Daily Archives: March 7, 2013
Game Day Preview: Florida Panthers vs. Washington Capitals. Growin’ Up
FLORIDA PANTHERS: 7-11-5 (19 PTS.) vs. WASHINGTON CAPITALS: 9-11-1 (19 PTS.)
GAMEDAY SONG: GROWIN’ UP
Tonight’s matchup between the Florida Panthers and the Washington Capitals could be labled as the battle of the basement, however it’s clearly more about two teams that have been enormously disappointing. The two clubs who fought tooth and nail for much of last season for the Southeast division crown, now find themselves scratching and clawing for a playoff spot in what could be the weakest or least challenging division of the six. The Capitals who on paper should be in a better position than they are, have underachieved. This is a roster that has Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green and Wojtek Wolski. Alright, kidding about the last one, but with all the talent that the Caps have, their record should be better.
The leading point producer for Washington is Mike Ribeiro, a player who is talented, sneaky and pesky at the same time. Ribeiro has eight goals and 17 assists for 25 points, and has five power play goals which tie him with Alex Ovechkin for the team lead. Speaking of Ovechkin, when has he ever been such a non factor? In 21 games Alex has eight goals, nine assists, is a minus 4 and has been a real enigma this season. He’s shown periods of disinterest, flashes of his old self, and of course embarassing academy award performances like this. He’s basically hit the trifecta of confusion. If not for his four point night against the New Jersey Devils on February 23rd, his seasonal numbers would look even more bleak.
Around The NHL: March 7, 2013
What better way to spend your lunch break than catching up on all of last night’s amazing NHL action that you may have missed! Here are the top stories and videos from the all of yesterday’s action around the NHL.
- Stompin’ Tom Connors - creator of “The Hockey Song” - has passed away. [USA Today]
- After a win over the Colorado Avalanche, the Chicago Blackhawks are undefeated in regulation through half of the NHL season [ESPN]
- Frazer McLaren (TOR) knocks out Dave Dziurzynski (OTT). [YouTube]
- Flames beat Sharks in goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff’s return to the ice. [FOX News]
- Former Philadelphia Flyer Crhis Pronger opens up about his retirement. [Puck Daddy]
- Marc Staal is making a speedy recovery from the brutal eye injury. [TSN]
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Vincent Trocheck: Flourishing in the OHL
During these hard times as I watch the Panthers struggling to find success on a nightly basis, I can’t help but day dream about the future and revel at our deep prospect pool that will one day lead us to a brighter future. Players like Jonathan Huberdeau and Drew Shore are just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to the vast amount of talented players in the Panthers’ pipeline.
In just a few year’s time, Panthers’ fans will be treated to talented skaters like Nick Bjugstad, Quinton Howden, Kyle Rau and Vincent Trocheck. While all four of those skaters are currently having spectacular years in their respective leagues, it is Vincent Trocheck that has been standing out as of late while thoroughly dominating the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
Selected by the Panthers in the 3rd round (64th overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Vincent Trocheck became a household name to many hockey fans this year after an impressive performance during the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships in Russia. In 7 games for Team USA, Trocheck compiled 6 points (3G 3A) including the empty-net goal that sealed the American’s victory over Team Sweden in the championship game. Although his statistics weren’t breathtaking, Trocheck did all the little things on the ice that helped USA win the gold, including impressive defense and smart play.
It was upon his return from Russia that Trocheck really started to flourish as he returned to play with the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL. Trocheck is currently 3rd in scoring in the entire OHL, compiling 98 points (46G 52A) in just 58 games played. During the month of February, Trocheck was absolutely unstoppable, scoring in all 13 games he played in that month. Surprisingly, even with his impressive numbers, Trocheck has only won OHL player of the week honors once this season. However, if he continues his torrid scoring pace, there is a good chance that Trocheck could be in consideration for league MVP when it’s all said and done.
So the question now is what can Panthers’ fans expect from Trocheck in the future?
While he may not have the dazzling scoring abilities of Jonathan Huberdeau, a player like Trocheck is the kind of person that the Panthers need at this point. A skater whose effort is never in question and leads by example on the ice. While Huberdeau may be the team’s elite goal scorer of the future, Trocheck could be the strong 2nd or 3rd liner that wins the tough battles and fights for every loose puck.
Considering General Manager Dale Tallon is not known for rushing prospects, it is more than likely that Trocheck will find his way to AHL’s San Antonio Rampage at the beginning of the 2013-2014 season. After the recent success of both Drew Shore and Jonathan Huberdeau, expectations will be high for the soon to be 20 year-old Trocheck and some time in San Antonio will be a perfect way for him to polish his game. Until then, I encourage Panthers’ fans to keep up with Trocheck via the Plymouth Whalers’ website and track him as he looks to end his already incredible season on a high note.
Follow the Rat Pack on Twitter: me @JamesonCoop, Frank Rekas @Frank Rekas , David Lasseter @davidlasseter , Patrick McLaughlin @PatrickRattrick, Scott Mullin @GreatScottsman, Paige Lewis @RatTrickLewiz Gabby Kiger @gabbykiger, Adam Reid@AdamReid Chrissy Parente @chrissaay44, Lori Carpenter @lmcangel13, and Amanda Land @HockeyGirl2530. Also, please join our FaceBook Fan Page and hit the like button, send us photos, and tell us what’s on your mind.