Ken's blog

Kevin Quick to the OHL?

According to this post on Hockey's Future:

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=377417

Quick and his younger brother went in the 8th and 9th round respectively. One poster speculated that the brother did not want to play NCAA hockey and that Kevin was on the fence. Apparently a family decision was made that if one team could get both, they would go together.

An intersting development.

Power Play

In the Forum it's called the "TECO Energy Power Play"
On TV it's the "Toyota Tundra Power Play"

I don't think either one of these companies are getting the marketing represntation they had bargained for and these are really misleading slogans for the fan base. I've been thinking the last few games the sponsorship ought to change to provide a better marketing impact for the sponsor's buck. The sponsorship that's been ringing in my head lately when we go on the PP?

How does the

"Dancing with the Stars" power play sound?

Maybe Emmitt could make an appearance and shout "Let'

Blair Jones

Back at the prospects tryout camp I rated him as one of two forwards that really wanted it. Because of that I thought he was the organizations best forward prospect overall from that camp (I think Smolenak & Hrdel are perhaps more physically gifted).

Tonight against the Turd's I think he's proving just how much he wants it. On what's supposed to be a cup of coffee, he's going to make it damn tough to send him back if he keeps making the contribution he made tonight. I'm hoping this is actually a tryout to see if he's got enough to flip Feds/Prospal + Affy/Karllson and maybe a D'man for one of the bigger name D'men being rumored as available.

The Umbrella

I myself like many of us am not a fan of our umbrella power play offense. I'm guessing that Tort's and Rammer don't much care for it either. Why use it then? Let's look at our Big 4. Richards mans the point and is not a down low in-front-of-net physical player in 5 on 5 situations either. Boyle is a smallish defenseman with good mobility - not Kubina who was large and willing to try to go to the front of the net. St. Louis - kinda like a baseline player in basketball. Hangs on the goal line, is good at the sharp angle shot and the cross ice pass, but not an inside guy. Vinny? In the playoffs in the Montreal forum - he's a down-low "Give me the damn puck" kind of a guy. At any other venue and in any non-playoff situation he aspires to be a point man. Craig is doing well and may turn ouy to be special, but the one place I really feel the loss of R2 affects us is right here. When he had time with the umbrella guys, the goalie didn't have much opportunity to see what's going on out there.

Stars/Lightning

After the 7th goal, the stands began to empty. Not that I would ever leave early, but I looked at my wife and said I don't know why anyone would leave when your team is lighting it up. Not that many 7 goal games in Lightning history and there was potential for more. Any way, my thoughts on Denis, Janik/Delmore, the four fighting for the wing position and my version of the Fritz/Barnaby beat down. Denis - First goal was on Affy but it exposed Denis. Affy took a bad risk on the fore check and left his wing wide open. Lehtinen moved it down quickly with Modano in the middle and Jokinen on the left. Those three can fly. When Lehtinen got to the blue line and it was apparent none of the wings were going to catch up, the two defenseman slid over in unison. One to cut off Lehtinen and the other to tkae the gap between the other two. Tic-tac-toe Lehtinen to Modano to Jokinen moving Denis from left to right. The only thing that got there was his right pad on the ice. Jokinen had lots to work with. Same pattern on the second goal. Took Denis left to right and only the right pad made it. A couple times in the 2nd he did get his upper body there quick enough to make the stop, but still looked shaky. When going left to right he stays on the goal goal line and goes low. When going right to left he pushes out alittle in the crease and stays much more erect taking away alot more net. I noticed that a bit at last Sunday's scrimmage also. The 3rd goal was him all alone as Janik, Fritz & Karllson were all trying to get the puck from Modano on the boards who flipped it out front to a waiting Star who had Mark point blank all alone. The 4th goal, both Janik and Sarich retreated all the way to the endline and neither one of them took away even a sliver of the net essentially leaving a 3 on 0.

Scrimmage Day 2 Observations

Lack of eyewitness accounts from yesterday drove me over there. Decent crowd showed. I doubt as many as yesterday. The prospect camp featured much more physical play and was more enjoyable to watch. From what I saw, nobody should have suffered more than a scratch. Playoff intensity it was not. Fast paced it was, particularly the Red/White game. I got to see some prospects I've never seen before and I enjoyed that aspect of the trip. I'll do this by team. Red: Tarnasky - He played as physical as anyone today. He hanging in there in his quest to make the big club. Milley - I'm not sure what puts him ahead of some of the others for this spot. I would think we would look for some toughness here, especially if this is the spot that will split time with Delmore. I didn't see his goal, the assist was on an empty netter.

Prospect Camp Wrap-Up: Organizational Forwards

This will wrap-up my final coverage of the prospects camp and probably any journalistic efforts for a while. I have to go back to work tomorrow. The Blue Birds are firng up and the kiidies will be back to school next week. Volleyball will be starting up shortly and I'll be knee deep in evalauating my own suspects... I mean prospects. Forwards are far more difficult to project than the others. We're deeply riveted by those that can fill the scoring line holes every team seems to crave. Also, despite needing outstanding skills, I think heart and passion for the game is more evident in NHL scorers. Many have gotten nowhere with an upper level skillset. But you rarely see an upper tier scorer without a special look in his eye.

Prospect Camp Wrap-Up: Defensemen

We seem to be pretty well stacked here. I projest that we have 5 above average defensemen in this group plus a couple of others that could fill 3rd pair roles. Top 2 pair players: Matt Smaby - There's nothing spectacular about his game. It all scores at average or above. He's sound, smart tough, hard-working and he can move a little. Probably would benefit from and interim step through Springfield, then be here by the 1st of the year to stay. Vladimir Mihalik - He was the 3rd youngest player on the ice (4th counting Bartanus). #1 asset - good feet. Guys with good feet have the ability to develop their entire game. He shows excellent mobility, a decent shot and if he only sets a pick on you, you get hit hard. Needs to get better defensively in front of the net. 2 years away.

Prospect Camp Wrap-Up: Goaltenders

The first job of a scout is to analyze the talent, the second is to predict it into the future and the final is determine if and how that fits into one's organization. I recapped their play enough, now I'll attempt to project their future & determine their role with the Lightning organization. The bad news is, I likely won't have conclusive knowledge of the true outcomes for 8 - 10 years perhaps. The good news is, the rest of you likely won't have access to review this in 8 - 10 years. The caveat: in shopping for talent for the lightning organization doesn't just require looking for guys who'll play in the NHL. We're looking for players integral to helping this club make cup runs year-after-year. Our system should be at that point now.

Day 5 Prospect Camp

White Wins series with a 2 - 0 victory over the Black The puppies were tired today and the goaltenders were at their best in a sloppily played game. 0 - 0 at the intermission and then: 1. White: Hrdel (Lascek, Collins) collins down low slips it to Lascek quickly to Hrdel who smacks it by Pearce from the lefthand side of the low slot. Wasn't exactly soft,nice shot, but any of the other three goalies might have had that today. 2. White: Hrdel (Oullette, Czuy) Czuy made the play by dishing the puck of as Rogers tied to take him out along the center boards. Czuy took Rogers out instead slipping it to Oullette who skated past the two and creted a 2-on-1 with Hrdel. Oullette drew the defender, slid the puck to Hrdel who smoked it from near the same spot as his first one. Also against Pearce.
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