Friday's Superleague Scores

Albert Vishnyakov did not play in Dynamo's 1-1 tie with Khimik.

Anton But was scoreless in SKA's 5-3 loss to Novosibirsk.

Vasily Koshechkin posted his 3rd shutout of the season today helping Togliatti topple Ufa 3-0. Last season Koshechkin posted 10 shutouts in an amazing breakout year. Koshechkin's record improved to 13-10-3 on the season and he now possesses a 2.19 GAA.

Evgeny Artyukhin did not play in Yaroslavl's 3-1 loss to CSKA.

Alexei Glukhov had an assist in Cherepovets' 4-1 win over Nizhnekamsk. Glukhov has 1 goal and 11 points in 35 games for Severstal with 68 penalty minutes and a -3 rating.

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Artyukhin - Hmmmm

Ok, the lad went off to Europe to gain skill. He could have learned how to sit in Tampa with a chance to display his skills but listened to the 'money man' and blow a year of development. Last year he was on the cusp of something special for a young player - being part of a team but chose to be another of the "ME" gang, show me the money. Man I sure hope he returns next year and that number will be for about 450k minimum based on what he has produced in a minor league setting. He is still young enough to have learned a lesson time will tell if he learns something out of it. Maybe he becomes Aleexve (sp)and returns with a desire to show 'us'. That would be sweet.

That's the negative: The positive is I'd love to have his speed, size and toughness on the ice with this team. Yes, Roy gives a bit but this lad provided energy. You could feel it when he hit the ice on many of his shifts. Does anyone remember the fight with Grat's? This team could use that toughness to protect the stars who take far too many cheap shots.

Guess it is one of those 'next year' laments for the R2N fans.

R2

Spot on. Wasn't his agent Gandler? I could be mistaken. Nope. Found an old BoltProspects summary of the mess last summer. BP's likened him to the NFL's Drew Rosenhaus.

http://www.boltprospects.com/node/1273

R2 has allegedly (or perhaps very credibly, I don't know) said he wants to come back. Feaster, I believe, went on 620 WDAE and said bringing back Artyukhin is a priority. Could all be rhetoric, but the kid has NHL experience, size, and speed. He was a force when here in the role he was asked to play. Gotta think Jay makes it happen, given the lack of depth at the wings. The boys on the "farm" aren't ready yet. Give Lascek, Keller, Kvapil, Smolenak, et al. another year or two, barring injuries.

What's so frustrating, I think for all of us, is that in R2's case, Gandler/R2 acted both exceedingly greedy AND short-sighted. I mean, if they negotiated a one or two year deal at what the Lightning were willing to pay and R2 took further strides and puts up decent numbers, a very loyal Feaster would dish out close to, if not, a cool million in the foreseeable future. But to Gandler, R2 was not a high-priority client, IMO. There were bigger fish to fry, I'll bet, and thus the shoddy representation.

Kvapil

If Kvapil can pull his head out of his butt and stay on Stirling's good side, I think he's a lot closer to the NHL than his statistics would lead you to believe. There's nothing physically lacking anymore in his game, IMO. I'm satisfied he's bulked up just about enough to compete against grown men and succeed. When he's played more than the sparing amount Stirling has given him half of the time (because of defensive lapses and poor decision making) he's routinely shown an ability to create offensive chances by himself with his speed and stickhandling ability and he hasn't been afraid to steam into high traffic areas and get his block knocked off to make those plays.

What remains for Kvapil is develop the area between his ears and show some consistency. If he does that in the second half of this season and trains well during the offseason, I could see him upsetting the apple cart and winning a job in Tampa next year. And he's exciting (and there are only a handful of players in our system I would call 'exciting' in their style of play). I would welcome that addition.

Kvapil

I'd like nothing more than for Kvapil to do just that. He and, hopefully in succession, Smolenak (hence my SunSports avatar).

Where do you see Keller about now?

I like Keller, but...

I find it hard to visualize Tampa icing Perrin, St. Louis, and Keller.

Keller

Keller is a very different player than St. Louis and Perrin. The latter two's game is about speed. Keller's not a burner. Justin makes his money by outthinking you and finding the soft spots in your defense and burying his chances with a sniper's finishing opportunism.

Justin's listed at 5'11" 185 lbs. He needs to be probably 195 lbs. of muscle at minimum to stand up to the rigors of the NHL. I think he'd work best with Brad Richards.

Keller

Keller looks a lot like Richards and moves in similar fashion. However, Richards has an incredible amount more in strength both on his skates and in the upper body. After watching him at the prospects camp, he appears to probably be two full seasons away. He will naturally get stronger with manhood and fill in the rest with workouts. Other young guys were just burying him at camp at times.

Absolutely

My biggest criticism of Keller right now is that he is so small and so lacking in strength, not just in his upper body but also his lower body, that if you breath on him he's going down on the ice. Credit to him for still having the bravery to dig in corners and occassionally traverse the high traffic areas. But, then again, that may be part of the reason he's on the shelf right now.

The difference between Keller and Richards is that Keller is a shooter. He's not a playmaker. He doesn't think pass. He wants to get into those holes in the slot and around the circles and shoot. Put it this way, he wants to do what Fedotenko wants to do in the offensive zone.

You know he has to come back

You know he has to come back at minimum 660k right? For the final offer (supposedly) of 750k we couldve had Artyukhin here, instead the money went to Luke Richardson. Let that sink in a minute. LUKE RICHARDSON.

Oh and Andreas Karlsson.

:)

R2 wanted more

His agent was not interested in the 750. Also, he wanted only 'pro' contract which he had not yet earned. So while you lament Luke and Karlson (BTW: he is playing great at the moment) think of R2 with 2 goals and sitting on the bench. For a one way contract of 1 million. He wanted twice what Craig was getting. Greed is all he had and I hope he learned his lesson while playing on the 3rd and 4th lines in MONEY Europe.

Edited so theres nothing to

Edited so theres nothing to see here

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