If you didn’t catch what happened to Geoffrion, see the full story at the end of this Ramblings – along with video of the hit which led to everything.
A few more odds and ends from Twitter:
** Chris Johnston : Mats Sundin makes some amends, says he wishes he would have retired as a Maple Leaf.
**If you had Oriol Boronat in your Olympic pre-qualification pool, this was your lucky day. He scored a hat trick as Spain got their first win, 5-4, over Estonia. Get more news along those lines, if you’re so inclined, via the Twitter feed of IIHF. Ruslan Fedotenko was in action for Ukraine and his team steamrolled Poland to take a spot in the final qualifications.
Here’s just a taste of CHL statistical dessert from Saturday:
**Jonathan Drouin had 29 points in 33 GP last year in his rookie season for Halifax. After this 1-2-3 result, he has now matched that total in only 14 GP. He has played around six fewer games than most leaders in Q scoring and trails the top guys by nine points or fewer. Cast that line, cuz he’s reeling them in. No points for Nathan McKinnon in that one, BTW.
Huge effort from Angelo Miceli of Victoriaville too. 1-3-4, bringing him to 12-14-26 in 20 GP.
**Jonathan Huberdeau potted one and has 12-16-28 in 20 GP for the Sea Dogs. His team was pounded 6-2 and outshot 44-17.
**1-1-2 for Connor McDavid. 11-15-26 in 20 GP after the evening. Three helpers for Connor Brown as well, which gives him 16-12-28 in 20 tilts. Boone Jenner, who has been lighting up the OHL, played opposite those gents and was held pointless with a minus-4.
**Just try to stop Mark Scheifele. Two more markers here, with 14-18-32 in 19 GP. Two extra points for Zach Hall too, who has 9-20-29 in 18 GP.
**Niagara’s Ryan Strome notched another 2-1-3, leaving him with a league-leading 37 points (14-23).
**Monstrous effort for Owen Sound’s Daniel Catenacci, who racked up 1-4-5 and has 14-18-32 in 20 GP.
**Dyson Stevenson recorded 3-1-4 for Regina and has 10-9-19 in 22 affairs.
**Add another two points to the totals of Sam Fioretti for Moose Jaw, who has 15-12-27 in 20 GP and sits in the top 10 of scorers for the WHL.
**Michael St. Croix had three helpers for Edmonton, pushing him to 12-17-29 in 21 GP. Teammate T.J. Foster, who is just a handful of rungs below St. Croix among scoring leaders, had a helper and has 11-15-26 in 21 GP.
**Portland DESTROYED Spokane 9-1, although Spokane actually outshot their opponents by a 44-36 count. Crazy. Not too often you see something like that. Ty Rattie (0-2-2) and Nicolas Petan (0-1-1) added to their strong seasonal totals (12-17-28 in 18 GP and 10-22-32 in 19 GP respectively), leaving them seventh and sixth in league scoring.
**JC Lipon (0-1-1 and 17-25-42 in 22 GP) and Colin Smith (1-0-1 and 14-27-41 in 22 GP) continue to give opposing defencemen fits and are one-two in WHL scoring with an eight and seven-point cushion on their next-nearest competition. That would be Medicine Hat's Curtis Valk (0-2-2 Saturday for 15-19-34 overall in 22 starts) and teammate Hunter Shinkaruk (1-1-2 for 15-18-33 in 22 outings).
Guelph Storm forward Jason Dickinson, who has shown versatility in excelling both on the wing and down the middle, is projected as a first rounder according to an early list from NHL Central Scouting. The Toronto Star profiles him this weekend and how can you not at least grin a little bit reading this assessment from head coach Scott Walker?
“The best part about this kid is that his upside is endless,” Walker says of Dickinson, a highly-touted 6-foot-2, 176-pound Orangeville, Ont., native. “He’s not going to shave until he’s 35 and he’s still got a million miles to go in filling out.
“They (opponents) have trouble getting the puck off him now. What are they going to do when he’s 200 or 210 pounds?”
Whether you’re the least bit interested in the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and Dean Lombardi or not, LA Kings Insider has a highly-recommended read with the team’s president and general manager in a three-part series.
In-depth, insightful and, IMO, 100 percent worth the time to peruse. From the essence of Olympic competition to philosophy with Plato’s Republic to strategy and preparation lessons from Rommel – it’s really well-done and gives you a glimpse into a very sharp mind.
The National Post drew me in with the headline alone: ‘Jeremy Roenick takes on the Internet, one jerk at a time.’
Roenick, who has never been shy to speak his mind, leads with this beauty: “Sometimes, some people just hit me the wrong way, and I just wish that the laws would allow me to hit them right f—– back.”
Preach on, my brother.
“I would never in a million years just go up and fight somebody just because they say something, or they believe in something,” he said. “But I really get disappointed in the human race when people have a thought process where they can say some of the most outlandish, gross, despicable and horrible things I’ve heard people say on Twitter.
“And then you have people that just want to stir the pot, just want attention, maybe because they weren’t loved as kids, or they didn’t get the attention as children and they’re just mad at the world,” he said. “But they want to stir the pot, and they want to get attention … and, you know what? I feel bad for those people.”
Friday’s Hockey Hearsay had a blurb on Oilers coach Ralph Krueger’s exuberance over one Nail Yakupov. Included amongst the praise was the bench boss’s belief that he can ‘feel the Oilers blood beginning to boil’ in his young Padawan.
The particularly intriguing nugget for poolies, though, was Krueger’s projection of his power play units.
He’s inclined to see Justin Schultz and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins manning the point of PP1 with Yakupov as the finisher up front. Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner, as of now, are pencilled in to move the puck around up front on that unit.
For Krueger, the mindset seems to be having two basically equally-lethal man advantage troupes.
You can do the math on what would theoretically be the second team. Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, and Ryan Whitney would form the heart of it. Corey Potter (right-handed shooter) could play opposite Whitney (leftie) on the point. Ryan Smyth, who’ll turn 37 in late February, could certainly share the final slot with Shawn Horcoff. Honestly though, I’d rather keep them both fresh for the PK and let one of the kids have the PP2 space. Teemu Hartikainen may well merit consideration and could be the perfect complement to those guys. With Smyth as a tutor on Goalie Disruption 101? Watch out.
It’s true that Krueger’s thoughts today don’t necessarily reflect how things will go down once play gets underway, but remember just how astute this man is with special teams. As the article points out, he took over the Oilers’ power play last year from Tom Renney. The move resulted in a dramatic six-point upswing (14.5 percent to 20.6 percent), which was a gargantuan leap from 27th in the league all the way up to third. The man knows what he’s doing.
One more quick note on the Oil. Taylor Hall admitted to the Edmonton Sun before the weekend’s AHL set with the Heat that while the shoulder surgery has ‘held up well’ early on, he’s still a long way from the player he wants and needs to be. Not surprising, given that he went more than seven months between games.
“I felt lost out there, but every day, every game and every period I feel a bit more used to everything.”
This lockout is supposed to be the chance for those upper-echelon prospects to shine, but The Toronto Sun notes Marlies coach Dallas Eakins benched Nazem Kadri and Joe Colborne Friday. Although it was partially a three games in three nights scenario, it seems as if the coach wasn’t particularly happy with the duo’s performance Thursday night or to date.
That seemed to wake them up. More AHL results further down, but Kadri exploded for 1-2-3 against San Antonio Saturday night and Colborne had 1-1-2. Jake Gardiner’s assist in that one, incidentally, pushed him to seven points (4-3-7) in his 11 clashes.
The Ottawa Citizen relays that the Senators organization is taking no chances in rushing defenceman Jared Cowen back from what they are calling a lower-body injury. He had three assists in the team’s first three games, but hasn’t played since. He is not skating now and there is no timetable for his return.
In nine games for Rockford, Beach has 4-2-6 with 24 PIM and 12 SOG.
A rejuvenated James Sheppard opens up to AHL.com about what it was like to have such a massive layoff after injuring his knee in an ATV accident. He says the time off allowed him to ‘get the fire back’ in his game.
Worcester Sharks head coach Roy Sommer calls Sheppard a power forward who is ‘hard to play against’, who plays ‘a lot of important minutes’ and who is ‘going to be a point producer’ for the team.
Sheppard was held pointless in Saturday’s 6-2 loss to Connecticut and has 1-5-6 in 12 GP, including 24 SOG and 16 PIM.
The Detroit News says Red Wings defenceman Jonathan Ericsson has returned from his stint in the Swedish Elite League, where he played a total of seven games combined with Vita Hasten (his hometown team) and Soderalje - both lower division teams.
He has a good reminder of what it’s going to be like for hundreds of NHLers who have just been practicing for the past few months.
"Game tempo is different from when you're practicing or skating around here," Ericsson said. "Games are totally different. I really noticed that, even in the lower levels, a game is a game."
Quick hits from Saturday’s AHL action.
**Slava Voynov picked up two more helpers in Manchester’s 3-0 shutout over Providence, which pulls his season totals to 3-4-7 in 11 GP with 32 SOG. With his third shutout of the season, Martin Jones stands with a 6-3-1 mark, a 1.79 GAA and a .935 SV%.
**Kris Newbury has now tallied 5-9-14 in 11 starts (46 PIM) with Connecticut after a 1-2-3 performance against the Sharks. Chris Kreider had two assists, moving him to 1-6-7 in 10 outings.
**Helluva season for Robin Lehner so far. First star honours in the 4-2 win over the Admirals after turning aside 31/33. That leaves him with a sparkling 1.74 GAA and .942 SV%. Jakob Silfverberg had a pair of assists in that tilt.
**Nice point pace for rearguard David Rundblad, who added a helper in Portland’s shootout loss and has 0-8-8 in 10 GP.
**First star Marcus Foligno led his squad to a 5-2 win over the Crunch thanks to a three-point effort (1-2-3) and has 6-8-14 in 12 affairs. Yes, Cory Conacher also scored in that one. He’s at 7-6-13 in 11 games.
**Tomas Vincour (1-1-2 and 2-6-8 in 10 GP overall) had a nice evening for Texas and Cam Barker’s three-assist results catapulted him to four points for ’12-13. Mark Stepneski tweeted: Texas defenseman Jordie Benn expected to be out "a little bit," according to Willie Desjardins. Benn hit his head on the boards during fight
**Gustav Nyquist has fired 39 shots on goal and has 6-9-15 in 13 starts following his 0-2-2 affair against the Rivermen. Landon Ferraro also found the back of the net twice, which means he has 5-5-10 overall. T.J. Hensick is also averaging a point-per-game. He had 1-1-2 on this night, giving him 3-9-12 on the whole.
**Brandon Pirri leaves Saturday night with 6-5-11 in 12 GP. He scored once against the Admirals.
**Lines for OKC vs. Heat, courtesy of the respective parent NHL teams’ Twitter feeds: Hall-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle / Paajarvi-Lander-Hartikainen and Baertschi - Walter – Horak as the horses on the other side. Justin Schultz (of course) scored the OT GWG and Taylor Hall also nabbed one for the Oil's farm club. Roman Horak and Sven Baertschi were held off the scoresheet.
What an absolutely horrifying experience for Blake Geoffrion, along with his family, friends and fans. If you missed the story, the Canadiens prospect hit his head on the ice following a big hit in Friday night’s game. There was blood on the ice, but he left the game on his own power and was then rushed to the hospital. We later learned he had surgery for a depressed skull fracture.
Thankfully, he is expected to make a full recovery.
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