March 18, 2013

Year in Review: From Behind the Lens

Well, another season has come to a close.  The end seems so far away when camp starts in August. And yet, here we are and much sooner than any of us would have liked.

As we did last year, each of the three contributors to this blog will write a review from his/her perspective.  Mine is the perspective of a photographer.

The change of venue not only affected the players, management and the fans, it affected those that cover the sport.  Scotia Bank Place is not a great place to take pictures of hockey games.  The lighting is not as good as we had it at the Civic Centre, the glass is not good enough to shoot through (like it was at the Civic Centre), and we cannot get good access to the ice before or after a game (like we can at the Civic Centre).  The Civic Centre was a great place to shoot in and I'm looking forward to getting back there.  But photographers always have to make adjustments and it gave me a good excuse to buy a new camera.

The theme for this Season in Review is Working Hard. I focused on finding pictures of each player showing how hard they worked or the results of their hard work.  I was not at the last three home games of the season so missed the opportunity to get good shots of the actual end of the season.

The final roster

Big Mike Cajkovsy is Ottawa's only graduating player this year.  He was a surprise returnee at camp and ended the season as an Alternate Captain.  I think that getting the "A" had a really positive affect on his play - he took the leadership responsibility to heart.  He will be missed.

There's nothing more to be said about Ottawa's Captain Sean Monahan that hasn't already been said.  I had the chance to observe him interacting with team mates and fans - just a great great kid.  You might be able to someone new skills but you can't teach them character.  Whichever team drafts Sean will be getting a great addition of character to the team.

Ryan Van Stralen earned the privilege of wearing an "A" this year.  He worked hard in front of opposing goalies, giving as good as he got in some fierce battles for position.  That is one tough spot to play.

Taylor Fielding was also among the official team leadership.  He missed a number of games due to injury but when he was on the ice, he was a tough opponent.  But he's a friendly guy off the ice.

I like this photo of Clint Windsor as you can practically hear him growling at the puck as he is about to stop it (which he did).  It's a wonder that his gear had any white left on it given the amount of pucks he had to fend off this year.

Daniel Walsh getting some glove-love from the bench for his first goal of the year.
Daniel Walsh lost a lot of ice time due to a nasty head shot relatively early.  Here he and the team are celebrating his first goal of the season. 

Sean Callaghan crushing his opponent against the boards.

Brett Gustavsen found another gear in his "peskiness" motor this year. 

Brendan Bell answered the bell on more than one occasion - never backed down from a fight.  But he also worked hard between fights.  Wonder if he's ever bitten his tongue; it's always hanging out.

Mark Petaccio came to the 67's from the SSM Greyhounds pretty much right after the 'hounds were here.  Another hardworking addition that should help the team improve next year.

Sometimes you'll get a picture that includes an appropriate ad from the wall boards.  Joseph Blandisi did indeed try harder.  He was a great addition to the team.  Like Cazzola from last year, he could smile more - this is supposed to be fun.

It must be tough to be traded from a team that is a top contender for the league championship to a team that is nowhere close.  You wouldn't have known it from Sergey Kupsto's play.  He simply showed up and played.

Mike celebrating the go-ahead goal in the final 1:17 of the game.
Mike Vlajkov looking relieved having scored a go-ahead goal with 1:17 left in the game.  Ottawa won the game.

As a rookie goalie, Jacob Blair saw much more time in net than he might of otherwise.  Baptism by fire which should serve him well.  Tom Dempsey says that Jacob is really level-headed and can shake off the bad stuff well.

Matthieu Desautels did not have as much fun as he might have hoped for.  His season was cut short by a concussion.

We sometimes forget how far from home some of these kids are.  John Urbanic is from Overland Park in Kansas which is over 1700km away from Ottawa. Another nice addition to the team that should pay off next year.

Taylor Davis also came a long way (from New Jersey) to play in the OHL.

Nevin Guy out-muscling Brian Hughes.
Nevin Guy was a pretty quiet stay-at-home type defenseman.  As with the rest of the rookies, he saw a lot more ice than he might have otherwise.  It's expected that all this battlefield experience will help the entire D-corps improve next season.

Connor Brown going 5-hole for the goal.
Connor Brown scoring 5-hole.

Rookie Jake Middleton using his big body to protect in front of his net.

Jonathan Dechesne has one of the most angelic faces you might see on a hockey player so you might not expect him to be so inclined to dropping the gloves.  But he certainly did.  And he was rather successful at it too.

Andrew tried to lay in the hit.  Think he'll focus on putting on some weight in the off-season?
I'm sure this isn't the picture that Andrew Abou-Assaly would have chosen but it always makes me smile.  It was he who attempted to lay in the hit and who got the worst of it - bouncing off his larger and harder opponent.  Gotta give the kid props for trying!

Hardest Working 67's: Dante Salituro
Dante Salituro may not be the biggest guy on the ice but he certainly plays bigger than he is.  Always looks serious.


And now on to the those who didn't finish the season with the team.

I have a lot of pictures of Cody Ceci but this one stands out for me.  This was shortly before he was traded.  He had been logging long, hard minutes every game.  He was trying to carry the team on his back and the burden was starting to show.  It was sad to see him go but on the other I was really happy to see him move on as well.

The Showdown. Tyler scored.
Probably my fav pic of the season - Tyler Graovac getting ready for the shootout against Oshawa.  If only the puck had already been placed - would have made this picture perfect.  Tyler scored.  Missed him but understood why the trade happened.  Hope he gets signed my Minnesota.

I had so many expectations for Jake Cardwell this season.  I was more than a tad po'd when it became known that he asked for a trade and went home to wait for it.  That's not how it's done in my books especially when it's an open secret that you're going to get traded eventually.  But he was a good kid while he was here.  

Yet another Steven Janes hit. 

I love face offs and wouldn't miss a new perspective.
I really liked Remy Giftopolous and was surprised when he was traded.  He simply worked hard every shift, every game.  Really good at face-offs.

While Keegan Wilson had a lot of success against Ottawa, it didn't quite translate into great success with Ottawa.


And a few closing pictures

Dante looking concerned about Cody Ceci who as absolutely gassed at the end of the game.  Would be interesting to see Cody's TOI stats.
It was a tough year.  The players cared for each other.  Dante is looking concerned for his totally gassed-out captain, Cody Ceci after a hard-fought game that ended in a loss.

Clint Windsor celebrating Sean Monahan's EN hat trick goal.
There were a few wins to celebrate.  Clint Windsor celebrating Sean Monahan's hat trick goal and team win.

Jacob Blair's fan club.
 And there were a few enthusiastic fans.


And that's it for this year - see all of you (and hopefully more) next season.
Hope you enjoyed the pictures.
Thanks for following along with us.

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