zone. Basically, he’s that type of player Skalde already has a lot of…a grinder. McIlveen brought some more speed and offensive skill to the Cyclones. He is also a responsible defensively.

D’Agostino and Minella for Pierro-ZabotelThis trade wasn’t very popular as both D’Agostino and Minella young, solid ECHL level players, but fan favorites as well. D’Agostino is one of the quicker players the team has seen in a while and Minella brings energy and a natural physicality to his game. It was enjoyable to watch their games grow as the season progressed. The downside with the two is that their usage is limited. Neither Sam nor Christiaan saw extended power play or penalty kill time. This made the top 5 forwards see a lot of minutes and could have contributed to some the break downs that lead to late goals. Enter Pierro-Zabotel. Casey has the potential to be a game changing player. He brings plenty of offensive skill to the Squad, but more importantly, is proving to be responsible defensively. There were rumors out of Wheeling questioning his work ethic, but we haven’t seen anything in his game to raise any questions of this sort. Casey is strong on face offs and is capable of playing power play penalty kill minutes. Basically he adds quality and skill to the Cyclones cadre of forwards. Sam and Christiaan could have made for good building blocks for next season and it has disappointing to see them go, but solid ECHL level roll players like Christiaan and Sam aren’t that hard to find in the off season while players of Casey’s quality are and in the culture of the ECHL where contracts for players and coaches are typically 1 year deals, there is a lot of pressure to win now. There is no doubt the Cyclones are a better team with Casey on the Squad. We wish Sam and Christiaan the best of luck wherever their careers land them. Thanks for all your hardwork guys.

Ryan Del Monte for Samson Mahbod and Dan EvesAfter making the 2 for 1 deal for Pierro-Zabotel, and with a few of the guys a little nicked up, Skalde found his bench a little on the short side so in a move that was slightly reminiscent of sending Voakes (who was injured for much of the year) out West for Mathieu Aubin, Skalde stuck a deal with South Carolina sending Del Monte to the Stingrays in return for Dan Eves and Samson Mahbod. In the end this deal benefits the Cyclones pretty well. Mahbod’s fills the void left by the loss of D’Agostino, in fact he’s probably a step faster and has better hands. Mahbod Averaged more than a point per year through 5 seasons of play in the QMJHL. He’s bounced around in his first pro year, but has shown signs of what his potential could be putting up 20 points in 32 games. Eves brings in size and energy to replace what was lost when Minella was dealt. Eves is a 3rd year pro who had break out year last season for Trenton putting up 45 points in 59 games but has struggled to reach that pace this season. We were big fans of Del Monte’s game here on CycWords but let’s face it, he saw limited action with the Cyclones due to AHL opportunities and all indications where he would be getting more opportunities at that level. Essentially, the Squad was able to add to decent players for Del Monte who was a question mark on the season, not because of his play on the ice but because we were never sure if he’d be with the Team or in the AHL for a spell.

McIlveen fulfills “future considerations”This is the one that has the fan base screaming, unfortunately it was up to Utah and it could have been a lot worse. Over the summer, the Nashville Predators traded Ian McKenzie to Atlanta for defenseman Grant Lewis. Ok, no big deal there, but it created the need for Nashville/Milwaukee to add a depth forward and Dylan Hunter was the guy they wanted. The catch was Dylan Hunter’s player rights belonged to the Utah Grizzlies so the deal had to be made at the ECHL level. It’s our understanding, here at CycWords, that the Cyclones where basically asked to make the deal by Nashville/Milwaukee. The Cyclones ship Brett Motherwell off to Utah, done deal right? Sorry, Motherwell had all but signed an AHL deal with Bridgeport and Utah knew there was a high likelihood that Motherwell would never see time in a Grizzlies sweater, so they ask to have “future considerations” added to the deal. This is where the proceedings get ugly. From what we’ve been told, the deal stipulated that Utah would get a forward. The player could not be affiliated and the Cyclones could protect 2 of their non-affiliated players. The player that Utah wanted was Mathieu Aubin, luckily he impressed enough in his stint with Lake Erie that they wanted to keep him close and signed him to a deal. The Cyclones probably pushed for a cash buyout ot some point but Utah wouldn’t have it. They also inquired in to Dustin Sproat and Barret Ehgoetz. Skalde knew that Egho probably wouldn’t have reported and felt Sproat was just too important to the Squad so those 2 were protected. Apparently the deal was close to being completed shortly after McIlveen was acquired but Utah balked. Apparently the AHL deal Aubin signed raised some eyebrows and Utah wanted to get verification that Reynolds, Pierce and Robinson were indeed done for the year, feeling that we had put them on long term IR to protect them. In the end, McIlveen was the top performing, unaffiliated forward so that’s who they took.

The whole deal was a mess from the beginning and Skalde feels the deal could lead to some changes to the CBA to create structure to what “future considerations” are to keep things fair for all parties. Here’s the issue at hand; sure Motherwell never played for Utah, but there was a chance that Hunter could have stuck with Milwaukee from the beginning, never seeing time with the Cyclones. If this had been the case, the Cyclones would have still owed Utah a player. How is this a fair deal? As it stands, Hunter has seen limited time with the Cyclones due to assignment in Milwaukee, so how is fair for Utah to expect one of the Teams top forwards in return?

To conclude, it’s our understanding that the deal was created by Nashville/Milwaukee to fill their needs. Also, had the deal gone down a week or so earlier as was expected, McIlveen would have seen only limited action with the Cyclones and his loss wouldn’t seem so bad. Essentially the Cyclones gave up Chris Clackson, who is actually affiliated with Rochester, to fulfill the deal with Utah.

In other news…

The NHL trade deadline has brought another player to the Squad. The Florida Panthers had some dealings with the Washington Capitals and acquired the rights to Jake Hauswirth. Hauswirth is a big kid, 6’5” 205lbs and from what I recall from out games against the Stingrays he skates pretty well and should be a solid edition to the Squad.

Monday, March 7th is Clear Day for the AHL. We’ll have more information on Clear Day in an upcoming post.

The ECHL trade deadline is Friday, March 11th.

-Mike-

 

 

 

 

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It’s moving month, or month and a half as the case may be for the Cyclones. The next 6 weeks will see them play the bulk of Their remaining home games, all but wrap up Their season series with current North Division leading Wheeling and see South Division opponents South Carolina, Florida and Greenville come through USBA. While the Cyclones will have a very busy March, it will be the next 6 weeks that will see the Cyclones either solidify Their playoff hopes or slip to find themselves on the outside looking in.

Here are my thoughts and some other tidbits to chew on:

On Pace…Last update I suggested that the Cyclones would need to win roughly 60% of Their games the rest of the way in order to make the playoffs and getting above .500 before the All Star break would be a good start. The ‘Clones have won 5 of 7 since the start of 2011 which puts them at 16-14-7 for 39pts and .527 win percentage. It’s a good start but with 4 Divisional games left before the break anything can happen, but I like the trend.

Home Cooking…If that trend is going to continue after the break the Cyclones are going to have to improve at home. They are currently just 6-9-2 at home. That’s not good and with 11 of the next 14 games taking place at USBA over the next 6 weeks, if the Boys can’t improve at home they’ll have quite an uphill battle ahead of them in March.

Raising the Bar…When the Cyclones headed to Florida for the 3 game set I would have been happy had the Boys just managed 3 or 4 points from one of the League’s more potent offenses. Instead, the ‘Clones came away with 6 points and more impressively, held the Everblade offense to just 2.3 goals per game, which is almost a full point less than their season average. Had the Cyclones not allowed 5 goals against in the 3rd game of the series, that average would have been much better. While Florida isn’t the most difficult team to game plan for, their roster is loaded with some of the most skilled guys in the league, the 3 wins against that kind of lineup show what the Cyclones are capable of when the coaching staff gets it right and the players execute for 60 minutes.

Best of 3…Coming off a 3 game sweep of the Everblades, the Cyclones returned home for a date with Kalamazoo before entering into a big 3 game set with the Nailers. The Cyclones kept Their momentum rolling with a scrappy OT win against the K-wings setting things up for the Nailers. Unfortunately, for the nearly 6000 in attendance, after playing nearly 12 consecutive periods of solid hockey, the Cyclones got nailed. Before the game was even 8 minutes old, the Cyclones found Themselves in a 3-0 hole. After a goalie swap the Cyclones battled back thanks to a 2 goal effort from Brady Calla but the 3-0 hole was too much to overcome.

I didn’t get a chance to watch game 2 of the series at Wheeling but it sounded like a rather balanced match, once again showing that when the Boys play the way They need to They can play with and beat just about anyone.

With only a handful of games left against the Division leaders, it makes Tuesday’s rubber match a must win for the Cyclones. The ‘Clones and Nailers are even on games played. A win for the Cyclones will make the Division race a near dead heat with the Cyclones trailing by a mere point, while a loss will put the Boys 5 pts behind.

Olson continues to impress…I’ll admit I wasn’t an early supporter of Olson, mostly because I’ve never been a proponent of having an enforcer playing a roll which sees him play a regular shift, aka defense. Benn was more than effective as an enforcer but his skating and defensive showings in those early games made him look like a liability. As the season as wore on Benn has proven to be more than capable on the blue line. In fact, he currently leads all Cyclone defensemen with a +7 rating. While Olson has become a fan favorite for pugilistic reasons, he’s become a CycWords favorite for his play.

Balanced Scoring…It probably doesn’t come as a surprise but the Cyclones don’t have a player in the top 10, top 20 or even top 30 in the League when it comes to scoring. The Cyclones leading scorer is Mathieu Aubin who currently ranks 32nd in the League. While the Cyclones lack a superstar scorer, Their scoring is spread very evenly through the line up which makes them difficult to match up against.

Scotty doesn’t know…Scott Reynolds has, for several seasons been a stand out defensive forward for the Cyclones. After spending the 2008-2009 season in Europe, he returned to the Cyclones in 09-10. Last season Scott put up 56pts in 70 games and finished the season +19. Reynolds was one of Coach Weber’s go to forwards, along with Barret Ehgoetz, for defensive situations and penalty kills. Scott excelled in these scenarios and the points he put up were a pleasant added bonus. Scott started the season overseas this season and since returning to the Cyclones has 19 pts and is -4. If the Cyclones are going to make a serious run They will need Scott to regain the form that made him one of the Leagues top 2-way forwards last season.

 

 

After earning 2 points from Elmira in come from behind fashion the Cyclones spent the week preparing for a trip to meet the Kalamazoo K-wings in a pair of games this weekend. While 2 points on opening weekend is nothing to scoff at, the games left a lot to be desired with regards to the play of the Cyclones. Here are a few things to keep an eye on when the Cyclones take on Kalamazoo this weekend…

-Defensive zone play has to get better. The Squad has 2 very capable net minders in Jeremy Smith and Marc Cheverie but if they are continually seeing odd man rushes night after night it’s going to make for a long season.Look for the Cyclones to tighten up the neutral zone play and pinch a little less in the offensive zone.

-The Boys showed Their resiliency over weekend, winning the 3rd period after a very rough 2nd period on Friday and coming from behind to ultimately take the overtime victory on Saturday.While this kind of resiliency is great to have on the Team, the Cyclones gave up the 1st goal in each of Their 1st two contests. Scoring 1st and scoring early is important  in any game, but it is especially so against the K-wings and potential net minder Ryan Nie.

-No word on if the Cyclones will have the services of forwards Barret Ehgoetz and Ryan Del Monte this weekend, both players are currently with the Rochester Americans of the AHL. Del Monte has seen action in 2 games since getting the call and Ehgoetz one.

-The Cyclons will see Scott Reynolds take the ice for the 1st time this Season. Reynolds, who was called up to Rochester before the Cylones even played a preseason game was released from his PTO (Professional Try-Out contract) on October 20th. Reynolds played in 6 games posting a goal and an assist for the Americans.

The Team will have the services of Kelly Cup Playoff Co-MVP net minder Jeremy Smith as they head to Kalamazoo. Jeremy had a shaky start in his preseason start against Wheeling but we all know the type of game he is capable of playing. It will be interesting to see how Coach Skalde manages the 2 young prospects should they both spend extended periods of time here in Cincinnati.

The Cyclones have added another defenseman to the mix with the signing of tough guy Benn Olson. There isn’t much out there on Olson as a player, but he has quit an impressive fight card for a 3rd year pro. It’s an interesting signing by Skalde. The Squad has an agitator in Chris Morehouse and a tough guy in James DeLory. My best guess is that Skalde wants another tough guy on the Team in the event DeLory gets recalled by Rochester because I just don’t see how this acquisition makes the Team better.

During a month in which the NHL is bringing attention to cancer awareness and raising money to help find a cure, the Cyclones have lost a member of the family. Original Cyclone Craig Charron lost his battle with stomach cancer earlier this week. For more on Charron, please read this article from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Charron’s family during these trying times. Please go to www.CragCharron.com if you’d like to help.

 

-Mike-

As we roll into the weekend which will see the Cyclones play a pair of preseason games against the Wheeling Nailers, it brings an end to the Cyclones training camp which began October 1st. I was able swing by Northlands Ice Center this week to check out the on ice training sessions.

Coach Skalde kept the tempo high and had good dialogue with the players. On Monday the coaching staff, which included former NHLer Andrew Cassels, who was helping out for the day, participated in a conditioning drill with players to end the session. The over all mood was light but very business like; there was no question the coaches and players in camp are taking the task of defending the Kelly Cup very seriously. Fans will probably notice a different style of play under coach Skalde, but overall play will continue to be very up tempo judging from the training sessions.

I like to say, give me guys who can skate first and foremost, if they are big even better. The 1st thing I noticed about the group assembled by Coach Skalde was their size and I was pleased with their skating. This years Squad skates as solidly as last years Kelly Cup Championship Squad at the least. Forwards are strong on the puck, have great net presence and finishing ability. The defensemen  big and mobile. There is a lot to like about this group.

After some preliminary cuts, the return of a few players released from AHL camps and the late addition of 2 from Rochester the roster sits at 24.

Forwards:

Barret Eghoetz, Mathieu Aubin, Scott Reynolds, Chris Minella, Brodie Sheahan, Sam D’Agostino, Ruben Begunts, Brett Robinson, Ryan Del Monte, Chris Morehouse, Dylan Hunter, Matt Butcher, Matt Pierce

Defense:

Adam Bartholomay, Doug Krantz, Kevin Roeder, Brad Schroeder, David Sloane, Brian O’Hanely, JC Sawyer, T.J. Fast

Goalies:

Jeremy Smith, Marc Cheverie

As it stands, the Cyclones will have to make at least 1 cut before the rosters get capped for the start of the regular season and with the NHL regular season underway and the AHL season starting this weekend it’s still possible the Cyclones see another player trickle down the line.

A couple of players to keep an eye on if you’re coming out to the preseason game on Saturday:

Chris Minella – Chris is starting his pro career after playing 4 years at Notre Dame. He’s a big, solidly built kid. He didn’t light up the scoreboard in college but after observing his game he seems built for the more physical nature of the pro game.

Sam D’Agostino – Sam is another 1st year player who didn’t have the greatest numbers in college but his effort and energy is hard to miss. The kid has some pretty good wheels and keeps it going even when there’s a lot of contact. I didn’t see him get pushed off the puck very often.

Dylan Hunter – Hunter was acquired from Utah for Brett Motherwell and future considerations. He is billed to be one of the offensive leaders for the ‘Clones this season.  Dylan finally arrived at camp today and he looked pretty solid. Time will tell if he can live up to the billing.

Matt ButcherButcher, a 5th round pick by the Vancuver Canucks, joined the line up yesterday (10/5). Matt had previously been in Rochester’s camp. Butcher showed a lot of finishing touch in his 1st on ice session with the ‘Clones. He’s a guy who has a lot of upside.

David Sloane – Sloane is a solid blueliner with a lot of upside.

Adam Bartholomay – Adam is listed as a forward but spent the early days of camp playing the blueline. He finally got a chance to move up front on day 7 of camp. That kind of versatility can come in handy as injuries and call ups inevitably happen.

JC Sawyer – He’s big and he has a lot of offensive upside. He reads the offensive zone play as well as any defenseman I’ve seen, but can he up he defensive zone play to match?

We’ll be checking back in after the preseason games.

-Mike-

We have a lot of good things in store for our faithful readers this summer but before I get to those I thought I’d take a quick look back now that I’ve had a chance to let it set it in. The ECHL has already posted a very nice article on all the accomplishments of the Cyclones’ 2nd Kelly Cup in 3 years, John “the Hammer” Hamel has typed up a nice little game recap and even the Enquirer had a nice little story. It’s all very good reading.

I commented in blogs very early in the Season about this Teams resiliency and that theme continued into the post Season. This Team didn’t always play the prettiest hockey, but they always worked hard. Coach Weber summed this Team up best when he told the Enquirer, “This team, we were a bunch of workers. There was no superstar on this team. What I took the most pride in was that they found a way to win when people thought they couldn’t.” It seemed that every night a different player was stepping up. If a player struggled one night, it seemed that he’d be the hero the next.

The Cyclones probably had the most difficult road to the Kelly Cup Finals. One that saw them take on last years champion South Carolina in a 5 game series that left little room for error. The they moved on to a 7 game slug fest with Regular Season Conference Champion Charlotte. Their reward for winning that series was a date with Reading, who had one of the most loaded rosters in the playoffs, for the Conference Final.

I never doubted this Team’s work ethic or resolve, but I will admit I questioned how much the Boys had left in the tank when they returned to Cincinnati for Game 6 against Reading, but as always they found that little bit extra and when they scored 3 times in about 1:30, I knew They would complete the come back and march on to win a bigger piece of hardware.

The research I did on Idaho going into the Finals told me that they weren’t much different from teams such as Kalamazoo and Reading. After watching the first 2 games of the Series I didn’t really see anything in the Steelheads’ game to make me think any different. The Cyclones were far from a physical team and it seemed that Idaho struggled with it. It makes me wonder how Idaho would have reacted if they would have played the likes of Charlotte. To Idaho’s credit, they did adjust. It was a clear that it was going to be a Series of closely played games.

The Idaho press had the Steelheads picked as the odds-on favorite, but why? Sure, Idaho was the Brabham Cup winner and they were near the top of the League in several categories, but let’s face it, with the lack of inter-conference play this Season those stats and that record were a bit stacked; when a team plays only 7 teams over the course of a 72 game season the numbers can become a bit skewed. Yes, the Cyclones played a division heavy schedule but They did play every team in the American Conference at least once. I should also point out that at one point the Cyclones were battling for a Conference regular season title and Their #5 playoff seed was a bit misleading. That must have been missed by the Idaho press.

Idaho made a big deal of being without Tyler Spurgeon and goalie Richard Bachman. However, Idaho goalie Rejean Beauchemin was no slouch and actually had numbers comparable to ECHL Goalie of the Year Todd Ford. And if they want to talk about Tyler Spurgeon, I’ll raise them Scott Reynolds and Matt Pierce, both of which were injured and saw little or no playoff action, yet were key members of the Squad.

When it was all said and done, the Cyclones were simply the better TEAM. They were a group of players that bought into a system and believed in the words on Their playoff t-shirts which read “BIG WE, little me.” It was a tightly battled Series but  resiliency and composure saw the ‘Clones persevere.

Before I move on to what we have in store for you this summer, I want to give a shout out to Jason Jozsa. Jason was on the losing side of the Cyclones 2008 Kelly Cup Championship and it was good to see him lift the Cup. Congratulations Jason!

Ok, you’ve put up my ramblings this long so here’s what to look for this summer:

-The 1st annual CycWords Awards poll will be up soon. We’ll let you know, so be sure to vote.

-Every summer for the last four years Cyclones fans have been asking themselves, “Will Coach Weber be back?” We don’t have any inside info, but we are going to do our best to keep a tally of open coaching positions around the game. The first installment of “Weber Watch 2010” will be up soon.

-Every so often there is talk amongst fans about the Cyclones joining the AHL. Dannielle and I will give our comments on the pro’s and con’s of such a move.

-Of course we’ll be doing our best to stay on top of player signings and other news regarding the Cyclones and affiliate news that effects the Team.

-Mike-

It’s been a while since our last Cyclones game/team oriented post, sorry for slacking off.

-Since our last post the Boys have rolled out a 9-3-0-0 record which is good enough for 2nd in the North Division and 3rd in the American Conference. The Cyclones currently lead Toledo Walleye by 1 point and trail the Kalamazoo K-wings by 1 point. The ‘Clones have one game in hand on Toledo and Kalamazoo has played one game less. That means tonight’s (1/13/10) game is pretty important.

-The Cyclones took 3 straight from Trenton but the 1st two  left a little to be desired. Sure a win is a win, but the Boys blew four 2 goal leads between the first 2 games allowing Trenton to force the game into a shootout. Luckily, once in the shootout Jeremy Smith came up large and Dustin Sproat was clutch and the Cyclones prevailed.  In the Sunday matinee, the Cyclones went with Robert Mayer between the pipes and he posted a shutout. The Cyclones also posted wins against Kalamazoo (2), Johnstown and Reading during the stretch. The losses came against Toledo and Wheeling (2).

-Speaking of Jeremy Smith, he was forced to carry the load for a few games in the absence of Robert Mayer who was on assignment in Hamilton and performed admirably for a rookie. This year Coach Weber is seemingly experimenting with some goalie strategy. We are familiar with his tendency to alternate goalies which was established in the first 2 seasons. The came last years train wreck between the pipes. This year it seems like Chuck is using a bit more strategy with his two young goalies. When they’re are both here Chuck has done everything from alternating them; rewarding a good game with another start; playing the hot hand; and now it’s been mentioned that he may even be starting his goalies based on their past performances against the opponent.

-Speaking of call-ups and reassignments, it’s been a revolving door around here the past few weeks. We’ve seen Mark Van Guilder come and go twice; Jason Josza and Hans Benson were both called up to the AHL and have since been returned. The Cyclones have received Ian McKenzie from Milwaukee. If I recall, Milwaukee was kind enough to return Reid Cashman to us for about a game before he was recalled again. Currently both Mike Mclean and Dustin Sproat are on assignment with the Admirals.

For the first time under Chuck Weber the Cyclones will be sending 2 to the ECHL All Star Game. Matt Pierce is currently 4th in rookie scoring and when you throw in his +14 rating (which is 11 better than rookie scoring leader Justin Donati, 3 better than 2nd placed Maxime Gratchev, 21 better than 3rd placed Maxime Tanguay and 11 better than 5th placed Pat Galivan) along with his lack of penalty minutes (8 on the season) , it really shows the impact he’s had for the Cyclones and is certainly All Star worthy. Jeremy Smith is putting in a solid performance for a rookie netminder and is sitting near the top of the leader board in several statistics. I think nods should be giving to Scott Reynolds (14g-18a-32pts +14) and Dustin Sproat (11g-17a-28pts +5) who are playing very well and should have been considered as well.

-The special teams are still a case for concern. The Power Play Unit is having trouble converting and is second to last in the league. The answer is not doing as the fans suggest when the yell “SHOOOOT!!” at every opportunity, but to stay with what they’re doing and to be patient. Unless you’re down by 1 with less than a minute to go there is no reason to rush and force things since it really makes no difference when you score on the PP. The Boys are getting chances they just aren’t finishing. The Penalty Kill has slipped to 5th in the league, which is still pretty good. The problem I see is it’s inconsistency. It seems that when they are playing well they will shut everyone down, but when they aren’t on top of it then it is almost as if a goal is eminent. The call ups of Sproat and McLean have probably effected the PK a bit since they were often the 2nd Unit forwards.

That’s all for now. I’ve got a few more topics rolling in my head which I hope to bring you over the All Star Break if not before.
-Mike-