It’s a nice Sunday afternoon…USA fell to Russia for the bronze medal (but Frankie Vatrano netted both USA goals in a 7-2 loss, so there’s that) and Canada captured goal with a rousing win over Finland, denying the Finns the international hockey sweep of World Jr., Under-18 and Men’s World championship in 2016. But, as Meatloaf used to say- “Two outta three ain’t bad!”
I did an audio podcast on the Memorial Cup, which has two Bruins prospects competing for Jr. hockey’s ultimate prize.
In it, I discuss Jeremy Lauzon’s triumphant return to action with the Quebec League champ Rouyn-Noranda Huskies after taking a skate to the neck during the QMJHL playoffs. I also talk about Jake DeBrusk and go on a bit of a rant defending him to the critics. I’m probably doing a little Bill “Thou Doth Protest Too Much” Shakespeare here, but some things just need to be said. With Boston’s goal-scoring woes, it’s surprising the level of criticism he gets from the team’s own fans, many of whom haven’t seen him much outside the occasional highlight. Well, with the Memorial Cup games on NHL Network, you can get an idea. Right, wrong or indifferent- just calling it like I see it.
I touched on how dominant the London Knights have been, even making a Hrkac Circus reference. One thing I didn’t mention in the context of Tyler Parsons’ play this year (he’s a 2016 NHL draft eligible btw) is that even if you get the puck and transition it the other way, without icing it, you have to face him. Fighting Sioux opponents had to go up against none other than Eddie Belfour in net during that magical championship season.
If you manage to make it through my self-indulgence with DeBrusk, I do a Jakob Chychrun-Dante Fabbro analysis of their performance as a D pairing at the World Under-18 tourney last month. Windsor Spitfires star D Mikhail Sergachev also gets a mention, and I share one example of his sublime skill set and hockey IQ for your listening pleasure. I also talk about 2017 draft eligible Eeli Tolvanen (and yes- he played for Sioux City of the USHL this year).
With the bulk of my draft work done for Red Line Report and New England Hockey Journal, I can now devote more time to the blog. Thanks for hanging in there…
Here’s the 30-minute audio file:
Hi Kirk, one thing that I hadn’t read about is whether or not the Bruins were concerned that if they drafted Kyle Connor that they worried about him not signing with the team and waiting out the 4 years until he was a unrestricted free agent able to sign with any team. Having read some of the rumors about Kyle not having a great interview with Boston, it makes you wonder whether this was Connor’s way of saying “don’t select me, I not going to sign with you,” Do you think that might have come into play with the B’s decision to pass on him?
Obviously the same can’t be said of Barzal but like you, I’m taking a wait & see attitude on all of the players that were available at the time of their selections and keeping an open mind until each has had the opportunity to show their abilities on hockey’s biggest stage. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts & insight into these players as well as the 2017 draft prospects, much appreciated from a fan that doesn’t get to see these guys play as much as most.
Thanks, Dennis. I don’t know what happened behind the scenes with Kyle Connor or what prevented the Bruins from calling his name last June. I think at this stage- it’s better for everyone to move forward and see how these picks turn out for the B’s. For whatever reason, the B’s didn’t draft Connor and Barzal. I don’t understand how so many people seem to still be hung up on that decision.
Thanks for your quick reply. I certainly look forward to seeing what the Bs have in Zboril, DeBrusk & Senyshyn and have an open mind. I root for the Bs no matter who is on the team. Amazing that so many people get so worked up over something they have zero control over as if life isn’t challenging enough. Looking forward to your next post. Cheers!