Brian Elliott looked great last night. His hand eye coordination is amazing (I remember watching a video on him doing some training with tennis balls being tossed at him), and it shows on shots to his glove and blocker. With Halak struggling right now, he could see more starts in the next few weeks.

 

Vlad Sobotka led the Blues in faceoff wins last night (12 on 18 chances) and he played over 17 minutes, too. An underrated player who can do a lot. His offensive upside isn't high but he could one day be a 45 point guy in the right role.

 

No Brad Richards, no problem. Two goals and an assist for Loui Eriksson last night against the Ducks. He was all over the ice.

 

Seven combined points for Franzen and Filppula last night.

 

Aaron Johnson had two points, six shots on goal, and a lot of PP time for the Jackets. Johnson, Clitsome, Tyutin, and Russell all played over three minutes on the PP (Clitsome led the way, just over four minutes).

 

Seven shots on goal for Prospal last night, after he essentially called out the entire Columbus organization. Rick Nash had none.

 

A few Carolina fans have emailed me to highlight Eric Staal's struggles. He looks disinterested, and may be playing through an injury. Whatever the issue is, many poolies used a high pick on him and he's shown in the past he is one of the most consistent star forwards available. He needs to get going.

 

14 games tonight - looking forward to the ramblings from Chris Nichols tomorrow.

 

Cory Schneider is starting today - don't forget the 1pm start for the Vancouver/Minnesota game.

 

Kari Lehtonen has probably been the best goalie in the league through the first few weeks of this season. He's stolen a few games and kept Dallas in a few games that they have won later. Talent has never been the issue with him, but fitness and health have. He has rededicated himself to training properly since coming over from Atlanta, and it is amazing to see how much better he looks.

 

Still a long way to go and I'm not advocating rushing out to pick him up, but I wouldn't be looking to sell high either.

 

Jacob Josefson broke his clavicle last night – look for the Devils to recall Adam Henrique (Taylor Hall’s set up man from junior). Henrique is a solid two-way center who sees the ice well.

 

Ott-Benn-Eriksson looked great last night. Benn was the C man last night.

 

Drew Doughty skated on his own for a bit after practice yesterday, testing his injured shoulder out. He can’t return until after Tuesday (IR rules).

 

From Brendan Ross: Alex Galchenyuk is scheduled to have surgery next week. Expected to miss until March. Bad news for Alex in his draft year.


Developing in a losing environment is a bad thing. This comment stirred up some debate yesterday, so allow me to elaborate.

 

Columbus has struggled recently, and they have done an awful job of insulating their rookies with competent veterans to carry the bulk of the load (and to help teach and develop). Edmonton is facing a similar problem, but their young guys are so talented that this probably won’t hurt them as much (Hall and RNH in particular are going to be star forwards, but their development may get stunted a bit in Edmonton).

 

This didn’t really affect Crosby, Malkin, etc. On one hand, these kinds of players are elite talents, even at 18, 19, and 20. They are able to handle the tough minutes, the defensive responsibilities, and the grind of 82+ games. However, they are the outliers, not the norm. Young players, in general, are best developed through patience and cultivation at lower levels. Detroit and San Jose are both great examples of organizations that preach this.

 

I’m not saying if you own Hall, RNH, or even a guy like Ryan Johansen that it is time to jump ship. I am just making the point that these teams with stud young players need to recognize that this isn’t NHL 12 and you can’t have five players with 99 potential and expect them to all develop positively each year. There will be ups and downs, and the downs can be mitigated a bit by building a stronger team.

 

After being a healthy scratch for two games, Blake Comeau will line up on the third line with Bailey and Rolston for the Islanders.

 

We really need to organize a reverse elimination pool next year – pick a different band-aid boy each week to survive unscathed. Would be quite fun to follow.

 

I have no idea why the Oilers didn’t jump into the free agent market and get a defenseman. No, Cam Barker doesn’t count. Sure they would have had to overpay, but getting a veteran like Jan Hejda who can play defense and move the puck at a decent level would have helped immensely.

 

Anyway, I’m sure this will stir up more debate. I’m not trying to be anti-Columbus/Edmonton here, they are just the examples I am using. Detroit is able to insulate the likes of Tatar, Nyqvist, Mursak, etc. However, in other situations they may also be in the league already. Will it help or hinder them? Datsyuk and Zetterberg played depth roles when they came in to the league. Getzlaf and Perry were Anaheim’s depth forwards during the 2007 cup win, too. Just some food for thought.

 

Another example is Ottawa this year. They have some vets in place, but should they really be keeping Mika Zibanejad around? The injury to Peter Regin has opened up a spot, but the young Swede clearly isn’t ready for the NHL game just yet.

 

My Burrows video generated lots of feedback – thanks for the support. I’m hoping to have a few other Canucks lend a helping hand in my bid to be one of the new hockey bloggers for the Province newspaper.

 

I found out the good news yesterday that I made the final 10 (over 90 applicants) for the gig. Some kind words from many of you definitely helped. I’ll post some more info next week, as the contest kicks off next Friday.

 

The French connection in Vancouver also really helped – Max Lapierre throws his support my way. For those of you in Vancouver, I have a hard time picturing a young Tony Gallagher:

 

Thanks to the fine folks at the Fan Zoo for setting up the Burrows and Lapierre video chats – the premier sports memorabilia company – absolutely stunning photos and other sports-related memorabilia.

 


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Comments (13)add comment

Anthony Lancione said:

messierforlife
Galchenyuk Is this really a bad thing for Galchenyuk? Perhaps this lengthy absence will allow him to get underhyped heading into the summer and possibly fall in the draft a bit & end up on a better team.
October 25, 2011
Votes: +0

shaun b said:

shingy
Development and Staal Personally, and this could be just me, but the fist comment leading to this topic continuing was just bad...or harsh..or misguided..or whatever.

As far as Staal goes, doesn't he start slow every year? Give him time and he'll be just fine. Second half stud as I can remember.
October 22, 2011
Votes: +0

jason said:

toewsfan
Getzlaf and Perry in 2007 Getzlaf and Perry were not "depth players" in Anaheim's 2007 playoff run. They actually carried the Ducks during much of that year's playoff run (Getzlaf was #1 and Perry was #2 in playoff scoring for that team). Getzlaf, in particular, was a beast.
October 22, 2011
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... Good feedback, gents.

And Lapierre still is a punk (on the ice). Great guy off the ice, though.
October 22, 2011
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... It depends on the player and their character/maturity, etc. Can't just generalize and say all losing environment are bad. I'd say a guy like Kadri would suffer in a losing environment whereas a guy like Toews didn't.

Columbus has definitely been poor. But is it the chicken or the egg? Are the prospects poor because of the environment or are they just not developing them properly? You can still develop well on a losing team.
October 22, 2011
Votes: +0

Repent Tokyo said:

repenttokyo
developing youngsters here's the thing. while a losing environment is not necessarily important, one of the keys to developing young talent "en masse" is to introduce them into a low expectations environment. look at the canes this year. no one expects the canes to make the playoffs. same as last year. if it happens, that's nice,but if it doesn't, no one in the organization is surprise. it's the perfect stage of the team's rebuilding to give more kids more responsibility than they might have had in a year where the championship is in sight.
October 22, 2011
Votes: +1

frozenpools said:

frozenpools
Development I would say that the Oilers are using Horcoff-Smyth (and one day maybe Hemsky) to shelter the kid line.

Along those lines that having a veteran presence like Stamkos had with St Louis could be more important. He developed despite playing for a loser while a guy like Taveres struggled.

Maybe debating it over 1st overall picks isnt a great exercise and its the guys like Couture (and should have been Gagner) who benefit as they talk longer to develop.
October 22, 2011
Votes: +0

Frank said:

NoUseForAName
Definitely agree with Jeff on his "Developing in a losing environment is a bad thing." comment.

Especially with this affirmation : I am just making the point that these teams with stud young players need to recognize that this isn’t NHL 12 and you can’t have five players with 99 potential and expect them to all develop positively each year.

Funny and effective way to explain his point.
October 22, 2011
Votes: +0

Promethee said:

Promethee
... Angus I find it hilarious to see your comment about Lapierre. I remember too well the time, not so long ago, when Lapierre for you was just a punk ala Matt Cooke
October 22, 2011
Votes: +0

AL said:

grindin griers
Benn & Faceoffs I believe Benn won 11 of 15 faceoffs last night ...
October 21, 2011
Votes: +0

Uzair Siddiq said:

Sportfreunde
... Jan Hejda can play defence for sure but he can't move the puck lol, terrible passer at times but I see your point, Edm should've gone for an FA dman especially with Whitney's injury problems unless they're.....

I do hope though that this isn't a sign that Katz will keep the purse strings tight once the team is ready to take the next step and FA signings are needed to complement their core.
October 21, 2011
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... I also thought Zibanejad wasn't ready - until they put him back at centre where he belongs. He looked 100x better at centre - just more natural. Still would like to see him in Sweden but I'm indifferent. It will be interesting to see their decision after Tuesday's game.
October 21, 2011
Votes: +1

CommittedToTheIndian said:

CommittedToTheIndian
... Congrats, Jeff

80something applicants down, only nine more pretenders to your rightful Province blogging throne to go.
October 21, 2011
Votes: +0
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