With the Memorial Cup Final being played Sunday night the NHL is now the only level of hockey still playing. Let’s look at a final wrap up of what happened with CBJ prospects that finished out their season recently.
Starting off in Springfield as always, the juggernaut Syracuse Crunch made quick work of the Falcons sweeping them in four games. Game one would be a 5-2 loss with Nick Drazenovic and Ryan Craig picking up the Birds’ goals. Drazenovic would strike first on the power play when the Falcons were trailing 2-0. Nick would take a pass from Nick Holden just above the faceoff circle with his shot looking like Boone Jenner tipped it but Drazenovic was given credit for it. Ryan Craig would score with only two seconds left when he’d deflect a Nick Holden point shot. Curtis McEllhinney would take the loss stopping only four of nine in just over 30 minutes of action. Allen York would stop all 11 shots he faced.
Continue reading AHL Eastern Conference Final/OHL Final/Memorial Cup Recap
Greetings all! I’m here to offer a quick preview of the AHL Semifinals or as I’m calling it “The Mirasty Cup.” The matchup is the Blue Jackets’ current affiliate the Springfield Falcons versus the CBJ’s first ever AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. Now of course there’s no one left from those days probably, except owner Howard Dolgan. The Syracuse Crunch could be classified as the defending Calder Cup champs. Why the clarification? The Crunch is currently the Tampa Bay Lightning’s affiliate. Last year, Tampa Bay’s affilitate was the Norfolk Admirals, and they won the Calder Cup and had a pro hockey record 28 game winning streak. After winning the Cup, Tampa transferred their affiliation to Syracuse. Now, only 10 players remain from last year’s champs – one being AHL MVP Tyler Johnson. The Crunch also had to deal with a coaching change as Head Coach Jon Stevens was promoted to the Lightning on March 25th after Guy Boucher was fired. Continue reading AHL Eastern Conference Semifinal Preview
Finally! I can get back to work with the Falcons finishing off the Manchester Monarchs last night, even though I’m already a game behind in the OHL Finals.
Starting off in Springfield, the Falcons faced the Los Angeles Kings’ AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs in a best of five series (only the first round is 5 games, each series become best of seven the rest of the playoffs). Starting off on Friday – after a scoreless first, midway through the second period, Blake Parlett would earn a penalty shot which was the Falcons first ever in the postseason. Blake must have watched Artem Anisimov because that’s the move he used to roof it backhand over Martin Jones. Midway through the third period though, the Monarchs would tie it. The game would go to overtime and midway through the period, after the Falcons kept the puck in for a good bit, David Savard would win a board battle getting the puck to Ryan Russell. Ryan would send a cross crease pass to Cody Bass who, with a Monarch all over him, scored the game winner. Curtis McElhinney made 29 saves in the 2-1 win.
Sunday brought game two. Early in the game, after Cody Goloubef took a slashing penalty, Ryan Russell bounced the puck off the boards sending Trent Vogelhuber off on a breakaway which, much like Parlett’s penalty shot goal, just bounced over Jone’s pads. The Monarchs would score twice to make it 2-1 with a goal in the first and second periods. After a scramble in front, Michael Chaput sent the puck to Jonathan Audy-Marchessault who got it to David Savard who sent a blast from the point past Jones for his first playoff goal. Late in the third, the Falcons would have a goal called back but, as usual with these, who know why? The game would again go to overtime and who else but Cody Bass would score the game winner off a point shot. Bass is the third player in AHL history with consecutive overtime goals in the playoffs. Curtis McElhinney would make 41 saves in the 3-2 victory.
Continue reading AHL Quarterfinal/OHL Western Conference Final Recap
A tiny change of format as I will be waiting until the end of the current playoff series to write about the CHL playoffs. The all Jackets prospect OHL Western Conference Final between the London Knights and Plymouth Whalers is currently tied at 1. So that means this week will be part season review and part playoff preview for the Springfield Falcons. So without further adieu here we go.
The Falcons were busy last week playing four games, going 3-1. They finished the year second in the Eastern Conference and the entire AHL. Starting off on Sunday the Falcons would play their home finale with the team handing out its team awards with Curtis McElhinney being named MVP and Nick Holden being the only two award winner. The whole list of award winners is here. As for the game, Andrew Joudrey would open the scoring when Blake Parlett would start the rush by getting the puck to Ryan Russell who’d chip the puck cross rink, with Joudrey snapping the puck past Jason Missiaen for his ninth of the season. The Whale would score two goals and Jonathan Audy-Marcessault would get in a fight (wait what?) to close out the first period. In the second period after Spencer Machacek would win a board battle getting the puck to Dalton Smith, who would bang away at the puck before it would come out to Michael Chaput who’d bury it for his 12th of the season. The Whale would score to go up 3-2. Late in the second period Audy-Marchessault would disrupt a Whale pass behind the net passing the puck to Matthew Ford for his eighth of the season to tie the game. In the final seconds the Falcons would create pressure down low where Machacek would get the puck out to David Savard who’d fire a slapshot that would bounce to Boone Jenner who’d collect the rebound for his first pro game winning goal. Allen York made 16 saves in the 4-3 win.
Continue reading Springfield Falcons Season Review/Playoff Preview
Back again with the week in review with a minor change of format. I’m going to wait until the end of the playoff round to update the OHL prospects; otherwise, I’d only have stats for one game for two series this week, but ‘ll include how the series is with their stats. On with the show.
Starting off in Springfield as always. The Falcons could have clinched a playoff spot with a win over Albany but would fall 3-1 to the Devils. After allowing two first period goals, the Falcons’ Ryan Craig would strike for his 19th goal of the season when Nick Drazenovic sent a cross crease pass to Jonathan Audy-Marchessault. JAM’s shot would rebound to Craig who was at the doorstop. Allen York made 16 saves in the loss. Continue reading March 31st-April 6th CBJ Prospect Week in Review
Greetings Jackets fans! Can you smell it in the air that the playoffs are here? In the CHL, all three leagues are getting started; plus the fun that is the NCAA tournament is getting underway next week. So let’s take a look at last week’s action.
Starting off in Springfield, a quick signing note: the Falcons added Alex Aleardi on an ATO after he completed his OHL career. Aleardi put up a career high 71 points (27-44-71 in 67GP) this season splitting it between Plymouth and Windsor. In his five year career, Alex picked up 227 points in 321 games.
The Falcons would bounce back after a rough week last week going 3-1 with the three newest Falcons picking up their first points with the team. On Sunday, the Falcons would fall to the Connecticut Whale 3-2 with Matthew Ford picking up his first goal with the Falcons when he backhand a Michael Chaput rebound for his fifth of the season. The Whale would score three times before Ryan Russell would score his eighth of the season when Ryan Craig would find him in front. Curtis McElhinney would make 15 saves in the loss.
Continue reading March 17- March 23 CBJ Prospect Week in Review
Greeting Jackets fans! Fresh off my State of the Prospect Pool post from last week I’m back with the week in review.
As always we start off in Springfield. The Falcons would pick up two new players in separate deals this past week acquiring forwards Spencer Machacek and Matthew Ford. Machacek was acquired on Sunday from the Winnipeg Jets for Tomas Kubalik. This is a “change of scenery” trade for both players especially with Kubalik seemingly passed by other prospects (even though you have to note that only centers have been injured and Tomas plays wing). It later came out through a puck rakers blog that Tomas actually requested the trade and Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen honored that quickly. Here’s Hockeyprospectus’ Corey Pronman with his take on Spencer from his Winnipeg top 10 last summer: he was the Jets 8th best prospect. The birds would also make a deal with Philadelphia by acquiring Matthew Ford for future considerations meaning we got Matthew for…I have no idea. Some said it could be a draft pick, it could be a player, no one was really sure. Matthew is on twitter and you can follow him at @Frdy11. The Falcons would also add giant defenseman Thomas Larkin when he signed an ATO after Colgate was eliminated last week and Thomas finished his collegiate career.
Continue reading March 10-16 CBJ Prospect Week in Review
The saying goes that hockey is a game of inches. This season has been about the Blue Jackets seemingly always coming up a few inches short. Including in two previous match ups against Colorado. Thankfully, tonight the team reversed the trend.
A 3 PM puck drop certainly changed up fans’ scheduled and it seemed that it may have been affecting the team. The game’s slow development was reflected in the crowd and at one point, my seat mate commented on how quiet it was in Nationwide Arena (and he’s a Blue Jackets fan). The first period also certainly gave us a lot to look at – this marked the first full game with the current iteration of the Jackets’ roster now including Cody Goloubef and Dalton Prout and I’ll admit to having to clarify Nick Drazenovic‘s jersey number once while he was on the ice. Continue reading Colorado @ Columbus: 03/03
Well it was a wild week in the land of Blue Jackets prospects so lets get going.
First we go to Springfield. Elton John must have been misquoted when he said Saturday night’s alright for fighting because when the Falcons and the Sound Tigers got together on Friday things got a little heated. First, the offense: Cody Goalubef um I mean Goloubef would score his third goal in as many games scoring a goal that was pretty much identical to his first NHL goal. Following the first point, the recently returned to the lineup Cody Bass would drive to the net and receive a pass from Nick Drazenovic for his first of the season. Ryan Russell would make it 3-0 Birds after a faceoff win when David Savard found Russell along the boards who fired a laser over Kevin Poulin’s shoulder for his fourth. In the third period, Andrew Joudrey would be granted a penalty shot when he was hauled down by both Sound Tigers defenders. Joudrey would be successful on the Falcons first penalty shot of the season, and Ryan Johansen would make it 5-0 Falcons when he JAM and…Tim Spencer (??? one of these things is not like the others) would have a three on one break with Johansen snapping a wrist shot over Poulin’s glove for his team leading 17th of the season. Kirill Kabanov would score his first pro goal and Jon Landry would score for the Sound Tigers to make the game a 5-2 Falcons win. Curtis McElhinney would make 20 saves in the victory. Continue reading February 18-24 CBJ Prospect Week in Review
Unlike most Goal Breakdown posts, this one is about something beyond the play of the Blue Jackets players on a specific goal. This post is about everyone’s favorite grinder, Derek Dorsett (it is amusing to me that Jared Boll versus Dorsett used to be a semi-legitimate argument). Dorsett potted a very respectable 12 goals last season, mostly the product of his no frills, pucks-on-goal, crash-the-net style of hockey. However, I have noticed a marked difference in his game in the offensive zone this season. He has been trying to dangle defensemen, has passed up solid shot opportunities to make a fancy pass, and has tried to stickhandle around guys instead of bulling through them. This is a problem. Derek Dorsett has been a top six player this season in terms of ice time and linemates, and he is playing like he thinks he is a “top six player”. The issue is that for him to be successful in a top six role, he needs to keep playing like the grinder he is. A lot of NHLers have had very successful careers playing top six roles while playing the way Dorsett is suited to. Think about David Clarkson in New Jersey currently, with Tomas Holmstrom as the all-time example. Those guys rarely, if ever, try to dangle anyone.
Continue reading Goal Breakdown – Know Your Role