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October 29, 2004

Todd Out With Concussion

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Quick update - via The TEAM 1200/AJ Jackubec - Brody Todd sustained a concussion in last night's game (when he was punched by Windor Spitfire's Scott Todd). He will not play tonight.

October 27, 2004

Player Blogs

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After StatsGuy alerted me to this interesting diary posting (NOTE: pdf) by John Armstrong on the Whaler's recent Eastern road trip, I thought I would Google to see what other player blogs I could find out there.

Not much. In fact, no player blogs at all. I know that the 67s had rookie thoughts/dairies up last year. Let's check their site. Yep - Rookie Reflections under the E-Junior fanclub. Looks like old posts from Bickell, Akeson, and Talbot (who are definitely not rookies).

I did find reporter blogs. The Score reporters' web blogs. According to Tony Ambrogio, he loves junior hockey, so I will have to keep an eye on his blog to see what he has to say.

Apparently Sportsnet also has reporter blogs, but I have such a difficult time accessing their site (with the regional map intro and the cookie requirement it's just not worth it).

I did find this blog post during my quick search, with some interesting ideas for the NHL to consider. I know that during the World Cup, Doug Weight was semi-regularly blogging about team USA (old link here). I admit that it was interesting to read his comments on what was happening.

Although I could see it becoming tedious for them - ahem - as you can see from my previous posting . . . The Tediousness Of Blogging . . .

October 26, 2004

Interview With Brian Kilrea

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Brian Kilrea was interviewed on The TEAM 1200 (Dean and Gord) about the games this past w/e. Some thoughts:

On Brad Bonello:
Killer knew Bonello was feisty and talented, and felt that if he was surrounded by good players, he’d do well. Bonello had some scoring chances, and Bickell already has a goal in each game. Bonello dove to block shots, and did other stuff to win, and Killer’s happy he’s a 67. Bonello comes to the rink and does everything to win. He’s a friend of Galbraith, and plays a little bit like him.

On Jakub Petruzalek getting his hair cut:
Killer didn’t put pressure on either of them (Kaspar and Petruzalek) because he knows that everything is new for them here (language, school, friends, family, etc.). He said that after Petruzalek did it, he hardly recognized him. He added that maybe Kaspar will do it down the road for luck when he sees how well Petruzalek is doing.

On the Czech players – is one better than the other:
Both complement each other so much. They are so unselfish, he (and the coaching staff) almost wish they would take more shots themselves. Because the coaching staff are stressing that they need to shot themselves more – and let the other guy look for the rebound – they are starting to them both do this. They both play well, and they both play to win.

On the winning streak:
Some of fellows have picked up the pace. The return of both Lawrance and Reid have made the defence better. Killer says they just need a little bit more up front. He’s concerned that they have gone into some of these games holding only 1 or 2 goals in the first period. They need to be more explosive. They are still tinkering with right the combinations.

On the upcoming road trip – have you discussed with the Czech players:
He says it is a concern, because he doesn’t think that they have played back-back, let alone back-back-back-back. They may tire out because Killer uses them a lot. But he said they will use all four lines starting off with the first game, no matter what the opposition throws against them. Otherwise the top two lines will be overworked.

He also said that during practices, players never get to sit down – they are constantly working. During a game, on the other hand, a player could sit 40 out of 60 minutes, so they are less tired during a game. The hardest thing on a player, is not the games themselves, it’s the travel. So they try to condense it. For this upcoming road trip, it is 2000 miles. Why do it more than once, if you can get all the games scheduled into the w/e. (Less travel, not practicing, only games.) killer said that the team will arrive early, the day before the game, so players can relax for dinner and then wake up in the same town in which they will play. The second game is only a short trip away from the first, same with the third and fourth.

They will be bringing three extra players on the trip in case of injury or wear.

On the status of Beard and Aitcheson:
Killer said he’s not sure of their exact condition. Beard’s shoulder is still a touch sore and he wouldn’t want to rush it. He knows that Aitcheson skated a few days last week, and thinks that he might be ready. Aitcheson is coming on the trip.

On Joslin:
A couple of scouts have already approached Killer, and told him that they have already slotted Joslin as a first rounder and that they won’t need to come back to review. Killer said the kid never seems to tire. He is always on. The more he plays the better he is. He never makes those fundamental mistakes when he is pushed to play more.

On one aspect for Joslin to work on:
Nothing. Killer said it is just a matter of playing and learning the little tricks that you learn mostly through game play, like when to tie a man up in front of the net. Killer thinks they have outstanding rookies this year.

Any pros coming out to practices?
No, not allowed because of insurance purposes – OHL rule. (But we have heard that Hasek came out to work with the Guadagnolo and Battachio.)

October 19, 2004

Welcome To Ottawa, Brad Bonello

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Brad Bonello, over-age tough guy from P-borough, joins the Ottawa 67s in return for a 5th round pick (2005 draft). Find the news release here.

Killer was on TEAM 1200/Sportscall this morning to talk about Bonello. He feels Bonello will add an "offensive punch" (both figuratively, and literally!), and "provide help up front". Killer said that "this was an opportune time to get an over-ager".

A lot of interesting threads on the discussion boards (NOOF and 67s) regarding the Bonello acquisition. Many feel that he will be uncontrollable, a nuisance player, and that Killer has made a mistake. Others feel that Killer has always been able to handle these guys, and with the right guidance and line-mates Bonello will only improve. We'll see how he looks on Friday.

October 18, 2004

Interview With Will Colbert

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On the weekly post-w/e captain’s interview via the TEAM 1200/Sportscall (Gross and Galley), Colbert had this to say:

It was good for the guys to come out strong early, and to get the fans on their side.

The defence is getting better every game. It was good to have both Lawrance and Reid back. Everyone is getting better on the blue line.

He felt that the goal-tending was great, and they had the offence working as well.

He hopes the 67s get a few more points this coming w/e, before heading out for the big Western road trip.

Colbert likes to get these big road trips out of the way early. He likes to have home games at the mid to end of the season.

Having a light skate today – no day off. Mondays aren’t usually too hard after having a good w/e.

When asked if Sarnia gets the 67s off their game, Colbert said that they talked about them before the game in the room the younger guys who have not yet seen a western team. The Western teams finish all their checks and come at you hard. He said you just have to play your game, and make sure you play the puck. He says they are a pretty cocky team, pretty chatty, but it doesn’t really phase them.

Red Sox vs Yankees? Red Sox fan. He said he’s not sure if they have something left, but he doesn’t like the Yankees.

October 17, 2004

All Lines Firing

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Well, after the Coach's public lambasting last week, the 67s got their collective act together.

Game Recap - October 15/04 - Ottawa vs Sarnia

Friday night the 67s hosted Sarnia. They won 6-4, with production from 3/4 lines (all but the fourth line). They came out playing fast and aggressive, resulting in 5 goals in the first period, but seemed to sit back in both the second and third.

Noticed that Sarnia continues to have some discipline problems. The culprits: Hecimovic, Carcillo, and Caprara. It will be interesting to see how new coach Camp handles that delicate little situation this year (remember the whole 'we-won't-play, call-our-agents, fire-the-coach' crap that went on last year).

Anyway, Talbot had a great game, along with Guadagnolo (both receiving stars for their play). Guadagnolo faced an amazing number of SOG (59). I also think that Tsimikalis had a great game. He does not seem to have any problem keeping up with his Czech line mates.

One player that stood out for poor play, surprisingly, was Wharton. He seemed at times to not know where he should be on the ice -- looking at his fellow defenceman, going offside, coming on too early causing a 'too many men' penalty twice. I wonder if he is injured in some way, as his play was just not normal for him.

Injuries of note: Beard crashed hard into the end board, injuring his arm. We learned today that he has separated his shoulder.

Overall, a great effort and more importantly: A WIN!


Game Recap - October 17/04 - Ottawa vs Belleville

Sunday the 67s hosted Belleville. They won 5-1, with 3/4 lines scoring. The fourth line scored their first OHL goal (Lahey scoring, with Alphonso and McGinn assisting). Mancari had a very productive game, scoring two goals in the first period. He was awarded first star. Battachio received second star, but only faced 22 SOG.

The 67s again came out playing aggressive, rushing to the puck, forechecking hard, skating fast. Playing like this, it is easy to see why they were talked about so highly pre-season. They did sit back a little in the second period, but they had a strong third period, and continued to play hard right until the last second. Good w/e for confidence and team-building.

Really impressed by the rookies this year. They seem to have a lot of confidence, and don't let other teams intimidate them. Alphonso and Van Herpt for instance in today's game. Also, Joslin is very solid at defence, plus his ability to score is a bonus. With the contribution from the veteran players, the team is really exciting to watch.

Another win for the 67s, two straight, has to give them some confidence. Hopefully they will be able to differentiate between the play required for these wins and what they were doing during the losses. Hope they can keep it up.

NEXT GAME

The 67s play next Friday night at home against the Barrie Colts.

The Tediousness Of Blogging

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Well, only 4 weeks into the season and I am bored with doing the game recaps. I think I was excited about learning HTML, but now it just seems tedious --- hence, no recaps x~5.

StatsGuy has his stats up and running, and seems to be happy with them. I will have to figure out something else - maybe simple narrative about things that stood out at each game. Even that seems tedious at the moment. Hmmm.

October 15, 2004

Battachio Out

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Battachio will not play tonight d/t groin pull (via Dave Gross/TEAM 1200).

October 14, 2004

Squarebob Spongepants

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The Sponge will be at the game on Sunday. I wonder if his 'costume' is really made of sponge. And is square.




*** UPDATE October 17/04 1930h by Sid ***
The Sponge was definitely square, but . . . plastic. How disappointing.

Post-game Interview With The Coach

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This morning on The TEAM 1200 Sportscall, Killer talked about the game last night in Belleville. Here are some of the things he had to say:

Kaspar is still coming back from his injury, otherwise he would have been more dynamic. Petruzalek and Kaspar work very well together; each knows where the other will be on the ice. The problem with the two, is that the third person on the line doesn't know where they're going. Killer's not sure who to put with them: the best forward (who can keep up with them) or a really good defensive forward. "Poor Tsimikalis" played with the two last night, and he kept up. Killer said he was the best player on the ice for the 67s last night.

Regarding the play of the veterans: he is not sure what is happening with Mancari this year. Mancari had such a good year last year (with Locke), but he is not dangerous this year.

Killer said that you can't ask the rookies to do all the work. The veterans and over-agers are not out-playing the opponents. They should be doing this, not the rookies. The rookies are still trying to adjust to the OHL game, learning new skills, etc.

Killer said he is looking at the wires everyday. He may need to give up a draft pick, but whatever the cost, he said the team needs more offence. He said: "Maybe I can pry a good forward off some team for someone I've got, but it won't be any of the rookies [that go]."

There are not a lot of over-agers this year. P-borough has one, and he is hurt. Numerous teams (like the 67s) are playing with 2, when 3 are allowed. He is not sure why this is, considering the NHL lock-out and its effects on the feeder teams (AHL etc.). He thought that there might be more over-agers available.

Killer said the 67s have a good defence when healthy. The concern he has, is that they have no one who can run the power play. The forwards are not working hard enough to get open, and to make passes. Some of the veterans and over-agers are not contributing to the same extent as other teams' veteran players. He said that during the power play last week, the 67s couldn't get the puck from the blue line to the net. They were constantly turning the puck over, and it was very discouraging. Someone fights hard to get puck out of the corner, only to have the advantage squandered by a bad shot that is deflected.

No one has stepped up as a leader. Killer said: "We can't get out of our end, never mind theirs."

October 13, 2004

Comedy Of Errors

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Well, things are off to a rocky start for the 67s. Apparently a comedy of errors, according to Killer. He also had this to say:
"This defence that we're playing with right now may be one of the (most) discouraging group of six that I've ever had to coach.

"If it's not one thing, it's something else. Whether they're turning it over or can't get it out, this defence is just not working."
Oh boy. And he also said this:
"I think we've got too many guys here who are just happy to go along and playing the pace they're playing," he said. "It's not good enough. I think attitude is one thing, and their desire level is another.

"It's discouraging because I've seen a lot of teams that lost, but at least they went down working. I don't see the same thing here. We don't have anyone stepping up."
Oh boy. You know it's bad when . . .

. . . the coach is saying this to the media (both print and radio --- I heard Killer in an interview the other day).

. . . the coach says you may be the most discouraging group he's ever seen, when he's been coaching for 30-odd years.

. . . the coach is talking about his veteran players, not the rookies!

. . . the only praise he has for any of his players are the 2 Czech players, who have never played in the OHL before this season, are not defense-minded (and tend to contribute to the problem when they leave their own end zone before the defence can get the puck out to them), and who can't speak English.

. . . the only good thing the coach has to say about any of the veterans, is that "Bickell scored a couple of goals the other night."

. . . the coach says their attitude is poor. Ouch.

Oh boy.

Can't say that any of what Killer has said is surprising. (The fact that he said it, yes.) StatsGuy and I both noticed the sloppy and unorganized play, and the many penalties. To be fair, there were some flashes of excitement coming from Battachio, Kaspar, and Petruzalek. I think that Tsimikalis and Joslin also had some good games.

So, tonight they are playing Belleville, who are 5 and 2. They are currently the best in the division. Guadagnolo will be starting in goal. Aitcheson will be out with a possible groin pull, but I think that Kaspar, Reid, and Lawrance will be back. The game will be on The TEAM 1200.

Let's hope that the 67s do something to get themselves out of this rut.

Bad News / Good News

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We're back from the Road Trip.

Bad news: we weren't able to make it to P-borough to see the game.

Good news: we weren't able to make it to P-borough to see the game.

Caught the highlights. The 67s frittered the lead away, and ended up losing.

Oh boy.

October 06, 2004

Going On A Road Trip

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Brian Campbell was interviewed today on the TEAM 1200 with Gross and Galley.

He is back in town to participate in the Memorial Cup reunion Friday night, and will be taking practice at the Civic Centre later today.

Campbell said he's not sure he's looking forward to being yelled at by Killer again, but he is looking forward to seeing everyone.

It sounds like it will be a good night Friday. Too bad that StatsGuy and I won't be there. We're going on a Road Trip, and hope to make it to the game when the 67s play in Peterborough tomorrow night.

Won't have any updates for awhile.

Oh, one more note: 'The Buzz On Junior Hockey' with Buzz and Gross on TEAM 1200 is set to return this Friday. Guests to include Jeff Hunt.

Happy Thanksgiving!

October 03, 2004

Recap - 10/03/04 - Ottawa at Toronto

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GAME SUMMARY
Team1st2nd3rdOTTotal
Ottawa (Visiting)100-1
Toronto (Home)211-4

SCORING SUMMARY (BY TEAM)
Ottawa
1 Petruzalek (Bickell, Tsimikalis) PP
Toronto
1 Montgomery (Lavigne, DiBenedetto)
2 Vitarelli (Clutterbuck, Haskins) PP
2 Clutterbuck (Elder, Haskins)
3 Boyce (VanderVeeken)


NOTES
The ref was Matt Parlette; the linesmen Ken Cox and Dave Lewis.

The attendance was 1121.

Another game riddled with penalties. Nothing much to say about this game. While Battachio played well, he didn't play like his previous games. McGinn showed some good stuff (speedy). Bickell's passing not that great, except for the one to Petruzalek that resulted in a goal. Kaspar went out in the 2nd period with an injury they are reporting as a knee bruise. He did not return for the 3rd. As this was the first 3-game w/e for the boys, level of conditioning may be a factor for the lack of play. Next game is in Peterborough on Thursday night.

The in-house three stars: (1) Haskins TOR, (2) Clutterbuck TOR, and (3) DiBenedetto TOR.

The official OHL recap is available here.

October 02, 2004

Recap - 10/02/04 - Ottawa at Barrie

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GAME SUMMARY
Team1st2nd3rdOTTotal
Ottawa (Visiting)010-1
Barrie (Home)102-3

SCORING SUMMARY (BY TEAM)
Ottawa
2 Mancari (Talbot, Bickell)
Barrie
1 Fuller (Morrison, Marshall)
3 Birner (Brophey, Hamilton)
3 Brophey EN, SH

NOTES
The ref was Sean Reid, the linesmen were Joe Celestin and Jonathan Rose.

The attendance was 3793.

The in-house three stars: (1) Birner BAR, (2) Weber BAR, and (3) Guadagnolo OTT. The TEAM 1200 three stars were: (1) Guadagnolo OTT, (2) Weber BAR, and (3) Birner BAR.

Talbot played a solid game. Guadagnolo also played an outstanding game. Good to see the Mancari/Talbot/Bickell line get a goal, but need to get more out of all the other lines. Kaspar thought he had scored a goal, but it was waved off. (Here we go again --- another year of calling back a goal a game.) Overall, inconsistent play. At times they seemed sloppy or lazy. I hope they aren’t going to get Senatoritis (hearing how good they are they figure they don’t need to really try too hard).

Next up: St. Michael’s Majors. Heard that this will be the only visit the 67s make to Toronto even though there are two away games scheduled. The owner of St. Mike’s owns the Corel Centre, so one of the away games will be held there later in the season.

The official OHL recap is available here.

Recap – 10/01/04 – Ottawa vs Sudbury

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GAME SUMMARY
Team1st2nd3rdOTTotal
Ottawa (Home)113-5
Sudbury (Visiting)210-3

SCORING SUMMARY (BY TEAM)
Ottawa
1 Wharton (Tsimikalis, Kaspar)
2 Tsimikalis (Joslin, Kaspar)
3 Petruzalek (Tsimikalis, Colbert)
3 Kaspar (Petruzalek, Joslin) PP
3 Kaspar (Petruzalek, Tsimikalis)
Sudbury
1 Hastings (Lamb, Pouliot) PP
1 Blaho (Eaton, Dubbin)
2 Dubbin (Eaton)

NOTES
The ref was Joel Washkurak, the linesmen were Ryan Robinson, Eric Dagenais. The penalty calls in the first period were tedious! To be fair, they were deserved. However, Washkurak missed some calls on both sides. The most frustrating thing though, is he stopped calling any penalties in the last five minutes of the game. There were some very blatant penalties occuring that he ignored. This is what upsets fans. If you're going to call the game, call it. Don't change the tactic. Enough of that. On to the good stuff . . .

A SELL-OUT! The attendance was 9893. Technically, this is an over-sell. People walking up to the ticket booth are sold standing-room-only tickets.

The first period was penalty-ridden, and it was really awful to watch. Choppy. Sudbury is a good team. They have some speed, and their goalie (Ehelechner) was really good. The 67s played well, but then started getting penalities, which were deserved (tripping, holding, checking from behind . . .), and even though they were short-handed for most of the period they managed to keep with the Sudbury. In the second period, the 67s came out playing disorganized and sloppy. Battachio made some great saves, that were just jaw-dropping, to keep the 67s in the game. Sudbury kept up their speed and out-played the 67s. It wasn’t until the third period that the offense got their stuff together, and were flying. Kaspar's second goal was unbelievable. It was a classic tic-tac-toe play. The Sudbury players couldn't keep up with the passes, and when it was finally fired at the net, there were 4 Sudbury players just standing in front of the net. Oh, and Kaspar and Petruzalek kept their celebrations to a minimun tonight (Read = No waving to the crowd). Killer had commented yesterday (see post 'Killer Update' below) that there was a strong possibility that the centre-man on the Kaspar/Petruzalek line would become invisible. From last night, I don't think this is a problem. Tsimikalis shined. (StatsGuy said that maybe Tsimikalis will stand out now that he's playing with some talent --- last year he played with Albiani and Akeson, and even then he managed to get points.) Also, the two Czech players aren't puck hogs who only pass to each other. They pass to everyone. Kaspar made a sweet drop pass to Van Herpt last night. I think that the rest of the team will have to get used to receiving these awesome little passes in order to capitalize on them. Really looking forward to watching this line. As Schribes said on the broadcast last night, while Kaspar and Petruzalek are reminiscent of Locke and Foy, they might even be a little bit better!

The in-house three stars: (1) Battachio OTT, (2) Kaspar OTT, and (3) Petruzalek OTT. The TEAM 1200 three stars: (1) Kaspar OTT, (2) Petruzalek OTT, (3) Tsimikalis OTT, and Honourable Mention Battachio OTT.

The official OHL recap is available here.

October 01, 2004

News And Notes

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Phil Mangan has been traded to the Kingston Frontenacs for an 11th Round draft pick in the 2005 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection. (See here .)

Good news for the defence: Wharton will be back in the line-up tonight. Reid will not be back yet. Since the injury was to the same shoulder as last year, they want to make sure that it is totally healed before Reid plays.

Schribes and AJ will both be doing the call tonight. Pre-game starts at 7:05 pm on TEAM 1200. (Radio webcast link here.)

The game will also be on Rogers 22 (OHL Prime Time.) Lee Versage will be back with The OHL Insider - yahoo! Love him.

Killer Update

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Killer said that fans should be excited watching the two new import players. Their hockey skills and energy are similar to those shown by Foy and Locke. He also said that any centre-man on that line is likely going to be invisible.