Submitted by pete on January 10, 2006 - 19:03
Yesterday, we updated the Bolt Prospects.com prospects section to reflect our updated Midterm Rankings for the 2005-2006 season. Before the season our staff agreed that using the NHL Central Scouting Service's methodology of using tri-annual updated would offer our readers a far more up-to-date and precise accounting of the team's prospects' standing in the organization than the once-annual offerings of publications like The Hockey News and websites like Hockey's Future. On October 29th, 2005 we posted our Preliminary Rankings. The number in parentheses after each prospect listed in the Top-25 reflects their change in the rankings between then and now. Regarding our criteria for deciding what constitutes a "prospect", any player under Lightning contract under 24 years of age at the start of the season who has played less than 41 games in any given NHL season to this point in his career is a prospect. Any prospect over 24 years of age who has played less than 41 NHL games in his career will be listed by Bolt Prospects as an "overage prospect". Among the players we currently list as overage prospects are, for instance, G Brian Eklund, RW Norm Milley and G Fredrik Norrena. With that out of the way, here are Bolt Prospects 2005-2006 Midterm Rankings:
Submitted by pete on January 10, 2006 - 18:47
According to 620 WDAE, the Tampa Bay Lightning [url=http://www.620wdae.com/localsportsstory.html?ID=20060110150515]have waived their team captain, left wing Dave Andreychuk.[/url] If Andreychuk clears waivers he is expected to be assigned to Springfield of the AHL in what amounts to a paper transaction. The team and Andreychuk have reached an agreement whereby Andreychuk does not have to report to Springfield and the Lightning will allow him to collect the remainder of his one-way contract without penalty. There are no plans to name a new captain in the immediate future.
Submitted by pete on January 9, 2006 - 20:22
The Springfield Falcons [url=http://www.falconsahl.com/detpages/pressbox2882.shtml]have announced a pair of shake up deals along their blue line.[/url] First, veteran Brad Tiley has been traded to the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL for future considerations. In return, the Rampage's parent club, the Phoenix Coyotes, have loaned the Falcons veteran defenseman Ray Schultz. The 29 year old blueliner brings to the table 45 games of NHL experience along with 422 career games of AHL experience. In his last full season of professional hockey in 2004-2005 with the Albany River Rats of the AHL, Schultz notched 5 goals, 19 points and 227 penalty minutes.
Submitted by pete on January 9, 2006 - 16:37
The Springfield Falcons [url=http://www.falconsahl.com/detpages/pressbox2881.shtml]have returned center Justin Kelly to Johnstown of the ECHL.[/url] He had zero points in five games with the Falcons. Kelly still leads Johnstown in scoring with 28 points in 21 games despite his time up in Springfield.
Submitted by pete on January 8, 2006 - 18:35
I believe that's 12 straight games now where the Falcons have allowed 4 or more goals. And the winless streak continues. SPR-3 MAN-5 Gerald Coleman made 20 saves on 24 shots faced in the loss. Through two periods he had allowed 3 goals on just 8 shots putting the Falcons in a situation where their 29-8 shot superiority was all for naught fighting a 3-2 deficit. At this pont Dirk Graham seems to have zero faith in Brian Eklund while Coleman, a rookie who was never a full time starter in junior, is watching his season start to circle the drain. As it stands right now his save percentage is a terrible .889. How long are the Lightning/Falcons going to continue to run this young man through the meat grinder before they make a move? It's been clear for at least a half a month now what the organization needs to do: either acquire a veteran goaltender or give your ECHL All-Star Jonathan Boutin or your Spengler Cup team member Morgan Cey the opportunity to do what [i]neither[/i] of these goaltenders seem capable of doing right now: stop 90% of the pucks they see. Marek Kvapil led the way offensively with 1G 1A while Nick Tarnasky had a tally of his own and Lightning prospect Dennis Packard had an assist and Lightning exhile Chris Dingman had a helper of his own. None of that amounts to a hill of beans however if this team's goaltenders continue to allow 4 or 5 goals every night out. The Falcons [i]cannot[/i] win consistently with that kind of performance between the pipes. Period. Game sheet from [url=http://ahl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1001536]TheAHL.com.[/url]
Submitted by pete on January 8, 2006 - 16:32
Important win. How about two more? JHN-5 DAY-3 Jonathan Boutin stopped 41 of 44 shots faced in the victory. Veterans Joe Tallari (1G 1A) and Paul Caponigri (2G 2A) led the way as Johnstown had to come back from a 2 goal deficit to win. Game sheet from [url=http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/ppublic.cgi?action=summary&id=2678]ECHL.com.[/url]
Submitted by pete on January 8, 2006 - 15:10
Remarkably, Mark Tobin survived today's QMJHL trade deadline which passed at noon. The left winger scored his 18th goal of the season today for Rimouski in a 6-2 defeat to St. John's. Rimouski is currently dead last in the 18 team QMJHL and has won just 8 games all season, making their decision to hold onto the veteran Tobin surprising to say the least.
Submitted by pete on January 8, 2006 - 10:34
The implosion of youthful Lada Togliatti appears to be on in full force. Lada fell 4-1 today to Spartak Moscow as Vasily Koshechkin allowed 3 goals before Spartak added an empty net goal in the third. Koshechkin's record slides to 14-9-3 on the year.
Submitted by pete on January 8, 2006 - 01:58
It's been a tough transition to North American hockey for Marek Bartanus. Prior to his trip to the World Junior Championships he had a, frankly, miserable 4 points in 31 games for Owen Sound. We were afraid that perhaps Bartanus was going to shatter Aaron Lobb's record for being the worst 4th round Lightning draft pick in recent memory. He wasn't even originally on the final Slovakian team roster and, at first, was passed over for the team by a couple of guys in the NAHL. However, there's a hint of Bartanumentum in the air. Bartanus did manage to score a goal in Slovakia's final game at the WJC's, a 3-3 tie with Switzerland. Thursday, in his first game back with Owen Sound, he assisted on a Scott Tregunna goal in a 5-3 loss to Windsor. Tonight, he assisted on Matthew Kang's game winning goal in a 3-2 victory over Saginaw. Rare have been the times this season when Bolt Prospects has been able to heap accolades on Marek, so from now until Wednesday when Owen Sound plays Guelph, we're declaring Bartanupalooza on the site, a hopefully not fleeting celebration of Bartanus' in progress scoring streak. Here's to you and the second half of this OHL season, Marek Bartanus.