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  #21  
Old 09-19-2013, 10:09 PM
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So impressed with the player Connolly has become in the last year and a half.. Excited about seeing him back in Tampa.
  #22  
Old 09-19-2013, 10:26 PM
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Connolly look very good tonight.

The one that jumped out to be was Labrie. I do not know what he did over the summer but his skating is 200% better than what it was. I thought for sure he would not have a chance here and now he looks like he may be here awhile.

Helenius also looked very good.

Sustr looked like he has gained a few pounds or they are hiding that thin body of his with an oversized sweater. He also looked very good.

Drouin just didn't stand out tonight and his ice time showed it.
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  #23  
Old 09-19-2013, 10:48 PM
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Stammer and Malone were the primary penalty killers tonight with Johnson and Palat the second group. I thought Luke again looked pretty good - not good enough to make the team but a solid addition to Syracuse.

What a boneheaded move by Cedrick to lose the shutout.
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  #24  
Old 09-20-2013, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete View Post
Drouin only getting 12 minutes of IT is telling. If they were seriously looking at him as an NHL option I would think they'd be giving him more time with NHLers for linemates. If Connolly is playing like a high first round pick (and he really seems to be) and the PTP line is all playing well, the Lightning may very well see no profit in rushing Drouin.

Sustr and Witko each getting more IT than Aulie also jumped out to me. Maybe they figure they know what they have in Aulie, but Sustr in particular got 20+ minutes. I wonder if he's getting a deeper look. The way he played late in the AHL playoffs last year, he's an exciting prospect. He was better than Barberio then, IMO, and it wouldn't take much for him to be better than Aulie either, also IMO.
Unless his IT changes it's a slam dunk he's back to juniors. Maybe at best they give him a 9 game cup of coffee so he can see what needs to be improved on. The fact that they moved BC down last year and had him play the whole season in the AHL is indicative of what Yzerman and the staff want in their development of players. Let them become men, know all facets of the game and unless you are just the next Crosby take the time that is needed.

BC and Sustr too me were excellent in the AHL cup run last year. BC is ready and primed to make his second bow to the tampa fans. Not only do TJ, Palat, Panik and Drouin need to look over there shoulder there are several of the current crop who should be concerned. What surprised me with BC is he has become the two way player and much tougher on the puck that what we saw from him as a rookie. He has really worked on that part of his game along with continuing his development of confidence in his scoring ability.

Current players from Tyrell to Purcell should be concerned about his development.

Sustr I think spends at least the first part of the year in the AHL to let him continue his development.

Heard from several of those posting that "nacho" has learned to skate and that he is flying on the ice. I know from listening to an interview with him which aired up in syracuse during the playoffs it was the area that he intended to spend his time on this past summer. Obvious he has made real strides in that area and he will be a welcome addition of skate, defend and punish the front of the net with his huge smile and good size.
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  #25  
Old 09-20-2013, 05:51 AM
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Wolf Pack?
Continuing to like what I see from this years club.

QUOTE From the Times
"Cooper has told players he expects them to play a gritty, physical, sandpaper-like game. And if things get rough, he expects players to stick up for each other with a mentality he compared to a "wolf pack"
END QUOTE

QUOTE
"The message is clear: You stick up for your teammates and you play hard-nosed," said right wing Dana Tyrell, who played for Cooper last season at Syracuse, which was second in the AHL with 99 fights. "Everybody knows he likes to score goals and defense comes first. But if push comes to shove, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes for the team."
END QUOTE

http://www.tampabay.com/sports/hocke...htning/2142265

This might be a bit over the top, but a classic.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i_D6oQO6b8

Last edited by gphockey; 09-20-2013 at 05:54 AM.
  #26  
Old 09-20-2013, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gphockey View Post
QUOTE From the Times
"Cooper has told players he expects them to play a gritty, physical, sandpaper-like game. And if things get rough, he expects players to stick up for each other with a mentality he compared to a "wolf pack"
END QUOTE
Steven Stamkos leading by example. Last night he played with an edge, a physical intensity that stood out for a preseason game and would probably have drawn rave reviews for a scoring forward in the playoffs. He and Malone, along with Connolly -- when they weren't too busy trying to work the cycle or finish rushes -- exacted a collective pounding upon Blues d-men and forwards over the course of the match. Didn't catch which Blues player trying to skate into the neutral zone from STL's end that Stamkos stepped into to deliver a crushing, open-ice hit but it was a thing of beauty.

Last edited by Mike; 09-20-2013 at 02:10 PM.
  #27  
Old 09-20-2013, 08:43 AM
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There's just this one nagging concern that if Stamkos feels called upon to "step up and throw his weight around because somebody has to, and he's a leader" and gets injured due to that not really being his game, there's no one to replace his 60 goals. Anybody can hit, not just anybody can score from anywhere on the ice at any time. Not saying he should shy away from contact or be a wimp, but playing smart takes clear precedence over playing hard-nosed in his case IMHO: We saw in the spring of 2011 what even a relatively minor ding does to his production (makes it nonexistent). He needs to be especially wary of that once Malone departs, and hopefully the coach doesn't goad him into trying to be more of a physically punishing forward than a smart sniping nightmare to the opposition. The fine line he must skate is using his size to his advantage without overdoing it--as opposed to Hedman's fine line of using his skill without underdoing it physically

Last edited by Top Shelf; 09-20-2013 at 08:45 AM.
  #28  
Old 09-20-2013, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hfgreg View Post
So impressed with the player Connolly has become in the last year and a half.. Excited about seeing him back in Tampa.
With his maturation in progress and the stagnation/decline of Skinner, we *might* be starting to witness a crossover point in upside. But I'm getting ahead of myself... should probably wait until Connolly scores 20....
  #29  
Old 09-20-2013, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Top Shelf View Post
There's just this one nagging concern that if Stamkos feels called upon to "step up and throw his weight around because somebody has to, and he's a leader" and gets injured due to that not really being his game, there's no one to replace his 60 goals. Anybody can hit, not just anybody can score from anywhere on the ice at any time. Not saying he should shy away from contact or be a wimp, but playing smart takes clear precedence over playing hard-nosed in his case IMHO: We saw in the spring of 2011 what even a relatively minor ding does to his production (makes it nonexistent). He needs to be especially wary of that once Malone departs, and hopefully the coach doesn't goad him into trying to be more of a physically punishing forward than a smart sniping nightmare to the opposition. The fine line he must skate is using his size to his advantage without overdoing it--as opposed to Hedman's fine line of using his skill without underdoing it physically
It'll be OK, TS. Let him throw his weight around and deal with the consequences as a team. Nashville generally makes the playoffs with barely a single 20 goal scoring forward on the team, and a complete lack of a Top 100 forward league-wise on the roster. Stamkos and MSL finished 1-2 in scoring and missed the playoffs. Time to do something different. Team concept goes a long way, even if missing your best player out of the lineup. PIT routinely makes the playoffs with Crosby out of the lineup for long stretches of the season.
  #30  
Old 09-20-2013, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Top Shelf View Post
There's just this one nagging concern that if Stamkos feels called upon to "step up and throw his weight around because somebody has to, and he's a leader" and gets injured due to that not really being his game, there's no one to replace his 60 goals. Anybody can hit, not just anybody can score from anywhere on the ice at any time. Not saying he should shy away from contact or be a wimp, but playing smart takes clear precedence over playing hard-nosed in his case.
You certainly don't want him going around looking for contact wherever he can find it but there's also no reason to think he's going to play recklessly or be asked to do so.

Quote:
He needs to be especially wary of that once Malone departs
Malone's a non-factor, IMO, in regards to the likelihood of Stamkos getting injured.

Quote:
and hopefully the coach doesn't goad him into trying to be more of a physically punishing forward than a smart sniping nightmare to the opposition. The fine line he must skate is using his size to his advantage without overdoing it.
Again, I don't think this is even an issue. We're not going to see Steven Stamkos looking to out-Clutterbuck Clutterbuck.
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