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About Ray_Cathode

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  1. Brendan Gaunce Talk

    I have watched most of the Utica games - like in this last game, Gaunce plays centre.  He plays the role of a big, physical, skilled centre with decent wheels, great balance and a great shot.  In the NHL he could be a two or a three.  Though his defensive play is consistent, and he does well on the draws, his offense runs hot and cold - but that is true of most players.  Like his OT goal, he is big and strong enough to pull through guys and has a great wrist shot.  He has very strong board play and makes very good short passes - particularly in his own end.  He will go to the net and fight for possession.  He is much better as a centre than as a winger.  His goal in OT showed a lot of what he brings when he is on his game - he takes the opening draw forward, muscles past the centre, pulls past the centre, gets loose enough to fire a bullet past the goalie.  Not bad for five seconds of work, and his second goal of the game - the first was the game tying goal from in close with not much time left. He is big and powerful, and now skating is no longer an issue.  He will be pushing for a spot this fall - I've no doubt he can outplay Cracknell.
  2. Is Prust's time up?

    Wow, that sentence neither right nor does it make sense.
  3. Canucks next trade deal should be for Yanic Perreault

    Linden Vey is an example of good coaching on the farm - and his own application to getting stronger and more skilled on the draws.  You may have noticed that all of the players that have come up have done well - somebody is doing a good job in Utica.
  4. Jake Virtanen Talk

    Why would he be sent down to 'work on his game with Green"?  He isn't a liability on the ice, he is getting more and more chances each game, he has more and more shifts that he dominates possession in the offensive zone, and he brings something no other Canuck brings : size to go with his speed, and the power to go around guys.  He also hits a ton, and next year he will be bigger and stronger.
  5. Dale Weise is 5th in Montreal Canadians scoring with 11g 10a 21pts That would also be fifth on the Canucks for points and fourth for goals.  Weise is no longer chopped liver; and the Netherlands league does not compare at all with the Swedish league, so measuring up to Weise would not in any way be a failure - of course Rodin is expected to be a scorer, so better things are expected of him, you know, like Vrbata, er, oh wait, that great sniper, Vrbata is scoring at about the same pace as Dale Weise.
  6. Is Prust's time up?

    Wow, what a pile of bad assumptions.  Firstly, for a hockey player to deserve to be in the line-up, there are a few prerequisites, the first is that he be able to skate - so Prust is out on that count.  Second, he must serve a role on the team.  Judging from Prust's inability to score, I'd say his role was not the provision of talent, so it must be his ability to be a thug.  But to be a thug, you must show up when needed.  Judging by the lack of a Prust appearance when his fellow players  have been assaulted, I'd say that Prust has concluded that that is not his role.  His tantrum about Virtanen playing ahead of him suggests that Prust really doesn't know why he is here.  Watching Virtanen's game tonight tells me that Virtanen does know why HE is here.   There is no Prust conundrum, it's clear that he no longer belongs here.
  7. Will there be a suspension..

    Anytime you staple some guy into the boards in that danger zone where they can't defend themselves, it is predatory.  Grabovski had all the time in the world to ease up.  Pretty much only Dorsett and McCann got it though.  When the other team targets your best player, you go after their best player.  The only problem is that they didn't go after him hard enough.  
  8. Take a look at our "D"

    The problem is not exactly our defence, though that is a problem - the bigger problem is down low coverage - which has a lot to do with our centres.  We do not win a lot of draws in our D zone - we can attribute a lot of that to a broken Hank and a broken Sutter.  Apart from not starting with the puck, we are not getting good down low coverage from our inexperienced centres - there is a reason Bo is a big minus - he is an inexperienced kid playing big minutes against the other team's top guys, and Henrik is so hurt he can barely take a draw or cover at all.  McCann doesn't get a lot of defensive minutes because he is so inexperienced, is not physically a man yet, and because he is weak on the draw.  Cracknell, is, well... Cracknell.  He is really a fourth line piece for when you have three good guys in front of him.  We will improve when Hank and Sutter are healthy, and while I don't wish them ill, it's just as well for the youngsters to get this development time.  Bo has brought his game along a ton this year, as has Baertschi.  McCann was an unexpected surprise, but needs another year of physical maturity - he looks like he has the skills for the pro game - he just needs more strength - he also looks to have the courage needed to be a pro, he just needs to be stronger, and then, a little nastier. Virtanin is an up and coming power forward - he just needs to be able to play enough to find out what he can do, and what he can't do yet in this league.  I'd love to see him get more ice time. and not be benched for half a period this time if he screws up.  He is smart enough to figure out that that four minute minor was NOT a smart play - when he gets back to the bench, the coach should just go over and tell him that was a dumb penalty to take, then when he taps him on the shoulder for his next shift, tell him to do better.  Don't just sit him to stew on it - that will just make him tentative, and the last thing you want is a tentative power forward.
  9. Yeah, the comparison to Hansen is ridiculous - they are about as unalike as you can get.  He also has a lot more hockey smarts than he is given credit for - he is a nineteen year old kid, for Pete's sake!
  10. The Curious case of scratching Andrey Pedan.

    Playing Weber is an excellent strategy for getting a great first round pick.    
  11. We want green for start of 2016-17

    Didn't that plan get Pittsburgh and Boston a Stanley or two?
  12. Linden confirms Higgins will be traded

    Gaunce & Shinkaruk are our two most promising forwards in Utica.  But this is only Gaunce's second year in the AHL, and his first at centre as a pro.  He'll get his shot here - we just have some vets to move first - Higgins, Burrows, Prust, Dorsett, and Cracknell.  I expect to see him on the Canucks this coming fall - we may get another preview this fall, after we move some or all of the above.
  13. Linden confirms Higgins will be traded

    That is a true statement; HIggins never shorted us on his effort.  When he was on a hot streak and had his confidence, it really teased that there was another level to his play.  He brings a lot to the table - he still skates well, he has decent size, he'll go where the going gets tough, he can kill penalties, and with his experience, he could really help a contender.
  14. After watching last night's game, Ferraro may well change his mind, if not, he should.  Virtanen was a 19 year old kid dominating men last night, and he made a few very sweet plays.  Way too soon to assess this kid negatively - his speed and power are going to get him to the net often, and guys who get lots of chances tend to do quite all right in the scoring department. Now that Horvat and Baertschi are going, it will be interesting, after we trade Vrbata, and Jake gets dropped back onto that line.
  15. Playing Higgins, Weber, Cracknall, Dorsett, Prust, Sbisa (when he's healthy), and Burrows is a great way to get a higher draft pick.  Of course, if those guys would play better, they'd be tradable and we could get more picks.  Of course if Burr was tradd to an original six team, he would no longer get picked on by the refs and would be a great vale for somebody.   But for right now - keep Shinkaruk , Gaunce, Subban, Sautner, etc. in the minors, they are developing nicely.  I've been watching the last dozen games of  Utica, and Gaunce is their best forward (playing at centre) - much better centre than winger - very good positionally, dominates the boards in the offensive zone, goes to the net well, very clever with the short pass, not bad in the faceoffs, good coverage in hei s own zone, heavy shot, and skates very well.  At this point, he might be a better centre for us than either of Horvat or McCann - good reason to keep him down till next year.  He is gonna be a beaut.