In the last day of the Flyers 2010 Prospect Camp, the players jumped on the ice at 9:30 am for a scrimmage.
Surprisingly, there weren't that many people in attendance, which is sad since it was a pretty good game. As has been true all week, it was pretty sloppy, with missed passes, shaky goaltending, and missed penalty shots. Oh, and Zac Rinaldo dropped the gloves. Again.
Again, check out the BroadStreetHockey YouTube page for videos from the game. Rather than take videos from the opposite end of the ice, I got 10 of the 11 shootout attempts taken on Bobrovsky (I wasn't quick enough to get Bobrovsky stopping Chaput) and Morrison's final save to seal the game.
Yes, the Black Team won 4-4 (2-1 in shootout), taking the series 3 games to 2. Apparently the Curse of the Black Jerseys doesn't affect prospects.
Jump for the bullet points from the final day of camp.
Nicola Riopel (G, Adirondack/Moncton) started in goal and once again turned in a solid performance. As evidenced throughout camp, he's a very sound goalie. Everything Tim McManus said about him is true - he's not the most talented goalie, but he takes a very serious approach and is positionally sound.
There are two concerns I have in regards to Riopel: 1) He needs to work on his rebounds some more. He does a decent job directing them away from the dangerous areas, but he typically gives up one or two juicy ones; and 2) He appears to be an emotional goalie. On a couple of occasions this week, he looked rattled after giving up a goal in practice. Then, during today's scrimmage, he got stuck behind the net with the puck resulting in a turnover which was soon deposited in the back of the net. Riopel protested to the ref, possibly arguing it wasn't in.
Today, he started the game with two huge saves from in close, then stopped a two-on-one after Hostetter got caught pinching. Later, he gave up one of his juicy rebounds but was able to slide across - still in the butterfly - to make the save.
- Michael Banwell (D, Maine, tryout) made a nice stop clearing the puck from the goal line after it came from behind the net.
- Tyler Hostetter (D, Erie) had an ill-conceived pinch which resulted in a two-on-one break the other way. It was a bad play, but for how often he pinches in the offensive zone - and does it well - these will happen.
Erik Gustafsson (D, Northern Michigan/Adirondack) had another solid game, beating Rawlings on a penalty shot. The most impressive thing from him is his active stick, as he frequently breaks up plays with his reach. There's a little bit of Kimmo Timonen in his game, though he's nowhere near Timonen's skill yet. Combined with Bourdon, Marshall, and Lehtivuori, the Phantoms top-4 should be one of the best in the AHL next year.
Chris Rawlings (G, Northeaster, tryout) had a shaky game, giving up three goals. One was on a penalty shot and another was a garbage goal by Ginand that went in through traffic that most people didn't see.
He's only played one year in college, plus he's on a tryout, so his performance was very interesting. He clearly has talent and he's huge, so he's someone to keep an eye on. Unfortunately, he'll probably be on a lot of teams' radar.
Ben Holmstrom (C/RW, UMass-Lowell/Adirondack) would definitely be one of the most disappointing players from camp. He obviously had a bad week, but he was one of the players I was excited to see. On a two-on-one break, he pulled a Jeff Carter: fire a slap shot high and wide from above the circle. Later, his missed high and wide on a penalty shot against Morrison, then had Morrison slam the door on him at the doorstep. He's also taken more than a couple penalties this week, which is probably only noticeable because he isn't scoring.
- Mike Testwuide (RW, Colorado College) is someone else who carries a lot of hype. While I wasn't very impressed with him, you can tell why he was highly coveted coming out of college. He's a big body, great in the corners, and has a nose for the net. His problem is stick-handling and finishing. Today, he made a nice move to get around the defenseman, then got hauled down going to the post. He missed the penalty shot, though.
Eric Wellwood (LW, Windsor) is another of the players I was looking forward to seeing, and he was hot and cold. He had a couple great days, and then a few average days. The good news from today's average performance is that he let his talent shine. He made two great keeps at the line on pucks that were in the air.
Something else I noticed was that - for today at least - he was playing with Phil Ginand and Gregor Hanson, two players on a tryout. We'll get to Ginand later, but I'd have loved to see him playing with more talented players.
- The Dowling-Chaput-Rinaldo line was simply outstanding all camp. The Rowe-Holmstrom-Testwuide line was a close second, largely pulled down by their inability to finish.
- Oliver Lauridsen (D, St. Cloud State) was pretty impressive. Today, he ripped a slap shot past Morrison from the top, ringing off the far post. For a 7th round pick, he could turn out to be a pretty solid AHL player. I'm not sure if he'll be able to hold a job in the NHL, but he seems to be a good character guy. All during camp, he was throwing his weight around and agitating forwards - Rinaldo, specifically. He probably spends another year in college, but after that he should get a chance on the Phantoms.
Sergei Bobrovsky (G, Novokuznetsk) had a very good scrimmage despite a rough patch. He entered with a 3-2 lead that eventually grew to 4-2 before giving up two goals in his first 10 minutes of play. Neither was a soft goal though, as Chaput streaked through the slot and deposited one up high and the other was on a slap shot from Bourdon through a screen.
He showed his aggressiveness though as he challenged Chaput and smothered the puck and gets his name in the headline largely for stopping 9 of the 11 shooters he faced in the shootout.
Zac Rinaldo (C, London/Barrie) has been a topic of conversation all week, largely because of his non-hockey skills. That's not to say he doesn't have any - he does, actually - but that's not what makes him interesting. Yet again today, he mixed it up.
On an icing call, Rinaldo skated down and ran into the defenseman after the whistle. It wasn't long after the whistle, but he wasn't going to get to the puck first and he didn't care. He just wanted to start something, which he most certainly did. After Testwuide came over and got in his face, you could hear Rinaldo yelling at him, "do something. Come on." Testwuide didn't react, but it's something that concerns me about Rinaldo.
Him and Lauridsen have been sparring all week, and you got the feeling they truly don't like each other. Except after the scrimmage, the two were talking to each other as if they were explaining themselves. Interesting sight.
- Phil Ginand (C, Mercyhurst College) was largely invisible this week outside of being on the ice with Eric Wellwood, but today he caught my eye for the wrong reasons. During the 4-on-4 overtime, he was trying desperately to make something happen, but he refused to pass the puck. Gregor Hanson was not pleased since he was open on at least two occasions, only to watch Ginand skate into traffic and turn the puck over.
- After a 4-4 tie after two periods, there were no goals scored the rest of the way. Entering the shootout, this was an interesting picture to me:
Adam Morrison (G, Saskatoon) gets preferential treatment at the bottom of the post for two reasons: 1) He was fantastic today; and 2) I had been down on him all week.
Throughout the week, he was less than impressive. Yesterday he was solid if unspectacular, but today he was very good. He only gave up one goal in his thirty minutes and it was on a Lauridsen slapshot that was unlikely to be stopped. He stopped Holmstrom on a penalty shot, then stopped him alone in front. During the shootout, he made several excellent saves, most notably on Testwuide and Rowe.
So, Adam, good job stepping up. I will stop bad mouthing you at least until I see you again during Training Camp.
Since there were only three goals scored by the twenty-two shooters, we'll just run down the list of players stopped by each goalie.
Morrison stopped: Wellwood, Ginand, Hanson, Testwuide, Hatcher, Rowe, Holmstrom, Ranford, Banwell, and Blidstrand after giving up a goal to Gustafsson in the first round.
Bobrovsky stopped: Chaput, Pither, Dowling, Dudas, Harper, Beattie, Rinaldo, Marshall, and Mountain in between goals by Bourdon and McGinn.
Go to the BroadStreetHockey YouTube page to see video of Bobrovsky's shootout and Morrison's save on Blidstrand.