Some Observations Post-Ovechkin

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Some Observations Post-Ovechkin

Postby WCE » Fri Oct 27, 2006 10:17 pm

Lukas Krajicek has been outstanding for us...

28:16 IN ICE TIME... 30 Seconds less than Ohlund and about 4 minutes MORE than Salo. This kid is making 625,000 and playing lights out for us. Here is a quote from the paper this morning that makes you appreciate what we might have in this kid...And keep in mind he is only 23 years old:

Q. You played 90 NHL games for the Panthers before the big June trade to Vancouver. How would you describe living in south Florida?

A. It's like a paradise and I think it would be great if you're an older player so you could retire there. It's beautiful weather all the time, just a great place. But hockey-wise, you don't feel any atmosphere. People don't talk about the game. In Vancouver, the atmosphere is great. I mean, I want to play hockey. I don't want to be on vacation for seven months.


Bieksa's skating is impressive to watch, he has a very smooth stride (though he can get caught waiting too long at time for the play to develop rather than forcing the issue). But he has been great, and even with 7 minutes in the penalty box he still managed to clock in at over 26 minutes.

Bourdon despite his great diving stick check continues to look out of his league. He was beaten cleanly 3 different times wide on that left side. It was very troubling to see that exact same play give him trouble over and over again.

Tant, what do you think...

If Morrison and Cooke play like that every night they will earn their pay cheques? I'd have to think so.

That was the Morrison that lifted us during the 03/04 playoff series against the Flames. Great game from him. The Sedins have proved that they alone are good enough no matter who is on their wing to be a legit scoring threat. If Mo can keep that level of play and Bulis can keep from slipping into 'Bulis-moments', we have a real 1-2 punch.

Kesler with a bad bounce and a bad play. Amazing how things can go bang-bang and all of the sudden the game is tied at 2, after having dominated the entire game. I do have to comment though that it was a very bad penalty by Bourdon which started the snowball effect. Terrible hold on a player he should have contained. Against a better team I don't know if he will be able to hand the 8 minutes a night he is getting fed right now.

I look at our farm system and we don't really have anyone we can call up to send this kid back down to Junior. That is a sad statement of reality...It would have just been too perfect for Kolstov to come over a year earlier...
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Luongo without a chance on either goal. I thought he looked good, made a big save here and there, but for the most part wasn't called upon. The team in front of him played a smothering, dominating game.

Final thought, boy we sure are paying Chouinard 1.1 million for not a whole lot. Just 8 minutes of ice time. I like what I see from him in his role on the ice, but coach Vino sure doesn't seem to have much use for him. He was called out early in the pre-season, and he doesn't seem to be getting more ice time. An interesting story to watch.
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Postby rikster » Sat Oct 28, 2006 6:05 am

Regarding Bourdon, I think you are being overly harsh on him...

Maybe it was the Washington defense who you were watching when you posted they should be sent down?

The penalty was tacky and your complaint about Bourdons turning ability can be said about a number of players last night, including the Ohlund penalty that led to the 5 on 3....

I wonder if Krajicek's development would have been better served if had played in the AHL last season? From what we were told at the time of the trade, he started the season playing minimal minutes making mistakes and as the season wore on his minutes and play improved....

You're suggesting Bourdons development would be better served playing with 16 and 17 year old kids....

You like the way it worked out for Krajicek but want to send Bourdon down?...

There are very few teams who have defensive depth at the NHL level, let alone in their minor league system...


Take care...
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Postby WCE » Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:55 am

rikster wrote:Regarding Bourdon, I think you are being overly harsh on him...

Maybe it was the Washington defense who you were watching when you posted they should be sent down?

The penalty was tacky and your complaint about Bourdons turning ability can be said about a number of players last night, including the Ohlund penalty that led to the 5 on 3....

I wonder if Krajicek's development would have been better served if had played in the AHL last season? From what we were told at the time of the trade, he started the season playing minimal minutes making mistakes and as the season wore on his minutes and play improved....

You're suggesting Bourdons development would be better served playing with 16 and 17 year old kids....

You like the way it worked out for Krajicek but want to send Bourdon down?...

There are very few teams who have defensive depth at the NHL level, let alone in their minor league system...


Take care...


You make a very fair point about Krajicek and development. You have to let the kids play in order to develop, no doubt about it.

To be honest, what I want is for Bourdon to play the year in the AHL. But to counter your point, Krajicek was 22/23 years old last year and Bourdon is 19 Years old this year. There is a big difference, and especially at that age there is a huge curb. Their situations are not the same.

I wonder if Bourdon is going to get fed scraps as the 6th d-man and get 8 minutes a night, is that going to hurt his development? Who is he going to steal minutes from? Ohlund, Salo, Mitchell? Nope. Bieksa and Krajicek? Not a chance with the way those guys are playing. Fitzpatrick? Well, so far he has been everything you could hope for in a 6/7 guy, maybe more.

The only way Bourdon draws in is if we have injuries, and the only way he plays more than what he has is if somebody else gets hurt, or there is a blowout. I am not sure that is going to help him out.

I have to qualify my thoughts by saying that I am not trashing the Bourdon pick at all. I love the kid as a prospect, and I think he is going to be very good for us down the line. I just don't think he is ready at this level.

You say let him play and make mistakes, well I don't see that happening. Vino is in the business of winning now, and so is this team. Nonis and ownership aren't pushing 44 million to watch AHL/Junior level mistakes happen.


The penalty was tacky and your complaint about Bourdons turning ability can be said about a number of players last night, including the Ohlund penalty that led to the 5 on 3....


Ohlund had a lot to be worried about, there were an extra 2 men on the ice. In Bourdon's case, he was beat wide 3 seperate times because he was wandering to the center of the ice. He has done the same thing in the other games. He roams around too much, and for a guy who is used to playing physical he is having a lot of trouble as a 19 year old against developed men. It doesn't come as a shock or a slight against him, it is just reality.

I'd love to see him be able to put it together and become a contributor for us this year. I just don't see it happening, and I think you will see Nonis bring in a depth defender at the deadline. Kids need to play and they need to make mistakes in order to learn. Bourdon is making the mistakes, but he isn't playing enough to make it worth while. As long as that is the case, I think it is a mistake to have him at this level.
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Postby MarkMM » Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:09 am

I didn't catch the game, but the comments seem to indicate why it's hard to make calls about player value this early in the season. Bourdon's a keeper, but might not be NHL ready. I, too, am worried about his development either way, if we send him down to the juniors, he's a "man among boys" and possibly won't learn much more than junior habits. If we keep him and play spot duty, he doesn't get a chance to get in the game and it destroys his confidence, the AHL would be the best option, but having an $850k defenseman who doesn't play on a shallow defense with cap problems ties Vigneault's hands significantly. When Rypien comes back, although I think it'd be a step down in ability, for $1 million less, I could see Cooke being traded with Rypien taking his job, and us using Cooke to get back a lower-tier top 4 or solid 5/6 guy, and then sending Bourdon down.

Yeah, regarding Cooke and Morrison, who seemed to be on everyone's trade blocks (less so for Morrison as it would cost at least his salary in cap space and probably more in assets to get back a replacement top two centre), if you're management, do you hesitate on a trade right now as these guys are finally turning it around or do you think that it's not consistent enough and we have other needs? I personally think they're both going to be better than they've been thus far, how good, I don't know, but I think it's worth waiting and watching for, but unless both Bourdon and Cooke continue to improve, we might not have a choice but to pull the trigger on that Cooke for D deal.

Chouinard, mehp, I liked his signing as he brought size, face-off ability, defensive play and penalty-killing, then thought that for $600k less Santala might be able to suffice (it is the fourth line, after all), the last few games when Chouinard really proved his penalty-killing worth and Santala couldn't even make the game-day roster changed my mind, I think he's valuable, maybe didn't get played last night because we didn't need him, but when we do need him, we're glad we've got him.
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Postby sic puppy » Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:13 am

Good points WCE.

Bourdon seems to be in a no win situation in terms of his developement. Almost too good to be in junior but can't be sent to the AHL because of his age. Playing 8 - 10 mins a night with the Nux will not help his developement IMO.

If I'm a betting man, Luc gets his 9-10 games and then is sent back to the minors. As you mention, with Ohlund, Salo, & Mitchell ahead of him and BXA and Krajicek playing so well, Luc is caught in no man's land at the moment.

The only way he gets better and gains confidence is to play 16-20 mins a night. This won't happen on this team this year, barring some unforeseen injury problems.

Got to think of the big picture, send him back.
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Postby rikster » Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:25 am

Bourdon seems to be in a no win situation in terms of his developement


I agree with your assessment, and I also agree with WCE comments that the team has no defensive depth after their 7th dman which is why I think you keep Bourdon at the NHL level.

If he was able to play in the AHL, I don't think there would be any doubt that is where he would be playing, but the Quebec Major Junior league is not where I would want to see hiim end up...

Take care...
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Re: Some Observations Post-Ovechkin

Postby sic puppy » Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:30 am

WCE wrote: Final thought, boy we sure are paying Chouinard 1.1 million for not a whole lot. Just 8 minutes of ice time. I like what I see from him in his role on the ice, but coach Vino sure doesn't seem to have much use for him. He was called out early in the pre-season, and he doesn't seem to be getting more ice time. An interesting story to watch.


This truly is a puzzle. In the new cap era, the only question I have is why so much for what his role is. I recall when Cooke was resigned to the big money, I certainly wasn't sure he was worth 1.5 for his role and offensive numbers and now it appears the same issues are being discussed with respect to Chouinard.

What's interesting is the fact that he fits a specific piece of the npuzzle for the new look/system of the Nucks, but do the number of minutes allow him to perform.

Similar to the Bourdon situation IMO, that they need more ice time to show their worth, but at who's expense?
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Postby Fred » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:44 am

Bourdon I believe will be kept here until (A) Mitchell recover and (B) Tremblay is recovered in Winterpeg. Right now he is the best alternative of all between the Moose and the Nuck's.

Should he play with young players in the "Q" not really, should he play with the big boys in the NHL not really. Sure he has a lack of maturity on the ice that can be rectified by playing more but his poor pivot skills and the opportunity to be beaten to the outside is more serious and will take either great work to over come it or a change in his positioning. Right now he's as easy to beat outside as Murzyn was.

Karjijek skating is very good and he only needs more ice to complete his apprenticeship, Bourdon needs are different.

Bieska looked good or most of the night and i think he caught Chris Clarke by surprise when he took the decission over him. It will give Bieska more room in the future and can't hurt.

But the thing that I was most impressed with was the flow of the game last night, there was lots of up and down the ice and a great display of passing skills. It was in short a great display of the new NHL IMO. I left the game thoroughly pleased and enjoyed the night out, and there been lots of games in the past I couldn't say that of.
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Postby Island Nucklehead » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:58 am

Send him back, he's taken too many penalties and he does look outmatched. That leg injury last season really fucked him over. And I agree with everything WCE said...if all we're going to use him for is a 6/7 man, feeding him minutes in blowouts or easy situations for the team, then we could use any plug for that. Why do we have our blue chip prospect playing so little...maybe the management knows something that we don't? Maybe they feel that practicing and living in an NHL environment will prepare him better than dominating 30 mins/night in junior.

Send him down. Save us a year in free agency, save us the 200 K in salary that he'll make over a traditional 6/7 guy, it should be a no-brainer.
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Postby Meerschaum » Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:34 pm

Well, now that my hangover is passing . . .

We as fans certainly got our money's worth from last night's tilt with the Caps.

But, frankly, if the boys hadn't of ended up with the two points, I probably would have suffered some sort of stress-induced brain aneurism . . . I mean we flat out dominated the Caps for all but two-and-a-half minutes of penalty trouble, and it still came down to a shootout. A great performance by Kolzig. I lost count of how many point blank shots he turned back in the last period and overtime (at least two by Danny, one glorious opportunity alone in front by Pyatt, Krajicek pouncing on the rebound and Nazzy had a chance there too).

Kessler was the unlucky assist-meister tonight on the Caps first goal - just a bizarre and freaky play that it went off his stick straight to a serendipitously positioned Zubrus. What is that?? The fifth flukey off-a-Canuck goal this season? I can't wait for the puck-luck to start balancing out. But Kessler was the clear culprit on the second - he got too fancy with the puck instead of making the simple clear with his backhand - which allowed Ovechkin to knock him off it.

Nazzy/Bulis/Mo played much better tonight - and AV seemed to be rewarding them with quite a bit of time on the PP. My only concern with those three is their size and tendency to play a perimiterish game. (Loved Nazzy's roofer on the shootout, thought!)

Yeah, Krajicek and BXA have been playing superbly. Like Pyatt, their play has been a nice surprise. Today, they're both solid second-paring players - and the beautiful thing is that they're only gonna get better with time. Also, gotta love BXA standing up for his tender. I didn't notice Mitchell's absence nearly as much last night as I thought I would.

As for Bourdon - yep, he keeps getting beaten outside. But, he's by no means a slug - he skates pretty well - so I think he'll be able to overcome that with some experience and better positioning. The penalty for the shirt-tug was unnecessary as well. But, hey, the kid at least managed to recover that one time with the great stick-work to deny Ovechkin the breakaway. Let's give him some credit for the second-effort. Given what the alternative is - Fitzpatrick (who has off and on games) and Tremblay (whom I fear, fear, fear in his own end), I think we're stuck with bringing the kid along slowly this season with the big club as a 6/7. Junior simply won't help Luc at this point - he's gotta get used to playing with the big boys and the speed of the NHL game. Sure, we'll all tear our hair out over his play from time-to-time and it will cost us some points in the standings every now and then . . . but, think of it as a long term investment. Given that we can't send him to the AHL, our only other alternative would be . . . Europe?

And as for our goaltending? Well, isn't it nice to go into a shootout with complete confidence?

Best line of the night?

Guy beside me: "Whoa, get a load of Semin!"

Meerschaum: "No thanks, I'm not from the West End."
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Postby Fred » Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:14 pm

I'm glad like me u enjoyed the game, it was value for money alright. The thought of sending Bourdon to a EU team is brilliant, we just need some kind of "arrangement" with a EU team, although I suspect the CHA wouldn't like that idea to much, their star players entertaining the Swedish girls, long legs, blonde hair oops where was i Oh yeah Bourdon, what psotion does he play again. back to the long legs :lol:
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Postby Momesso » Sat Oct 28, 2006 2:29 pm

I agree with Meers on the Bourdon situation. If hockey sense is not his forte, then NHL level experience is what he needs. Yeah, we will have to put up with some bonehead plays, but it is an investment in the future of the team. If he learns something over the next 70 games, then hopefully by the playoffs he can be able to play that physical, open-ice hitting style that we drafted him for.

Unfortunately, just like with Allen, we're seeing another defenseman who played so well in his first camp, have his development put in serious jeopardy thanks to a bad injury.
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Postby Cornuck » Sat Oct 28, 2006 3:25 pm

Momesso wrote:Yeah, we will have to put up with some bonehead plays...


We did that long enough with Jovo didn't we? And we didn't even have Luongo then!
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Postby Nanaimo_Nuck » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:55 am

Cornuck wrote:
Momesso wrote:Yeah, we will have to put up with some bonehead plays...


We did that long enough with Jovo didn't we? And we didn't even have Luongo then!


Quite right.

But... What happens when Roberto has a bonehead play
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Re: Some Observations Post-Ovechkin

Postby tantalum » Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:50 am

WCE wrote:Tant, what do you think...

If Morrison and Cooke play like that every night they will earn their pay cheques? I'd have to think so.


Don't know I didn't see the game. Was away on business.

BUt good if they had a good game but it does have to be every night and not just 2 good games every 12. They play the next 70 as people seem to be suggesting they played they earn their paycheques.

I don't find it particularily encouraging that it was against Washington...one of the worst defensive teams in the league, and a bottom third in the league team. Let us see that on a regular basis against the good teams and they earn their paycheque.

Luongo without a chance on either goal. I thought he looked good, made a big save here and there, but for the most part wasn't called upon. The team in front of him played a smothering, dominating game.


During the Dallas game I was watching the Dallas feed and the announcers mentioned something that I believe it was Morrison said to them.

Q. what is the difference between having Luongo in the net instead of the other goaltenders through the years?

A (paraphrased): the other goaltenders were all capable of making big saves and they would make some big saves but we didn't expect them to. We expect Roberto to make EVERY save.

That right there just illustrates the difference in mentality the team has with a guy like Roberto Luongo in net. It makes a world of difference.
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