Rivermen Report Card

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Rivermen Report Card

Postby majikle » Fri Apr 18, 2008 5:56 am

Time for the End Of Season annual Rivermen Report Card courtesy of the PJStar. I tried to clean it up...the online version is a mess to read. (Print version is a chart) ~maj

Chart includes player's name, position, comment and grade.
Comments are from Rivermen assistant coaches Brent Thompson and Davis Payne.
All grades are from Journal Star hockey writer Dave Eminian.

Chris Beckford-Tseu, G "Played in ECHL, came up and gave us solid games and made it to the NHL. He grew a lot this year mentally and physically. I think he's an AHL goalie, and he earned everything he got this year.">B-

Hans Benson, RW "Struggled trying to establish identity as well-rounded player, in balance with his physical role. Those two things constantly conflicted with him. He lost some of the intensity in his battles, and that was a sign of his trying to play with more control. But when he was in that heavy forecheck role he was fine.">C-

Alex Brooks, D "He played every night with his heart. Leader on his team. Big part of a strong penalty kill unit. Blocked shots, threw his body in front of anything.">C+

Nicholas Drazenovic, C "Maintained high energy level after recovering from bout with mono in camp. Might have been our best player in handling pucks in tight areas. Needs to become better at using teammates instead of trying to take on people one-on-one. Quick learning curve, responded and enjoyed the battles. Big upside.">B

Micki DuPont, D "Elite player in the league. This was not his best season, but still moved puck extremely well and cared about his teammates.">B+

Ryan Glenn, D "He has a great skill set, and in limited role he was effective. But (injuries) forced him into expanded role and he struggled. He needed to be a sixth defenseman behind a couple of our prospects.">D+

Mike Glumac, RW "Tale of inconsistency. There were times when he drove the net, finished checks, skated hard. His goals and chances came from being inside. When he moved to outside it decreased his success. Worried too much about when call-up would come.">C-

Alexander Hellstrom, D "Tough year. Came along very well, then caught season-ending injury. We're looking forward to a chance to develop him. We expect him to kill penalties and give us big physical presence on back end.">C

Jim Jackson, D "A pleasure to coach. He exceeded all our expectations. Good vision, moved the puck well and showed some poise on the power play. I liked the snapshot we had of him.">B+

Martin Kariya, RW "Good effort to adjust from Europe style first half of year. But when production didn't come from that, he veered away, seemed disheartened with the North American style.">C-

Cam Keith, LW "Frustrating season for him. Had some moments where he gave us the type of hockey we all expected. But we needed him for physical play and intensity and at times he just couldn't deliver.">C-

Nikolay Lemtyugov, LW "A real bright spot. He has a gift, offensively. Was willing to learn, try to make the adjustments. World-class skill, and made strides in re-programming the way he's played all his life in Russia, became reliable in defensive end. Liked the way he held himself accountable.">B

Charles Linglet , LW "Played well early even though wasn't scoring the goals. Was a consistent performer for us. His overall game was hurt by our lack of power play success. Still, he produced some good numbers that other guys couldn't.">B-

Aaron MacKenzie, D "Good man, good leader. Played with injuries. When he was out of lineup it really hurt us. Still a solid defenseman and key on PK.">C+

Eric Neilson, RW "One of the good stories of the year. Energy, intensity, great makeup. He earned his way here, and did everything he could with the chance. Did anything for his team. Understands the structure of the game and how to play. A lot of his fights were a result of people having to answer the way he played.">C+

Roman Polak, D "Made huge strides before he (broke his ankle). He was an NHL player, strong, physical, dominated down low. That injury set him back, and he never got back to that level. ">B

Chris Porter, LW "Solid season put him on the NHL doorstep. Willing to work for it and kick the door open. Great job with defensive responsibilities, role on PK. Blocked shots. Consistent forechecking was his calling card. High work-level every day."> A

Ryan Reaves, RW "Recovered from two major injuries and gave us some pretty good performances. Brings physical presence based on way he plays, wins battles on the wall. Needs to get more consistent in his intensity within game. He's got some tools.">C

Marek Schwarz, G "Tough year for a young goaltender. Gives us flashes of what he could be, but he was inconsistent. He's still learning and growing into the position. We're going to need him to improve.">C-

Yan Stastny, C-LW "An identity player for us. Played the game the right way. Accepted his role, made all the plays. Held his teammates to a high accountability level. Established himself as a leader.">A

Tyson Strachan, D "Took advantage of an opportunity and showed us he can play in the AHL. When we had our D injured, he stepped in and proved he can play. We'd love to bring him back.">C+

Julian Talbot, C-LW "Unheralded coming in, earned an NHL contract with consistent high level of hockey. Solid two-way player. Scored from dirty areas and on skill finishing plays. Needs to get physically stronger now to define himself as an NHL prospect. He'll take that step." >A

Hannu Toivonen, G "Played well for us his first trip down, but he was fighting himself as the year went on. Last four games here we started to see how controlled and athletic he was. He can be an absolute dominant goalie at this level.">C

Jean-Guy Trudel, RW "Played hard for us. Had to re-learn North American style. Not many were better at protecting puck and beating guys in corner. Took on a leadership role for us. Played on one leg down stretch and never complained. ">B-

Steve Wagner, D "Got his NHL debut. Great attitude. He was one of reasons we had such a great stretch in January. We respect him for coming back early (from broken leg) to try to help us get into playoffs. A guaranteed NHL player.">B+

Trent Whitfield, C "Work-ethic, identity guy for us. He was least rewarded in production for his efforts than any guy, and that had to be frustrating for him. A solid pro and leader. Plays the right way. Proud and professional, he'll respond next year.">B-

Jeff Woywitka, D "We pushed him and he responded. He went up and worked his heart out and made himself a solid NHL player. Great puck mover who created a lot of offense for us. A huge void we never filled.">A+

Power play unit Eminian says: "Ended up ranked 27th in AHL despite a wealth of skilled offensive forwards and one of the league's top quarterbacks." >D

Penalty-kill unit Eminian says: "For most of season was ranked among top five in AHL, and got terrific efforts from Chris Porter up front and shot blockers like Alex Brooks and Aaron MacKenzie.">A-

http://pjstar.com/stories/041808/RIV_BGCESNH2.075.php
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Re: Rivermen Report Card

Postby 210 » Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:57 am

Is it just me, or do some of the comments not really match the grades?
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Re: Rivermen Report Card

Postby majikle » Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:57 am

Dont forget....you got the coaches making the comments and Eminian doing the grade itself.

Out of curiosity sake....which ones caught your eye?
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Re: Rivermen Report Card

Postby 210 » Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:55 pm

Brooks, Strachan, and MacKenzie kind of stand out as being a little odd, especially considering the mark given to the PK unit that specifically mentions two of those guys.
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Re: Rivermen Report Card

Postby majikle » Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:28 pm

C+ is just a point away from a B- though. (Thats the line I always gave in school anyway ....seemed to work). Not surprising (to me) that all were dmen though. Rivs totally tanked after January. Seemed like we were always needing 4 goals or more to win, and it cant be done game after game. Not the best goaltending for sure ...but the defence has to be held accountable for some of that.

Strachan was a called-up ECHLer. Did a good job and although not an enforcer he wouldnt mind dropping the gloves to stick up for anyone. Was still a healthy scratch in any given game though. I'd like to see him given a chance next season too.

MacKenzie did play hurt....a lot. Even tried to play thru a broken ankle near the end of the season. Gave it his best...but wasnt at 100% for a long time.

As far as Brooks goes....completely was off my radar.
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Re: Rivermen Report Card

Postby Reality_Czech » Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:56 pm

Based on my observations of the Rivermen this season, I can't really argue with any of those comments or grades.

Porter really stood out for me as a guy who came in with no fanfare, worked his butt off, and earned everything he got. Ditto for Talbot.

I liked how Lemtyugov and Drazenovic progressed and worked hard all year, too.

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Re: Rivermen Report Card

Postby Airmule » Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:44 pm

Seems the blue collar guys who worked their tails off for a spot outshined any of the so called prospects. JMO.
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