Friday, January 26, 2007

Past and Future Battlers

The BoO has had its fair share of physical combatants over the years - Domi, Belak, Brown, Neil, McGrattan - and while we await hockey's return on Saturday night why not take a look at the fine work that these guys have done within and outside of the battle.

Tie Domi v. Rob Ray

Tie Domi v. Bob Probert (9 fight compilation)

Wade Belak v. Donald Brashear

Wade Belak v. Andrew Peters

Chris Neil v. Chris Dingman

Brad Brown v. Brian McGrattan

The Future of the BoO

100 Games a Season, a blog by Gare Joyce, is a new blog that I found through Mirtle. Joyce is the author of When The Lights Went Out about the 1987 WJHC in Piestany, Czechoslovakia. He mentions the progress of a couple of the BoO's most highly touted prospects and it is not what fans will wnat to hear.

On Brian Lee:

On the flipside, UND defenceman Brian Lee, the Senators' first-rounder (9th overall) in 2005, did little to impress with the US team and, by a lot of scouts' reckoning, played scared against Canada in the semi-final. Hard to see how he cracks Ottawa's line-up anytime soon.

On Damien Cox's article about Justin Pogge:

It should be a cold shower to the phone-in fans who badger talk-radio hosts with demands that Pogge be raced to the big club.

He mentions the list of Canadian goalies that have been superstars at the WJHC and won the top goaltender award but have failed to live up to the hype in the NHL: Jimmy Waite, Mathieu Garon, Stephane Fiset, and Jamie Storr. And that is without even delving into the international goalies that have not panned out which is one of the reasons that some Leaf fans (the ones that do not hysterically call into the Fan590) were not too broken up to see Rask go. Goalies take longer to adjust to the quicker paced game and a two week tournament is not as good a measure of potential success as their entire junior careers as well as the improvements and adjustments that they make once they reach the professional ranks.

The light at the end of the tunnel can be found in Pogge's desire to make the NHL:

At the same time, his willingness to work ferociously remains his greatest quality. "I don't want to sound cocky, but (the NHL) is where I want to be," he says. "That's my goal, and I like to accomplish my goals."

Both propects play positions that take notoriously long to develop fully so it is no time to panic but it is nice to hear some updates on their progress and hear that they are moving their way towards the big team.

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