This week's Capitals Farm Report has a theme: Down to the Wire
With only one week left in the regular Major Junior and Elitserien seasons, the Caps' farmhands have begun to position themselves for postseason play. I will endeavor to rank the players relative to their teams' positions within their own Leagues/divisions, but that ranking is inexact at best since the prospects play in four different leagues and on two different continents.
Presenting, in order from Least to Beast:
Cody Eakin, Swift Current Broncos (WHL)
Cody and the Broncos have the steepest hill to climb. It looks as if Swift Current will squeak into the WHL playoffs with a very bubblicious eighth place finish in a strong Eastern Conference. Seven playoff spots have been clinched already and SC leads the ninth place Prince Albert Raiders by six points with three games apiece left to play. The next game will most likely be the deciding point as they play against each other, at Prince Albert, this Wednesday. A Broncos win will clinch eighth place and the playoffs - a Broncos loss gives the Raiders room to breathe, but P.A. would have to win their home-and-away series against 3rd place Saskatoon and hope that S.C. loses its home-and-away series against 7th place Moose Jaw.
None of that matters very much, as the Broncos' first playoff date will likely be with Caps' prospect Joel Broda and the League-leading Calgary Hitmen, who pwned the Broncos last Thursday in a 2-0 shutout. Calgary is the first-place team in the WHL and is ranked 7th overall in the CHL. They will have home ice advantage and the Broncos will mostly be an afterthought as Calgary sets its sights on playing its way into the Memorial Cup tournament.
In a week with one big win and two low-scoring SO and OT losses, Cody went 2-2-4, plus-2, 6 PIM. He scored goals 44 and 45 on Tuesday, but remains in third place behind Jordan Eberle and Kyle Beach for the goal scoring title. He is now 45-39-84, minus-11, 67 PIM on the season.
In a nice individual achievement, Cody was named the segment 9 winner of the Husky Energy Impact Player Award
photo credit www.scbroncos.com
Dmitry Kugryshev, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
This particular picture is probably not worth a thousand words, but it is representative of the latter portion of the Remparts' season. Here we see Dmitry (#17) going minus-1 in a 3-0 home loss to the red hot Drummondville Voltigeurs in front of nearly 15,000 fans back on February 26. The Remparts continue to hold first place in their division and fifth place overall in the Q, but they've gone 5-5 in their last ten games while the teams ahead of them are pouring it on.
The Walls have two games left in the regular season, both at home. Then they will get ready for their first playoff opponent, which has not been decided yet. The Remparts are slotted in as the #1E seed in this handy bracket. If they can get their legs back* and if their top line (oh hai there, Dmitry!) gets clicking again, well, we shall see.
For the week, Kuger went 1-3-4, minus-1, 6 PIM, which brings him to 28-55-83, plus-15, 52 PIM on the year.
*Coach Roy has been making them do "les Herbies", that's how I know they need to start moving their legs ;-)
Marcus Johansson, Farjestads BK (Swedish Elitserien)
NHL.com was kind enough to post an explanation today of the somewhat unusual SEL playoff formula.
Elitserien has a playoff format unlike any league in the world. The top three seeded teams get to choose their first-round opponent among the fifth to eighth-ranked teams. The fourth seed plays whichever lower seeded team is left after the top three make their selections. The selection event is broadcasted live.
Which would explain why Farjestads' coach Tommy Samuelsson was confidently predicting two weeks ago that the Ferries could run the table in their last seven games and rise from fifth to third place. That was before they got shellacked by Modo by a final of 10-3.
Fortunately, FBK seems to have recovered from that loss and went 2-for-3 for the week, including a win over the Linkoping club mentioned in the NHL.com article. Mackan wasn't much of a factor this week as he contracted a nasty case of stomach flu early in the week and missed a game. He did get an assist in there somewhere and is now 8-10-18, minus-1, 10 PIM on the season.
FBK remains in fifth place in the SEL, three points out of a tie for third. They have three games this week to close out the regular season - two home, one away - and have announced that they will begin selling tickets to the playoffs on Wednesday, opponent TBD.
Question for Rink discussion - If the NHL went to the SEL playoff system where the Caps could choose their first round opponent, who should they choose, and why?
Joel Broda, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
Capitals Farm Report welcomes Caps prospect C Joel Broda to the conversation. As noted above the Hitmen are dominating the WHL this season and are currently ranked 7th overall in the CHL. They will pose a significant challenge to Cody Eakin and the Broncos in the WHL playoffs and if both teams play through to the CHL championship Memorial Cup tournament, a challenge to Stefan Della Rovere and the Barrie Colts as well.
On the season, Joel is 37-33-70, minus-3, with 61 PIM.
Stefan Della Rovere, Barrie Colts (OHL)
This is the scene in Belleville, Ontario on Sunday as the Colts defeated the Belleville Bulls to claim the Hamilton Spectator Trophy as the top team in the Ontario Hockey League for 2009-2010.
It has been a season of firsts and bests for Captain Delly's Colts. They've made their last checks on the season's To-Do List (though they have three games left to play this week), then they turn the page and make a new list for the playoffs and beyond.
For those of you playing at home, here is the OHL playoff formula. The OHL website has not yet posted the brackets for the 2010 tournament; we'll presume they'll be available next week.
It's hard to believe, but SDR was held completely off the scoresheet in four games this week. We know he played, because there are 8 PIM and a minus-4 next to his name. Go figure. That brings his season totals to 17-23-40, plus-16, and a nice round 125 PIM.
This concludes this week's Capitals Farm Report, but I wanted to share proof positive that it is good to be a Della Rovere - one last completely irrelevant news item about famiglia Della Rovere that came up while I was looking for Delly's stats:
This beautiful crown was commissioned by the Duchess of Tuscany, Vittoria della Rovere, in 1685. It has recently been rediscovered in a convent in Florence, and is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 million Euro.
Florence, March 3 - (Adnkronos) - discovered a masterpiece of goldsmith thought lost for centuries, "victim" of the Napoleonic raids. E 'crown in gold, diamonds, emeralds and rubies, Vittoria della Rovere, wife of Grand Duke Ferdinando II de' Medici, did achieve in 1685 to give it to the Carmelite Sisters of Borgo Pinti, Florence, as a sign of his devotion to Mary Maddalena de 'Pazzi. The crown and 'was traced with the documents that testify to the patrons and features, from the Florentine scholar Piero Pacini, who shall be' news in a feature article, complete with color photographs, the new issue of "Medici. Interdisciplinary Journal Study moons "just out in newsstands and bookstores.
Student of St. Florentine, Pacini said that the crown belonged to the ecclesiastical patrimony-e 'were tracked down after more' than a century of absolute silence today for the first time, a quarterly devoted to the Medici dynasty, you can see pictures of this precious masterpiece of jewelry. Some detailed documents, discovered in the archive of the Carmelites of Careggi, allowed the student to build step by step the invoice artistic artifact that John and Joseph Vanni-Comparini the two most goldsmiths' request of the Medici family-made using 30.12 ounces of gold.
These were used to create, with filigree, the crown jewels which was studded with 655 (including 412 diamonds, 80 emeralds and 114 rubies) for a total of 1,800 crowns, which at current exchange rates would mean several hundred million euros. In his article, Pacini adds that the "rediscovery" of the object, and the relevant documents are useful both to evaluate the patronage and the religious attitude of the Grand Duchess, to reconstruct the history of both the watermark and gold industry in Florence.