Fan vs Fan

Thursday, September 15, 2011

10 Observations from today's Rookie Game vs the Caps

Quick observations on the Rookie Game:

1. Advance stats weren't tracked so nothing there in terms of detailed facts

2. Couturier has great hands, but needs to get stronger, he got pushed around like the Sedins pre-lockout. Send him back to the QMJHL, let him grow up. Bring him up next season. Treat him like Claude Giroux, keep him in the Q, half an AHL season, then bring him magic happen.

3. Blake Kessel has a 2yr 925K contract. WOULD be a huge addition to the PP, also he plays both FWD and Defense so he could rotate all over the lineup. Guy was a point per game player on a PP unit with JvR at UNH a couple years back. Oskars Bartulis or Jody Shelley could have a job on the line. Or, both. Kessel+Sestito make a combined 1.5M against the cap, Bartulis and Shelley make 1.7. Going with a scratch list of Kessel, Sestito, Read (especially if Schenn needs AHL time to master his PK/2-way game) would allow for more versatility with fewer players

4. There are in fact goalies with less talent than Leighton: Brad Phillips is one. Not that this matters as the only goaltending positions currently open in Philly are AHL and ECHL.

5. Brayden Schenn was used as a PK guy. I took this to be a sign his offensive game is NHL ready but his PK game needs camp work to be ready. This could cost him a roster spot if Kessel or Matt Read (did not play tonight) have a strong camp.

6. Tyler Brown and Harry Zolniercyzk seemed to be all over the place. I doubt either can climb over all the obstacles needed to make the NHL Roster directly, but if there's an injury these 2 should be highly considered for a callup.

7. Tomas Hyka got his own rebound and buried it. This shows that "heart" that you non-stat people love. Taking that play, also is reflected by a high Corsi (the whole game didn't track so I can't prove it. But Hyka generated at least 3 scoring chances in the game). Hyka is locked into the QMJHL next season, but he was REALLY impressive.

8. Did I mention Blake Kessel? Did I mention Oskars Bartulis is expendable? Now I'm praying Doughty elects a holdout and LA tosses a mid to late round pick for Bartulis (because Bryan McCabe isn't the answer if LA can't lockup Doughty) thereby freeing up Kessel to make the NHL roster. the Flyers have a deep defense in terms of bottom pair/spare guys, but I don't see much in terms of top 4 potential from anyone. Kessel's best asset would be #6 Defenseman, PP specialist. if the Flyers PP keeps struggling from last season (which is hard with so many new faces) I fully expect Kessel to take a spot on the PP. Did I mention he's the best right shooting defenseman the Flyers have?

9. The emergence of all this defense makes the Andreas Lilja deal look like a waste. It's a 35+ contract, he can't be waived out of camp either.

10. Danick Paquette of the Capitals didn't kill anyone. He said this recently "I'm a pretty dirty player ... like Matt Cooke." (Thanks to Steve Whyno of the Washington Post for that quote)

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