View Full Version : Quad City: What needs to be done?
11-07-2007, 06:38 AM
I live just outside of Calgary, so I never get to see any of our prospect games. TBQH I rarely even venture into QC threads (mainly because I have no info to add).
However, I like to hear that the prospects and their team are doing good. Unfortunately, so far this year I've heard everything opposite of that.
So for those of you who do follow prospect better than I do, what is the reasoning for this "slump", and what needs to be done to correct it?
Last year the team was suprisingly up there in the standings, are they playing/adjusting to a new system from last year? (Playfairs to Keenans?)
Possibly lack of leadership? (AFAIK there are no NHL "has beens" on the roster)
The coaching staff remained the same from Omaha to QC right?
11-07-2007, 10:49 AM
The first thing that comes to mind is that the team needs to play a full game. There has only been one game where they come out and play hard for a full 60 minutes, and that was the first game of the season when they won 5-1. Since then. there has not been one complete game. They take full periods, if not longer, off, and no team can do that in this league. When they play hard, they flat out dominate the game. They've shown that against some very good teams. The problem is that this team is not built to come back from a three or four goal deficit.
The second problem that I've seen is goaltending. Matt Keetley played excellent when he was down here, but both Kevin Lalande and Cutris McElhinney have not been difference makers. McElhinney has been playing better of late, but nothing like his stats from last season show he's able to play. Lalande tries, but I honestly don't think, at this point in his career, that he's ready to be up in the AHL full time. He has potential though, and it would definitely help him to be able to get the lion's share of work in the ECHL. I think it will help that Krahn a couple weeks away from coming back.
The third issue is that players just aren't playing up to their potential. I guess it could be tied in with the first issue noted, but the players that are supposed to be stepping up just aren't. All the big name prospects have just disappeared throughout the short year. The only players that give what appears to be a consistent effort game in and game out are Tomi Maki, Cam Cunning, and to a little lesser extend Grant Stevenson. No offense meant at all to Maki and Cunning, as they are both excellent players and play their game very well, but the team simply can't win when only those two are playing every shift. Matt Pelech has only recently started getting ice time, and he has been very impressive. It comes across that he plays every shift that he's out there to impress. I don't mean that he's showing off, but rather that he takes advantage of the ice time he has. There are games when other players shine, but to win in this league, against teams composed of players that have 1,000's of games of combined NHL experience, they need to shine every night.
What's frustrating is that "it" is right there. They show flashes of it, but for some reason they can't pull it together for an entire game. Granted, they are not getting bounces either. For instance, last game went into overtime. Carsen Germyn took an extremely bad penalty at the end of regulation, and the other team started out overtime on a power play. Warren Peters won the faceoff to start OT, took the puck all the way down and fired a laser that hit the crossbar. The other team scored less than a minute later. That's just an example, but it has happened several times this year. If the team is able to play as they've shown for a full 60 minutes, then I have no doubts they can dominate.
There are other, little, problems, but those are the three that stick out to me. I hope that helped and answered your question.
11-07-2007, 12:27 PM
growing pains? It's a very young team loaded with first and second year pros, including two rookie goalies and three rookie d-men.
don't know how legitimate my response is since most AHL teams are likely loaded with young pros. Last year the Knights had two fringe NHLers on the squad, Godard and Ference. This year they don't really have that veteran presence who could stabilize the dressing room
11-07-2007, 01:11 PM
I think where the lack of veteran presence is most glaringly seen is on the power play. It seems that everyone is rushed, and there is very little cohesion. There doesn't seem to be a quarterback out there to settle everyone down.
11-07-2007, 03:35 PM
Brad Ference was an embarassment last year. Horrible playing skill and a real cheap shot artist who ran from any conflicts he created. The best power play we ever had was when Mark Girodano and Richie Regehr were playing the points......
11-07-2007, 05:07 PM
Absolutely everything Drunk Skunk said so very well, plus....
The passing seems to have gone downhill since the beginning of the season. I sit pretty much on the blueline where we shoot twice, and the number of turnovers lately from bad passes at center ice downright amazes me....especially since we all commented during camp and at a couple of pre-season games how well the team was passing. And they've led to several easy goals for the other guys....especially when we don't have a goalie (other than Keetley) who can handle a player one-on-one. (I said the other night that they should bring in players from the Junior Flames (different shots than teammates) and just have them blast shots at the goalie on a breakaway. Something needs to be done to get these guys to improve. Every team is going to know just how to play McElhinney and Lalande.)
The power play needs a major revamp.
I also think that Van der Gulik is playing pretty well, and Chucko has his moments but seems to be somewhat inconsistent. One of the players I'm most disappointed in is Boyd. I was so looking forward to having him as part of the team, but his lack of effort is stunning!
11-07-2007, 05:18 PM
After just reading this thread, (http://forum.calgarypuck.com/showthread.php?t=49764) maybe we need Nystrom back to take over as a leader on the ice!
11-07-2007, 07:58 PM
Watching the game tonight against the Wolves . QC has come out strong . Defence is moving the puck a little better and holding line .Boyd has looked strong with some good chances against Brathwaite .
Germyn with a nice goal (powered it through) .
Keep it up . One period at a time .
11-07-2007, 10:48 PM
I second Dskunk's comments. They do flat out dominate at times. Tonight's first period of hockey vs the Wolves may have been the best they've played all season.
They still are struggling to score. I've read this was an acknowledged weakness from last season. The difference was they were an awesome defensive team last year. With a few glaring exceptions, most games haven't gotten out of hand this year. Inconsistent goaltending has been a problem at times. Overall, defense is not too bad.
After watching the 2nd and 3rd periods of tonight's game, my suspicions may have been confirmed: the players seem not to trust each other at times (the guy sitting behind me ranted about this the entire 3rd period). What I mean is that they go through stretches where the opponent is aggressive, and suddenly they don't trust their teammates to win battles for loose pucks. Two or three guys cluster to try to get it. Even if they do win it, their offensive spacing sucks. If they lose it, they are in poor defensive position. It's probably Team Hockey 101.
This is the same disease that plagued the Mallards at the beginning of last season, and it took them a while to work through it. I think this can be an issue any time players on a team have not played a lot together, especially younger players. It's not lack of talent, it's lack of teamwork. It is a bit weird to see the Flames struggling in a similar way to the Mallards. The talent level is much different, but the game is the same.
I think they will work through it eventually. A break or two would be nice, too.
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