Goaltending inconsistency now national news

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Goaltending inconsistency now national news

Postby attackisback on Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:36 am

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/juniors/ ... ing-sting/

CHL Notebook: Kyrou focused on leading surprising Sting

Neate Sager
October 30, 2017, 1:47 PM

Jordan Kyrou saw a change take root with the Sarnia Sting at the end of last season, when they scraped to grab eighth place.

The St. Louis Blues prospect and OHL co-scoring leader has been bandied as a potential choice for Canada’s NHLer-free Olympic men’s hockey team (“I don’t really pay attention to that,” Kyrou says), but Kyrou would much rather elaborate on the early success of the Sting. While Sarnia was a dark horse at most in pre-season prognostications, it takes a 13-game win streak and OHL-best .933 point percentage into this week’s games.

“We’re all just that much older and more skilled,” Kyrou said on Sunday after having his third consecutive three-point outing during Sarnia’s 6-2 home win against the Flint Firebirds. “We have a lot of speed throughout the team, we’re close-knit off the ice. our chemistry is better than it’s ever been … we’re just really balanced and any line can do it on any night.”

At the tail end of their 2016-17 season, the Sting beat the eventual MasterCard Memorial Cup-champion Windsor Spitfires twice and also had a regular-season win against OHL-winning Erie. That has carried over into breaking to the front of the pack in the first six weeks of a new season.

“We started to come together and had some success,” Kyrou said. “You could just see it taking place with every guy. It’s not about any one person.”

Kyrou, of course, is attuned to breakouts. As a rookie three seasons ago, he pulled off the rare feat of being selected for one of Canada’s under-17 teams without taking part in the summer camp, due to an injury. Now that he’s filled out to five-foot-10 and 185 pounds — concerns about his strength were a reason he was a second-round steal for St. Louis at No. 36 overall in the 2016 NHL draft — he’s focused on leading a surprise team.

“I’m applying what St. Louis talked to me about, being harder on my stick, stronger when I have the puck,” Kyrou said. “I’d say my single No. 1 goal is to help this team win. I think we have everything we need.”

Kyrou, pesky Drake Rymsha (LA) and 16-year-old Jamieson Rees have come together to form one of the OHL’s headiest lines, while Slovak centre Adam Ruzicka (CGY) has shown well early in his second North American season. While there were questions about the defence with a team that used two overage blueliners last season, 20-year-old Connor Schlichting has helped Sarnia allow a league-low 36 goals in 15 games.

Last weekend illustrated how the mindset has changed with a team moulded by coach-owner Derian Hatcher and GM Nick Sinclair. On the surface, it looked as though Sarnia avoided a letdown by defeating Flint soundly in its first outing since defeating OHL West Division rival Sault Ste. Marie on Friday. The vibe was different among the players.

“We came out slowly and while we scored six goals, we know our effort needed to be better — more consistent,” Kyrou says.

As for upcoming international duty, the world junior championship in Buffalo is much more pertinent to Kyrou. The Toronto native exhibited some chemistry with the Regina Pats’ Sam Steel (ANA) during the summer showcase in August.

“That would be a dream come true,” Kyrou says. “I grew up always looking forward to that tournament.”


Attack lacking net results

It’s a little early to make wish lists for contending teams, but one can cast a raised eyebrow at the Owen Sound Attack’s goals-against record. The Attack, with an offence led by Nick Suzuki (VGK) and late-birthday 18-year-old defenceman Sean Durzi, are living up to their billing as one of the OHL’s best offensive shows.

At the lonely end of the rink, the Attack have frayed while relying on a goalie tandem of overage Zack Bowman and rookie Mack Guzda. The Attack rank 17th in the 20-team OHL in save percentage (.868) and 11th in goals-against average (3.59). That small sample size does not reflect on the goalies themselves, but it also stands in stark contrast to the puck-stopping proficiency Owen Sound enjoyed for the last two seasons thanks to Michael McNiven, who has moved up to the Montreal Canadiens’ farm system.

Owen Sound’s upcoming measuring-stick matchups — back-to-backs against freshly awakened Mississauga and London this week — and a visit to Sarnia on Nov. 12 — could show where, and whether, it needs to make changes.

A Benson reboot is needed

Tyler Benson (EDM), so ballyhooed as the top bantam player in Western Canada five seasons ago, is back in the Vancouver Giants lineup after rehabbing from two sports hernia surgeries. In his first WHL action in nearly 10 months, Benson had 13 shots across two games (the first and third of Vancouver’s 3-in-3 weekend) and scored one goal.

YouTube ‎@YouTube
EDM Prospect Watch @EDProspectWatch
ICYMI: Tyler Benson played his first game in nearly ten months last night. Scored this beauty:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsuWNtsVfhA …
8:15 PM - Oct 28, 2017
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Four years ago next month, the Vancouver Province pondered whether Benson, then set to make a cameo as a 15-year-old call-up, was destined to be the “next Canadian hockey icon.” Injuries have limited Benson’s ability to apply his competitiveness and craftiness as much as projected, but it will be worth watching what someone of his gifts does with a healthy three quarters of a season.

Benson and Philadelphia Flyers rookie (and NHL No. 2 overall choice in 2017) Nolan Patrick were among the top four selections in the 2013 bantam draft and each has needed sports hernia surgery. While those are anecdotal examples, they’re also not entirely coincidental, given the amount of time high-end prospects are spending on the ice. That should not be omitted from the ongoing debate about how best to develop athletes in hockey.

Suitcase relay

There are trades that involve three teams, then there’s the three-way passing play the WHL’s Regina Pats, Red Deer Rebels and Kootenay Ice worked out over Twitter, involving a suitcase belonging to Pats coach John Paddock. The Rebels beat the Pats at home in overtime last Saturday. In the rush of both teams packing to head off to away games on Sunday, Paddock’s luggage wound up on the Rebels bus. Within five minutes on social media, the teams were able to work out a handoff plan.

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Red Deer Rebels ✔@Rebelshockey
In the haste of 2 busses packing last night, John Paddock's luggage somehow made it onto our bus. It's now enjoying a BC vacation. @WHLPats
12:53 PM - Oct 29, 2017
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Regina Pats ✔@WHLPats
Couldn’t just take the extra point last night... https://twitter.com/rebelshockey/status ... 7041764352
12:55 PM - Oct 29, 2017
1 1 Reply 8 8 Retweets 54 54 likes
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Kootenay ICE ✔@WHLKootenayICE
The ICE are headed to Regina on Tuesday and will happily bring it if the @Rebelshockey want to bring it to our game tonight #savejohn https://twitter.com/whlpats/status/924680996871536640
12:57 PM - Oct 29, 2017
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Adversaries on the ice, partners off of it, eh? The hockey Fates must have approved, since all three teams earned a point on Sunday. Eighteen-year-old defenceman Cale Fleury scored in overtime to give Kootenay the extra point against Red Deer (and bring the improving Ice up to .500), while the Pats won at Edmonton.

Canadian NHL team prospect of the week: Ostap Safin, RW, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

Safin, who the Edmonton Oilers chose No. 115 overall in the 2017 NHL draft, had his best week since joining the Sea Dogs with six points across three games. That included helping to stanch the bleeding when Saint John ended a nine-game losing streak with a 5-4 overtime win against the league-leading Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on Sunday. The 18-year-old scored two goals in the third period, both on wrist shots, and had the primary assist on the overtime goal by Czech compatriot Radim Salda.

The six-foot-five, 191-pound Prague native joined Saint John after being drafted by Edmonton from the Sparta Praha under-20 team in the Czech Republic. Safin’s size and speed give him the specs to be a north-south player on the narrower North American ice sheet, and there’s time to unlock another level or two of creativity. While Saint John (.353 point pct.) is off to a brutal start, Safin is off to a decent start with six goals and 20 points in 17 games.

New name to know: Maxim Golod, LW, Erie Otters (OHL)

Déjà vu, much? A playmaking winger with a shock of red hair scooped up by the Otters in the later rounds of the OHL priority selection? It’s extremely premature to get carried away with surface-level similarities between the 17-year-old Golod and Erie alumnus Connor Brown, now of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Nevertheless, Golod scored his first OHL goal and had his first three-point game last Saturday when the retooling Otters earned a 5-4 shootout win against the Guelph Storm in a game where they were down to three defencemen at certain points. Golod assisted on two goals by linemate and fellow 17-year-old Alex Gritz.

Golod was chosen No. 261 overall in the 2016 OHL priority selection draft, but with nine points in 12 games, the Concord, Ont., native is in the Top 10 in rookie scoring amid a slew of first-round selections.
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Re: Goaltending inconsistency now national news

Postby Annan_Man on Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:03 pm

The rumor is Helvig from Kingston. Let's hope Dale gets it done.
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