Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I got this at work today. First off thank you for the Langley Chiefs for sending me the best of the holiday season. I send those sentiments right back.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
During the 2nd intermission of Friday's game vs. Quesnel, I had a chance to interview the original Captain Canuck Orland Kurtenbach.
Click to here to listen to my interview with Orland
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
It wasn't the prettiest of wins, but the Express survived a Quesnel team that gave them all they could handle to head to the Christmas break with a 4-2 win.
The Express opened the scoring less than 90 seconds into the scoring when Malcom Mckinney wired a shot past Bryant Udy.
Mike Krgovich added to the Express lead when he banged in a loose puck at the side of the net.
The Express could have put Quesnel away in the opening 20 minutes. But couldn't convert on any of their three first period powerplays.
Quesnel entered the game with a BCHL low of just 10 goals on the powerplay all season.
On this night however, they found the right formula. Derek Huisman scored early in the second period on the powerplay to cut the Express lead to one.
The Express re-stored their 2 goal lead on a powerplay of their own when Mike Krgovich scored his second of the night tipping a Cole Gelley point shot.
But that vaunted Quesnel powerplay struck again shortly after Krgovich's marker as Skyler Smutek scored from the slot to pull the Mills back within one.
From there the pesky Mills stuck around and gave the Express a battle looking for the equalizer.
Khaleed Devji making his 7th straight start, clutched up with key saves in the 3rd period off Bradley Buckingham and Skyler Smutek's coast to coast rush to keep the Express up by a goal.
The Express had more opportunites to put the game away in the third period when the Mills were called for conseutive powerplays. But the Express couldn't convert on the opportunity that included a 5 on 3 for 28 seconds.
Then with 2:37 remaining, Mark Begert was called for interference.
This time the Express clutched up and got the penalty kill that they needed. Then as Begert's penalty expired, he came out of the box and scored his first BCHL goal into the empty net to seal the Express win.
The Express posted consecutive wins for the first time since November 10th and 12th over Nanaimo and Langley.
This month the Express have posted a very solid pre-christmas record of 4-2-0-3 picking up 11 of a possible 18 points.
The win combined with Victoria's 5-4 win over Alberni Valley has moved the Express into 6th place in the Coastal conference. But the Dogs do have 3 games in hand on the Express.
The Express are also 6 points clear of Cowichan Valley for the final playoff spot in the conference.
However, the Dogs and the Caps will wrap up their pre-christmas schedule going head to head Saturday night. I will let you decide who you want to win. All I know is I don't want a 3 point game between those two teams. Now that I say that, it will probably happen.
I will post the highlights when I get them shortly. Until then, the blog will probably be pretty quiet.
So I would like to wish you all a safe and merry christmas. And when the Express return on the 28th vs. Alberni Valley, lets have a strong finish to the season and make a push for the playoffs.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
9 players hit the score sheet and 6 players had multiple point nights for the Express.
Jason Grecica led all scorers with 1 goal and 3 assists, while other veterans Massimo Lamacchia and Riley Mcintosh had multiple point nights. But the rookies had strong nights too with Destry Straight scoring twice and adding an assist, while Justin Georgeson had 1 goal and 1 assist, and Jake Charles scored his first BCHL goal in the third period.
The Express got 4 goals and 4 assists from 1st year players in the win. Khaleed Devji made 36 saves for his 10th win of the season.
The powerplay had a season high 4 goals on 5 opportunites. The Spruce Kings powerplay had a strong night as well. RJay Berra scored his 30th and 31st goals of the season on the powerplay, and Lyndon Martell rounded out the scoring late in the third period.
Mike Krgovich, Nick Desousa and RJay Berra all picked up their 100th career BCHL points.
The Express wrap up their pre-christmas schedule Friday night vs. Quesnel who won have just one road win this season which came on the opening night of the season.
That game is the Express teddy bear toss night.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
This season Brad Reid scored 14 goals and 31 points in 33 games. He played 1 and a half seasons with the Express racking up 41 goals and 86 points in 93 games.
Reid didn't dress for the last 3 games. He got off to a fast start this season with 9 goals in his first 10 games, and 10 in his first 13, but then his production dropped off dramatically scoring just 3 goals in his next 20 games.
Earlier this season Brad committed to the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Click to hear for Perry's 2-0 goal
Click to hear for Grecica's 4-0 goal
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
Colton Cyr scored twice while former Express Ryan Stanimir and Graeme McCormack each scored a goal and an assist to lead the Clipper attack. The Clippers also got singles from Kiefer McNaughton and Gerry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald's goal was assisted from his other two triplet brother linemates Leo and Myles.
Luke Hernandez was pulled after allowing 4 goals on 12 shots in the 2nd period. It didn't get much better for Khaleed Devji as he allowed 2 goals on 3 shots to mop up the second period.
Coquitlam scored two goals by Brad Reid and Taylor Grabowski's first BCHL goal in the third period to break Charles Andre Pelletier's shutout bid on a 5 minute major power play with Nick Bell serving a checking from behind penalty.
The loss combined with Cowichan Valley winning 4-3 in Prince George have the Express and Caps tied for 7th place in the Coastal Conference with 27 points.
The Express are back in action Saturday night in Alberni Valley.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
It has been a pretty good day for Destry Straight, he has committed to Boston College and was named to play in the CJHL Top Prospects Game.
Express forwards Destry Straight and Mitchell Deacon were among 8 BCHL players selected to play for Team West in the 2 game total goal top prospects series in Dauphin Manitoba.
Earlier this season Straight was listed as an "A" prospect to watch and Deacon was listed as a "C" prospect by NHL Central scouting in advance of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Straight is tied with Powell River's Cohen Adair for the BCHL rookie scoring lead with 28 points.
Deacon's size and grit have scouts keeping an eye on him. He has 5 goals in 19 games this season.
Kyle Turris was the last Express player to play in the top prospects game back in 2007.
The prospects game features the top 40 NHL draft eligible propects in Canadian Junior A Hockey December 7th & 8th.
The other BCHL players selected to play are Trail's Sam Mellor, Joey Baker, and Eric Walker, Vernon's Aaron Hadley, Victoria's Madison Dias, and Westside's Michael King.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
20 year old Express forward Brad Reid has committed to the Rochester Institute of Technology for the 2011-12 season.
Reid is in his second season with the Express after coming over from the Penticton Vees prior to the 09-10 season. Last year he scored a team leading 55 points and scored 27 goals. Numbers that earned him the Express MVP honours.
This season the Delta native has 11 goals and 27 points in 27 games.
The Express now have 2 players committed to scholarships for next season. Captain Garrick Perry committed to the University of Alaska Fairbanks earlier this season.
On a side note, it is interesting to see who Reid will be teammates with next season. Powell River's Matt Garbowsky and Daniel Schuler, Surrey's Brad McGowan who is 2nd in BCHL scoring, and Langley's Brandon Thompson. They will join former BCHLers Adam Hartley (Express & Eagles), Scott Knowles (Eagles) Eliot Raibl (Bulldogs, Millionaires, Eagles) and Josh Watson (Kings).
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Saturday the BCHL leading Powell River Kings won the special teams battle in a 4-1 win over the Express.
The Kings scored a shorthanded goal by Matt Garbowsky while killing off all 9 Express powerplays. The goal came as a result of Riley Mcintosh pinching at the blueline and Chad Niddery poked it past him setting up a 2 on 1 and Niddery put a perfect pass on the tape of Garbowsky who buried it.
Mike Krogovich was credited with the Express' only goal of the night 35 seconds into the second period when Massimo Lamacchia chopped the puck in front of the net and it bounced off Krgovich and in for Krgovich's 3rd Express goal.
Minutes later with the Kings on the powerplay, Powell River won an offensive zone faceoff and Craig Dalrymple's point shot got past a screened Luke Hernandez to re-store the King lead.
Powell River the BCHL's best defensive team limited the Express chances throughout the course of the game.
In the opening minute of the third period Dalrymple added his second of the night in similar fashion as the Kings won an offensive zone faceoff and Dalrymple fired a screened point shot that got past Luke Hernandez.
If you're sensing a trend here, you are right on a couple of fronts. Powell River has scored 5 goals on Luke Hernandez in the 2 games between the two clubs this season. 4 of them have come in similar fashion as the Kings would just work the puck to the point, set up a screen and get the shot through to the back of the net.
Faceoffs were also a problem for the Express this weekend. Vernon dominated the faoeoff circle especially in the Express end of the rink. Coquitlam's faceoff problems didn't hurt them much Friday. But Powell River had similar success in the faceoff circle and scored a pair of goals as a direct result of winning a faceoff in the Express end.
Carter Shinkaruk iced the game with an empty net goal with just over a minute remaining.
The game had a chance to go in a different direction if the Express could convert on their powerplays that included 3 in the third period. The Express finished 0 for 9 on the powerplay and was 0 for 13 in a pair of home games this weekend.
Coquitlam lost all 3 games on their schedule this week and were outshot 144-65 in those 3 outings.
As a result of the struggles, the Express now sit just one point up on Cowichan Valley for the 7th and final playoff spot in the Coastal Conference.
The Express will play host to Penticton and Victoria next weekend.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
We covered a number of topics including the Express style of play, the three recent trades and his relationship with Head Coach Jon Calvano.
Click to hear my interview with Darcy
Friday, November 19, 2010
The Vipers may not have the talent of the previous two years in which they won back to back Royal Bank Cup National Championships, but they still play a similar puck possession style. The difference for the Vipers from this year to the last two years was an inability to bury their chances.
For most of the game, it was Vernon's puck to do what they wanted. To the credit of the Express, they did well to protect the middle of the ice and try and keep Vernon to the outside.
Luke Hernandez was busy all night and was very sharp long turning aside 45 of 49 shots he faced. The Express goaltender saved some of his best when the Express were under siege during 4 Vernon powerplays. The cliche is you need your best penalty killer to be your goaltender and Hernandez was that for the Express Friday. The support in front of him was strong as well as they watched the Vipers whip the puck around in the Express zone.
Mitchell Deacon returned to the lineup after missing the last 5 games and played a strong gritty game. He opened the scoring taking advantage of a Blake Voth turnover and Deacon wired home his 5th goal of the season. Deacon wasn't afraid to get his nose dirty and be willing to go after Vernon's best players including captain David Robinson.
Robinson evened the score for the Vipers after the Express turned the puck over at the blueline and Robinson buried a pass from Dylan Walchuk.
Just over minute later Massimo Lamacchia in front of his parents tied the game poking home the puck at the side of the Vipers net to restore the Express lead with his team leading 13th goal of the season.
The Express were fortunate to come out of the period with the lead considering Vernon dominated the game with their pace of play.
It was the same story in the second period but the Vipers couldn't get the puck past a strong Luke Hernandez.
Despite a 32-12 shot advantage for Vernon after 2 periods, the Express maintained their lead.
Vernon finally was rewarded for their strong play in the third when Walchuk set up Aaron Hadley in front of the Express net and Hadley tipped it over the glove of Hernandez.
Just under 3 minutes later the Vipers finally grabbed the lead when Todd Skirving beat Hernandez with a wrist shot high to the short side.
Vernon entered the game riding a 3 game losing streak and had just 2 wins in their last 8 games. One problem that had plagued them was blowing 3rd period leads. Vernon hoped their dominance of the play would allow them to clamp the game down and pick up the victory.
The Vipers got a chance to ice the game with a powerplay. But Garrick Perry showed his typical determination and forced a turnover at his own line and he went to the net and buried the breakaway to tie the game. The goal for Perry had to feel good considering he had 2 breakaways in the last 2 home games and he couldn't finish them off.
Click to hear Perry's shorthanded goal
The game remained even through 60 minutes dominated by the Vipers and Luke Hernandez was the main reason the Express got a point.
Entering OT the Express and Vipers had combined for 9 overtime losses this season, Vernon snapped their OT funk just 23 seconds into overtime shortly after Cole Gelley was hauled down in his own zone losing the puck and Bryce Kakoske cut into the slot picked his spot on Hernadez and nailed it giving Vernon the 4-3 OT win.
The better team won the hockey game, but the Express have to thank Luke Hernandez for his strong effort. The Express goaltender has been a little snake bitten recently in his last 3 home games. He has been very strong but just hasn't been able to come out on the winning side of the ledger. Hernandez is seeking his first win since September 29th vs. Surrey.
The Express are back in action as they welcome the Coastal Conference leading Powell River Kings to town Saturday night.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
He has been on their radar all season long, now the Express finally have acquired the rights to defenceman Cole Gelley (91) from the Cowichan Valley Capitals.
The Express sent the rights to defenceman James Bettauer and future considerations to Cowichan Valley.
In the off-season, the Surrey Eagles sent Gelley along with future considerations to the Trail Smoke Eaters for Wade Bennett (now with the Express) and Robert Lindores.
After spending the first few days at camp, Gelley left Trail wanting to play closer to home. Days later his rights were shipped to Cowichan Valley but he never reported with the hopes that a trade to the Express would eventually materialize which it did Tuesday.
Bettauer played last season with the Express for 33 games after being picked up mid-season from Quesnel in a trade for Jon Puskar. Bettauer tallied 7 goals and 23 points.
This season he wanted another crack at the WHL and has played all season with the Price Albert Raiders where he has 1 goal and 9 points and is a +2 in 22 games.
Gelley has appeared in 101 career BCHL games scoring 3 goals and 23 assists for 26 points. In 07-08 he played under current Express coach Jon Calvano with the Vancouver Northwest Giants.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Mike Krgovich played the hero for the Express with a buzzer beater wrap around in the third period to tie the game at 3 at 19:59 of the third period.
Alberni Valley got a break to give the visitors the early lead when Khaleed Devji had trouble handling the puck and it was centred to Casey Bailey who tapped it home to open the scoring.
The Express had a reply in quick succession when Garrick Perry scored at 7:41, that was followed 13 seconds later by a great shot by Jason Grecica wiring a shot top shelf off the wing over the glove of Frank Slubowski following a drop pass from Massimo Lamacchia.
The goal extended Grecia's point streak to 5 games, 2 goals and 3 assists. Lamacchia is riding a 3 game point streak of his own 2 goals and 3 assists.
In the 2nd period Mitch Pacey was called for a 5 minute fighting major, 2 minutes for instigating and a misconduct penalty when he went after Alberni Valley's Ryan Renz after the Express iced the puck. What resulted was the Bulldogs getting a 7 minute powerplay.
The Express penalty killers which has had some success in recent home games did a pretty admirable job considering the circumstances and killed off the first 5 minutes of the shorthanded situation before Sawyer Mick buried his own rebound to tie the game at 2. That goal would be the only damage inflicted on the Express considering the Bulldogs could score at will once the five minute major came into effect.
Alberni Valley's forechecking pressure resulted in the Dogs taking the lead before the period was done. Josh Mitchell pressured Mark Begert into a turnover and Mitchell fed Bailey who buried the feed for his second of the game to give the Bulldogs the lead going into the third.
Looking to snap their 4 game losing streak, Alberni Valley started strong in the third giving the Express some trouble coming out of their own end. As the period progressed however, the fatigue of a Bulldogs team playing their third game in 3 nights and a rested Express team having Saturday off saw Coquitlam turn up the heat in the latter half of the third period as they looked for the equalizer.
That equalizer came in the knick of time when Krgovich scored his buzzer beater to tie the game at 3. Krgovich has given the Express attack the boost expected when he was acquired from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. He has points in all 3 games he's dressed for the Express 2 goals and 2 assists.
Both teams had chances to win it in the 10 minutes of overtime played. 5 minutes 4 on 4 and 5 minutes 3 on 3, but nothing was decided. Khaleed Devji preserved the tie with his finest save in the 3 on 3 with a glove save off Casey Bailey as he made a bid for his 3rd of the game.
The Express goaltender was strong for them all week going undefeated in all 3 games stopping 109 of the 115 shots he faced.
The 5 points for the Express allowed them to remain tied with Alberni Valley for 5th place in the Coastal Conference with 25 points and the two teams sit just 2 points back of 4th place Victoria.
Mike Chan was stellar in the Express last tie game over 2 years ago stopping 41 of 44 shots including all 15 he faced in overtime in a 3-3 decision in Powell River September 6th 2008.
The Express are back in action Wednesday night in Langley.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
The former Express has posted back to back shuouts for the Milwaukee Admirals. Here's the story on his run from their website.
Friday, November 12, 2010
It was a game that was truly one of where it was unfortanate that one team had to lose.
Goaltenders Khaleed Devji for the Express and Wyatt Galley were outstanding. Both had their moments to shine with spectacular saves throughout the course of the game.
The game was scoreless until midway through the second period when Massimo Lamacchia took a feed from Jason Grecica in the corner and beat a sprawled out Wyatt Galley.
Langley quickly tied it just 1:44 later at 11:45 when Brendon Scholten chopped the puck between the legs of Devji.
Coquitlam looked to extended their lead before the period was done but Wyatt Galley made a fine save off Garrick Perry.
Khaleed Devji matched that save as he came to his right and made a fine right pad save.
The Chiefs took the lead for the first time on a 3rd period powerplay goal when Brad McBride jammed the puck at the net and after some discussion with referee Bryan Bourdon determined the puck was in.
Coquitlam pressed looking for the equalizer. Massimo Lamacchia had 3 great chances on the powerplay but was robbed by the Chiefs netminder.
Lamacchia however did get his revenge mid way through the third period when his slap shot from the circle was tipped over the shoulder of Galley to tie the game at 2.
Then 28 seconds later Alex Petan corralled a loose puck in the slot and wired home his 7th of the season and first goal in 8 games to give the Express the a 3-2 lead at 12:04. The goal for Petan capped a strong performance as he used his wheels effectively and was a strong energy performer all night.
Mike Krgovich then iced the game with an empty net goal for his first Express goal and second point in as many nights.
The win extended Coquitlam's winning streak to a pair of games.
Riley Mcintosh deserves recogntion for his strong performance. He blocked numerous shots. He wasn't alone in that department. Steve Axford, Garrick Perry will have ice packs on tonight after blocking a number Langley blasts.
The Express have a day of rest before playing host to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Sunday afternoon.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Nanaimo out shot the Express 44-22 and Khaleed Devji came up with a strong performance as the Clips set the pace for most of the game. Devji earned his first star performance stopping all but one of the shots sent his way.
The win snapped the Express' 8 game losing streak. During the run, the Express had limited production from their top offensive weapons. I had made the point many times if Brad Reid and Destry Stragight among others had found the scoresheet more often in the last 8 games, the results for the Express would be different.
Both Reid and Straight found the back of the net in the 2nd period for their first goals in the last 9 games.
Click to here to listen to Reid's 2nd period goal
Click to here to listen to Straight's 2nd period goal
The goal for Reid extended his point streak to three games.
Mike Krgovich made his Express debut and had an assist on Destry Straight's 2nd period powerplay goal.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The Express have had some trouble in the last 8 games getting scoring from their hired guns.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
This weekend the Express were dropped 8-2 in Westside on Friday, and 5-4 in overtime in Salmon Arm on Saturday.
Friday's game started well for the Express with Jason Grecica scoring the Express' 2nd powerplay goal in their last 26 powerplay opportunites.
The lead however didn't last long and within a few minutes they were trailing after goals by Kyle Singleton and former Express Matt Ridley.
The second period saw the Express have some chances but couldn't finish them and the Warriors had extended their lead to 4-2.
Then the Warriors blew the game wide open in the third with 4 goals. 2 on the powerplay and a beautiful one on one shorthanded effort by Alex Grieve dangling past Massimo Lamacchia and using a strong second effort to poke the puck past Khaleed Devji.
The final score was a whitewash for the Warriors 8-2.
24 hours and a team meeting post game later the Express looked to bounce back in Salmon Arm.
The first period was far from an oil painting. In the final minute Destry Stright was called for delay of game covering up the puck in the Express zone.
On that powerplay, David Killip took a cross ice pass and roofed a shot over Khaleed Devji to give Salmon Arm a 1-0 lead with just 1.8 seconds remaining in the 1st period.
The second period was a much different story as the game opened up.
Garrick Perry added his second goal in as many nights and was followed 29 seconds later with Justin Georgeson's first BCHL goal as he used his strength and powered his way to the net and slid the puck home.
That lead lasted just under 5 minutes as Josh Manson wired a point shot past a screened Devji to tie the game at 2.
Coquitlam re-stored their lead just over a minute later as Jason Grecica put a perfect feed on the stick of Steve Axford who converted the 2 on 1.
Again that lead didn't last long. Are you sensing a trend here?
Again it was Josh Manson with a point shot this time that was tipped in front of Devji by Devin Gannnon to tie the game at 3. The goal coming just 2:16 after Axford's marker.
In the third Matt Cassidy gave the Silverbacks the lead on a pretty passing play converting a cross crease feed for Salmon Arm's second powerplay goal of the night.
The Express were given one last shot to tie the game when Bryce Gervais was given a holding penalty which was followed by a unsportsmanlike conduct and a game misconduct giving the Express a 4 minute powerplay with just under 5 minutes remaining.
Coquitlam took advantage of the opportunity with Alex Petan putting a perfect pass on the tape of Malcom Mckinney who slid it home to tie the game at 4.
This back and forth affair between the 2001 expansion cousins went to overtime.
The game was quickly decided when David Killip who opened the scoring, finished the proceedings when he slid the puck under Devji for his second of the night at 1:51 of the first overtime.
The loss was dropped Coquitlam to 0-4 in overtime this season. All 4 extra time setbacks have come on the road. Coquitlam has now dropped 8 consecutive games with 3 of them decided in overtime and 5 of them by a single goal.
Coquitlam has played a total of 486:49 of game play in the last 8 games. Of that time, only 44:05 of that time has been played with the lead.
The Express will look to bounce back Wednesday night in a big game vs. the Nanaimo Clippers.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Phoenix Coyotes' Kyle Turris constantly looking to improve
9 comments by Sarah McLellan - Nov. 1, 2010 11:07 PM
The Arizona Republic
"Where's Turry?" Coyotes assistant coach Dave King hollered as Monday's practice adjourned and players went their separate ways to participate in individual drills before leaving the ice for the locker room.
King stood at center ice with forward Petr Prucha and, once Kyle Turris skated to the faceoff dot, Turris and Prucha practiced a puck-protection drill where they took turns shielding the puck with their body from the other player.
"Keep going," King yelled repeatedly, encouraging the intensity.
This is typical of Turris, practicing long after head coach Dave Tippett has dismissed his players. He works on faceoffs, perfects his shot and is usually one of the last to leave the ice.
"There's always something to improve on," Turris said.
Improvement has been the theme of Turris' game since he was inserted into the lineup by Tippett for the team's home opener against the Detroit Red Wings. Since then, he's played every game and contributed on the score sheet. Turris has four points, and his three goals put him tied for first in that category among his teammates.
"I feel like a completely different player," Turris said. "I feel like I can control the puck and not rush my decisions, hold on to it and try and make plays like I can."
This is the Turris everyone expected two seasons ago when he was a rookie playing nearly an entire season with the Coyotes. But even Turris admits transitioning into an NHL lineup as a 19-year-old was a challenge he couldn't prepare for. Camp was tough, he wasn't sure of his rank on the depth chart, and he was nervous.
"I was always worried about getting sent down and whether I was gonna play the next night," he said. "I just never found my comfort zone."
Three years removed from his draft year where he was taken third overall and Turris thinks he's finally found it. And considering the status of the other players taken in the first round of that 2007 draft, Turris is right on schedule.
Turris is one of 16 first-round picks from 2007 who have played in the NHL, but only seven of those players have played more than Turris, who has 74 games under his belt.
The standouts have been first overall pick Patrick Kane with the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, David Perron as a member of the St. Louis Blues, and Sam Gagner of the Edmonton Oilers.
Second overall pick James Van Riemsdyk is in just his second full year with the Philadelphia Flyers, fourth pick Thomas Hickey is still playing for the Los Angeles Kings' AHL squad, and fifth pick Karl Alzner has been shuffled between the Washington Capitals and AHL for the past two seasons.
"Everybody has their own path to the NHL, and I think everybody's done it different ways," Turris said. "From Kane getting an opportunity right away and going in right after the draft and playing a ton and kind of learning as he went.
"Van Riemsdyk going a couple years of college, coming out and he's getting his opportunity now . . . and now Hickey's in the (AHL) still and working to get there."
With recent first-round picks such as John Tavares and Matt Duchene from the 2009 class and Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin from this year's draft making the jump right to the professional level, NHL-ready players might be the expectation but not the reality. Even after Turris finished at the University of Wisconsin before joining the Coyotes for the 2008-09 season, he wasn't physically ready for the rigors of the NHL.
"When he was drafted, everybody saw potential," King said. "He was a prospect. They all recognized right away he had a pretty good head on his shoulders, really a smart, smart player. But everybody knew that he was physically not there yet.
"So when you draft a player like that, I think your plans are you know it's going to take some time. You know there's gong to be a maturation process where he, naturally, as a human, gets a little bit stronger, bigger."
Now Turris is stronger on the puck and his balance has improved - something King credits to Turris' year of seasoning in the AHL with the Coyotes' minor league affiliate in San Antonio.
Turris "got his confidence back up and more time with the puck and more possession with the puck, and you can see that's really helped him a lot," King said.
Turris' journey to the NHL has been "unique," King said, and he's finally at the point where his physical strength is on par with his vision and understanding of the game.
Turris agrees and plans to continue working on the niche he's carved with the Coyotes this season.
"I really feel like I've found it here," he said.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Junior A league introduced revised format in 2000-01
BY JIM JAMIESON, THE PROVINCE OCTOBER 31, 2010
The Canucks are finally getting around to working on their shootout skills, but it seems the league may be looking at de-emphasizing the breakaway competition to decide tied games.
Detroit GM Ken Holland is proposing changes to the NHL's current overtime rules where teams play four aside for five minutes before going to the shootout if no winner has been determined.
Holland's suggestion is to go to an eight-minute overtime, with the first four minutes at four-on-four and the second four minutes three-on-three.
A shootout would still be held if no goal is scored.
The idea, of course, is that if four-on-four doesn't produce a winner, then three-on-three certainly will.
Interestingly, the concept is a variation of the OT system used by the B.C. Hockey League since the 2000-01 season.
The BCHL instead uses a 10-minute overtime, with the first five minutes at four-on-four and the next five at three-a-side.
What happens if there is a penalty during the three-on-three?
It's a penalty shot.
The idea came from Dr. Duncan Wray, the longtime owner/governor of the Vernon Vipers. Apparently, he made the proposal two times before it was accepted by BCHL governors.
The BCHL does't do shootouts and the OT format certainly doesn't leave many tie games. Last season, the junior league played 510 games and only seven resulted in ties.
"I never really liked the shootout," said Wray. "We had it in the 1990s and I think it took us three years to win one. To me a shootout is like settling a baseball game with a home-run derby. Ken Holland asked me about it a couple of years ago, so that might be where this comes from."
Canucks forward Jeff Tambellini's played in the BCHL when the system was first introduced.
"There were not too many ties," he said. "The game opens up so much when you get to three-on-three. It's pretty exciting and sooner or later somebody is going to score. It's fun to watch."
Even though Tambellini is an excellent shootout player, he said he still prefers to win a game the traditional way.
"I like to win a game in overtime," he said. "It feels that much better."
Canucks captain Henrik Sedin is leery of the extra three minutes that would be added onto OT in an already long and demanding season.
"I would like a game to be decided playing hockey," he said. "But that's an extra three minutes. That's a long time [to add]. A three-on-three is almost like a shootout -- you'd have a guy going down and shooting and, if he misses, it's a two-on-one the other way. It's exciting but it's a lottery just the same."
Goaltender Roberto Luongo said he doesn't really care either way.
"Shootouts are fun, except when you lose," he said. "I think the fans enjoy it. Three-on-three, I don't know what it would look like, really. I know when we do that in practice for fun there's a lot of ice out there and a lot of scoring chances. It really doesn't matter to me."
Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/sports/three+three+decide+overtime/3754341/story.html#ixzz13yvhdioA>
Friday, October 29, 2010
It's amazing how things have changed for this Express team. Not too long ago we were talking about a team that was averaging 7 goals for per game during a 4 game stretch.
Now they have scored 1 goal in each of their last 3 games.
The Express knew they were facing one of their toughest challenges of the season. The Kings entered the contest as the best defensive team in the BCHL. Powell River has allowed just 34 goals this season for a team goals against average of 1.8.
Coquitlam knew they had to bury the few chances that they would get. And goaltender Luke Hernandez had to have one of his best performances of the season that allowed his team to have a chance to win.
Powell River opened the scoring on Jon Jutzi's screened point shot that beat Hernandez to the short side.
Jason Grecica thought he pulled the Express even midway through the first, but he contacted the puck with a high stick just before he put it in the net.
Riley Mcintosh tallied for the Express just before the period was done when he jumped into the rush and wired a wrist shot past Micheal Garteig for his 3rd goal of the season.
The game remained tied at one until early in the 3rd period.
With Matt Mazzarolo sitting in the penalty box for hooking, Powell River won the ensuing faceoff and Mike Sones tipped Justin Dasilva's point shot past a screened Hernandez to give Powell River a 2-1 lead.
Coquitlam had a great chance to pull even when they had a two man advantage for a full two minutes.
The Express couldn't convert on the glorious opportunity as they looked for the perfect play which never truly materialized.
The Kings killed off the powerplay and killed the Express' chances at a comeback. That capped a night that saw the Express go 0 for 5 on the powerplay. Now the man advantage is a frigid 1 for 26 in the last 5 games.
Special teams continues to be a difference maker for the Express. The penalty killing has been pretty solid as of late. However, the game winning goal did come on a powerplay.
The penalty killing has killed of 21 of the last 25 shorthanded situations.
At this point of the season the question becomes, where has the offence gone? The Express top offensive weapons for the most part have disappeared.
Veteran Brad Reid who is second in team scoring has just 1 assist in his last 5 games. And he has just one goal in his last 8 games.
Destry Straight has just 2 assists since his 3 goal 1 assist performance 6 games ago. A 7-5 win in Surrey.
Garrick Perry is pointless in his last 3 games, 1 assist in his last 4, and 1 goal in his last 6 games.
Massimo Lamacchia was doing his part to contribute, but now he has no points in his last 2 games.
Those are the top 5 goal scorers on the Express and a fair amount of the offensive responsibility falls on their shoulders.
I can guarantee you that if their names were seen more regularly on the scoresheet in the last 6 games, we wouldn't be discussing a losing streak this long.
Then when you consider that 4 of the 6 games during this losing streak have been decided by one goal. And another was a two goal game that was iced with an empty net marker.
It's not time to panic and make drastic changes, a break or two and if there was some finish with these chances the Express fortunes will turn around.
At some point however, the moral victories can no longer be tolerated and results are required. Right now the Express aren't getting the results they need.
I want to make it clear that the Express aren't getting poorly out played every single night. However, this run is having an impact on the Express positioning in the standings. They have now dropped to 6th place in the Coastal Conference. And the Nanaimo Clippers in 7th aren't that far behind just 4 points back with 3 games in hand.
The Express now have a week to prepare for a 2 game Interior road trip to Westside and Salmon Arm starting Friday.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Surrey did get off to a good start leading 2-0 after 20 minutes. Mitchell Deacon scored the Express lone goal in the 2nd period to cut the lead to one.
But the story was the third period from an Express point of view.
They were all over the Surrey Eagles. Coquitlam had some unreal scoring chances, but somehow couldn't put a second puck past Andrew Hunt. Austin Carroll, Brad Reid, Riley Mcintosh had chances that still have me shaking my head how none of them went in.
Eagles captain Tyler Morley put a dagger in the heart of the Express sealing the win for the visitors with an empty net goal.
Special teams was good and bad for the Express. The good was killing off all 5 shorthanded situations. Including a pair of 5 on 3 shorthanded situations.
The Express penalty killing is having its best run of the season. Wednesday's game was the 4th time in the last 5 outings the Express have been perfect on the penalty killing. They have killed off 17 of 20 shorthanded situations in that time.
But the powerplay had another poor outing going 0 or 5. The powerplay is just 1 for 21 in the last 4 games.
The schedule doesn't get any easier for the Express Friday night as they welcome Powell River to town. The Kings sit tied for top spot in the Coastal Conference with 26 points. And their BCHL best 33 goals allowed isn't a welcome sight for a club struggling to score goals.
Yesterday the Express had a chance to go down to Rogers Arena to watch the Colorado Avalanche game day skate. And have a word with Express alumni David Jones and Brandon Yip now regulars with the Avalanche.
It was a familiar scene for Brandon Yip and David Jones at Rogers Arena on Tuesday morning, the NHL players meeting members of the Junior A Coquitlam Express.
Except last time Yip and Jones went through it, they were the pups with the Express and Brendan Morrison was the NHLer.
"It was always cool to come down and watch the guys warm up and see both teams," the 26-year-old Jones said after the Avs morning skate Tuesday.
"It's crazy to think that not too long ago that was me up in the stands and now we're playing here.
"Absolutely I remember coming down to the rink and watching the pregame skate," the 25-year-old Yip added. "It was a pretty cool experience."
Yip played hockey in Maple Ridge, Jones in North Van minor, and both are former Express captains.
Both were drafted way, way down the board, Yip in the eighth round in 2004, Jones in the ninth in 2003.
Those rounds don't even exist any more.
Jones, taken with the fifth-last pick at No. 288 (the Canucks passed three picks earlier), has the added honour of being the lowest draft pick of the Nordiques/ Avalanche franchise to actually play in the NHL.
"But you know what?" Jones said. "It was really exciting. I had no idea I was going to get drafted.
"I got a call from my mom and she said, 'You got drafted, what does that mean?'
"I was like, 'Wow -- that's amazing.' "
The Avs, in fact, had a heated argument about whom to take with that last pick in 2003.
Scout Glen Cochrane, the former Canuck and Flyer, insisted it be Jones and, as others argued against him Cochrane phoned Express GM Darcy Rota around 8 a.m. Vancouver time.
"Glen really believed in David, that he'd one day play in the NHL," said Rota, in the stands with his players for Tuesday morning's Avs skate. "He said to me, 'Darcy, tell me again about David Jones.' I said, 'Glen, you and I have talked so many times about this player -- take him.' "
Jones and Yip are among five Avs who played their minor hockey in the Lower Mainland, but only Scott Hannan (23rd overall in 1997) was drafted higher than the seventh round.
"I just kept focusing on getting to the next level," Yip said.
Jones was 2-1-3 recently against Detroit and is trying to put a dismal season last year behind him: When he suffered a season-ending knee injury on Nov. 28, 2009, he was second on the team in goals (10 in 23 games), and led the Avs in game winners (three) and short-handed goals (two).
Yip had 11 goals in 32 games last season, and jumped out of the gate at 1-1-2 plus a shootout winner in his first three games this season before a pulled groin slowed him down.
"There's no secret to Yip's game," said Avs head coach Joe Sacco.
"He's a hard-working guy, he's got to be a real thorn in the side of the opposition, that has to be his game.
"And he's got the ability to put the puck in the net at times."
Up in the stands there was a junior GM bursting with pride. email@example.com/ gmacsports
Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/sports/Scene+familiar+positions+reversed/3732498/story.html#ixzz13aqlRdZ6
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
NHL Central Scouting released it's first list of NHL propsects to watch for June's draft in Minnesota.
Rookies Destry Straight and Mitchell Deacon were both listed among the 7 BCHL players on the list.
Straight is listed as an "A" prospect. Or a must see player who could either be a first or second round pick.
The 17 year old has gotten off to a fantastic start to his BCHL career. He is currently tied with Brad Reid for the team lead in scoring with 22 points in 15 games.
"It's a fantastic recognition for Destry and for the Express organization," head coach Jon Calvano says. "Destry has the ability to make plays at a high speed and he's got great vision. He's got an impressive skill set and he's shown very quickly that he has the ability to succeed at this level.
Mitchell Deacon is listed as a "C" prospect. Or projected as a player that could be selected as a late round selection.
Deacon has 2 goals in 12 games this season. His 6'3 size is what NHL teams are looking at as a possible NHL draft pick come June.
The other 5 players listed include 4 Trail Smoke Eaters, Sam Mellor "B" prospect, Travis St. Denis, Joey Baker and Eric Walker "C" prospects. Westside defenceman Micheal King rounds out the list as a "B" prospect.
Monday, October 18, 2010
The Express made two trades on Monday. First they sent Zac Ashdown to the Prince George Spruce Kings. Plus they also sent Jesse Halikas to the Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL).
The Express received future considerations in return in both trades.
Ashdown had 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points in 12 games this season. Halikas had 2 goals and 1 assist in 11 games this season.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
They dropped a pair of 4-3 decisions to the Westside Warriors in regulation Friday. And to the Merritt Centennials in overtime Saturday.
Friday, the Express had the lead on 3 seperate occasions, only to let it slip away.
Jason Grecica and Alex Petan scored first period powerplay goals.
But by the time the third period began, the Express were trailing 4-3. And the Warriors stifled the life out of the Express in their attempt to mount a comeback.
The Warriors aggresive forechecking and up ice pressure prevented the Express from getting a shot on goal until the 16 minute mark of the third period. And when they did get shots through, Kevin Boyle was there to shutdown the the Express attack. Boyle had 22 saves for his second win of the season.
Grayson Downing and Tyler Brickler each had 1 goal and 1 assist for the Warriors. Zac Ashdown led the Express attack with 3 points. 1 goal and 2 assists.
To quote Jon Calvano about the effort from his hockey club Friday, "Worst game of the season."
Well if Friday was bad in the eyes of the coach, the performance Saturday wasn't much better in Merritt.
The one win Centennials jumped all over the Express from the drop of the puck. Forcing them into defensive zone turnovers, bad break out passes and icings.
As a result, the Cents had jumped out to a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes. Merritt coming off 2 OT losses to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and Penticton Vees were gaining confidence, and they were rewarded for their hard work vs. the Express.
Matt Mazzarolo looked to spark his team by fighting Dylan Playfair early in the 2nd period.
The fight appeared to have the desired effect. Garrick Perry scored seconds later off a faceoff in the Merritt zone to get the Express on the board. Then just 10 seconds following Perry's goal, Massimo Lamacchia scored to pull the Express within one.
The two goals gave the Express life and they started to turn their play around. But weren't rewarded with the equalizer.
That didn't come until the final minute of the third period off a won faceoff in the Merritt zone. Alex Petan tipped a Garrick Perry shot to tie the game at 3 and force overtime.
The extra session didn't last long however. Brandon Pfiel the former Express AP came down the left wing and roofed a shot over the shoulder short side on Luke Hernandez for his second of the game to give Merritt just their 2nd win this season.
The two losses for Coquitlam was an opportunity lost to stay within striking distance of the Langley Chiefs and Powell River Kings for the top 2 positions in the Coastal Conference standings.
The Express are now 6 points back of Langley and are 2 back of Powell River. The Alberni Valley Bulldogs and Victoria Grizzlies are just 4 points back of Coquitlam but they have 4 and 3 games in hand on the Express.
The schedule doesn't get any easier for the Express as they travel to Langley to face the Coastal Conference leaders Thursday night.