Submitted by Ken on July 28, 2006 - 22:11
* The contenders and Pretenders are starting to seperate. I previously haven't been able to see much difference between the upper end Lightning prospects and the free agent invites. The exception was in goal and size on defense.
* Bartanus & Greco are still MIA. I feel like I've seen enough, but I'll probably go back tomorrow on the odd chance one of them plays.
* Lascek - He must not like me given yesterday's performnace. I still shot wise saw only a weak wrister. He did some nice things though. He gets to the front of the net. Made a nice tip on shot from the point, goalie was there though. He performs well in traffic overall, though.
Submitted by Ken on July 28, 2006 - 21:22
I feel he deserves his own entry:
Name: Kevin Quick
Weight: 175 lbs
Rankings: #93 North American Skater (CSS), #63 Overall (Red Line)
Salisbury (USHS) 28 GP, 3-20-23, 6 PIM, +45
Quick is a US high school player out of Salisbury Prep in New England who fills the Lightning's role need for an offensive defenseman. Quick is an excellent skater and talented puckhandler who helped lead his team to the New England Prep School championship. He has a hard one time shot on the power play and is as smart in the defensive zone as he is in the offensive third of the ice as he was +45 after 20 games this season. He doesn't have ideal size but he isn't afraid to mix it up physically. Red Line compares him to Buffalo's Brian Campbell and sees him as a player who was "definitely flying under the radar" going into this draft. As of our latest information he has yet to commit to a college.
Submitted by Ken on July 28, 2006 - 20:41
I was watching individual play versus the puck so a couple of goals snuck up on me. Anyway the White once again rebounds from a loss to put a 5 - 1 pasting on the Black.
1. White: Mihalik (either Keller or Wheat) Whichever ever forward it was made a stop along the far wall near the blue line. Mihalik stepped in picked up the loose pick took about two big strides in and from well above the right circle, near the slot area, put a nice wrister high glove side on Pearce. (Not a good evening for Joe)
2. White: Woolger (Fuller, Wheat) Wheat kept the play in, Fuller scooted it to Woolger, wrister from low right circle.
Submitted by Ken on July 28, 2006 - 19:34
If meritocracy is truly alive in the Lightning organization, Brian Woolger and Torrie Wheat continue their tryout at Traverse City. I've been to 3 of the 4 games and they've (along with Fuller) have been in the top 2 lines performance wise each game. Tonight the dominated: shots, scoring chances, the scoresheet,possesion time in the offensive zone and they play hard in all 3 zones. Woolger rung up 2 with wheat helpers. The second one was a one-timer blasted so hard you could hear the Feaster suite gasp, then chuckle. Woolger listed at LW, has centered all week. I outlined what I specifically wanted to focus on tonight and this line was one of them since they were productive collectively the first two games, but I could not identify what made them so successful. I was taken with Wheat's play from the first shift and Woolger kept popping up everywhere he needed to be. Fuller is a solid complement, but these two make the line. Towards the end of the game though was a defining moment from Wheat. He had carried the puck 1 on 3 just across the blueline and stopped right in front of the door where the lightning enter the rink from the locker room to wait for help. Our boy Quick lined him up and destroyed him. His upper body snapped backward into the bench probably at about 75 degrees bent back. His head then snapped right and hit the glass seperating the seats from the bench. He went down in a heap & the Lightning brass rose a bit to see how badly hurt he was (looked horrible - never seen a spine bent back that sharply). He was up in a few seconds (didn't pop-up) went up and down the ice a couple of times and finished his shift with a scoring chance about 6 feet to Ramo's right that a D'man jumped in front of. Needs 20 lbs. of muscle, but he's a Productive player tools or no.
Submitted by Ken on July 27, 2006 - 19:25
Okay, somewhere this info got lost from my first post. At my age the details will be fuzzier than they were Tuesday evening, but here goes.
1. Black, Croxton (unassisted) Mihalik and grover were alone in the zone trying to bring the puck out.Mihalik on the left side tried to slide it over to Grover. The pass was much too hard skipping over Grover's and deflected toward the blueline. Croxton was hanging out along the wall outside the line. He outraced grover to the loose puck, took it in alone and tucked it in the corner just under Beech's padddle. Croxton was shortly after sprung by Quick on a breakaway, took it in looking for the same spot and Beech handled it easily.
Submitted by Ken on July 26, 2006 - 17:45
First a little more info on the scoring.
Goal 1 - Woolger picked up a loose puck inside the red line and quickly fed Fuller all alone. He Ramo stayed in net and Fuller roofed a wrister. This was the first shot Ramo faced.
Goal 2 - Griffith pick up a loose puck (in the slot I believe) as everyone was trying to clear the zone. Took it in on Disher and beat him low. This was a goal I was preoccupied during, so the description is a little hazy.
Goal 3 - This goal was made by Keller. He was tenacious behind the net just to Ramo's right. He finally controlled it enough to throw it in the slot to Lascek. Lascek had a good look to shoot, got an average shot off and Ramo kicked it with his right pad. Jones was the only one to Ramos right and slid the puck in the corner of the net.
Submitted by Ken on July 25, 2006 - 20:22
I'll admit I spent much more time watching the goalies and d'men than the forwards, but I tell about what I saw. The top performer was Desharnais, the most opportunistic was Croxton. The top line was Kvapil, Lawrence, Smolenak, although only Kapvil touched the score sheet during a partial line change.
Smolenak - Looks like Affy. Good size, filled out, strong on his skates, shows some offensive skill that will tantalize us. Will he score in the show or be a 3rd liner? Should see at somr point this year.
Kvapil - Almost fully mature looking. Looks bigger than was led to believe. Easy E's article mentioned he has bulked. Attacked the net well.
Submitted by Ken on July 25, 2006 - 19:35
I'd agree with the experts, there appears to be a good core that will one day play in the NHL. Having followed this team since the beginning I've seen a lot of young ones. At this age it can be hard to judge this group. There are none with Hamrlik type skills, but who will be Kubina's and Ranger's vs. Bannister's and McBain's? My impressions based on today:
Rogers - Looks like Ranger minus the puckhandling. Is playing solid
positionally and defensive minded. Seems he could adapt in 5 -
10 NHL games like Ranger did. Does have an injury history and
lacks some experience accordingly. I think he'll impress
Submitted by Ken on July 25, 2006 - 18:07
I used to go to Lakeland one Saturday every year for the camp scrimmages. I haven't gone to anymore practice/scrimmages since camp moved to Brandon. (That doesn't really make sense since I live in Clearwater.) Anyway the prospects were a pleasant surprise, much higher quality than the good old days. I also usually sit high behind the goal versus low towards the middle where we were required to be today, so my perspective is a little different than normal. But I thought the game was fairly crisply played, though not overly intense or hard hitting (there were a few good ones).
There was nobody to really tout for the big club this season in terms of having Ranger/Craig type impact. I think Rogers could make a play for a final D-man spot. Physically he,Rosehill, & Smolenak looked like men both in physical appearance and posture wise. Movement and build wise Rogers also resembles Ranger, but doesn't have as much puck handling ability.
Submitted by Ken on July 25, 2006 - 16:49
Black Team 4 - White Team 1
Smolenak - Lawrence - Kvapil
Boisclair - Desharnais - Baker
Croxton - Borrelli - Robinson
Griffith - Imbeault - Gibbons
Rogers - Atherton
Egener - D'Aversa
Rosehill - Quick
Lascek - Jones - Keller
Hrdel - Ouellette - Bubnick
Collins - Ray - Czuy
Fuller - Woolger - Wheat
Lundin - Smaby
Mihalik - Grover
Barthell - Deck