Hunter Smith & Oshawa In Action at 2:30pm MT (SN West)

For those still hoping for some Calgary Flames action on TV this year, you are in luck.

Hunter Smith and the Oshawa Generals open their 2015 Memorial Cup schedule this afternoon at 2:30pm MT on Sportsnet’s national feed against the Rimouski Oceanic. 

The Generals qualified for the big year-end tournament by virtue of winning the Ontario Hockey League’s championship and eliminating Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters. The other two teams, the host Quebec Remparts and the WHL champion Kelowna Rockets, began the tournament last night. Quebec beat Kelowna by a 4-3 score.

  • beloch

    Hunter Smith just broke a 3-3 tie. He had the puck and one defender in front of him. He chipped the puck in on net, ran over the defender, and banged the rebound home. Great power move! Possibly the game winner too.

          • beloch

            When the Canucks traded for him, Baertschi said that the Flames wanted him to be the kind of player he didn’t want to be. That’s not want you want to hear from a rookie who needed to work on his play away from the puck. Baertschi’s downwards slide from that one great season in junior makes me think Burke was right about Baertschi having a bad attitude, although I still think it was a dumb move to tell the press.

            Hunter Smith plays a totally different style of hockey from Baertschi. From what I saw in one game, he’s similar to Colborne in that he’s got a massive reach and good hands. He’s much more physical though, perhaps even to a fault (he racks up a lot of penalties in general). He’s also built a bit like Colborne. i.e. Huge frame with not a lot on it. Smith is 19 while Colborne is 25, so it’s reasonable to expect Smith to put on some weight. Perhaps his speed will improve, although it honestly didn’t look that bad in today’s game. Excessively tall players often skate kinda funny, but Smith got around well enough.

            I’d be interested in hearing about the role he played for the Generals this year versus last year. Is he being used differently?

            P.S. How about that Hawks-Ducks game?! 5 goals in 5 minutes, including 3 for the Ducks in 37 seconds, and then nothing for a period and a half until second OT!

          • beloch

            There were many reports of Svens attitude, can’t believe you are asking for source, maybe you are being specific about the role or style the Flames wanted him to play. I think it was pretty obvious & I also think it was pretty obvious Sven’s idea of what style he should play & how he had progressed & what the flames thought were definitely 2 different things. Right after the trade deadline at the Ken King breakfast, Ken King told everyone that Sven advised them he was not coming back to Calgary come July. If that is not attitude issues, I don’t know what is. If you want to get into gory details then it’s gets hearsay. But really, does it matter? He didn’t want to be hear & we are going to get another crack at a potentially talented young player who will do anything to be with our team.

            Smith is an intriguing prospect that is having some success in the Memorial Cup. Why are you so against fans getting excited over it. Part of being a fan, reality usually throws the cold water over too much enthusiasm. It’s all Oiler fans have had the last 10 years, take that away & they may as well become Leaf fans.

          • ChinookArchYYC

            How was that negative? I’m just saying, temper expectations because look what was said before. I suggested trading Sven all last summer and was trashed like crazy. Even though I said I liked the player, but wanted to move him for depth on D. However, Sven was still ‘in’ then and so I was trashed. Overwhelmingly.

            Now, Hunter Smith plays some decent junior hockey and everyone is “look out!!!!” Right, Smith is different because he’s big, sure.

            This is not a post about Sven even, just a convenient example. There’s a couple of dozen names one can insert in there. I just find the bandwagon hype to be annoying beyond all heck.

  • beloch

    At one point the announcers said “big rig” (good nick!) was one of the most improved players in the OHL this season, even though his point generation has improved by only a respectable but unremarkable degree. Can anyone who has watched him a fair bit comment? What aspect of his game has improved so dramatically this season over last?

    It will be interesting to see where he plays next season. He has the size to play in the AHL, but his OHL numbers are somewhat short of the point where one could say he has nothing left to learn there. I bet he will move up to the AHL next season, but that’s not a sure thing.

    • Burnward

      Watched the whole game with particular eyes on Hunter Smith. All in all he played pretty well, but not great. He had two penalties, an inadverdant high stick marginal call in the first, then a hooking bad penalty in the third. Rimouski tied it up on the second PP which probably motivated him to get it back which he did on that awesome power move over their defender for the winner.

      Otherwise the main thing noted was some inconsistency with regard to energy and skating. He’s definitely not the fastest guy out there, but he seemed more than adequate and it was never a problem. Where he came to the fore was forechecking and board work, being especially strong on the puck and utilizing his long reach.

      I like him, and think he’s a keeper, especially as he learns to be more consistent and leave it all on the table every shift. He’s got three more games to watch him this tournament….

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Hunter Smith is an intriguing prospect, because of what he could become. I never get too excited about massive older players in junior. Big players can make up for a lot of holes in their game by using their size to dominate smaller less physically mature players in junior levels, but as the same big guys progress through higher leagues they are less effective. Each league is exponentially more difficult to play in then the last. Better leagues are full of players that are bigger, faster and more skilled. For Smith to play at the AHL level and contribute, he’ll have to continue to improve. Size is great when combined with at least 2 of speed, skill and hockey IQ.

  • beloch

    The Generals just won another game in overtime. Smith had some nice chances in OT, including a post. He doesn’t look fast, but he gets around the ice effectively. He really drives to the net well and he had at least one extreme sharp-angle shot that was dead on target.