Saturday, May 28, 2005


Gimme a 'Ho' if you got yo funky bus fare!

Ho. Ho. Ho.

Today's Memorial Cup matchup could be rather lopsided if Ottawa 67s goaltending Danny Bottochio can't play the game due to injuries.

It seems that Danny's own teammates are trying to hurt their meal ticket:

On Wednesday in practice, injured forward Jakub Petruzalek ripped a shot off Battochio's collarbone, sending sending a chill down the spines of everyone in the organization. Yesterday morning, it was another teammate, Jamie VanderVeeken, who drilled the little goalie in the throat with a high shot and was banished from the ice surface by coach Brian Kilrea.
I expect Danny boy will be playing and making 40+ spectacular saves against Sidney Crosby and his Oceanic cronies. I know I wouldn't sit out this game unless I was chained to a wheelchair with 3 arms missing.

Now...Danny Battochio has really made a name for himself in this tournament. The undrafted netminder has put himself in the spotlight with numerous incredible saves and he really does look like the real reason the 67s made it this far.

His stats this year
Regular Season: 40GP 24-10-3 91.4SV% 2.95GAA
Playoffs: 21GP 13-6-0 92.1SV% 3.10GAA

There are quite a few OHL Goalies who finished around the 91.4sv% during the regular season, so Danny doesn't stand out there. After playing very little as a backup for the 67s in 2003-04 (earning a spot as a walk-on), Danny took over the #1 role and outperformed his backup Anthony Guadagnolo (34GP 10-17-3 91.3SV% 3.29GAA) by a good margin.

Looking at how the 67s have been overmatched by the other Memorial Cup teams on the ice, I wonder if Danny has earned himself a spot at the draft table whenever we have the next Entry Draft.

McKeen's has a good article on 'Batman', but it's behind their subscriber wall. Here's a little portion of their scouting report on him:

A stand-up/butterfly hybrid .. relies on quick reflexes to make saves .. mentally strong and follows play with great concentration .. recovers well and it's not uncommon for him to make two or three saves in a row .. low panic point, calm and poised .. fast feet and is an exceptional skater .. flexible and is able to cover the bottom part of the net well .. quick glove hand is his strong suit and makes many highlight reel saves with it .. tends to drop it a bit on incoming shooters but can get it up in a hurry to make saves ..

Now that 'Batman' has made me stand up and take notice, I'll be watching to see if he can ever catch on with an NHL club. It's great to see walk-ons and other castaways make it big in the CHL.

The Anti-NHL Movement?

Joeri Loonen from and I have been arguing and talking about the Anti-NHL movement developing amongst certain European NHLers.

"The Anti-NHL Movement?"

Yes, folks. It seems that many European NHLers are just disenchanted with the CBA talks and the NHL in general. We could be seeing quite a few NHLers signing contracts with European teams WITHOUT NHL escape clauses.

Alexander Svitov, the prospect who hasn't been progressing too well for Columbus, has decided to sign with Avangard Omsk. Tomas Plekanec (My favourite prospect) has decided to leave Hamilton and go back to Kladno no matter what happens with the NHL negotiations. has rumours of Pavel Datsyuk (yes, you heard correctly) and Maxim Afinogenov signing no-escape-to-the-NHL contracts in Russia.


The Olympic Games!!

European fans and players don't revere the Stanley Cup nearly as much as Canadians and some Americans do. Several Slovak players have commented that they really really really want NHLers to play in the Olympics. This is on top of the usual reasons why Europeans would want to stay home (less travel, less games, less physical contact, less crappy American TV)

For Datsyuk and Afinogenov, they both want to play in the Olympics, and coach national team coach Krikunov is with Dynamo Moscow, and would definitely be inclined to pick these two players if they were his boys in Moscow.

In other news, is also reporting that Vaclav Propsal and Radek Dvorak are very welcoming to the idea of staying home with Ceske Budejovice if there is still a lockout. This comes on top of those rumours that Roman Turek would return home no matter what happens.

We saw Marek Schwarz return home (for various) reasons, along with other prospects like Lukas Bolf and Marek Kvapil and when the NHL returns, we could find the AHL and NHL with far fewer Europeans in the player ranks.

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