Thursday, January 20, 2005


CHL Top Prospects Game Musings: Part I

Hometown Hero, and Vancouver Giant, Gilbert Brule sent 16,331 fans home happy as Team Cherry beat Team Davidson by an 8-4 score.

Don Cherry did his best to showcase Captain Brule for the fans and the scouts, as he gave Gilbert at least 20-25 minutes of ice time. Brule certainly took the bait and potted 3 goals and assist, along with many big hits, to thrust himself back into the "#2 Behind Sidney Crosby" spotlight. His team-mates certainly did their part, as they worked hard to get Brule the 3rd goal into an empty net. You can read more on Brule’s performance here

This was certainly no typical ‘exhibition’ type game as there was lot of hitting during the game, plus an usually high attention to defensive play (Both teams barely cracked 30 shots apiece). Brule knocked the opposing captain, Bobby Ryan, out of the game in the first period with a thundering bodycheck. Although there were no fights (or even scrums) during the game, there was lots of physical contact nonetheless.

Sights, Sounds, and Observations from the CHL Top Prospects Game:

Now, for some of my own awards:

Smolenak was a last-minute replacement and had some instant chemistry with Marek Zagrapan. Both players finished with 1 goal, 1assist, and +3 in the game…all of this despite the fact that coach Don Cherry gave them only about 8-9 minutes of ice time the entire game

Side Rant: Don, if you don’t want Europeans on your team, don’t pick them! It’s obvious his anti-European bias kicked in once again as he gave these two kids the absolute crankshaft. Marek Zagrapan is a Top 10 prospect, and he played about as much as a 4th-line goon.

The short dude with the ‘Cwazy’ name won the Fastest Skater event of the Skills Competition, but he certainly didn’t use that famed speed during the game. I had to check the game program in the 3rd period to even make sure he was out there…he was absolutely invisible. Looking at the boxscore, Wacey finished -6!!! He did nothing to abolish any fears that he is a junior-only star.

WORST PERFORMANCE: Jean-Philippe Levasseur, Team Cherry
Team Cherry’s goalie for the 2nd half of the game, Levasseur was just plain bad in every respect. Along with 3 exceptionally weak goals, JP showed horrible reflexes, rebound control, positioning, and reactions. The square Garth Snow-like shoulder pads certainly didn’t look good on him, either. If I based my scouting on one game, I wouldn’t take this guy...even in the 9th round.

Tomorrow, I’ll have some more observations and scouting notes on particular players I was watching.

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