This week's Capitals Farm Report joins our prospects in the CHL and SEL playoffs at or near the end of Round One. No team has yet begun Round Two.
The theme for this week: Moving Right Along
Cody Eakin, Swift Current Broncos (WHL)
Cody's seventh-seed Broncos finished 0-4 against the second-seed Brandon Wheat Kings and their season is done. They put up a good fight and took the Wheaties to 16 minutes of overtime in the last game but couldn't pull off the upset.
Eakin's final 2010 WHL playoff stats: 1-1-2, minus-6, 2 PIM in 4 games played.
The bad news for BroncosNation was good news for Bears, Caps, and ginger fans, as Cody got the callup to the A.
The Broncos' hometown paper the Southwest Booster had this interview with Cody:
"It is exciting. I don’t really know what to expect, whether I will see some ice or just practice and get an experience. But either way it is going to be new for me. It will be awesome to get up there and move forward," said Eakin prior to leaving Swift Current.
The 85th overall pick of the Capitals in the 2009 National Hockey League Entry draft will join the Bears, who easily lead the AHL with a 53-14-0-3 record.
"I know how good of a team they are. They won it last year and a pretty good favorite this year. I know (former Regina Pat) Garrett Mitchell and a couple of the prospects that are up there and a couple of guys that are up there from Washington’s camp from around the room and on the ice. For the most part it will all be fairly new and fresh for me though."
Eakin, who signed an entry level NHL contract with the Capitals in October, hopes to see the ice with the Bears.
"If I see some ice time then I definitely have to put on the work boots, play a simple game, and just keep it simple and smart. If not then I just need to skate hard in practice, soak it all in, and enjoy every minute I am there for."
He has received some feedback from the Capitals throughout the season."Not a whole bunch. Just throughout the year kind of some things that I have been doing well or things that I could improve on, not a tonne of stuff. The things that I need to do are always there, get stronger, work on the small aspects of my game, and the simple points."
Stefan Della Rovere, Barrie Colts (OHL)
Photo courtesy Ovechwin and beta and their amazing hockey road trip
Captain Delly and the Colts wrapped up four straight wins in their first-round series with the Sudbury Wolves very efficiently, but sadly not without controversy. A series of unfortunate events in Games Two and Three led to 22 man-games of suspensions issued, including 12 games to the Colts' enforcer for an ugly hit, and five games apiece for two Sudbury players.
One of those five-game suspensions was given to Kain Allicock for jumping SDR in the faceoff circle:
Kain Allicock vs Stefan Della Rovere (via JimKorn20)
The controversy comes in with Sudbury's never-quite-explicit allegation that Della Rovere said 'something' to provoke Allicock into jumping him. Sudbury head coach Mike Fogilno gave this statement to the media:
Speaking to The Star following Sunday's Game 3, Wolves head coach/GM Mike Foligno said "there were some undignified comments made by the opponents and our players responded to those comments. There were incidents on the ice I will report to the league and we'll see what comes out of it," apparently referring to the Allicock-Della Rovere situation.
The Canadian media reported on it, the Colts issued a statement of their own, Kain isn't talking, and now the pundits are weighing in. Since nobody will actually come out and say what SDR is alleged to have said, and the league considered it and chose to take no action, the incident should be considered case closed. Unhappily, the miasma of these sorts of allegations tends to linger.
The Wolves and Colts contested Game Four without incident (and without Rinaldo or Allicock or Staal), and the Colts advance to Round Two. Their opponent will be either the Kingston Frontenacs or the Brampton Battalion, pending the outcome of their Game Seven on Tuesday night.
Delly's stats for Round One of the 2010 OHL playoffs: 1-0-1, plus/minus of even, 8 PIM. And a point to ponder - the Barrie Colts racked up 73 points teamwide while outscoring the Wolves 25 goals to 10. SDR had exactly one of those 73 points.
Marcus Johansson, Farjestads BK (Swedish Elitserien)
Coach Samuelsson would like a word...
Färjestad won game 6 at home against Skellefteå 2-1. Game Seven will be played in Skellefteå on Tuesday. Färjestad is the defending champion and they have made it past the quarterfinals ten years in a row. The biggest reason that they won last year was b/c of Jonas Gustavsson aka The Monster.
This version of Färjestad haven’t had that high level of goaltending but now at least it look like they have decided that Robin Rahm is their guy he took over when the number one goalie got injured, again. He been pretty solid in his first playoff performance and in the games that FBK have lost it haven’t been b/c of him but rather total breakdowns as a team. Game 5 in the series were one of those games and you could tell from puck drop that they were determined to bounce right back and prove that they are a good team.
"A good game, we give ourselves a chance to win. We put it all out there, we are more desperate and we had decided to win every battle out there. We played much better today, we pulled it together when everything was on the line I think that is a good sign going into Tuesday’s game." - Marcus Johansson
Marcus played C and were on the ice for 14 minutes and 18 seconds. That’s a little more icetime then in the previous games his TOI been around 13 minutes. He played on the second pp unit and was on the ice for Färjestads 1-0 goal. He played on the third line with Dragan Umicevic and Lubos Bartecko (the guy that met Ole-Kristian Tollefsen's elbow in Vancouver). There been a lot of line shuffling going on in Karlstad lately but they found each other pretty well on the ice. The line were ok but they spend too much time in their defensive zone for my liking. Marcus had a couple of nice offensive rushes, some nice set ups (and 2 shots on goal) that didn’t result in anything on the score sheet. He had three hits most on the ice. It was a low hitting affair for a playoff game. He didn’t make any gleering mistakes and when he had a semi-bad giveaway he worked hard to catch up to the puck and solved the situation. He had no time on the PK a little bit surprising considering that he is good at it. He didn’t see the ice in the final minutes of the game.
Färjestad dominated Saik in the first period the only time Skellefteå sustained pressure in the offensive zone were when they played PP. Throughout the game Saik looked a bit soft they weren’t willing to go into the dirty areas and their skating looked slow. They didn’t show up until they were down 2-0 and Johan Forsberg made it 1-2 with the goalie pulled but it was to little to late. Forsberg btw have 6 goals in 6 games in the series with Färjestad during the regular season 55 games he had a total of 9 goals.
Bad pp saik and bad skating too slow they looked scared and it wasn’t until they were down 2-0 that they started to play a bit better. The second period was a bit more even but that was more due to the fact that FBK stopped their aggressive forcheck than that SAIK played better.
SAIK can play much better then they did in this game and I’m sure they will preform better on Tuesday. They are usually a strong skating team, not that you could tell in this game. The only thing that were up to their normal standard were the faceoff numbers (45-25 to SAIK). Färjestad have really poor F-O numbers this season they also been one of the worst teams in the third period. Skellefteå have many young players that are expected to take big responsibility’s; Adam Larsson is only seventeen but still get a lot of ice time at critical times as do Tim Erixon (Calgary prospect) and David Rundblad (St Louis prospect).
After 6 games, 396 minutes and 50 seconds 14-15 in goals and 3-3 in games
3 of the games have gone to OT, and they played 36 minutes of OT.
One of the game announcers said that Marcus and David Rundblad would play in North America next season. I couldn’t confirm that anywhere else though. In all interviews with Johansson I have read he always says I got a contract with Färjestad and I intend to play it out, I don’t know if there is any substance to what the announcer said just throwing it out there.
Thank you, Ice Warrior! Tack.
Dmitry Kugryshev, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
Next up: Bienvenue á les Tigres de Victoriaville
Dmitry and the Remparts closed out the Acadie-Bathurst Titan 4 games to 1 and thereby advance to the second round of the QMJHL playoffs. The record is a little deceptive, as the games were all close-fought, but the Walls were able to gut it out and grab the win each time.
Dmitry had a very nice series. His final stats for the first round: 4-5-9, plus-3, zero PIM in five games played. The four goals included two PP goals and one nifty, very nasty SHG.
The Remparts open their second playoff round at home against the Victoriaville Tigers on Thurdsday.
Joel Broda, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
Joel and the Hitmen clawed their way back from the precipice twice - down 0-2 in the series with the Moose Jaw Warriors, then down 1-3 - to win three straight and advance to Round Two of the WHL playoffs. It was remarkable that they played as poorly as they did in those first four games, and even more remarkable that they were able to pull it together to cobble three in a row.
The Calgary Herald had a detailed feature article about Joel and his team this week:
In the Crushed Can, Joel Broda knows he’s the enemy.
The former Moose Jaw Warriors star was singled out for a special kind of derision from the home crowd during the Calgary Hitmen’s first two appearances at the Civic Centre in the Western Hockey League playoffs.
Every time he touched the puck, boos and catcalls rained down from the seats in the oldest building in the WHL. But Broda loved playing the role of villain in his old haunt.
"There’s an old saying, in the opposing rink, if you’re getting boos those are cheers," said Broda, who was traded to Calgary in January 2009. "It kind of keeps you on your toes. You’ve got to make sure you’re on top of your game. It’s fun if you can stick it to the building."
The Hitmen are in Moose Jaw tonight for Game 6 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final after Thursday’s 5-2 win at the Pengrowth Saddledome. The Warriors hold a 3-2 edge in the best-of-seven series.
The Hitmen face another rough ride in the arena fans like to call the Crushed Can due to the shape of its unique low-dipping ceiling. It’s known as one of the most hostile environments for visiting teams.
During the season, the Warriors had one of the best home records in the WHL (22-7-3-4) and the players like to think the fans played a role.
"The low ceiling, I don’t know what it does, but it’s the loudest rink I’ve ever played in," said Warriors forward Jason Bast, Broda’s former linemate. "It’s full of energy."
Bast has scored six goals against Calgary in the series. He says he’s had fun playing against his old teammate, but admits the fans take the games seriously.
"It’s a tough building to play in. We’ve got great fan support. They’re going to be hard on everyone, but especially ex-teammates," said Bast.
Beyond the atmosphere created by 3,100 rabid Warriors supporters, the building itself can stymie opposing teams’ best efforts.
The arena was opened in 1959, by then Saskatchewan premier Tommy Douglas. As the oldest building in the WHL, it’s known for some bizarre puck bounces that can frustrate visiting teams.
Although the Hitmen won Game 3 in Moose Jaw by a 7-3 count, they fell victim to the crooked architecture of the rink Tuesday when a harmless-looking Warriors shot from centre ice zagged instead of zigging off the glass, hitting Calgary netminder Martin Jones in the leg pad and bouncing in for a goal. The Hitmen lost 4-3.
"That was crazy, but that was a good bounce for us," said Bast, who says even the Warriors haven’t figured out all the trajectories in the rink.
"There’s some odd ones. We don’t even know where it’s going, so you just got to be ready for anything in that rink."
But for all the benefit the Crushed Can may provide the Warriors, the mood inside can shift swiftly if the fans don’t like what they see, says Moose Jaw head coach Dave Hunchak.
"There’s no question we control the volume in that building by how we play," said Hunchak. "They’re a very passionate fan base. When we’re going and we’re playing Warrior hockey, it’s unbelievable in that rink. When we’re not playing Warrior hockey, they let us know about it, as well. They’re very knowledgeable, they get it and they also get that Game 6 for both teams is probably the biggest game of the year."
Joel's first playoff round stats: 3-1-4, minus-3, 10 PIM in seven games played. Their next playoff opponent will be the Medicine Hat Tigers, with the first game in Calgary on Friday.
And this concludes your Capitals Farm Report for the week of March 22-28, 2010.