Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Defense Preview/Preditions

Ok, time to work on my favorite position, defenseman. I am still missing Ballard. I attempted to get info from the Panther fans on hf, but they apparently are ignoring me. Maybe I asked too many questions (all I said was, how does Ballard look? Has he played any preseason games? And what role is he playing?). If I get any info, maybe I will post it.

So far it looks like Morris and Sauer will be paired together. They seem to have good chemistry and both have experience being shut down dmen. Sauer is the kind of dman you don’t really notice, but in a good way. He makes some good hits, mans the blue line and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. DMo and Sauer will be a good shut down pair, both able to take on different roles.

Logan Stephenson was recently sent down to SA. I think next year he will really have a chance to show what he’s got. He isn’t quite NHL ready but he still isn’t afraid to hit anything that moves. In my opinion he needs to bulk up a bit. He looks kind of scrawny. I think another year in the AHL will serve him well.

Keith Yandle and Matt Jones really need to step it up or they are going to lose their jobs and be sent to SA. Yandle could definitely use another year in the AHL. I just don’t think he is quite ready for the NHL game. I feel like we rushed him last year and he took a step backwards. When he went to SA for the playoffs, he still made the same mistakes. I say give him the time to develop in the AHL and see what he can do toward the end of the year. Matt Jones, I don’t even know what to say about him. He seems like he is trying but we just have too much talent trying to break into the NHL. I don’t know if he would benefit from time in the AHL, maybe a change of scenery would be better for Matt Jones. I think he has seen the last of his days in Phoenix.

Ryan Lannon may not make the Coyotes but he is making a good case for himself. He is solid, not afraid to hit and, like Sauer, invisible but in the good way. If he doesn’t make the team, I am sure he will get a call up if a dman is injured. I have only seen him play one game, but he was all over the ice and I kept going “Oh that was good! Who was that? Oh! It was Lannon”. He was also named the third star of the game last night. Also, he is VERY flexible. During warm-ups, he was doing second position splits. Yah, all the way down and I was very impressed. I have never seen a guy be that flexible. I was calling him flexi boy last night. I liked him and hope to see him up here for a bit.

Oh Z, you are solid and continue to impress season after season. Your game is steady. You are good at blocking lanes, blocking shots, taking hits, trying to give hits. Z has looked good as usual and has a new partner. So far he has been paired with Jona Ahnelov. Ahnelov is a big body and he is not afraid to hit people. He also attempts the hip checks. I like that in a dman. All of that. Ahnelov has made a good showing and will more than likely make the team. Ahnelov seems to be pretty much a stay at home dman, giving Z some chance to jump back in the play and generate some of his offensive talent.

Jovo has actually made a good showing in the past couple of games. As I said the other day, he only turned the puck over once in the two games I’ve seen. He is still playing the point on the PP but needs to learn when to shoot. He passed when he had open lanes to shoot and shot when there was a player right in front of him. Hopefully he keeps this play up as he seems much better defensively this season. He still has a powerful, accurate shot from the blueline. Jovo also has been hustling lately too.

David Hale. I am still not overly impressed with him. I think as a veteran dman though, he will make the team. He might be the 7th dman. He didn’t play last night but from what I can remember Saturday he was ok. He wasn’t good but he wasn’t a liability either.

I am guessing the D-pairings will look something like this:
If this is the case, I am hoping Hale and Lannon will be the rotating 6th and 7th dmen. Yandle and Jovo paired together would be a nightmare. If Jovo would man the blueline it may not be too bad. But I could just see it now. Jovo has a brain fart, and jumps into the play only to realize to late the Yandle has jumped into the play too. Jones may not be bad with Jovo because Jones can stay on the blueline. D should be interesting this season.

Stay tuned for a update on last nights game!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ducks 3, Coyotes 1

Some quick thoughts on last nights game…
Jovo: Wow, did not see that coming. I only had to say damnjovo a couple of times. I did say OMG was that Jovo? a few times. The guy had a great game, with only one turnover at the blueline. For as much as he messed up last year, I can still give the guy a chance. Hopefully this continues throughout the season.

Sauer, well he pretty much was the cause of the first goal. He knocked into a duck and sent the puck behind Bryz, who then kicked the puck into the net. After that though, Sauer came together. He had some big hits and he has some good chemistry with DMo.

As far as the lines go, our second line was by far the best. They had so much chemistry and got our only goal. Carcillo-Turris-Boedker. Wow, I think Fridge just lost his spot on the second line. You can not deny that this was the best line out there. Speed, toughness, chemistry. So impressed. Carcillo got the only goal and had the Ducks goalie (a former coyote at that) not been on, he would have had the hat trick. Turris can just pass and find his teammates like no other. I was a little worried about Boedker but not after last night! The kid has speed and he just worked so well with those two.

Now, the top line will be amazing too once they get used to playing with each other. Doan is just a monster. Oh, there’s a player in front of me? I will just go right through him. Jokinen skates so well. Mueller, well he passed way too much last night. I think he thought he was back at center and trying to set everyone up. This line has amazing potential though. They just need to keep working with each other. Hear that Gretz: No line juggling yet!

Winnik and Tiki looked good. Neither guy was afraid to battle anyone for the puck. And wow Tiki, didn’t know you were willing to throw yourself in front of the puck so much! Welcome to the NHL, you earned it!

McGrattan needs to keep moving his feet. He is too big of force to get going quickly from a dead stop. He looked nervous last night, like he wasn’t sure what to do with all his ice time. I think the coyotes expect him to be a regular player unlike Ottawa who gave him a 2 minute ice time average. They have been pushing him in practice (and he’s looked good there). Hopefully he can step up.

Ahhh, the power play. WAY too much passing going on there. When guys had open lanes to shoot, they would pass. When they had 4 players blocking the shooting lane, they'd shoot. At one point I yelled out, “You know how to pass now show us you can shoot!” Other than that, it was looking like it could have potential. They were cycling, setting up and then passing. Even Hale didn’t do too bad on the PP (he also did ok as Jovo’s partner – which by the way I like Z and Ahnelov together, Z got to jump into some plays!).

Let’s see, the guy behind me was an idiot trying to sound like a hockey pro to his buddy. He obviously didn’t know much about the coyotes because at one point he said that “that guy should be sent down”. That guy was Shane Doan. Yup, we are going to send down our captain, one of best power forwards and one that has been in the NHL for like 10 + years. Good idea! I want that guy behind the bench. He was obviously a loser as he kept saying his daughter was going to be a Red Wing fan (umm, I just threw up a lil in my mouth). She is going to be a Red Wings fan damn it! Oh how I hate parents who try to force their kid into liking the team that they do. Let them pick which teams they like. My parents did. I’ve been a suns fan as long as I can remember and I grew up in Wisconsin. They never forced me to be a Packer fan or a bucks fan. It’s kind of like parents who force their kid into activities they like. Have them try everything and then let them pick what they like. Ok end of rant.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Game Day!

Here is a quick game day update. I went to practice/morning skate today. I got a preview of the Power Play. Looks like the first unit is Doan, Jovo, Turris, Jokinen and Mueller and the second unit is Carc, Rhino, Bods, Tiki and Hale.

I made a point to try and watch Hale at practice today and he is not inspiring any confidence. He is partnered with Jovo tonight and I am not sure if that is a good idea. Hale just doesn’t seem to be to the level of skating and skill that the other 5 are at (DMo, Sauer, Z, Jovo and Ahnelov).

We are playing a more NHL/veteran heavy lineup for the first “official” home game. I haven’t seen a list of who the Ducks are putting out but hopefully with Bryz in net and the lineup we have, we can finally get a win.

Hopefully I will have a quick update after the game is over. Tomorrow I plan on working on my season preview/predictions for the D. There is practice from 9-1; I will be there.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Time for Forwards and 13 Assigned to SA

After listening to Tuesday nights game, it appears we still have problems with that third period. If they want to make a serious playoff run they will need to fix that real quick. We aren’t going to win a lot of games by letting the other team win in just the 3rd period alone (see game against Detroit last year, totally thought we had them beat but they came out with energy in the 3rd and we came out looking like we died).
Also, Brodeur has been reassigned to his junior team. I expect a few more cuts in the next couple of days. Wow, I wrote that on Thursday and today there were a ton of cuts! 14 to be exact.
I may have been wrong about the goalies. It looks as if Montoya may beat out Tordjman as starter in San Antonio. Montoya has been playing really well and Tordjy not so much.

With the addition of Jokinen, we will have a pretty solid first line. Mueller, Jokinen and Doan will have talent galore and Jokinen will be a well suited match for the big Pacific division centers (Getzlaf, Marleau etc). Turris and Fedoruk will most likely skate together, which is good. Turris needs reinforcement on his link and Fedoruk can provide that. He is also a pretty good skater.
We have additional toughness with Carcillo and McGrattan. Expect McGrattan to spend a lot of time in the press box, coming out for blood when we meet teams like Dallas, LA, and the Ducks. He can take on the big guys that Carcillo struggled with last year (Ivanans). Carcillo will spend his time agitating and scoring goals (I’m thinking 20-25). He will fight but not like he did last year. I expect that the misconducts will be a thing of the past, as he seemed to learn his lesson after being sent down to SA. It does seem that Carcillo has taken his lesson to heart. It sounded as if the Flames were all over Carcillo like white on rice and he just played hockey.
Turris will most definitely make the team. Look for him to be on the 2nd line with either Fedoruk or Carcillo. He needs some protection. He is a naturally and reads the ice so well.
Lisin and Tiki (Chickenoff) are making names for themselves. I expect them to at least start with the big club. Lisin almost had the hattrick Wednesday night and Tiki got our only goal Thursday. Tiki didn’t seem to do that well during the rookie game but it looks like the nerves have worn off and he seems to be getting his game under control.
Boedker may make the team. I haven’t been impressed with his contribution to the games, but then again not being able to see the game makes a huge difference when trying to evaluate players. I expect him to see some time with the Coyotes. He may be another Mueller, get a good look at him, have him watch from the press box and see if he can adjust his game. If not, send him to where ever he needs to go.
I doubt MacLean makes the coyotes. He has not impressed in the rookie games, regular games or practice. His skating has vastly improved this summer. Send him to SA to work on his game at this level. Funny, I wrote this in the morning and I get home from practice to see that he got sent to SA. Boy did I call that!
Porter seems really composed out there. They have separated Porter and Kolarik and both seem to be doing well separately. Kolarik has just been sent to SA. Porter still seems to be doing well. He definitely has the hockey sense and poise to start in the NHL.
Hanzal still looks like he is hurting. He is still wearing the yellow “no contact” jersey. I hope they don’t rush him into playing before he is ready. I want Hanzal to be 100% or as close to it as he can be before coming back. He has so much potential, I don’t want this surgery to be the end of his career.
Zigomanis is still missing his damn tooth. It looks horrible. Other than that, I am not too impressed with Ziggy. I think he will end up in SA again. Or maybe DM will trade him. He lost his place last season and with the new young guys, I think he’s pretty much done as a coyote. It does suck a little, as he was the best face-off guy we had (beside No Panic Yanic, can we bring him back?).
Perrault currently has a concussion and hasn’t participated with any of the on-ice practices. He has been watching a lot of the on-ice practices. I can’t really evaluate not having seen him play. I am guessing he will come back in SA and then have to work his way back into the Coyotes lineup.
Rhino is actually looking pretty good in practices. Unfortunately with all the young guys and Jokinen, I think he’s been pushed down the depth chart. Rhino ended last season on a downward slide. He looks much better now and he was doing pretty well with some really bad passes today. I’m thinking he may be a trade sometime this year, maybe deadline. The only reason I see him sticking around all year is for that veteran presence. I believe he is UFA at the end of the year, so Maloney may try to get something from him instead of just letting him walk in the off season. I don’t see the Coyotes re-signing him at this point.
Winnik is looking good. His skating has improved so much since last season. I can defiantly see him making the team again this season. I have read some opinions that think he won’t make it with all the young guys, but with his improved skating, puck handling, and defensive minded-ness, I can see him on this team on the third line. Plus he is big, he hits and isn’t afraid to go into corners and fight for the puck.

Forwards that I think will be assigned to SA:
Garth Murray
Jeff Hoggan
Adam Keefe
Derek Nesbitt
Alex Bourret
I don’t have too much to say on these guys. I haven’t seen them play and they haven’t stuck out to me at camp except Adam Keefe. That’s because for a middle weight he is not afraid of anyone! He was left bleeding after a fight in Winnipeg and just came back out and kept checking the guy he got into a fight with. He is one tough guy.

13 players were sent to SA today. Here is the list:
Dave Spina
Simon Ferguson
Steven Goertzen
Francis Lessard
Adam Perry
Daine Todd
Sean Sullivan
Sean Zimmerman
Dylan Reese
David Schlemko
Drew Fata
Michael Stone (actually sent back to his junior team)

Hey MissConduct, can you watch Sullivan, Zimmerman and Reese for me? Those are probably my three favorite D. As far as forwards, watch Dave Spina, Kolarik and MacLean. No goalies sent there yet, but I'm guessing I will need you to watch Tordjman and Montoya too. Is this list too long for you? Thanks! :)

I just want to mention Tyler Johnson. He is about 5’7 but very scrappy. He wants to play and you can tell. He pushed himself through 3 big king players and controlled the puck. He is quick and will go to the puck, no matter where it is. He wants it and I believe he will someday make the NHL. At practice he was doing a drill with Hanzal and he was faster than Hanzal. It was just funny to see the tallest guy skating with the shortest guy. I love this kid and no matter where he ends up, he will do well and be a great team player.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Season Preview/Prediction Part 1

This season should prove to be a good one for the coyotes. We have some really great returning talent, a lot of young guys fighting for spots, and Maloney’s off-season acquisitions seem to be great additions.
I am working on my predictions/previews by positions. The easiest was goalie, so that will be my first installment below. I have started the forwards, so expect that one next, but it may not be until next week that it gets up. This may be a slow process, hang with me.
I believe we will make the playoffs this year. I think it will end up like last year, where we are competing for a spot with a few other teams. It will be a tight but exciting race and the Coyotes will slip into one of the 8 spots.

Mucha was sent back to his junior team. He has skill and drive but he isn’t quite NHL ready. With Tordjman and Montoya, he won’t have much of a chance making it in SA. Also, I am not sure he is to the AHL level yet. He looked pretty good in the rookie game, but I need to see more of him.
Obviously Bryz will be our starter. I think that Telly will start the year as back up and probably be traded by the deadline. Tordjman and Montoya will be in SA fighting for who gets the spot freed up by Telly’s trade. I don’t think it would be good for Tordjman to back up Bryz. He needs to keep playing because he has the talent to be a great NHL goalie but needs the playing time.
I haven’t seen enough of Montoya yet but I believe he is in the same place as Tordjman. He will make a great NHLer but needs a year playing, not sitting. Splitting time in the AHL will serve Montoya and Tordjman well. It will also be healthy competition. Eventually we will probably need to trade one of them but I am guessing that won’t happen until the 09-10 season. I am thinking Montoya will be traded at that time. If Telly isn’t traded this season, Montoya will be.
Gistedt is a little more difficult for me to determine what will happen with him. This is mostly because I don’t know where he would need to play if he doesn’t make the Coyotes. Can we assign him to the Sundogs or does he need to go back to Frolunda? Frolunda was not the best situation for him last season, so I am hoping he can be the starter for the Sundogs. That will give him plenty of playing time and time to adjust to the North American players.

My next entry should be the forwards, but I am going to practice on Friday and there is a home game Saturday so those entries might slip in here before I get the forwards done!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Practice

I had the chance to watch 4 hours of practice on Sunday at the job. We saw two scrimmages and two of the three teams run drills.

At the end of practice McGrattan came out and worked on his skating (thank god) along with Hanzal. By the end Hanzal looked like he was in a lot of pain. Hanzal was giving out pucks and I got one! Most of the writing is off but you can still see part of the NHL symbol and the word “practice”. It’s my first practice puck. I usually let the little kids run and get them. McGrattan is fun to watch work on his skating. He is a very large guy (like 6’5, 235 lbs) and he definitely is not as smooth as Hanzal. His crossovers vastly improved when the skate coach told him (and showed him) that leaning wasn’t helping him.

During one of the scrimmages, Lessard (brought in for SA, not Phx) hit Jovo a little too hard and Doan said something to him (being he is the Captain and he probably told him to take it easy or something). Lessard then proceeded to say something to Doan and we got a flash of angry Doan (my favorite). Gloves were flying and Lessard and Doan were being held back. Jovo then realized what was going on and threw his gloves off and went after Lessard. Jovo and Lessard then spent some time in the box. I don’t think that was good on Lessard’s part. He is trying to make a good impression and he insults the captain and an alternate captain.

Another interesting altercation was when Chickenoff tripped Carcillo. Carcillo (while on his knees) hit Chickenoff’s shins with his stick. Both of those boys went to the box. Once they were out, Carcillo was a moth to Chickenoff’s flame. He was totally watching Chickenoff. He reminds me of a cat stalking a mouse.

None of the goalies really stood out as really good or really bad. There are six goalies at camp and all but one are under contract with us. I thought we had another goalie that was with the Sundogs last season, but maybe his contract was up with us. It doesn’t seem to be a goalie fight like it was last season when we started with three goalies on the Coyotes.

I can’t think of anything else. There wasn’t a lot that stood out to me today. I am still trying to get all the new guys straight.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Coyotes/Kings Rookie Games

For Tuesday’s game we took over section 104. We pounded on the glass, screamed, yelled, and cheered for our baby yotes. We were not very loved by the baby kings during warm-ups. Clune even went so far as to stick his tongue out at us.

We didn’t have much defense going for us Tuesday night. The kings came out very physical and shoving our guys around. It wasn’t until maybe the second period that we started pushing back. The kings were also a little dirty, throwing some elbows. They took a liking to Turris and every time he was on the ice he was being shoved like mad. He will definitely need an enforcer on a line with him in the NHL. If these rookies (who weren’t huge) can push him around, imagine what a full grown NHL man could do to him. Also, he needs to tighten the helmet. It wouldn’t stay on his head and was sliding around like crazy.

We ended up losing this game 2-1. Mucha was in goal and the talent level just isn’t there yet. He’s not bad; he’s just not quite there yet.

Part of the problem was the rookies acted like traffic in Phoenix. Everyone gathered together, not willing to spread out. The PP was looking pretty good. My only complaint is they need to shoot more. They waited far too long passing the puck before shooting.

Simmonds, Cliché and Clune were out for blood. Clune fought with someone Tuesday night and for the life of me I cannot remember who. At the end of the game, there was a “brawl”. Ahnelov even left the bench to join in. Ahnelov also got a nice hipcheck (my Ballard replacement?) on one of the kings, never saw it coming and sent him flying. Our guys needed to get a little rough with those kings. Johnson (here on amateur try-out) was a scrappy little guy. He also got our only goal of the night. He was easily the smallest guy out there but he battled anyone, he got into it at the end, and you could just tell he wants this.

Wednesday afternoon we sat behind the Coyotes bench. I had a pretty good view of Ulf’s head. During the second period there was a camera man taking pictures of Gretzky. I heard him say something about being from Vogue.

We came out a lot better today. We were ready for this. I’m thinking the nerves were gone. We were physical and Ahnelov had something out for Simmonds. If that boy was on the ice, Ahnelov was on the ice. Simmonds had to start watching his back after awhile. Ahnelov also threw down with Clune. Ahnelov had a look on his face by the end of the game like he was going to kill anyone who crossed his path.

All the boys looked much better today. Sullivan played today. I was pretty impressed with him. He tried to make a couple of hits and got a couple good ones in. Porter and Kolarik were on today. Last night I wasn’t too impressed with them but after today, wow. They are going to be a force. I don’t know if they will be with the Coyotes all season, but they will definitely get some call ups.

Staal needs to learn to use his reach. There were a couple of times where if he could have used his long arms and stick to grab the puck or poke it away. His arms were always bent and in close to his body.

Brodeur has become a much better skater since rookie camp. Ross seems to have gained a lot of confidence since last years training camp. Ahnelov isn’t afraid to hit, defend, fight etc. Zimmerman didn’t look too bad. He seemed to be throwing his big body around.

Well, I think that is it for now. I am sleepy after the last two days of hockey and can’t think anymore.

Coming up Saturday is the CoyotesFest at the job. It’s 11-3. I will be there to see how all the guys look in their scrimmages.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rookie Practice

I headed over to the job this morning and had to deal with stupid football fans, I almost hit one with my car. I digress. I went to the job to watch the rookie practice. All of the rookies that will be playing in the rookie game were there.

First off, goalies in attendance were Joel Gistedt and Kurtis Mucha. Gistedt was pretty impressive. I can definitely see the talent there. I was not as enamored with Mucha. He obviously isn’t to Gistedt’s level yet. During one defensive drill, it didn’t look like he was trying much at all.

The forwards were broken down into lines for most of the drills and the mini-scrimmage they did. Top line was Turris, Tikhonov (Chickenoff) and Boedker. I have a total man-crush on Turris. That kid is just so talented. He is practically oozing talent. And those three are fast m-effers! The next line was MacLean, Porter and Kolarik. This line wasn’t as impressive as the Turris, Chickenoff and Boedker line. I didn’t notice them too much (as I was busy watching the dmen). I cannot remember the rest of the lines but they included Staal, Colin Long, John Flatters, Adam Perry and Daine Todd.

I am liking Nick Ross even more this year. He seems a lot more confident and his skating seems quite smooth. He had good puck control and he also seemed to be directing his fellow dmen. Ahnelov handled the puck quite well except for one drill where they had to skate out, spin in a circle and then put the puck on net. He was having problems with the spinning and keeping the puck, but so were most other ds (Sean Sullivan and Michael Stone had a lot of trouble with this one too). Michael Stone and Mathieu Brodeur stood out mainly because of their size. Brodeur is listed as 6’5 but I swear he is taller than that. He seemed to tower over Ahnelov (or maybe Ahnelov is lying about his 6’3). Stone is listed at 6’3 and 205 but he just seemed so much bigger to me. The d did a lot of puck control/skating drills.

Once the players split up between d and forwards, I did not watch the forwards drills. The d just have so much more interesting drills. It’s all skating and puck control. I would glance down at the forwards but whenever I did, they were just doing a shooting drill. I am more about goalies and d. I like to watch when the forwards are denied. I like seeing the shot being stopped or the puck stripped from the forward.

Also, the job was not very cold. The first half of practice it seemed like a lot of the guys fell or lost an edge. The ice looked quite cloudy and not quite right. After the zamboni came through, the ice looked much better and there wasn’t the falling like before. The job also seemed to get a little colder by the end.

The guys also did like a mini scrimmage. They were actually getting a little rough with each other. There was some shoving and checking into the boards.

Overall, it was a good practice to see. It’s nice to see our future talent because some of it is just amazing. It’s also fun to see how the guys have developed from previous years.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ballard Update

Keith Ballard has signed a 6 year extension, supposedly worth 4.2 million/year with the Panthers. It looks as if Ballard will be asked to play a more offensive role with increased time on the PP. He most likely will not be a shut down dman with the Panthers, which could be good for the Panthers as he seems to do better when he can jump into the play.

I plan to follow the Panthers a little more this year to keep an eye on Ballard. I am sure he will be using his signature hipchecks, taking those Eastern Conference players by surprise. I am also hoping to be able to catch the Panthers in Washington this March.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Ok, quick rundown of today’s practice. I was a little busy fielding texts and phone calls, so I did the best I could. Bryz and Montoya (NY Rangers helmet with "The Big Cubano" on the back, assuming it's him) were there.
Montoya and the other goalie stayed late and did the scrimmages. Montoya looks like he has some potential, although when it was over, he went to lean on the net and it moved and he fell over. It was quite humorous and smooth. Haha

There was a MN wild player today. I got a quick (read: not good picture) and he was wearing number 3 on his helmet. MissConduct, can you ID him? He looked older and it appeared as if he had a big scar on the left side of his chin. Thanks!
Turris is so slick. And soooo good at everything. Every time I saw something amazing I was like who was that? And it was always Turris.

Jovo left super early and Doan showed up super later. Yandle and DMo were not there at all.

Mueller did this slick pass to Turris. He was spinning in circles (like a dog does when trying to lie down) and had the other team going what the hell and then passed it behind his back across the ice. I was like holy shit, how did he do that??

Carcillo had four guys on him at one point and shoved his way through them all the while still controlling the puck.

Maloney, Trevling (spelling?), Fuhr and new asst coach guy were all in the bleachers. When Carcillo came out and was in front of them, he got this huge grin and saluted them.

If I think of anything else, I will post it! I just had to get all this down before it left my brain, so excuse any fragments and grammatical errors!
Picture from top to bottom:
Daniel Winnik, Daniel Carcillo, Dan Cleary, Carcillo, Carcillo Stretching

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Rookie Game Line Up and Respectable Players

Something I have been wondering about recently involves our rookies and those coming back for their sophomore season.
Will the returning guys (Mueller, Hanzal, Winnik, and Carcillo) have a sophomore slump? Hanzal will be coming off a back surgery, will he be cautious? We are putting a lot of stock in our young guys. Watching Mueller in practice, he looks older and more muscular. Winnik still looks good and he’s skating very well. Last time I was at the practice he was out with Jokinen and Turris and looked very good with those two. I haven’t seen Carcillo or Hanzal yet but I’ve heard Carcillo has been working out this summer and going to a camp up in Toronto.
Another thing I have been wondering is how the rookies are going to do. I’m sure Turris and a few others (Boedker) will be up here all year but I wonder about the likes of Porter and Kolairk etc. We have so many rookies; I don’t see them all on the Coyotes all year. I have a feeling that some may be bouncing back and forth between here and San Antonio. If it’s like last year, the call up will happen and then when they aren’t doing as well, back to SA.

In two weeks we have the rookie game. That should also give me an idea how all the young guys are doing and who will be making the big club.

Here is the line up for the rookie game line up
Stolen from: http://blog.coyoteshipcheck.com/

Phoenix Roster: Projected Players:

Joel Gistedt - Goaltender - Frolunda (Sweden)
Kurtis Mucha - Goaltender - Portland (WHL)*
Kyle Turris - Center - Wisconsin (WCHA)/Phoenix (NHL)
Colin Long - Center - Kelowna (WHL)
Daine Todd - Center - Medicine Hat (WHL)*
Tyler Johnson- Center - Spokane (WHL)*
Viktor Tikhonov - Left Wing - Cherepovets (Russia)
Brett MacLean - Left Wing - Oshawa (OHL)
Adam Perry - Left Wing - London/Belleville (OHL)
John Flatters - Left Wing - Prince Albert/Saskatoon (WHL)*
Mikkel Boedker - Right Wing - Kitchener (OHL)
Kevin Porter - Right Wing - Michigan (CCHA)/San Antonio (AHL)
Chad Kolarik - Right Wing - Michigan (CCHA)/San Antonio (AHL)
Jared Staal - Right Wing - Sudbury (OHL)
Jonas Ahnelov - Defenseman - Frolunda (Sweden)
Nick Ross - Defenseman - Regina/Kamloops (WHL)/San Antonio (AHL)
Sean Sullivan - Defenseman - Arizona (CHL)/San Antonio (AHL)
David Schlemko - Defenseman - Arizona (CHL)/San Antonio (AHL)
Mathieu Brodeur - Defenseman - Cape Breton (QMJHL)
Tim Billingsley - Defenseman - Mississauga-St. Mike’s(OHL)
Michael Stone - Defenseman - Calgary (WHL)
Brett Motherwell - Defenseman - Syracuse (AHL)/Elmira (ECHL)/BC (H.E.)*

Obviously not all of these guys are going to be in the NHL. Many will be sent back to their junior team but it will be fun to see them all and focus on those that may be making the Coyotes. I can’t wait to see what lines they put together. With Gretzky behind the bench, I am sure there will be much line juggling!

And for those who care about the other team:

Los Angeles Roster: Projected Players

84 — Azevedo, Justin — Center
45 — Bernier, Jonathan — Goaltender
55 — Cameron, Bryan — Right Wing
81 — Campbell, Andrew — Defenseman
72 — D’Orazio, Mike* — Defenseman
80 — Doughty, Drew — Defenseman
44 — Drewiske, Davis — Defenseman
77 — Fillier, Matt — Left Wing
37 — Hickey, Thomas — Defenseman
50 — Holloway, Bud — Right Wing
64 — Kidd, Josh — Defenseman
74 — King, Dwight — Left Wing
83 — Legault, Olivier* — Left Wing
48 — Loktionov, Andrei — Center
53 — Martinez, Alec — Defenseman
51 — Moller, Oscar — Center
75 — Rowat, Linden — Goaltender
57 — Simmonds, Wayne — Right Wing
79 — Teubert, Colten — Defenseman
76 — Voynov, Viatcheslav — Defenseman
82 — Wudrick, Geordie — Left Wing
36 — Zatkoff, Jeff — Goaltender
* tryout?

One article/opinion piece already has Kyle Turris winning the Calder. Last year Mueller was often mentioned in the Calder race and I don’t doubt that KT will be on the top of that list for most of the season. It’s nice to see other people putting their stock into KT over Stamkos.

My favorite coyote radio guy is leaving. Louie DeBrusk has taken the color analyst for the Edmonton Oilers/Rodgers Sportsnet. I am a little disappointed. I really liked Louie and never did get a picture with him. I do wish him well. I much liked when he did the interviews for the coyotes website. He comes across very well on camera. I am sure he will be great for the Oilers.
A quote from DeBrusk (from article on AZcentral)
"Any time you're making a career change - to a certain degree it's the same line of work, TV, but it's different from radio - it's an adjustment, the unknown," he said. "Every time you try to make an adjustment like that, there's always some thinking about it, but everything seemed to add up for me."

Don Maloney has shown he fits right in with the rest of the Phoenix Sports teams. (For those that may not know, Phoenix sports teams have a reputation of making sure all their athletes are quite respectable. This is why I laughed my ass off when people actually thought Kobe Bryant would be traded to the Suns. With his past, that would never happen) Former agent David Frost is thinking he is going to come to the Coyotes training camp. He has asked (and been granted permission) to leave Canada (he’s on bail for sexual exploitation) to attend the coyotes training camp. I think it would be best to put up Maloney’s quotes from the article to best convey his feelings:
"I can't be strong enough about this, we don't want any part of David Frost," Maloney told the Toronto Sun. "He is not welcome here. This is the first I've heard about this, but I can tell you without a doubt, I don't want him here, we don't want him here, he will not be allowed here."
"If young Keefe is in any way associated with Frost, he will not be coming to our camp," Maloney told the Toronto Sun. "He's a player targeted to play in San Antonio (of the American Hockey League). He played there last season and we had no problems with him and had no association with David Frost."
"This is simple really, if Frost is connected to Adam Keefe, we're through with Adam Keefe. When I was in New York, we had Sheldon for a brief time. And I had a little exposure to this man (Frost). I didn't like it. And I don't want anything to do with him now."
Wow Don, tell us how you really feel. But I can’t say I disagree with Maloney. After googling the man (and a friend’s hint that she also looked into him and was disgusted) I can’t say I don’t disagree with Maloney. The dude sounds like a pedophile. He needs to be locked up for good. Supposedly he sexual assaulted both girls and boys (ages 14-16) and watched them engage in acts with each other. Keep this man far away from Phoenix. We don’t want him here or anywhere near our players.

The coyotes have agreed to a one year affiliation with the sundogs. Maybe this year I will be able to make it up to a sundogs game. I’m sure I could get a few others to tag along. Road trip time!

It looks like Chickenoff (Tikhonov) will be free to play in the NHL this year. That is good news for us because that boy is good!