Seems that Russianprospects.com also believes that Vasily Koshechkin may finally have won the starting job in Togliatti. Koshechkin has made the last two starts for Lada after David Svoboda struggled throughout the opening month of the season. Head coach Pavel Vorobiev doesn't necessarily like younger players (hence the numerous healthy scratches of Dimitry Kazionov of late) and he actually tried to replace Koshechkin as the team's backup over the offseason, but with the pullout of a large chunk of Togliatti's financial backing and a pledge to cut the team's budget by 50% at the November transfer period, it looks unlikely that the team will acquire a veteran foreign born goalie as they have done in the past.
Mike Mastovich has a nice article from the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat on Corey Schwab and his new role as the Lightning's minor league goaltending instructor. And, interestingly, some of his comments seem tailor made for the talented but enigmatic Jonathan Boutin.
"Most goalies coming up now are pretty technically sound,â€ said Schwab, who will tutor Tampa Bay contract goalie Jon Boutin and third-year Chiefs netminder David Currie. â€œThe biggest thing they need to work on is developing mental toughness and the mental strength that no matter what happens in a game or a series of games, they can recover from it.â€
In today's intrasquad scrimmage Boutin only allowed one goal in regulation and overtime and then won a ten round shootout as Team Black defeated Team White 2-1. Johnstown's first preseason game is Thursday night in Greensburg, PA.
In an otherwise uneventful Tour 15 for the Lightning's Russian prospects, goaltender Vasily Koshechkin shut out KHK MVD 2-0 today. The start was Koshechkin's second in a row, possibly signaling his takeover of Togliatti's starter's job. The 2002 8th round pick improves his record to 2-0 in 5 games. Koshechkin entered the game with a .913 save percentage and 1.58 GAA.
Forward Dimitry Kazionov did not dress for Lada.
The following are the official statistics for Lightning prospects playing within the Canadian Hockey League and NCAA (non-exhibition games) as of October 12, 2005. Leading the way are Stan Lascek, whoâ€™s third in the QMJHL in scoring, and Justin Keller, who stands at fourth in the WHL.
Stanislav Lascek, Chicoutimi (QMJHL): 9GP, 9-11-20, 14PIM (+8)
Justin Keller, Kelowna (WHL): 10GP, 5-6-11, 4PIM (+2)
Radek Smolenak, Kingston (OHL): 8GP, 7-4-11, 25PIM (+4)
Blair Jones, Moose Jaw (WHL): 5GP, 3-6-9, 4PIM (+5)
Chris Lawrence, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL): 8GP, 1-6-7, 16PIM (+5)
Mark Tobin, Rimouski (QMJHL): 10GP, 3-2-5, 32PIM (-8)
Lightning 2005 First Round pick and Red Deer defenseman Vladimir Mihalik notched his first North American points Tuesday night as the Rebels crushed Brandon 9-4. Mihalik had two assists in the game to go with a plus-two rating. Mihalik played last season in Slovakia.
Also Tuesday night, Kelowna winger Justin Keller moved into fourth place among WHL scorers with two assists in a 6-3 win over Saskatoon. Keller now has 11 points in 10 games.