Monday, February 2, 2015
Happy GroundHockey Day
The next few weeks could be really interesting, as we are carrying 9 defensemen, and falling rapidly into 'seller' status at the trade deadline. And the question of what to do with the young guys down in Springfield at the end of the season starts to loom. Do you give them extended tryouts to acclimate them to the NHL as a season goes down the tubes, or do you leave them in Springfield to try to win something? These are tough questions for Jarmo. In many ways, getting Rychal, Dano, and Anderson ready for next year should be a paramount priority, it is just the question of what serves them best.
Wennberg is poised to lead that group of young players. He really played well Saturday night, in spite of a tough outcome on a backhanded clear out from in front of the net on bad rebound. I thought that line of Wennberg, Anderson, and Anisimov looked really fast and really dangerous when they had a chance to play together. We only got to see it for two or three games before Anderson went back down, but there is real potential there.
Bjorkstrand should be ready for the AHL next year for sure. Holy smokes, 34G-34A-68P in 40 games? Oliver looked like a stud in the World Juniors too. A year of seasoning in the AHL, then the jump to the big club. Those are definitely Junior Hockey type numbers, but it will be interesting to see what he carries forward into the pro ranks. And the way things are looking now, the CBJ look to be in prime position to stock the lower ranks with more talent from the top end of a loaded draft this year. And while Sonny Milano still looks a couple years out, he has real potential.
This has been a tough year. I think the team is going to continue to play good, entertaining hockey down the stretch, but the weight of the unbelievable injuries is finally becoming too much. But there is a lot to like in the foundations of this hockey club.
I decided not to publish my rant Saturday night. I was just too angry with the outcome. Which is good. By 2010-11 I could sit and watch a game like that without budging from my chair. The vehemence of my vitriol is evidence that I care again, and those kind of losses are tough to take. And best kept to oneself.
Here's a little anecdote for you to ponder on Groundhockey Day. You remember Adam Foote, the Captain who ran out of town? Scott Hartnell is the first round draft pick we got for him from Colorado. We traded that pick for Umby. So Foote is out of the game, but we are still living large on that transaction. Hartsy is going to play his 1000th game next Monday if all goes well. How cool is that?