Pete Choquette's blog

2006 NHL Entry Draft Preview: Lightning Strengths, Weaknesses, Tendencies and Philosophies

[i][b]Update 6/21:[/b] I'm going to sticky this at the top of the site until draft day so it doesn't get lost. I'm also going to provide the links to our draft capsules on this page: [url=http://www.forecaster.ca/tbo/hockey/draft-team.cgi?TB&DraftID=13]Lightning Picks[/url] 1st Rd, 15th Overall: G Riku Helenius, 6'3" 202 lbs, Ilves Jr. (FIN Jr.) 3rd Round, 78th Overall: D Kevin Quick, 6'0" 175 lbs, Salisbury (USHS) 6th Round, 168th Overall: D Dane Crowley, 6'2" 210 lbs, Swift Current (WHL) 7th Round, 198th Overall: LW Denis Kazionov, 6'3" 187 lbs, Tver (RUS2) [url=http://www.boltprospects.com/node/1143]Goaltenders[/url] [url=http://www.boltprospects.com/node/1144]Defensemen[/url] [url=http://www.boltprospects.com/node/1145]Forwards Pt. 1[/url] [url=http://www.boltprospects.com/node/1147]Forwards Pt. 2[/url] [url=http://www.boltprospects.com/node/1150]Forwards Pt. 3[/url] [url=http://www.boltprospects.com/node/1153]Forwards Pt. 4[/url] [url=http://www.boltprospects.com/node/1162]Pete's Mock Draft[/url] For those who don't have the time to read the whole article, scroll down to the summary at the end.[/i]

Bachul Deconstructed

After insulting the Lightning organization and fan base by calling [url=justin-keller]Justin Keller[/url] "trash" and being made to look the fool by Chad Schnarr for claiming there hasn't been a good 8th round pick in a decade (Ryan Craig anyone?) I decided George Bachul must've had a rough day yesterday. So, rather than simply pick him apart I decided to do the right thing and e-mail him to discuss some of his misguided positions: [b][i]Mr. Bachul, You and I need to have a little chat. -Pete[/i][/b] You see I didn't want to escalate the unpleasantness between our two websites by picking him apart without first giving Bachul the opportunity to explain himself. It only seemed gentlemanly to me. His response? [b][i]Pete, We have nothing to talk about. You have to show professional courtesy to get professional courtesy. George[/i][/b] Uh, George, that WAS your professional courtesy. But because you chose to act more like a petulant little child than someone legitimately interested in an honest discussion/debate about HockeysFuture's painfully terrible coverage and rating of Lightning prospects, you've left me no choice but to deconstruct your strain of misguided posts attempting to justify your organization's extremely poor product. More on the flip:

HockeysFuture's George Bachul Gets Owned

Has there ever been a clearer indication of the stunning level of incompetence of HockeysFuture's writers than today's exchange between Chad Schnarr and HF writer George Bachul on HFBoards? Bachul: [url=http://hfboards.com/showpost.php?p=5459100&postcount=15]You don't think there is a reason that Keller was an either [i](sic)[/i] rounder? But nice to see you have faith. You know how many impact 8th rounders there have been since 1997? NONE.(Andrew Ference is the best eighth rounder in the last 10 years.)"[/url] Schnarr: [url=http://hfboards.com/showpost.php?p=5459437&postcount=16]"Well, you could start with the Lightning roster. Ryan Craig had 15 goals in 48 games with limited ice time and nearly singlehandedly turned around the PP. He was an 8th."[/url] Wait, let that sink in. OK, now you know what to do next. Bwuahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! [url=http://www.bigstan.net/owned.jpg]Owned.[/url]

Evaluating Tampa

[b]The Bottom Line[/b] The Tampa Bay Lightning finished 43-33-6 this season with 92 points, eighth in the Eastern Conference and second in the Southeast Division. In 2003-2004, prior to the lockout, the club finished with 3 more wins but 14 more points in the standings. The Lightning's goal production this year actually improved by 7 goals, but their defense declined by a shocking 68 goals (that is not a typo) and the team actually scored 8 less goals than it allowed this season. The most important number though is 15, as in the 15 less playoff games the team won this season after being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs 4 games to 1 by the Ottawa Senators.

Evaluating Johnstown

[b]The Bottom Line[/b] The Johnstown Chiefs finished 30-26-16 with 76 points in 4th place in the American Conference North Division. After sweeping their playoff play-in round against 5th place Trenton 2-0 they were swept by Toledo in the first round of the playoffs 3-0. The year was a marked improvement over the 2004-2005 season when the Chiefs finished 7th in the North Division, out of the playoffs, with a 22-36-14 record and 58 points. The Chiefs offensive production improved this season by 32 goals while their defense relented 15 less goals.
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