Prospects Quick Hit (November 21 2014)

Some quick and dirty updates on a very busy Friday night in the hockey world!

  • The Baby Flames beat Syracuse 4-1. Emile Poirier and David Wolf each had a goal and an assist, as did pro try-out players Taylor Vause and Brodie Reid. Mark Cundari had two assists. Joni Ortio made 26 saves. It’s Adirondack’s seventh straight win.
  • Keegan Kanzig had an assist on the game-winning goal as the Calgary Hitmen beat Moose Jaw 5-2.
  • Eric Roy was +2 but had zero points in a 7-4 Brandon win over Edmonton.
  • Austin Carroll had a goal and an assist in Victoria’s 3-1 win over Everett.
  • Morgan Klimchuk had an assist as Regina beat Vancouver 6-2.
  • Hunter Smith got tossed from Oshawa’s game in the first period after getting a penalty for a helmet violation in a fight. Oshawa won 6-4 over Belleville.
  • Michigan State got shut out by Ohio State 3-0. It was the second game of the opening weekend of Big 10 conference play.
  • Providence College’s game with New Hampshire was postponed due to ice equipment issues.
  • Boston University beat Maine in overtime 3-2. Brandon Hickey had no points.
  • Colgate beat Brown 4-3 in overtime. Tim Harrison had no points.
  • The Last Big Bear

    Sure is nice to see the baby Flames turn it around. I was very worried after those first five games. Which doesn’t seem like much, but they were blowouts. Now, oddly, they seem to be doing more with less.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Interestingly the Herald is reporting that Corban Knight will be centering a fourth line with Sven on the port side. How will Sven react being the offensive catalyst with a strong rh centreman to feed him the puck?

    If Hartley is going to try and roll four lines…I like it.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      More importantly, what is Sven going to do to prove he belongs in the NHL? HIs inconsistent effort and soft play in his own end is doing nothing to increase his chances of staying and the audition will end when the injured players return. Sven needs to get some urgency in his game.

      • ChinookArchYYC

        Sven does need more urgency, no question. What I’m saying though is that this may be Hartley trying to put him into a position to succeed. They, alllegedly, have him on a line with Bollig so he shouldn’t get too beaten up and he should have someone feeding him.

        Sven’s issues have been done to death. But I really like the look of this line.

        Carpe diem, Sven, carpe diem.

        • ChinookArchYYC

          Agree that a finesse winger’s success is increased when playing with skilled players but the effort, desire and compete level is all on Sven. And Carpe Diem might say it all.

      • T&A4Flames

        I don’t think they are showcasing him for anything. If they were truly thinking of trading him, they would sit him to prevent injury.

        I wouldn’t blame Sven for that Kane goal. Kane is good and more experienced and higher priced Flames also dropped the ball (lost the puck) on that play. Had he made the play, we would be touting his improved defensive play against a really slippery player.

        Anyway you cut it, Sven needs to show what he’s got. The Flames won’t maximize his trade value by treating like crap and I think they would prefer to have a homegrown first or second line winger rather than trade for one, if they can.

        Ultimately, it looks like the Flames have a lot of good options at LW and at C and they will have to do something about the log jam. Good problem to have. The test will be what BT does with that challenge to make the team better.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Knight up, Rhino down makes sense. I wonder if it is a sign that Backs is not recovering as fast as they hoped and they are trying to evaluate all their options.(BT’s interview the other day did not sound hopeful on Backs) Hopefully Knight is strong in the circle. Knight and Sven played together last year in Abby when Sven was playing well, hopefully they can develop that chemistry again.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Thanks for the update Ryan!

    Max Reinhart needs to start showing something again at the AHL level like he did last year. If he doesn’t… I could see him as a throw-in to a larger trade. Perhaps Buffalo or NYI looking to join one of his brothers?

    Speaking of brothers hooking up… once Backlund is healthy… how about a Markus Granlund for Matt Dumba trade? Just thinking of our center depth, especially with Bennett coming and Knight & Arnold still in the minors. I know Dumba hasn’t exactly lit up the NHL yet, but the guy is still only 20 years old and D-men can take longer to develop. Minnesota has a lot of defensive depth.

    • Kevin R

      Not sure it would be such a good idea giving the Wild a potential young version of the Sedin’s. I would rather try to pry Granlund from the Wild, the price would scare me silly. Dumba would be an OK target, still think Larsson, or Gormerly would be worth scoping. The forward depth on this team is insane & if the Stats community think this start the Flames are having is PDO smoke & mirrors…….Well, the value of some of our depth players must be much higher than if we were slogging it Oiler style. My Lord was on their threads & are they ever drifting aimlessly. It is unfathomable nothing has happened up there. I think BT needs to make a move sooner than later & take advantage of this good fortune that has been bestowed upon us.

      • Bean-counting cowboy

        This is exactly my thought – jumping on our hot start to get a significant piece. Granlund has shown he can play in the NHL. He is one year older than Dumba but is almost a point-per-game pace. You have to give to get, but I see this as a trade from a position of strength to address a position of weakness.

        Dumba has been highly regarded since being drafted, but has not come along as quick as some had hoped – yet he is a D-man which take longer. I think playing behind and learning from Gio & Brodie could turn him into something special. The thought to Minnesota to bring brothers together and get Mikael going may be enough to entice them.

        And yes… the Oiler threads are quite something to read. I think there is only 1% of their fandom still drinking Kool-Aid at this point. I totally called it too as I was going back and forth with that Oiler troll Grant at the beginning of the year. Didn’t mind that trash talk then cuz I knew it wouldn’t last!

        • Kevin R

          There thing back of my mind is that if turns out to be a Colorado typeof year & we do make the playoffs against all odds, we would have to be buyers at the TDL. But I don’t want to be buyers because I think this team has incredible depth in the forward/centre position. Enough to have a totally enjoyable 1 or 2 round playoff treat for us playoff thirsty fans. It’s the blue line that scares the bejesus out of me. Playoffs are a war of attrition & teams will key on Brodano so much, I don’t think Wideman & Russell are the answer & any injuries to any of our top 4, oh my, get the brooms out. (Man it’s fun to even talk about this kind of possibility as unrealistic as it is.) I don’t want to give picks or youth for any 30+ defensive rental. The win win to me is making a true trade for a young D+ 2 or D+3 NHL ready blue liner. We do a deal like that early enough, that gives Hartley enough time to acclimatize the player to his systems in the 2nd or 3rd pairings. Either way, it’ll be a player we want as part of the rebuild.

          • piscera.infada

            Treliving has already stated they will not be buyers at the trade deadline, unless they can pick up something that helps them long-term. That was my biggest worry as well, but his interview on the Fan on Thursday put me at ease big time.

            He even spoke about regression and the unsustainable shooting percentage. The second biggest scare for me was that we’d hear the Colorado and Toronto arguments in previous years: “we don’t care about the numbers”. Treliving was not that brash. It’s all about the process with this organization right now. That’s a very, very good thing.

          • T&A4Flames

            BT’s comments were calming for sure. Stay the course, it’s showing well. Even if we are in a position at the deadline to make the PO’s. we need to cut bait with a few more vets. ! thing this year has certainly shown is that we have youth ready to take bigger roles and we need to make room for them.

            We will most likely not fall anywhere close to gettimg in McEichel territory or even Hannifin. But given our needs, D and RW, we can certianly pick up a good player in the 10-12 spot at the draft. That’s not my concern. We need to continue adding youth to the rebuild so that both CGY and ADDY become strong teams in the near future. Obviously the higher we pick the liklihood of finding that future top pairing D or 1st line RW is higher %.

          • piscera.infada

            Couldn’t agree more. There are a handful of good defensive prospects though, that look like they will fall in that 5-20 spot. That’s likely where we’ll fall and hopefully we’ll get one of them. I think the pragmatic approach though, is to worry about the draft closer to the end of the season.

            I tend to agree though, the organization seems to be at a point right now, where when dumping vets, getting prospects/young players back is the better route to take. Moreover, don’t trade picks in the first 1 or 2 rounds. You can’t survive in the cap-era when you don’t have those picks.

        • T&A4Flames

          yea, re: the Oil fans, you can’t even troll them in good conscience. Not that it matters because they’re trolling themselves. So many dont even care that they may get McDavid; they’re just…DONE.

  • I don’t see anything wrong with Sven’s desire or effort. I think it can be a mistake to see player’s weaknesses (Sven’s own zone play is definitely not his strong suit) and assume it’s due to some personal fault. No one says Lance Bouma would be a better scorer if he tried harder.

    For example, the play that got him benched the other day – he tried a break out pass that got intercepted and then dove to try to block the ensuing shot from the point (that ended up going into the net). That wasn’t lack of effort, it was just bad execution. And it’s stuff we should expect out of most 21 year olds now and then.

    • piscera.infada

      I’ll start by saying I’m a Sven fan, but it isn’t “now and then” with him in the defensive zone. He fairly consistently gets beat in his own end. Even the Kane goal the other night – yes, brutal turnover by Hiller, but Sven was in position. From Peewee, they teach you to take the body (that goes doubly for someone with the puck skills that Kane has). I know, Sven is never going to destroy people with physical play (nor does he have to), but on that play, and where Sven was positioned, all he needed to do was knock him off balance and make the shot more difficult. That is a mistake in the fundamentals of the game. I would say it’s at least partially attributed to “thinking versus reacting” and that will come from confidence, but plays like that are exactly why he doesn’t have the trust of Hartley yet. Positioning is one thing, but if you don’t make the play once you’re in position, it speaks to a completely different (and likely more difficult to fix) issue.

      All in all, I agree with the point that we often erroneously conflate that with lack of effort. That’s just the old standard of “Canadian hockey” though. The thing with Sven is it’s going to take a lot of work on his part to get back to where he wants/needs to be.

      • T&A4Flames

        I usually agree with your assessments but with Kane, Gio would have had a hard time taking the body on that goal. Kane, as much as I dislike the kid, is one of the shiftiest players in hockey. Can’t really blame a 21 year old, offensively focused kid for missing him. In fact I seem to recall Sven actually having a good bead him. We should maybe even consider giving Sven some props for even being down low enough and reacting on that play to have a shot at defending Kane.

        • piscera.infada

          I agree he’s a difficult guy to get a piece of, but Sven went in there with a weak poke. Taking the body doesn’t always mean “put him on his ass”, it can mean as little as “get in his way and stay there”. The problem with Sven on that play was go for the puck, miss, and it’s in the back of the net. You never go for the puck one-on-one, it’s simply hockey basics – even if you want the poke-check you make sure to focus right in the centre of their chest.

          But I digress. I agree on his positioning, it’s been better. I said as much in my initial post on the play. You need to make a better play there though. Kane alone on a goalie, I take Kane every time.

          • T&A4Flames

            Agree to disagree I guess Hiller mis played it, Sven didnt have time to react. I can assume he saw Hiller handle it and saw Wideman reach for it. By the time he saw that Wideman was not going to be able to get to it, it was to late. I put very little fault on Sven on that play. I think people at times are just looking to find blame in Sven’s game because hes become the whipping boy since Burke made his now famous comments about him.

          • piscera.infada

            Hiller is definitely the guy to fault the most. Wideman also has to come a little deeper. I’m not trying to blame Sven at all, but you’re always responsible for who’s around you, especially on a mis-play. Sven could have literally skated into him, forced him to change course a little bit more, would have given Hiller a little bit more time. But yeah, I’ll drop it, agree to disagree.

          • T&A4Flames

            The only fault Sven has on that as I se it is that he didn’t look ahead quick enough; followed the puck too long. Again, given the type of player he is (offensive minded), and his age, it’s a (slight) mistake most 21 year old players would make. Hiller had control, and he has to be thinking transition at that point, giving Wideman an option.

    • piscera.infada

      That’s funny. Let’s just say he lacks the “desire” to be a regular NHLer at this point in his career. All he needs to do is look at Jooris or Ferland as an example of how to make an impact. As a first rounder, Sven has been a major disappointment. But Kent, keep coddling him as it’s worked really well to this point.

        • Kevin R

          I really do think it is playing havoc in Svens head. He is trying, he just is not reacting a letting his skill give him the confidence in what he is doing instinctively. Right now, if Badger Bob was coaching Sven, he would be having Sven watch the original Star Wars & getting Sven to use the force inside him. 🙂

          He would get him to play like a Jedi Knight. Speaking of Knight, maybe that’s what will be happening tonight on the 4th line. Who knows.

      • RedMan

        I am not sure who you think has been coddling Baertschi?

        Ken has no influence on his treatment, so he cannot be coddling, and the coach/GM sure haven’t coddled him.

        By coddling, I am assuming you mean balanced commentary… 😉

    • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

      Kent, being a good defensive player is ALL about desire. If you don’t want to make the right play in your own end it is because you are placing more importance on starting an offensive play when the team needs you to make the right play.

      I’m not a writer so I struggle to write down what I want to say {all the concussions don’t help either}, but your comment here explains why you are a stats guy.

      Hockey ability breaks down this way:

      Scorers can’t be made, they just are.

      Defensive players are all about the desire to make the right play.

  • Craig

    As has been said, Sven and knight were a duo that was kept together last year for the chemistry.

    I was at the game on Thursday and the fourth line with Sven and Rhino actually looked more like a second third line. It looked by eye test that Hartley was rolling all lines, and it is really cool to see four lines with skill on them, and toughness placed throughout the lineup.

    That being said, Bollig is awful and there were at least three passes that Sven sent towards Bollig that should have been a scoring chance but the play just died on his stick.
    I’m fully convinced that if Sven played with a functional line opposite winger and not with Bollig that he’d be having a lot more success.

  • T&A4Flames

    Speaking of BT’s comments , did anyone catch his reaction when Kerr asked him who the 1st D call up would be if they needed on today? He answered that very carefully. It gave me a strong feelin that he may have something in the works for a young defender that is past the AHL level and now needs the opportunity to cut his teeth at the NHL level. SOmeone mentioned Dumba, i’d take a shot at him for the right price. But Gormley, Larsson, or even Connor Murphy in ARI (long shot). Bowey in WAS is a little further away but I wanted him in his draft year, plus you can credit a lot of his progression as a Dman to Huska while they were both in Kelowna. What other young targets are out there? According to Friedman PIT is looking for a top 6 winger. We certainly have a plethora of those that could possibly pry one of Harrington or Pouliot away. Either could develop nicely with us. Others?

  • T&A4Flames

    Again with D, I wouldn’t mind at all seeing a 3rd Flames/Oiler trade with us getting Petry. I would rather get Marinicin but at 26, Petry would be a solid #4 option for us. He could complement Russell decently I think.

  • supra steve

    If Edmonton (MacT) is truly getting desperate–should any thought be given to “helping them out”. They need D, G, and C. Would they consider moving Nurse or Eberle (or Yaks) for help in two of those areas, say Hiller and Russell? I don’t think the Flames currently have a healthy veteran C that would help the deal unless Stajan is almost ready. Or would the Flames be better targeting other assets from the Oil in such a deal? Thoughts?

  • T&A4Flames

    I posted this on another site but Im curious as to what people think of the following possible future lines. Given that Granlund is showing to be a NHL’r and having good progression.

    Bennett-Granlund-?Hunter Smith

    This obviously makes room for a Sven trade and possibly others. But if Granny is doing well, having a solid, gritty winger that can play both spots like Bennett beside him, with a big “go to the net presense” like Smith on the other side, could create 3 good lines. Thoughts?

    • T&A4Flames

      The only way Bennett is moved to the wing is if the Flames get McDavid, Eichel, or perhaps Barzal in this year’s draft. If the above is what happens, I’m convinced it would be Granlund moving to the wing.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    This next draft seems to be quite fluid still. Looking at Button’s rankings, they have changed quite a bit from last time out. Barzal and Zacha, previousloy 7th & 9th have dropped to 13th, 14th. Two defensemen previously 11th & 21st have jumped to 8th and 9th. I believe we can find a good player no matter where we draft this coming year, although given positional needs, BT/BB penchant for size, and where we end in the standings, the following are of great interest to me:

    – Daniel Sprong (right shooting right winger – 6’1 – 190

    – Olivier Kylington (high upside D-man)

    – Zach Werenski (6’1, 201 lb D-man)

    – Pavel Zacha (6’3, 210 lb centre)

    – Lawson Crouse (6’4, 211 lb winger)

    – Matt Barzal (shoots right)

  • T&A4Flames

    I keep reading how Kadri is under performing and how he might be on the block. Wonder if Burke thinks he can get more out of him? Certainly Hartley is the type of no nonsense coach that may be able to mold Kadri into a premier winger in the league. I’ve never been a huge fan of him (more due to his attitude as opposed to his hockey skills) but wonder what it would take to get him?

    • Kevin R

      Kadri just doesn’t fill an organizational need & if you are going to pay a price the Leafs will probably want, you need to go for what is needed. Personally, I would rather just go for Gardiner if we send any kind of package that includes Baert. At least Gardiner can slot in the 3-4 with Russell & Wideman can slide down to #5 & get PP time.

  • T&A4Flames

    If you take a look at Sven’s underlying numbers this season with the Flames, they are actually quite decent: he has the best CF% and CorsiRel of all the left wingers while having the worst PDO. Give him time and good linemates and the points will come eventually.

    • Canrock 78

      That’s what they keep saying in Edmonton.
      On the trade thing cliff fletcher always said never trade with a team out of the playoffs. They don’t have the culture. I know the fire sales from some of these teams look appealing but there is a reason there loosing.

      • Canrock 78

        If Sven fails to step up to the challenge after he is given a full season up with a real chance to prove his worth, like they’ve given their prospects in Edmonton and like, for example, Flames gave to Monahan and Colborne last year, i’d be open to giving a second thought about trading him for assets. Before you have a clear understanding about his ability at NHL level, it isn’t wise to trade him unless you get an overpayment, which is unlikely.

  • T&A4Flames

    I’m not particularly interested in dmen like Dumba or Pouliot. They are rightly criticised for their decision making and defensive play.

    As far as the draft is concerned I’ll be a bit disappointed if they take a winger with their first pick. They have enough wingers in the system that they could likely plug any hole with a free agent. Wingers are the easiest thing to find in FA.

  • Canrock 78

    I think people are picking on sven because they have seen him coasting to get back on defense at times, lately he has been better at giving an effort to get back in the play but now he is making glaring mistakes while back, maybe it is just lack of experience in his own zone, since he doesn’t like to visit there very often. he reminds me of Ales Hemsky. I have always been an advocate for sven but I think his playing style is better suited for the east, at this point he should be trade bait to help shore up the right wing or D. with Gudreau, Bennet, Porier, Monohan, klimchuk, Knight, Ferland, Granlund. I feel he is expendable.