I just got back from Consol Energy Center where I personally witnessed the 2011 Prospect game. It was a good time, I must say, with quite a few people in attendance. The CEC essentially contained everyone to the lower bowl and to the half of the arena behind the benches.
I forgot a pen though, so I was unable to make notes and score who did what, you know, be "professional," but it's a good thing I have a good memory. Now what was I talking about?
Meat and potatoes after the jump.
There were two periods of play for the scrimmage, each 25 minutes long, and pretty much everyone scored. Seriously. But some people did stand out to me, and other didn't grab my attention in a positive way at all.
Keven Veilleux was the one player who totally caught my attention and took full advantage of this day to try and impress. He scored a couple of goals and landed some assists, but where he really shined was at the end of the scrimmage the players had a shootout, which came down to Veilleux and defensemen Sean Whitney. Keven's goals were by far much more pretty and complicated. But every time he was on the ice it seemed like everyone was watching him.
The main attraction, if you want to call him that, was of course Eric Tangradi. ET got some nice assists, including one where he came down the right side of the ice and drew the defenders, to which ET simply dropped the pass back to the trailer and it was one of the easiest goals scored today. He also showed a lot of grit when heading to the corners after the puck, making the first contact which I thought was a good sign and hopefully a sign of his confidence and toughness. There were a couple of things that bothered me a bit about his play. The first was that I didn't see him set up shop in front of the net at all, rather he pulled a lot of dangling and trying to draw defenders and then look for the pass. The general consensus at Pensburgh is that ET would have to be that power forward who sets screens and gets dirty for us. I didn't see much of that today. I won't lie, some of his dekes were nice, but not what I was hoping to see he has been working on. The second thing that irked me, and maybe it's just me, but after the scrimmage when his team was congratulating each other, he opted to give a few of his teammates a tap on the rear with his stick and then skate back to the bench. I don't know if it was because he was getting ready for the shootout, or because he is the "veteran" of the group, but I thought it was kind of off for him to do that.
The goalies today were Patrick Killeen and Rob Madore. At first they both made some really incredible stops, especially Madore. But after a few goals were scored on him he seemed to get flustered quite a bit and let in a couple of squeakers and started over thinking his approach. But when they came out for the second half he seemed more composed. Killeen, at the other end made some great stops too, including a nice Fleury-like glove save through traffic.
If you are asking about those new kids we drafted, well I'll tell you that too. 2010 First Round Draft Pick Beau Bennett had a beautiful breakaway and goal on Killeen that just made me think that is exactly what we want him to do. He seemed to move well on the ice too. As for the 2011 First Round Pick, Joe Morrow looked very promising as well. There were a couple of instances where he cheated down into the offensive zone and would get a quick shot away and the next thing you knew he was back at the blue line ready to retreat if needed.
Samuelsson the Younger, or Philip as he may also be known as, came across as a little lost, but not in a bad way. While watching Philip I thought that the game was a little too slow for him- there was more than one occasion where he looked up ice ready to make the stretch pass that just wasn't there yet because other players were changing too slowly or weren't in position yet. This of course, led to some hesitation and Samuelsson not making the best play possible, turning it over here and there. Again, on D he looked great, but I think he was looking for something more during the game that never developed for him.
Everyone else was there playing, and like I said, everyone did something during these games so it got hard to separate everyone. Nicholas D'Agostino went crazy in the shootout too, including popping the Gatorade bottle on an in tight shot. Nick Petersen showed a lot of movement on the ice and made some great moves for a goal, an overall work ethic that this team loves and thrives on.
Some players that I thought didn't impress at all: Andrew Blazek took quite a bit of time to get warmed up, hesitating and then choosing the wrong time to finally step up on a loose puck that would end up getting past by the oncoming forward. Reid McNeill didn't catch my attention either. As far as forwards go, I was disappointed in Tom Kuhnhackl, expecting a little bit of flare and spark from him. And Josh Archibald too, I didn't know who he was and quickly was able to move on from watching him and waiting for a play to develop.
Here's a list of players that took part:
Hope this was interesting. Just my views of the day. If you want to know more about one of the above mentioned players I will try my best to shine some light.