November 30, 2004

What The Big Guys Say

New York Rangers On Petruzalek
Selected by the Rangers in the ninth round (266th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Their Scouting Report:

A tremendous skater with a fast acceleration ... Utilizes his speed to make up for his lack of size ... Is a very deceptive puck handler ... Possesses good hockey sense ... Is lethal around the goal thanks to his above-average smarts and finishing skills ... Is dangerous in one-on-one situations and also on the power play.

Yep, I'd say that all sounds about right. Moving on . . .

San Jose Sharks On Kaspar
Drafted by San Jose in the 1st Round (22nd overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Nothing too exciting on their developing players page (link). But this article is very interesting: Kaspar Learning In Ottawa via San Jose Sharks News:

Five months ago, Sharks prospect Lukas (LU-Kesh) Kaspar (Kas-Par) was celebrating being San Jose's first round pick by having a translator do his speaking to the press. Now, Kapsar is a month into his North American hockey career and his game and the language are flourishing.

Kaspar recently spoke with sjsharks.com about his time with the Ottawa 67's, the old junior club of Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson, and no translator was necessary.

"It's better now," said Kaspar of his English. "It's not perfect, but there is no translator."

What can't be denied is that Kaspar's adjustment to the North American style of play is going just as well, if not better. The 18-year-old has posted 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 20 games, ranking second on his club in goals and points. His +8 plus/minus rating is third on the club, showing he has a knack for the defensive end of the ice.

"He is very mature in his physical development, much like Milan Michalek (San Jose's 2003 first round pick)," said Wilson. "He loves to live life and he loves to play hockey. His junior coach Brian Kilrea feels he is one of the dominant players in the league.

Kaspar is looking for more out of himself.

"The numbers could be better," said Kaspar. "I could have had more points, more of everything. The other night Jakub (Petruzalek) and I had a lot of chances, but couldn't score."

"We are very pleased with his progress," said Wilson. "He knows where he wants to get and is not going to take a shortcut."

The Jakub that Kaspar refers to is Petruzalek, a fellow Czech, who leads the 67's in scoring. Petruzalek has the benefit of previously playing in North America and has helped Kaspar's transition on and off the ice.

On the ice has been the biggest adjustment, which makes one wonder what Kaspar might do when he really feels comfortable.

"The rinks here are smaller, so everything is different," said Kaspar. "Here there is more hitting and in Czech you can play more with the puck. We can play four games in four nights, but I want the ice time. It is why I am here."

Kaspar previously had been to North America to play in a tournament, for the draft and a couple of other occasions, but now he is here full-time and it is definitely different.

"I miss my family (mother, father and 15-year-old sister)," said Kaspar. "They may come in January. I miss Czech food too. We (Petruzalek) met a Czech butcher who we spend a lot of time with."

Still, Kaspar is glad he is in Ottawa instead of his hometown now.

"It is not hard because it is why I am here," said Kaspar of his goal of reaching the NHL.

Kaspar is from Most, a town of about 30,000 people, and he is used to playing before 3,000-4,000 fans. In the much larger Ontario city of Ottawa, he sees many more friendly faces in the stands.

"In Ottawa, there is more press and every home game is on TV," said Kaspar. "Every game here has 8-9,000 people. It is very different than the Czech Elite League."

At home, the 67's have an impressive 10-1 mark, but overall they are 9-10-2-1.

"At home we are playing great," said Kaspar. "There are 9,000 people cheering for us and it is a good feeling. We hope to play better on the road."

If all goes well for Kaspar, it is likely he will represent Czech in the World Junior tournament for a second consecutive year. This year's championship will be hosted on United States soil in North Dakota and Minnesota.

"It would be a great opportunity for him to play against his peer group," said Wilson. "A lot of top players in the game today have experienced that tournament."

For this season, Kaspar will hone his skills in the OHL, but at some point in the future, he should be a fixture for the Sharks.

"We expect Lukas to be an integral part of the organization going forward," said Wilson.

Love these stories.

Adding To An Earlier Post

Regarding my previous post about the potential slew foot on Battachio at Saginaw, I found this interesting snippet from The Saginaw News' Spirit Insider, Wednesday, November 10, 2004:

NO SUSPENSION: The Ottawa 67s attempt to have Courtney suspended for taking out their goalie, resulting in an injury to the Ottawa player, fell on deaf ears at the Ontario Hockey League's headquarters in Toronto. A conference call was held Friday between OHL Commissioner David Branch, the league's referee-in-chief Ted Baker, Spirit officials and Courtney. "The video shows Sean definitely took the player's legs out from under him, but you can't determine intent from it," Lidster said. "We determined from the conversation they'd already made their decision (not to suspend him), but they just wanted to talk to Sean to hear his side of it. We pulled Sean in (from the locker room) without telling him what was going on. He told them it was just an accident."

So he did do it . . . he just didn't mean to do it. I just love Google news.

OHL Sweeps Russian Selects

The OHL won 5–2 last night. Game recap can be read here.

The Russians will take on the WHL next:
Game 5 on 01-Dec-04 at Red Deer, AB
Game 6 on 02-Dec-04 at Lethbridge, AB

OHL Sweeps Russian Selects

The OHL won 5–2 last night. Game recap can be read here.

The Russians will take on the WHL next:

Game 5 on 01-Dec-04 at Red Deer, AB
Game 6 on 02-Dec-04 at Lethbridge, AB

November 29, 2004

Interview With The Coach

Killer had his usual post-w/e interview on The TEAM 1200/Dean and Gord this afternoon. Some notes:

On the Tsimikalis trade, Killer responded with: [paraphrasing] Peter wants to get playing and we want to get a player in here. We want to get on with it. There is no chance for a change of heart at this point. He’ll move on to help another team and we’ll get someone for our team. It doesn’t put us in a bad position. He’s been such a good kid on and off the ice. He’s got talent. The problem is with him and me. You don’t ever look back on talent and that’s what he has. [/paraphrasing]

As to what specifically he is looking for, Killer responded with: [paraphrasing] We want a comparable age bracket – 18 yoa. Centre, left, or right, we could use any help up front. Not looking for defence because Reid and Lawrance are expected back. We’re looking for a forward. [/paraphrasing]

At this point, Killer thinks that it is boiling down to a one-for-one, not a multi-player trade deal.

When asked if there was a particular team or preference in getting Peter out of division, Killer responded with: [paraphrasing] Peter told Jeff and me that wherever you deal me I’ll be happy to go. I’ll go anywhere. So we’re not worried about conference or close teams. The team that gives me a player of equal talent is where he will go. [/paraphrasing]

Asked if the off ice distractions of the past week helped focus the team this w/e, Killer responded with: [paraphrasing] Well, we can’t say that. Who knows what turns kids on and off these days. They did practice well. Some nights the same team can play with different results. They came out with more spirit and emotion. [/paraphrasing]

On Talbot? Killer: [paraphrasing] He was the best man on the ice Friday night and rewarded with hard work last night. He plays everywhere, anywhere and never gets rewarded. Even though he got a hat trick he wasn’t awarded a star. [/paraphrasing] According to Killer, Talbot was the star of the w/e for the team.

On the PP: [paraphrasing] The power play took off this w/e. The fellows started working well, passing the puck around, getting good shots during the PP. [/paraphrasing]

Injury update (Reid/shoulder, Lawrance/hip): [paraphrasing] Lawrance could play this upcoming w/e. He will be skating this week. Reid needs rest, and with the treatment he is getting, looking possibly at the middle of December for a return. [/paraphrasing]

On losing players to the upcoming tournaments: [paraphrasing]
For the Under 17, Lahey and McGinn leave the team the day after Christmas. We will have a big hole in the line up with the Czech two, another defenceman and the two Under 17. Not looking forward to that time. Makes it hard on the team –-- losing four forwards and possibly a defenceman. I wish them well though. It’s exciting for them to play in these tournaments. Sometimes you get hit hard, sometimes you don’t but it’s the price you pay for good scouting I guess. [/paraphrasing]

On London: [paraphrasing] They’ve won on the road, they’ve won close games, shoot outs. Give them credit for what they’ve achieved. [/paraphrasing]

And finally, no practice today. He gave the kids the day off today. Some of the guys are watching the OHLers play the Russian Selects in Mississauga tonight.

For The Opposition’s Viewpoint

I like reading the opposition’s view of the game, as well as the local media. It’s good to get both sides of the story, because often the truth lies somewhere between them.

Taking a look at the Gens’ homepage, they have detailed game summaries posted. In this case, it seems to be pretty much what I saw on TV. Here’s a snippet from their summary for the game last night (link):

Trailing by one goal heading into the third period, the Oshawa Generals came out hard at the 67’s to try and tie the game. Offensively the Gens threw everything they had at Ottawa, but couldn’t put one past 67’s goal tender, Danny Battochio.

Oshawa’s best chance came at the 12:28 mark of the third when a brilliant pass by Adam Berti sent captain Brett Trudell in alone on the Ottawa net. A desperate diving poke check by Ottawa defenseman, Will Colbert broke up the play, but cost the 67’s 2 minutes. The Gens couldn’t get set up in Ottawa’s end and ended their power play opportunity without producing a good scoring chance.

With 1:17 left to go in the game and a face-off in Ottawa’s end, Bob McGill called a time-out and took DiRienzo out for the extra attacker. Ottawa’s Derek Joslin would scoop a loose puck send it down the ice into the empty net to make it 5-3. With Oshawa’s goalie still on the bench Ottawa would add one more into an empty net as Julian Talbot completed his hat-trick to make the final score 6-3 in favour of the 67’s.

November 28, 2004

Game Recap (at Oshawa)

Some pre-game notes with Dave Schreiber and AJ Jakubec:

There are 4 teams that have told Killer they would be interested in talking trade for Tsimikalis: Belleville, Oshawa, Erie, and Mississauga. Killer went to watch both the Belleville/Oshawa, and Erie/Mississauga games.

The Czech national coach had asked Killer to move Petruzalek to centre position, as this is where they are hoping to play him on the national team. They want him to get some experience at this position. Some were wondering if this move to centre was a factor in Tsimikalis' decision to leave the team, but AJ said that no one knew of the request before he left.

Schreibes' pre-game interview with Killer:

On the 67s' last game, Killer felt that the turning point of the last game came when Battachio stopped the penalty shot. Bickell had a better game. Petruzalek and Kaspar had really good games. Killer said that one guy who didn't get noticed was Talbot, who had an otustanding game. Van Herpt played well. He's a great addition to the defence, particularly when they've had so many injuries.

Killer said he had a chance to watch the Belleville/Oshawa, and Erie/Mississauga games. He's looking at different players, trying to pick through and find the best fit for the 67s. He has no time frame. He wants to make the right deal.

Game Recap

Ottawa wins 6-3. OHL game summary here (link).

The game was broadcast on television (Rogers 22), as well as radio (The TEAM 1200).

Oshawa came out playing a lot stronger tonight, though the score was 3-2 for Ottawa at the end of the first period. Oshawa started taking some penalties, and couldn't keep up the momentum. There were long stretches during the third period with the puck going from one blue line to the other blue line and back again.

Oshawa pulled Gibb at the beginning of the second period after the fourth goal, and put DiRienzo in net.

Talbot had an outstanding game. He ended up with a hat trick after scoring an empty net goal at the end of the game. Joslin also had an empty net goal. Battachio had another great game.

Bickell seems to be delighted with his new linemates . . . he has worked very hard since moving up to the first line. He scored tonight, and assisted on two other goals. Good to see things coming together for him.

Colbert seems to be struggling the last two games. Van Herpt is possibly the best defenceman at the moment. He doesn't try to do anything fancy --- he plays a simple game and right now that is what they need.

This is the second win in a row for the 67s.

This is the fourth road win of the season.

1, Talbot, (Petruzalek, Bickell), 01:31 (PP)
1, Aitcheson, (Kaspar, Bickell), 12:18
1, Talbot, (Petruzalek, Colbert), 17:54 (PP)
2, Bickell, (Petruzalek, Joslin), 00:16
3, Joslin, (Talbot), 19:01 (EN)
3, Talbot, (Joslin), 19:36 (EN/SH)

1, Donati, (McBride, DeLory), 13:52
1, Trudell, (Gibbons), 16:48 (PP)
2, Thompson, (Hulit, Donati), 05:43 (PP)

Changes Coming To Junior Hockey?

An article today in the Toronto Star by Lois Kalchman on Hockey Canada's proposed changes to the way junior hockey programs are run (Hockey Canada proposes junior shakeup).

A nine-point initiative unveiled by Hockey Canada is bound to send shock waves through junior hockey.

The organization proposed at its semi-annual meeting yesterday that 14- and 15-year-old players be forbidden from playing junior hockey and that all junior teams, including Major Junior clubs, be limited to only one 16-year-old on their rosters.

The idea behind the proposal is to prevent 14- and 15-year-olds from leaving home to play junior hockey, and to ensure that only the best 16-year-olds move up to the junior level.

"We are Canadian," Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson said, "and we want to make sure 16-year-olds (who play junior) play on a regular basis — and regular basis doesn't mean sitting in the stands or sitting on the bench. We want to try and make every hockey league in this country stronger."

This is regularly seen in the OHL. Younger players routinely take turns sitting out as healthy scratches. I can understand Hockey Canada's argument that if these players remained with their minor teams they would be spending more time on the ice . . .

In addition, the organization is recommending that only one American player be permitted on all junior teams, including Major Junior, and that only one non-North American player, instead of two, be allowed on Canadian Hockey League teams.

Wow. Now this will have serious consequences for the CHL. The OHL has three American teams --- Plymouth, Erie, and Saginaw, and the WHL and QMJHL also have teams in the US (Portland, Seattle, Lewiston, etc). I cannot see them changing this policy without substantial consideration on the impact to these teams/leagues.

Nicholson, Ontario Hockey League commissioner Dave Branch and Ontario Hockey Association president Brent Ladds were part of the 16-man committee that came up with the proposals. Among the committee's recommendations:

_Players aged 15 remain in midget hockey.

_Major Junior and Junior A and B teams be permitted to register only one 16-year-old player, and a system be implemented to monitor that player's level of participation.

_Midget players not be recruited from outside their geographic areas to play in Junior C and D leagues.

_Major Junior teams be permitted only one non-North American player instead of the two currently allowed.

_Negotiate a Canadian scholarship program in co-operation with Canadian universities and colleges.

Committee chair Marcel Redekop noted that there are 342 Americans now playing on Canadian junior teams, thus taking roster spots away from homegrown players.

OHL teams are allowed to have as many Americans on their rosters as they wish. For example, the first-place London Knights have four American players and the Sarnia Sting six.

"Status quo is not an option," Redekop said.

Ladds, on the other hand, expressed concern about the number of Canadian players going to the United States.

"Right now, the United States (Junior) Hockey League allows two Canadian players a team — that's 22 — but if they expand that could be detrimental (to Canadian hockey)," said Ladds, who is worried that many of the country's best juniors not playing in the CHL will join the exodus to the U.S. league.

Well, is this a situation whereby the US limits the number of Canadian players in the best interests of their own, so Hockey Canada should institute the same type of policy? Is the US Junior Hockey League considering expanding the number of Canadian players? I'm not very familiar with the US system, and how it compares with the Canadian minor, major, university routes.

The following is interesting in light of the recent bru-ha-ha that erupted in Toronto regarding the amount of money some parents were paying for their minor hockey programs, and the gentleman who had bought up a number of teams:

Ladds cited the rising cost of minor hockey — as documented in the recent Star series Minor Hockey, Major Money — as one of the main reasons for the number of midget-age players at the junior level. He said that with minor hockey costing at least $2,000 a season, the incentive to play for free in junior leagues is obvious.

Also yesterday, Hockey Canada vice-chair Al Morris presented a 12-page report on the issue of "entrepreneurship" — or individuals operating minor hockey organizations for profit — in Canadian hockey. A committee will investigate further.

It will be interesting to see the reaction to these proposed changes.

November 27, 2004

Game Recap (vs Oshawa)

The 67s won 5-2. The OHL game summary is here.

Overall, the team played extremely well. Lots of energy. Lots of goals. The defence was strong. And they scored two power play goals! Temper this though, as Oshawa is ranked lower than the 67s, so they should be a better team.

1, Akeson, (Kaspar, Bonello), 08:06 (PP)
1, Bonello, (Mancari, Wharton), 19:21 (PP)
2, Bonello, (Van Herpt), 03:17
2, Petruzalek, (Bickell, Kaspar), 04:24
3, Mancari, (Akeson, Van Herpt), 13:06

2, Kavanagh, (Heshmatpour), 02:57
3, McBride, 08:16

The OHL three stars were awarded to (1) Bonello, (2) Van Herpt, and (3) Battochio. I think that every time Battachio has played, he has been awarded a star – deservedly!

The Ottawa lines were:

1st - Petruzalek, Kaspar, Bickell
2nd - Bonello, Mancari, Akeson
3rd - Talbot, Alphonso, Todd
4th - Ouellette, Lahey, McGinn

Some thoughts on the players:

Bickell played on the first line, but did not centre - Petruzalek did. Bickell played well. He didn’t get a goal, but he skated fast and hard, fore-checked, had some chances, and made some nice passes to teammates in front of the net - one to Petruzalek resulted in a goal.

Kaspar had a better game. He was playing the point on the PP again, and he did okay. There were a few cringe-worthy moments when he was trying to get the puck out of his end (passing too close in front of his net for my liking). I’m sure this is what he needs to work on for his skill repertoire. Overall, great game.

The Alphonso, Talbot, Todd line could be interesting if they stay together, but Talbot spent half the game in the penalty box. He was given 2 min, 5 min, and a 10 minute misconduct for instigating a fight with Prentice-OSH, who knocked over Battachio but wasn't called for it by the ref. Talbot spent more than 20 minutes in the box. The people around us were asking if they were ever going to let Talbot out, and I commented that maybe they had forgotten he was in there.

Alphonso played well. He has such an amazing amount of confidence for a rookie. I think he will be quite the handful next year, with one OHL season in his pocket plus a little bit more muscle.

Van Herpt had an outstanding game. He made one of the sweetest passes to Bonello, which led to a break-away and goal. Very strong on defense.

And Bonello – another great game. He drew as many penalties as he took (he drew two that I remember). He scored two goals, had one assist. Really hoping for a hat trick. He played a lot of minutes. The break-away goal was the play of the game for sure. Oshawa had just scored (Kavanagh at 02:57), but Ottawa came right back to re-capture the momentum (Bonello at 03:17). Bonello was awarded first star, and when interviewed after the game he said he had made the same play earlier that day in practice on Dominick Hasek . . . and scored on him! So, if it works on Hasek, you can bet it’ll work on Gibb-OSH.

Mancari and Akeson also had solid games. Akeson has really stepped up his play. Killer has called for more from the veterans, and it is obvious that they have heard him.

Battachio . . . Oh, what to say about Battachio. He is so good. I cannot believe some of the saves he makes. He had just made a huge glove save on an Oshawa break-away (Hulit) when Colbert who was trying to beat Hulit, tackled him and they both fell into Battachio. Hulit was awarded a penalty shot, and Battachio made another fantastic glove save. Almost the exact same shot from Hulit. It was unbelievable. Battachio got a standing ovation for that one.

Some thoughts on the Oshawa Players:

Heshmatpour is one very large lad. I think they said 6’6”, 238lbs. He is also very good at disturbing the peace. He and Mancari had many words last night!

Gibb made some great saves, especially in the third period.

Kavanagh had a good game. Very steady player.

To be honest, I really wasn’t paying as much attention to the opposition as I usually do, as the 67s were so exciting to watch for a change!

On the reffing:

Brad Beer was accidentally hit in the mouth by the stick of Waddell-OSH, cutting his lower lip and knocking out some teeth. Beer was caught behind Petruzalek and Waddell, who were battling for the puck - 'wrong place, wrong time' kind of situation. They had to call the end of the second period with ~ 5 minutes left, so that Beer could get some medical attention. Beer did return to ref the rest of the game, though. So good on him. It couldn’t have felt very good --- having to blow a whistle with that kind of mouth injury. Overall, the calls were okay. Beer is not the best ref in the OHL (and that’s saying something). StatsGuy said it was "pretty bad". Yes, there were some obvious mistakes or missed calls. On the other hand, a lot of the players (both teams) had academy award performances out there, so what do they expect to happen when they cry wolf all the time?

On the parking situation:

A wood-working show was being held at Lansdowne Park, and when there are multiple events at the same time, the parking lot becomes very small. We arrived early, and were able to find a spot without too much difficulty --- we sat in the car and waited until a wood-worker left! The season ticket holders that sit in front of us were told by the traffic police that the lot was closed. She said she thought about going home, but she’d check one more entrance, and they were able to get in. Also, they still haven’t removed the seating from the Grey Cup, so this is also taking up spots. Lack of parking is one reason I think they will have trouble drawing Senators fans. You can bet that people who pay thousands of dollars for season’s tickets are not going to take public transportation to get to a $15-a-seat hockey game. There are tons of parking spots around the Corel Centre, but it is a mad house at the Civic Centre.

November 26, 2004

Line Changes – Bickell To First Line

With the absence of Tsimikalis, and in an effort to spark some offence, Killer has changed the line-ups. Barre Campbell from The Ottawa Sun has written a piece on this today (link).

Tonight, the first line will be Bickell, Kaspar, and Petruzalek. Bickell will centre. Interesting. I'm concerned that there will be a complete defensive break-down with both Bickell and Kaspar on this line, with Petruzalek forced to pick up the slack . . . thereby, decreasing his offensive potential. Apparently, this line has been practicing this week, so they may have clicked. We'll see tonight.

Considering the other lines, I'm assuming that the second line will be Bonello, Mancari, Akeson? . . . which leaves Talbot for the third line? He doesn't deserve to be third line. I'd like to see how Talbot does on the first line with Kaspar and Petruzalek. But for now it's Bickell.

Okay, Bickell. This is your moment. Let’s see what you can do.

OHL Wins In Canada-Russia Challenge

Last night the OHL played the first of two games against the Russian Selects in Barrie (link).

The OHL was very strong --- noticeably different from the previous QMJHL games. Good puck control, good fore-checking, strong defensive work. Of course, having the likes of Bolland-LON, Perry-LON, Pouliot-SUD, Richards-KIT, etc., helps.

Colbert played very well. He was strong and steady in his end. He didn’t look out of place with the other talent, which was good to see. He's back in Ottawa for the game tonight against Oshawa.

The next game will be Monday, November 29 in Mississauga.

November 25, 2004

Update On Tsimikalis #5 – Interview With The Agent

Derek Richards, agent to Tsimikalis, was interviewed on The TEAM 1200/Gross and Galley. Notes from the interview:

- Galley asked: Did he give you a reason for the trade request? Richards responded with: Not really. He said after the disagreement it was time to move forward. Peter agonized over the decision. He and his family felt like this was the decision to make. He felt that with everything that transpired last week, it would be better for him to go to another situation.

- Gross asked: Do frustrations with not being drafted last year have something to do with it? Richards responded with: It hurt him personally and professionally, being passed over. The draft is not the be all and end all. Certainly he wanted to have a tremendous year and he still can. When he moves on he will continue to do well. He is a tremendous player.

- Galley said: No one has questioned his character or his play. It is just confusing for us – a missing piece to the puzzle. It’s frustrating that things couldn’t be worked out. Is there specific places he is looking to? Richards responded with: He does have specific places in mind. At this point in time, we have to think of both Peter and Ottawa. They are not just going to give him up. They want equal status in return. It might be tough for the next 3-4 weeks.

- Galley asked: Can he afford to sit that long? Richards responded with: Well, it’s not good. It’s in Peter’s best interest to be playing. But with the reputation of Kilrea and Hunt, I’m confident things will be resolved.

- Richards said that they appreciate everything that Ottawa has done for Peter.

Update On Tsimikalis #4 - Interview With The Coach

Killer was interviewed on The TEAM 1200/Gross and Galley this morning.

It’s official. Tsimikalis has asked the team for a trade. He met with both Killer and Jeff Hunt yesterday. They tried to talk him out of it, along with several teammates. Apparently, Killer wanted to give him the night to think about it before the organization officially announced it to the media. Killer said that he learned this morning that Tsimikalis had spoken to the media about the request.

Regarding the actual incident, Killer said [Paraphrasing] It is uncharacteristic of Peter. He has never said a word in 2 ½ years. He blew up when we corrected a few things. We both used a different tone. He didn’t feel he could come back and he’d prefer a trade. [/Paraphrasing]

Galley asked Killer about the part in the article in The Sun that said the decision to ask for a trade was due to a build up. Killer said that he hadn’t noticed any build up, but that he knew Peter was trying to impress this year because he’s been overlooked by draft. Killer said he’s a good two-way player. He wanted to get off to a good start this year. He’s had to work defensively and offensively because of the two Czech players.

Peter’s not the first and not last player to ask for a trade. [Paraphrasing] In our day, a lot of times you were benched for playing well but something happened like a goal against. Today tougher because so many personalities. He’s always played well for us. He’s never been a problem on or off ice. Hopefully we get him to a place he’ll be happy. [/Paraphrasing]

Galley asked if the trade request was related to being demoted to third line? Killer responded with: [Paraphrasing] We have been switching up lines. Same as we did last year. The PP has gone south, so we are looking to anyone. I don’t think Tsimikalis going to that line had a bearing on it. We were hoping he would give Bickell some motivation. [/Paraphrasing]

Killer’s not going to rush on the trade, mentioning he may wait 1-3 weeks. They are hoping for something offensive in return, of equal status. “We’ll get fair value for him.” [quote]

And finally, in praise. [Paraphrasing] Peter’s conduct on, and off ice has always been impeccable. He’ll leave on good terms with me. He worked hard. He’s done a lot for the team. [/Paraphrasing]

Update On Tsimikalis #3

Tsimikalis has met with Kilrea to ask for a trade (via TEAM 1200 20/20). More to come . . .

November 24, 2004

December 30th Game To Corel Centre

From the official 67s site (link):

The Ottawa 67's announced today that their Thursday December 30 home game vs. the Kingston Frontenacs, has been moved from the Ottawa Civic Centre, to the Corel Centre in Kanata. Game time will be 7:00 p.m.

Pros and cons to this.

I don't really like watching the 67s play at the Corel Centre. The atmosphere is different, not as loud, harder to see the ice. Our usual seats are close to the ice at the Civic Centre, but we have no problem seeing through the glass. At the Corel Centre we get stuck beside and behind one of the team benches, so that one end of the ice is blocked from view. Will have to look into changing seats. We did this last year --- moved up higher. Better to see.

On the other hand, it's good to see support for the team. And it would boost the home attendance record off the charts if they get 15 000! It's also closer for us in the West end, and no parking problems.

Update On Tsimikalis #2

There is an update on 'Tsimikalisgate'. First, an article in the Ottawa Sun by Don Brennan (Killer says he has no grudge with forward). And another article by Chris Yzerman in the Ottawa Sun (Unhappy 67 weighs 'big call').

And, of course the bb is awash with posts on who is to blame --- some say Tsimikalis, some say Killer. They post rumours?/ truth?/ half-truths? to prove their position (like Tsimikalis is a prima donna or that Killer has favourites). I hope all this speculation doesn't negatively affect either party in their decision making process.

This is the part I don't like about hockey, or sports in general. I don't like hearing or reading things (that may or may not be true, how do I know?) about players or coaches that, ultimately, leads me to think differently about them.

The bigger question is, how do you separate the person from the position, or should this be done? I'm assuming that all of the talk and the newspaper articles arise from the idea that the general community cares about the individuals involved, and only want the best for both parties. But when does the situation get out of hand? I care about the team, and hope that players not only further their own careers, but also assist the team in advancing.

Staying away from these boards is probably the best thing for me to do, so I am not going to post speculatively about this particular topic anymore. When Tsimikalis is officially back, I'll post that. If he is traded I'll post that. And for the record, I do hope that he comes back. He is very talented, and I enjoy watching him play.

November 23, 2004

Update On Tsimikalis

There is an article today in the Ottawa Sun by Don Brennan, regarding the incident with Tsimikalis (Tsimikalis leaves 67's after spat).

The 67's and third-year veteran Peter Tsimikalis are on a break. That is, they haven't really split, but they're currently not together, either.

"I think it's too early to say what's going to happen," said Tsimikalis, who drove back to Ottawa with a friend Sunday. "I don't know what they plan to do with me."

Asked if he wanted a trade, Tsimikalis replied: "I don't want to say anything right now."

Team owner Jeff Hunt thinks the situation will be resolved.

Let's hope this gets resolved for all parties soon.

November 22, 2004

Interview With The Coach

"We're not a good team but we have good players."

The 67s won 1, and lost 2 games this past w/e. Killer was interviewed on The TEAM 1200/Dean and Gord. Some notes from the interview:

Regarding the game on Friday in London, Killer thought they played pretty good. They played well in the first period, took four straight penalties in the second, and then played a little better in the third. They worked on some of the mistakes made in the London game for the game in Owen Sound. They had a lead, but couldn’t couldn't give themselves a safe lead. Battachio held them in the game to hang on to the win. In Guelph we took some bad penalties . . . "and I mean bad" [quote]. They made mistakes off of face-offs and then the next thing they knew the game was tied. He was disappointed with the forwards who didn’t muster an attack.

He said it has been very frustrating. They give their opponents chances to beat them. Good teams don't need these extra chances. They’re also taking too many penalties.

Regarding the healthy scratches of late, Killer said the coaches are sending a message. He said they are sending the message that in the players' minds they might think they're playing well, but they're not in the coaches' minds. The coaching staff is sitting various players in an attempt to 1) get some sparks going, and 2) see how the scratches react to being sat.

Players are being sat because they are not making the impact they should be. Killer said there were two ways it could go if the players "are worth their weight in salt" [quote]: 1) they will come back and do better, and 2) "not pout" [quote].

He also said that some players will never be taken out of the line up, but didn’t mention names.

Tsimikalis and Wharton were the healthy scratches for the game in Guelph. Apparently, this didn't go over well with Tsimikalis who was not on the team bus when they returned from Guelph. Killer said that he hasn't spoken with Tsimikalis, and doesn't plan on speaking with him. He also said that Tsimikalis can say whatever he wants, to whomever he wants. Doesn't sound too good . . .

And as expected, there is a lot of speculation, mixed with some overheard snippets and displays on both the Ottawa 67's message board and NOOF.

Regarding Colbert playing in the Canada-Russia Challenge this Thursday, Killer said the Colbert is a defensive defence-man who plays every night against the opposition's best. He gives him credit for what Colbert has done with the team. Colbert is an anchor on the defence, and Killer is happy that he has been recognized.

Regarding the upcoming back-to-back games against Oshawa, Killer said that they're going have play better as no team is out --- they are only points away. He said that games in hand are only good when you win. He said that Oshawa just beat Sudbury, so they must have done something good.

Game Recap (at Guelph)

The 67s lose to Guelph 2-1. See the OHL game summary here. We didn't listen to the game, as we were at the Grey Cup!

Scoring summary:

2, Todd, (Colbert), 17:38

3, Card, (Girardi, Versteeg-Lytwyn), 05:10 (PP)
3, McLean, (Parent, Spurr), 07:09

Brody Todd has played very well since his healthy scratch last week. He was named second star, the first star this season.

November 20, 2004

Game Recap (at Owen Sound)

Ottawa wins 4-3. I think this makes it their 3rd road win. The OHL summary is here. The game was broadcast on The TEAM 1200/AJ Jakubec. There was no television coverage. (See update below).

The lines were:
1st - Talbot, Kaspar, Petruzalek
2nd - Bonello, Mancari, Akeson
3rd - Tsimikalis, Todd, Bickell
4th - Ouellette, McGinn, Alphonso

I didn't catch them all, but I think this is right. Talbot was moved up to the first line. Battachio started in net.

Scoring Summary:

1, Bonello, 08:44
1, Talbot, (McGinn), 16:50
2, Bickell, (Ouellette, Todd), 03:17
3, Akeson, (Bonello, Mancari), 07:38

2, Brochu, (Big Snake, Jarrett), 06:55
3, Richardson, (Lehun, LaCosta), 05:28 (PP)
3, Ryan, (Richardson, Lehun), 18:52

Other notes from AJ:

For a change, the opposition made mistakes that Ottawa capitalized on. Tsimikalis not on the bench in second period --- mentions groin. A penalty shot awarded to Petruzalek because goaltender LaCosta threw his stick. He did not score. This was Ouellette's best game this year.

* * Update by Sid 10/21/04 @ 1015h * *

Rogers Television broadcast schedule for the 67s is up now at their website (link).

It says that yesterday's game in Owen Sound was broadcast at 7:30:

November 20
Away Game: Ottawa vs Owen Sound @ 7:30pm

StatsGuy checked a few times, and it wasn't on. I think it was Carleton University basketball. However, I was flipping through channels at 2am and the game was on. I saw the last five seconds. Not sure how we were supposed to know when this game was on. Frustrating.

The next broadcast game will be Friday night against Oshawa . . . maybe.

November 26
Home Game: Oshawa vs Ottawa @ 7:30pm

New Stuff Added To Sidebar

I added a couple of boxes to the sidebar today. The first box, Standing in Eastern Division, gives the 67s' stats to date. My goal is to update this after each game. I like having the standings on the blog, and wanted them somewhere easy to see. We'll see how it goes.

The second box, Home Attendance, tracks home attendance numbers from the first home game of the season, as well as the visiting team. This is not to replace StatsGuy's attendance records, but a quick check of the 67s' numbers.

Last but not least, I edited the OHL Team list. The teams are now listed by conference and division.

Game Recap (at London)

Well, London remains undefeated. The final score is 5-3 for London.

The score does not adequately reflect the poor play of the 67s. They scored three goals, yes, but they did not play well. London was the more dominant team, keeping the puck in their control for minutes at a time, fore-checking hard, skating fast. There were always two, sometimes, three players on the puck. Ottawa did have some moments. They started out okay, scoring first. Guadagnolo made some amazing saves (as per usual), but mistakes were made and London capitalized on them.

Scoring Summary:

1, Petruzalek, (Kaspar, Tsimikalis), 09:02
2, Bonello, (Colbert), 16:47
3, Bickell, (Mancari), 18:29

1, Methot, (Perry, Hunter), 09:40
1, Bolland, (Hunter), 15:56
2, Foreman, 02:59
2, Schremp, Bolland, Hunter), 05:08 (PP)
2, Schremp, Hunter, Bolland), 11:06 (PP)

Ottawa players that stood out: Talbot, Guadagnolo, Akeson had a good game, Bonello . . .

London players that stood out: most of them.

I may post more later, after some reflection. OHL game summary here.

November 19, 2004

Previewing Tonight's Game (at London) Part III

An article by the OHL (link) states that tonight's game will be broadcast across the province on Rogers Sportsnet. (This is good and bad, I think. Good if Ottawa wins, bad if they get their asses kicked all over the ice.) The article attempts to create a sense of excitement by pointing out the strengths of both London (obvious) and Ottawa (hmmm).

Three Knights sit at the top of the OHL scoring race, including veteran sniper Corey Perry (pictured), who leads the scoring race with 51 points in 21 games. The first round pick of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim has recorded points in 20 games this year. Knights captain Danny Syvret is also on a tear, scoring six goals in the past four games. He leads the OHL with a plus-30 plus-minus rating and was named OHL Player of the Week earlier today.

The 67's are coached by the incomparable Brian Kilrea, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last November. The squad has been bolstered by Czech forwards Jakub Petruzalek, who leads the team with 27 points in 19 games and San Jose Sharks first rounder Lukas Kaspar.

Unfortunately, Killer will not be on the ice tonight, but nice try on the teams' strengths. (B-t-w, Kaspar, noted in the above quote, happens to be ranked #50, with 19 points). I love the 67s, really I’m a fan - hence the web blog - and I really want them to win . . . but I’m also a realist. If they want to win this game, they will have to play like they haven’t played so far this season. This means: three periods of consistent, 100% effort for 20 minutes; not expecting the goalie to win the game because they have only scored 1 goal; no turn-overs; no break-aways; no stupid fights that end in them being injured; no sulking when the score is 5-0 (which is very likely, c’mon, it’s London), rather a more determined grit-your-teeth and just-get-it-done attitude; finding out early how the ref is making his calls, and working with it --- not complaining; etc. . .

You see, it will be an Herculean effort. But just think how much confidence it would give the 67s if they were to win. Of course, it would also p-off a huge number of people, including the OHL’s ‘Knights Watch’ group, all the sports channels that have been reporting on this because there is no other hockey, and the entire city of London for starters. But, I’m pretty sure that p-ing off other teams, teams’ fans, etc. in a crushing victory is entirely what these guys live for. Wishing them luck.

Previewing Tonight's Game (at London) Part II

Articles on the game tonight:

Jim Cressman (see previous post) from the London Free Press (link) has written an article about Battachio. Battachio discusses his availability for tonight’s game, his shoulder injury, and the neurosurgery he had last year. Reading about it again makes you appreciate how he has been able to bounce back.

Also, Chris Stevenson has written about the game tonight in the Ottawa Citizen (link). Some of the more interesting snippets:

"We've got nothing to lose, we're going to go in there and just work our butts off," 67's captain Will Colbert said yesterday as Ottawa wrapped up practice at the Brian Kilrea Arena before jumping on the bus for London.

Winless in two games and with just one victory in the past four, the 67's will have to be at their best or, as coach Kilrea said before departing, "If you don't play your best, you don't stand a chance."

And Bickell and Todd are still dealing with the ‘breaking team rules’ thing --- it must have been something very serious:

Meanwhile, veteran left-wingers Brody Todd and Bryan Bickell still appear to be in the doghouse after breaking undisclosed team rules last week and winding up as scratches in a 4-3 loss Sunday in Kingston. Kilrea wasn't sure which of them would dress.

Previewing Tonight's Game (at London) Part I

I decided to take a look at the stats for both teams . . . you know, do a comparison. I know that London is kicking butt big time, but just how do the numbers look . . . (Stats from the OHL.)

Looking at the Overall Standings.

Rank - London 1 / Ottawa 4
GP – London 21 / Ottawa 19
W – London 20 / Ottawa 8
L – London 0 / Ottawa 8
T – London 1 / Ottawa 2
OTL – London 0 / Ottawa 1
GF – London 100 / Ottawa 62
GA – London 39 / Ottawa 52
STK – London 10W / Ottawa 1L
P10 – London 10-0-0 / Ottawa 5-4-1
PTS – London 41 / Ottawa 19
PCT – London 0.976 / Ottawa 0.500
PIM – London 496 / Ottawa 382

Ranking in their respective divisions: Ottawa 4th versus London 1st. The stats that really stand out: Wins and Losses. Ottawa’s record: 8-8-2-1 . . . and London’s record: 20-0-1-0. Also Goals For is quite notable: Ottawa 62 to London 100. And okay, Percentage: Ottawa 0.500 to London 0.976. Wow. Okay, moving on.

Looking at the Power Play (both home and away).

Rank – London 1 / Ottawa 12
GP - London 21 / Ottawa 19
ADV - London 110 / Ottawa 105
GF - London 36 / Ottawa 19
PCT - London 0.327 / Ottawa 0.181

Well, that’s all fairly obvious. Next.

Looking at Penalty Killing (both home and away).

Rank – London 1st / Ottawa 4th
GP – London 21 / Ottawa 19
TSH – London 125 / Ottawa 99
PPGA – London 17 / Ottawa 16
PCT – London 0.864 / Ottawwa 0.838

Ottawa has done much better with the PK. I’ve noticed (and posted about) the hard work by both Tsimikalis and Talbot. The 67s are the best team in the Eastern Conference at the PK.

Looking at Penalty Minutes (both home and away).

Rank - London 5 / Ottawa 10
GP - London 21 / Ottawa 19
PIM - London 496 / Ottawa 382
BMI - London 6 / Ottawa 10
Avg - London 23.6 / Ottawa 20.1

London bests Ottawa in this category too! Of course, they have played more games than Ottawa . . .

Moving on to the individual stats. Let’s look at the points leaders.

Looking at Points Leaders.

#1 Perry (LON) GP 21, G 17, A 34, PTS 51, PIM 39
#2 Hunter (LON) GP 21, G 14, A 23, PTS 37, PIM 18
#3 Schremp (LON) GP 21, G 17, A 19, PTS 36, PIM 12
#15 Petruzalek (OTT) GP 19, G 11, A 16, PTS 27, PIM 14

London players Perry, Hunter, and Schremp are top three, with 51, 37, and 36 points respectively. The first Ottawa player to crack the top 20, is Petruzalek, with 27 points (and he's a rookie). The next Ottawa player is number 50 (Kaspar, 19 points), followed by number 61 (Tsimikalis, 17 points). Okay, that’s depressing.

Moving on.

Looking at Goalies.

#1 Coleman (LON) GPI 11, MINS 668, Shots 320, GA 17, SO 1, Avg 1.530, SV% 0.947 W 10, L 0, T 1

#2 MacDonald (LON) GPI 10, MINS 604, Shots 317, GA 22, SO 1, Avg 2.180, SV% 0.931 W 10, L 0, T 0

#5 Guadagnolo (OTT) GPI 10, MINS 531, Shots 326, GA 21, SO 0, Avg 2.370, SV% 0.936, W 2, L 4, T 2 (rookie)

#16 Battachio (OTT) GPI 11, MINS 621, Shots 342, GA 30, SO 1, Avg 2.900, SV% 0.912, W 6, L 5, T 0

London tops this list too, although Guadagnolo is listed 5th (with a losing record no less . . . why, oh why can't they play better with him in net?). Battachio is number 16, and has been off with an injury. The word is he will not start tonight, but will tomorrow vs Owen Sound (via AJ Jakubec on the TEAM 1200/2 Dorks).

November 17, 2004

Lahey, McGinn Named To Under 17 Team

Lahey and McGinn

Congratulations. Official releases from the Ottawa 67s here, and from the OHL (including full roster) here.

The team will depart for Lethbridge, Alberta on December 26th where they will compete in the 2005 World Hockey Challenge beginning December 28th thru January 4th. The tournament features ten (10) teams in two five (5) team conferences playing a round robin format followed by a play-off crossover based on conference seeding after the round robin. Team Ontario will play in a conference with USA, Slovakia, Germany and Team West.

The 2005 World Under 17 schedule here.

November 15, 2004

Quick Quote

Kilrea, in the Kingston Whig-Standard (link), after the loss to the Frontenacs:

"We made too many mistakes and a couple of ’em were doozies,” grumbled Ottawa’s legendary coach Brian Kilrea from an empty team bus while he changed out of his Sunday best into more relaxing duds for the one-flick trip home. (Better to watch a movie than contemplate the squad’s ninth loss in 11 road battles.)

One such doozy still fresh on Killer’s mind was a defensive hiccup that coughed up a breakaway to streaking Frontenac Chris Stewart. Anthony’s kid brother exploded out the sin bin, sped in alone and scored a beauty to make it 3-1 Kingston.

“You don’t give up a breakaway to a guy coming out of the [penalty] box,” Kilrea added, a message he is sure to repeat at practice this week. “Our goalie was slapping the ice with his stick [to signal the near-end of a power play]. Everybody in the place heard it. Our one defenceman heard it but the other one apparently didn’t.

“We dug a hole and almost got out of it, but not quite.”

Interview With The Coach

Kilrea was interviewed today on The TEAM 1200/Dean Brown and Gord Wilson. He said he is concerned about the inconsistent play, and that no one seems to be standing up and showing leadership. They knew that the first half of the year would be tough – a lot of road games – due to the scheduling of the Grey Cup at Lansdowne Park, but he is not happy with the way the team has been playing.

We’re just not playing good enough. Some players are improving and some not. Players that we should be depending on are not playing well.

If we’re going to improve, we may need to pick up a player or two.

I look at our team and I think there is something missing. Whether enthusiasm or someone stepping up as a leader, I’m not sure yet. I’m still trying to figure it out. Maybe a change will spark somebody.

When asked about the decision to bench Todd and Bickell, Killer had this to say:

It was a message. If the rest want to play every game they will follow the rules, which aren’t that hard. When you break team rules as a veteran, I remember. Put it that way. I remember.

Killer praised Akeson, saying he was the best forward yesterday. Good to see Akeson getting positive comments. Hopefully he can keep it up.

Killer said that Reid is leaning towards shoulder surgery within the next couple of weeks. If he goes ahead with it, he will be out for around 3 months. Killer says that they really miss Reid’s depth on the blue line.

Battachio will probably be ready to play next week. Some discomfort in the shoulder remains, but he has been taking shots in practice, moving the shoulder and arm.

November 14, 2004

So Very Strange

Another article by Steven Simmons, Toronto Sun, about Danton (link). Apparently, one of Frost's proteges, Adam Keefe (Kitchener Rangers) beat up Danton's estranged brother Tom Jefferson (Oshawa Generals) during their last game. An OA-er versus a rookie. What a tough guy . . . what a creep. From the article:

Just last week, in an Ontario Hockey League game between the Kitchener Rangers and Oshawa Generals, a fight occurred in the third period. A fifth-year junior player named Adam Keefe jumped a rookie named Tom Jefferson and pounded him off a faceoff.

Keefe, brother of Sheldon Keefe, is a Frost kid.

Jefferson is Mike Danton's estranged brother.

When Frost came chasing years ago, Jefferson ran away.

"Can I prove Frost was involved? No," said Oshawa general manager Brad Selwood, who was irate over the fight.

"Was it premeditated? I can tell you that absolutely it was."

This whole story is so unbelieveably nasty. Any parent that allows Frost near their kid(s) should have their head examined.


Our first mention by another blogger . . . and a sidebar link. Nifty.

I have ottawasportsblog on my list of blogs that I ready regularly, and had just put it up here on the sidebar. It's one of the very few blogs I've found to focus on sports in Ottawa, covering hockey, football, baseball, etc. Good reading.

Game Recap (at Kingston)

Well, the 67s lose 4-3. (OHL game summary here.) Apparently, Killer was trying to shake things up by changing the lines.
  1. Tsimikalis, Kaspar, Petruzalek
  2. Bonello, Mancari, Akeson (replacing Bickell)
  3. Talbot, McGinn, Lahey
  4. Ouellette, Alphonso, Lawrance

Hmmm. Interesting. Lawrance on offense.

Brody Todd and Brian Bickell both sat out. Very interesting indeed.

Akeson got a goal. And he was given second star by The TEAM 1200, who said he scored, was physical, and had an all around good game. (Could it be that my karma post worked?) It sounded like the defence were still playing poorly - allowing break-aways, etc. Kilrea said in the pre-game interview that he was on the look-out for new guys, and that he wanted to give the rookies some playing time.

Scoring Summary:

1, Akeson, (Bonello, Beard), 03:01
3, Lawrance, 01:52
3, Petruzalek, (Colbert, Kaspar), 05:04

1, Shutron, (Rizzi, Pronk), 15:04
1, Smolenak, (Hughes, Stewart), 18:25 (PP)
2, Stewart, (Kotsopoulos), 07:54
2, Emmerton, (Smolenak), 13:01

67s come away with only 1 out of 4 points against divisional rivals. Not a good start. I cringe, thinking about what is going to happen next week, when the 67s play the Knights. (Belleville lost 8-2 to London on Friday night.)

November 13, 2004

Game Recap (vs Peterborough)

67s and Petes tied last night . . . Petes seem to like tie games.

General observations:

Not one of the 67s' better games. They seemed disorganized in the first period, falling etc., and they couldn't capitalize on scoring chances. They started off the second period better, scoring two goals. However, they let up at the end of the period, and the Petes scored two, tying it up. The third period was better for both teams, with both goalies getting some work. Overall, there were many soft passes that led to interceptions, 2-on-1's. There were long stretches of uninterrupted play - no whistles, no off-sides, etc. I thought the ref did okay (StatsGuy says he let a lot of stuff go). OHL game recap here.

Goal summary:

2, Tsimikalis, (Kaspar, Joslin), 03:34
2, Tsimikalis, (Bonello, Colbert), 09:04 (PP)

2, Reddox, (Aston, Morrison), 15:39 (PP)
2, Beljo, (Ryder, Young), 19:05

Player observations:

Tsimikalis was the best player on the ice. He worked hard for the whole game, scored goals. I was impressed with his defensive work - skating hard to stay with his man, forechecking, stick work, etc. Combined with Talbot on the PK, they both look really strong. It's good to see things coming together for him.

Brody Todd was back tonight, but he didn't seem his usual self. He may have been told to take it easy out there.

Joslin appeared to be having a bit of an off night also.

Beard took one for the team, standing up for his goalie. The Petes were getting a little too physical with Guadagnolo at times. Beard and Soryal took 5 minute penalties for fighting. Beard wasn't the stronger of the two, but he stood up for Guadagnolo. Good for him.

The best d-man last night? I'd say Colbert. Although nobody on defence stood out like in previous games. This is the first game I've seen where the defence looked worse than the offense.

I'm concerned about a few players - Bickell (ups and downs; not consistent), Kaspar (seems to be a little hesitant or unsure), and Akeson (hasn't found his niche?). Sending good karma their way.

Impressions of Peterborough:

After a shaky start, MacDougald had a really good night. He made some very good saves in the third period to keep the score tied.

Others that stood out? Flood (strong presence), Cowie (because he had a large group of fans in the stands with signs . . . he's from Nepean).


Second best so far this season, at 9413. There is a noticeable difference in the energy and noise levels when crowds are over 7000.


We arrived 1/2 hour early, and the traffic was backed up along the canal. Some tents have been erected in the parking lot in preparation for the Grey Cup, so that took up quite a few spaces. We were able to find a spot though.

Next game:

67s in Kingston tomorrow. This will be their first meeting of the season.

November 12, 2004

Home Attendance - The Numbers

With all the talk about attendance, I went back to look at the attendance record for all home games to date.

Listed by date:


Listed by attendance (from most to least):


The TEAM 1200 is reporting that there are just under 2000 tickets available for the game tonight against Peterborough.

The Petes played at home against Erie last night, winning 3-2 in OT. The 67s have had just one other game against the Petes this season, and that was in P-borough, where they lost 3-2 in OT (see post).

I'm looking forward to seeing some of the teams, and players, in the Eastern division. Out of the four teams (Oshawa, Belleville, Kingston, and Peterborough) Belleville is the only team to play in Ottawa so far this season.

November 11, 2004

Czech Players In The NCR

An interesting article today in the Ottawa Citizen by Darren Desaulniers (link) about the Czech players on the 67s and the Gatineau Olympique.

On strili a dava goly.

Most people wouldn't have a clue what that phrase means, but the meaning is quite clear for four young hockey players in the capital region. "He shoots, he scores" is not only an expression they know, but also one that they live.

OK . . .

I know that they are having a phenomonal season, and that they are hosting the Memorial Cup this year, but does the OHL really need to create a link button on their home page entitled 'Knight's Watch' (link).

Clicking on the button gives us London's game-by-game breakdown since the beginning of the season.

Through Wednesday, the Knights are undefeated in 19 games (18-0-1-0) and are closing in on the CHL record of 29 games that was set by the Brandon Wheat Kings to start the 1978-79 season.

Yeah, I know . . . sour grapes and all that. I guess it is exciting to watch, and what better year to be on such a roll then when you're hosting the Memorial Cup.

November 10, 2004

Site Re-design

Well, changed the site template. Figured it was about time. The old site was really hard to read - black background with white text. Hopefully all the old posts will work. I've checked back over a few, and things seem to be okay.

Bonello On Danton And Frost

An article today in the Ottawa Sun by Chris Stevenson looks at Bonello's relationship with Mike Danton and their agent David Frost (link). I know that I'm not the only one confused regarding the case against Danton. The prosecution told media that Danton was accused of hiring a hit on Frost, but Frost has repeatedly denied this. In fact, Danton and Frost still continue to communicate. From CBC Sports (link):

According to U.S. federal prosecutors, Danton plotted to kill Frost for at least six months, a charge that the agent has repeatedly denied.

"I wasn't the target," said Frost. "Once the whole thing shakes down, everyone will understand exactly all of the circumstances of what happened.”

If Frost was not the target, then who was? And why is Danton going to jail for 7 years? Now that things have shaken down, everybody is still in the dark. In regards to Bonello, Stevenon's article provides some interesting comments:

Bonello chuckled when asked about the way his agent has been characterized and said Frost has done nothing but right by him.

"People look at his persona, they look at his history and his coaching. I think it's funny how everybody twists the story one way or the other. They say every player of his doesn't have a relationship with his family. That's totally false. I have a strong relationship with my family," said Bonello.

I'm not sure that we will ever know. How many cryptic stories have been printed about Frost, that hint at his power over players, using words like 'cult', but where no one wants their name exposed or attached. Take this article, for instance, written by Steve Simmons (link). It only raises more questions. These 2 paragraphs from the article provide an excellent example of the vagueness surrounding Frost and his players:

Thus begun an exhaustive one-month journey into a man lurking in the hockey shadows, with truths being twisted, controlling a clique of "his boys" and whispers and rumours (not of a sexual nature) -- but hardly anyone willing to go on the record to say what they knew.

People were afraid of him. They were afraid if they spoke out against him they would be the ones injured in the end. They were concerned if they said what they knew about how he operated, about the control he had over his kids, they would end up punished. I interviewed almost 100 people, many of them refusing to go on the record, about Frost, including a 140-minute session with him at what was then his Brampton home, and the more I learned, the more cryptic the story became.

One thing is very clear however, hockey likes to keep its secrets.

November 08, 2004

Player Profile - Bonello

The 67s have written up a player profile for Bonello.

Mancari And Tsimikalis On TV

So, Mancari and Tsimikalis did make an appearance on The Big Bad Sports Show after all. (See previous post). AJ Jakubec guest hosted.

Mancari and Tsimikalis

Here's what they talked about:

Who's Your Biggest Rival in OHL:

Mancari - Brampton; for beating the 67s last year.

Tsimikalis - Kitchener; similarly, for beating the 67s.

On playing at the Corel Centre:

Mancari - It's intimidating, playing in an NHL rink. Every guys' dream is to play in the NHL, so it is intimidating. But, the boards are different, the ice is different, it's not like playing a home game. No advantage.

Tsimikalis - Agrees with Mark. He separated his shoulder there last year, so he hates the Corel Centre. He also mentioned that Colbert broke his wrist at the Corel Centre, so he doesn't like it that much either. You don't get the same fans, and you can't hear them either.

On the attendance this year:

Tsimikalis - Still getting 7000 fans, but not a sell out. It would be nice to see those sell outs again.

On beating London [yeah, like anyone can]:

Tsimikalis - Thinks they could give them a good run.

Mancari - Has the London dates circled on his calendar, as this is where he is from and expects friends and family to come cheer him on.

On their new line-mates:

Tsimikalis - Playing with Kaspar and Petruzalek for about a month. He's picked up a few Czech words, which were not airable. He feels like he is slowly learning their style, while they are adapting to the NA style. He said that they've learned fundamentals differently, so there is an adjustment. He said that Kaspar and Petruzalek have been on the same team and the same line since they were kids.

Mancari - Playing with Bonello, for about 7 games. Bonello has been getting some points, so things are starting to click. They are also living together, and rooming on the road. Bonello called into the show to give the guys some grief. He said that he lives with a big bum (Mancari). When asked what he brings to the team, AJ quipped "besides the double minors", to which Bonello responded with "hah, that's pretty funny." Mancari said that Bonello works hard, brings it every shift. AJ said that sometimes he goes over the edge, but sometimes you need that.

Corey Locke also phoned in. Apparently, Tsimikalis and Locke were roommates last year and they still talk on the phone regularly. Locke has 7 points (3G,4A) in 9 games with the Bulldogs. He has had to make a bigger adjustment to this level, as the guys are stronger and faster. He also has 23 stitches in his lip.

Another fan (a little girl) phoned in to thank Mancari for sending her a b-day card, and then went on to wish him good luck etc. Mancari looked so sheepish/embarrassed. I'm sure he got ragged about it by the boys, but it was a sweet thing to do for a fan.

The team is getting ready for this Friday, when they will host P-borough. Finally, we get to see some of the teams in our division.

November 06, 2004

Game Recap (vs Windsor)

67s won last night, 5-3. Woo hoo! (OHL game recap here.)

The game started off with two quick goals, one for each team. The Spits scored first at 00:32, then the 67s came right back and scored (at 00:41). I thought it was going to be a repeat of last week's 8-7 shoot-out.

After the first goal, Guadagnolo settled down in the net, and the defence did a good job as well. Windsor was not very organized in the first period, so this helped the 67s look good too. The scoring summary for the game was as follows:

For Ottawa:

1, Kaspar, 00:41
1, Bonello, (Mancari, Bickell), 03:35
1, Tsimikalis, (Joslin, Petruzalek), 08:51 (PP)
2, Kaspar, (Van Herpt, Petruzalek), 13:22 (PP)
3, Bonello, (Bickell, Colbert), 00:33

And for Windsor:

1, Mannino, (Lomas, O'Reilly), 00:32
3, Lomas, (O'Reilly), 07:25
3, Dixon, (O'Reilly, Lomas), 18:05 (PP)

Kaspar had a good night, scoring two goals. He did get called for 'illegal equipment' at the end of the 3rd period. Windsor's coach (Kelly) asked the ref to measure Kaspar's stick, and he was subsequently sent to the box. (Do all OHL teams allow their players to do this? This is not the first time that opposing teams have called the 67s on illegal sticks. What is up with that?) The funniest moment of the night, was when Kaspar was put on the point (again, what is up with that?), and stopped a potential breakaway by slashing the stick of the Windsor player. Good grief - I could hear the crack and I was listening to my little radio (for play-by-play).

Bonello had a terrrrrrific game. He is adorable - plays hard, works hard, scores, yaps, fights for his space, smiles beautifully when he scores, and has that e-thing going on (energy). And he's not a huge guy. And he leads by example. And . . . okay, I just love him.

Tsimikalis also had a great night. Oh, and Talbot. He may not have the goals, but he works hard when he is on the ice, and he doesn't make many mistakes.

I'm also impressed with Ouellette. I think he has real potential. Also impressed with Van Herpt.

Mancari had an okay night. Bickell - had some chances. Not sure about Bickell yet.

Oh, and Alphonso is crazy - he'll fight anyone. Anyone. (And he just turned 16 last week I think.) Seriously, when the guy takes a hit, he bounces right back up off the ice. Last night he took at least three good punches to the head. He gets smashed into the boards. For a while, StatsGuy and I thought he was being targeted by the other teams' goons, he was being hit so much. Maybe he yaps at them, you know, eggs them on.

Other miscellaneous observations about the Windsor boys:

Topping, the Windsor goalie, had a really bad night. (The kind of night that has the crowd chanting your name --- which isn't good when you're visiting.) Of course, his defence didn't help.

Scott Todd is definitely a big lad. (And as predicted in my post yesterday, no one avenged Brody).

I was impressed by the play of Garlock (steady, skilled), Dixon (small but feisty), Dickson (big, steady), O'Reilly (good positioning, skilled), and Lomas (big, solid).

Regarding the refs:

Hmmm . . . not bad. I mean, you can't expect perfection right?

Regarding attendance:

Attendance was the best since the home opener, at 8046. Another event was taking place at Lansdowne, and they were turning cars away in the parking lot. (We said we'd take our chances, and found a spot that someone had just vacated.) I wonder how many of those that left were there for the game? The new stadium seating they have installed for the Grey Cup also takes up a lot of space, including sections that they have fenced off to store the leftover bars and such for the seating, as well as the actual seating which pushes out into the parking lot at both ends. Anyway. Lesson learned - leave early for games until after the Grey Cup.

Read about the game here, and here, and one more here.

November 05, 2004

A Few Notes

AJ Jackubec reporting on The TEAM 1200/2 Dorks:

Regarding Beard: He will definitely be back tonight. He was a possibility last week, but they didn't want to rush him.

Regarding Guadagnolo: He will be the one and only. There will be no back up. Yikes!

Regarding Battachio/Courtney slew-foot incident: The OHL reviewed the tape, issued a warning to Courtney, and that's the end of that. No suspensions.

Regarding Brody Todd's concussion: Brody and Scott are second cousins. They don't know each other too well; they're not good friends. They were expecting Scott Todd to fight that night. Someone had to fight him, and Brody was the one. Will Brody be avenged tonight? Not likely.

Congratulations Jakub!

Petruzalek has been named OHL Rookie of the Month. From the OHL site:

Petruzalek led the 67's in scoring in October with 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points in 14 games. The Litvinov, Czech native was named one of the game's stars six times last month. He scored two game-winning goals in October and recorded three points on four different occasions. Petruzalek, who was drafted by the New York Rangers last June, is leading all OHL rookies with 24 points in 14 games this season.

Barre Campbell from SLAM! Sports has a nice piece about Petruzalek here.

Petruzalek has definitely been the most explosive player for the 67s. He works hard every shift, whizzing around the ice. He may be a little too explosive at times . . . he's had a few 'hitting from behind' penalties.

At times he reminds me a little of Zenon Konopka, who played every shift 110%. These players are so fun to watch. You can feel their energy, they create excitement. I had hoped that this energy would inspire the other players on the team, but maybe it's not something you can learn - you either have it or you don't.

Beard's Back

Beard will be in the line up tonight. Todd (concussion) will sit out again, along with Aitcheson (groin), Reid (shoulder), and Battachio (shoulder).

November 04, 2004

The Big Bad Sports Show

The Big Bad Sports Show is a local sports show hosted by Matt McCooeye on Rogers Television Channel 22. Previous guests include Ottawa sports personalities, athletes, team owners, etc. This coming Monday November 8 at 7pm, the show details on the web site indiciate that McCooeye and guest co-host AJ Jackubec, will talk with Peter Tsimikalis and Mark Mancari. I'm not sure the show details are up to date however, because radio commercials broadcast today for the upcoming show are only promoting AJ Jackubec.

* UPDATE - Just heard the ad again, and it only mentions AJ, who will be on the show "talking 67s and junior hockey".

November 03, 2004

Tape Sent To League Office

The 67s have sent a tape of the alledged slew-foot by Sean Courtney of the Saginaw Spirit on Battachio to the OHL head office. Barre Campbell from the Ottawa Sun has written about it in this article. Here is how Saginaw reported the incident (link):

Ottawa changed goaltenders two minutes later, when starter Danny Battochio was wobbled in a player collision outside the crease. Anthony Guadagnolo finished the game for the 67's.

This "wobble" has resulted in Battachio being out for 2 to 4 weeks, depending on reports.

The game wasn't televised, so I did not see what happened, and I'm not willing to blindly believe that it was a slew-foot. I'm trying to be less biased this year regarding the calls refs are/are not making. It seems like a crappy job to me - being an OHL ref - what with the yahoos they have yelling at them. No matter what they do, they will not please 50% of the people. Now, I'm not saying that they don't make mistakes or miss things, but that the product would be pretty dreadful without refs and they put up with a lot of crap. (I've heard what some of these yahoos yell at the refs, and it's not pretty.)

We'll see what the OHL officials decide.

November 02, 2004

A picture is worth a thousand words . . .

OHL Attendance On The Rise

I compiled the attendance stats comparing this year to last year up to the end of October. League-wide, attendance is up about 5%. There are big gains in Mississauga, Sudbury, Toronto St. Mike's and London. However, Kitchener, Sarnia, Oshawa, and Windsor are all down.

November 01, 2004

Bell And Locke

This is a great picture of Brendan Bell (Captain of the 67s 2 season's ago), and Corey Locke (Captain of the 67s last year) battling for the puck. Bell plays for the St. John's Maple Leafs/Toronto Maple Leafs, and Locke for the Hamilton Bulldogs/Montreal Canadiens. Bell has had some problems adjusting to the AHL, but says he will work harder this year.

The Hamilton Bulldogs were playing the Manitoba Moose yesterday, and it was broadcast on Sportsnet. Locke looked pretty good, he could be dangerous out there, drew a penalty, but only played about 6 shifts. I guess they're going to make him pay his dues in the AHL.

Post-Road Trip Interview With The Coach

Interview with Brian Kilrea on The TEAM 1200/2 Dorks today yielded the following:

The 67s have the day off today after a busy four days. They will have a good skate tomorrow, then start preparing for the game against Windsor this coming Friday.

Kilrea is surprised and disappointed that the team is not scoring. He has been looking around for offensive players, though he doesn’t want to necessarily upset the team. But they need some help.

They have good goal scorers, but they are not consistent. Some are getting chances, but they are not dangerous chances (like hitting a bulls eye/goalie's chest).

Kilrea said that as long as the players work hard, he can live with it. But, some players are working hard and not being rewarded for it. We need some guys to get a break, or maybe work a little bit harder.

He's not satisfied because they are not consistent.

He said that they need the forwards to understand that they need to work every shift. They can’t take a night off.

Tsimikalis works so hard between the two Czech players. His energy is spent playing defensive hockey, then all of a sudden he is expected to join the rush for an offensive play. He is not being allowed to play offensively.

Kilrea is not happy with any of the lines they have going right now, but he is pleased with goaltending. He said that goaltending could be a star every game.

Battachio was going for testing today, to see how bad his shoulder is injured. Kilrea siad he is not allowed to say anything about it, because of the nature of the injury (slew foot on review).

When asked about other teams in the division, Kilrea said he was surprised that Belleville was doing as well as they are.

The coach is to be credited for making some good trades. He also has a gut feeling that Kingston has a lot of talent, and that once they find themselves they will be the team to watch in our division.

Quick Recap (Road Trip)

Thursday October 28, Ottawa at Windsor
OT Loss (8-7). There were 10 goals scored in the second period! The 67s held 3 goal leads twice in the game, and still lost. Kilrea said they played very poorly – disorganized, like they didn’t know which position they were playing. They came away with 1 point. OHL game recap here.

Friday October 29, Ottawa at Plymouth
Loss (1-2). Brody Todd got knocked out by Scott Todd (apparently they're second cousins . . . or something like that) during a fight. Brody was out for the rest of the game (and w/e) with a concussion. No points. OHL game recap here.

Saturday October 30, Ottawa at Saginaw
Win (5-0). First shut-out for the year was awarded to Battachio, who left the game with a separated shoulder resulting from a slew foot. He played 28 minutes, and faced 19 shots. Guadagnolo played 32 minutes, and faced 10 shots on goal. They get 2 points. OHL game recap here.

Sunday October 31, Ottawa at Sarnia
Loss (0-1). Not counting Thursday, 67s goalies let in 3 goals! Can’t expect the goaltenders to score too, can they? Oh, and Kilrea got booted for game misconduct (read: yelling at the ref). No points. OHL game recap here.

Total of 3 points for this w/e.