The Weekly Ignition: February 10 2014

 

 

It’s the Olympic break! The National Hockey League is now off for a bit, with no practices for another week and no games until February 25th. The Flames don’t play another game until February 27th. But there’s a lot of hockey going on, as the college and junior seasons are heading towards the playoffs!

RESULTS ROUND-UP

The Flames spent all week on the road to close out the pre-Olympic schedule.

They lost 2-0 to Montreal on Tuesday. Reto Berra played well, but Carey Price was a bit better. They biffed a two-minute five-on-three power-play, which basically determined the game. [Post-Game]

On Thursday, the Flames headed to Long Island and beat the Isles 4-2. Reto Berra got the win. Sean Monahan, Dennis Wideman, David Jones and Mikael Backlund scored for the winning side. [Post-Game]

On Saturday afternoon, the Flames closed out the week with a 2-1 loss to the Flyers. Reto Berra played again. Matt Stajan scored the lone goal. Ho-hum. We all hate Ray Emery now. And forever. [Post-Game]

24 regular season games left to go, folks!

PRESS ROUND-UP

Our pal Ruhee over at Matchsticks and Gasoline penned this tome, discussing disappointment.

Shane O’Brien is patiently playing out the season in Abbotsford, waiting for a trade.

Jiri Hudler is awesome.

Emile Poirier scored many goals this week. Here’s a few of them.

PROSPECT ROUND-UP

The Abbotsford Heat are now 31-15-3-1 and head into the AHL All-Star Break in first place in the AHL’s West Division. They had a strong week, taking three of four games. They probably want their last effort back, though, as they were whupped 7-2 by the visiting Texas Stars. The Stars have had the Heat’s number this year and are just two points back of them.

Ben Street returned to the AHL and put up five points this week. Markus Granlund also had five points. Corban Knight had four points. Sven Baertschi had three points. Olivier Roy won three of four games, then got lit up in the last game against Texas. Joni Ortio returned in relief against Texas and also got lit up. Who was good in the game where the Heat lost 7-2? Ben Street, Max Reinhart and Markus Granlund. Granlund’s been driving the bus for the Heat over the past several weeks.

The Alaska Aces continue to roll along. They’re 30-11-2-1 and in first place. Turner Elson just got sent down to the Aces and set up the game-winner in his second game in. He had 8 shots and a fight in his first weekend in the ECHL. Both David Eddy and James Martin are out with injuries.

By the time you read this, Boston College may already be playing for the Beanpot. They’re in the finals against their bitter rivals from Northeastern University – where Gaudreau originally committed, by the by. The Eagles had a good week, with Gaudreau and Arnold each putting up five points and being generally awesome. BC has five conference games left this season, and then it’s playoff time. They enter the stretch run with a 13-1-1 conference record and a 7 point cushion on the second-place team.

Michigan State forward Matt Deblouw hasn’t played since January 10th. Despite my best efforts, I cannot confirm that he is not injured, but he’s not included on MSU’s weekly injury updates. Russian defender Rushan Rafikov has not been a “minus” player in a game since November 13th. His team is first overall. Gatineau’s Emile Poirier had 8 goals this week. Eight. That includes a hat-trick and a four-goal game.

UP NEXT

The Flames are off for the better part of two weeks.

Ben Street and Chad Billins will represent the Heat (and Flames) in the AHL All-Star Game on Wednesday, as they face Hakan Loob’s team, Farjestads BK. They’re back in regular season action on Friday and Saturday as they head east to visit the Charlotte Checkers in the Carolina Hurricanes’ home in Raleigh.

After beating the Stockton Thunder three times already this week, the Alaska Aces play them two more times as part of the weird ECHL schedule that’s a result of the San Francisco Bulls folding. The schedule then gets weird, as they’re down in California to play Ontario and Bakersfield over the weekend.

Big week ahead for Providence College: they play Tuesday in a non-conference game against U-Conn, then play Notre Dame on the weekend in a pair of conference games. Prospect fans should head on down to the ‘Dome on Tuesday night! Leon Draisaitl and the Prince Albert Raiders visit Jake Virtanen and the Hitmen. If you can’t make it down, the game’s also on Shaw TV.

  • prendrefeu

    Poirier has some sick, sick moves. The trifecta to ditch the defender and score (last goal of the video) was great, but the breakaway and last-second backhand flip impressed me the most.

    NHLE be damned, I look forward to seeing him in a Flames jersey in the next few years.

  • I recall that in prior years, our prospect updates were “Ho-hum, Gaudreau did good again.” This season, there are a bunch of guys having strong seasons AND Bill Arnold has elevated his offensive game.

    • Byron Bader

      From what I understand, the Lakers were playing in the Philly stadium before the Flames/Flyers game, so they couldn’t have their morning skate there. Instead, they had to do it at some college arena with crappy facilities. So they get dressed in the real arena then take a bus to the practice place. Weird process, if true.

  • Byron Bader

    Poirier is 26 points better than the next guy on Gatineau. In on about 35% of the goals for the team, next closest is 23%. He seems to be driving that team. When he’s going, they’re going.

    That speed is insane. Once he gets a step on a guy he’s gone. He’ll be fun to watch in a few years when he goes pro.

    Also, that 4th goal is just filthy nice.

  • Byron Bader

    I think the challenge with Poirier (if there is one) will be making him a component of a line. In the NHL you can’t score all your goals off the rush. The Flames have to ensure Emile is functional on the cycle. The “do it all yourself” strategy doesn’t really fly in the big leagues; at least not consistently.

    • seve927

      From what I heard at the Team Canada Junior development camp this summer, he and Jankowski were awesome in keeping teams penned in their own end. They didn’t score much, but they dominated as a line. I don’t know how reliable the source was, but that’s what I read.