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Report: Grabovski Shines In Rookie Tourney Loss


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Montreal lost 6-5 in overtime vs the Leafs in the Rookie camp tournament at the Ricoh Coliseum here in Toronto. I for one was at the game and had an opportunity to see the goings on. Let me just say I was excited as can be to goto the game and there were as many habs fans there as their were Leaf fans which for me was very exciting. Anyway, I wanted to give some player evaluations for you all on the game so you can get an idea of how some of the guys looked in the game.

Kyle Chipchura - played a great game, one of the quickest players on the ice, I had no idea he was that fast. He played very gritty and worked really hard to setup a beauty of a goal, by winning a puck against the boards with 2 guys drilling him and getting a past to an open man for a goal. Grade - A

Mathieu Aubin - played an OK game but sometimes looked lost out there. For a fairly big looking guy, he seemed somewhat slow at times, although he did deal out some good checks at various points of the game and did get a goal on a great feed from Grabs for the empty netter, if I remember it right. Grade - B

Mathew D'Agostini - scored a great goal on a feed from Chips and worked hard all night. Quick skater with good skill and has potential to get better, maybe not ready for the pros yet, but has potential down the road. Grade - B+

Mikhail Grabovski - In one phrase he was a man among boys. Outstanding speed and skill. 2 beautiful goals and one sweet assist. He dished out a few hits and didn't mind the rough stuff as Toronto made several attempts to drill him and he just got right back up and kept going. He is clearly ready to play in the NHL without a doubt. He played center between Aubin and Kostitsyn and was by far the best player on the ice. His 2nd goal was a thing of beauty as he blew past the leaf defenceman and walked in on Pogge and deked him out of his jockstrap. I knew his was very good and he played center in Russia and he played center here, leads me to believe he can easily take Ribs spot at center on the habs. Grade - A+

Sergei Kostitsyn - Showed flashes of brilliance, playing with Grabs and showed a good deal of speed and decent vision on the ice. He is young at 19 but he definitely shows promise. I can't wait for the day we have the all Belarussian line playing on the Habs with Kosty's on the wings and Grabs in the middle, but that dream might take a while to happen. Nevertheless, Sergei played well and looks like a great prospect down the road. Grade - B

Guillaume Latendresse - Well he had moments of brilliance followed by moments of pain. I think he was on the ice for most of the goals scored against us. A skillful player at times, but i heard he was slow, I never realised he was that slow. On the OT game winner by Toronto, Latendresse took off before Robbie Earl on a 2 on 2 break to backcheck and Earl blew past him in a foot race to get the game winner. On the brightside, he had some good scoring chances on the down side he couldn't finish them. For me his inconsistent effort reminded me of so many others like him that have talent and seem to pick and choose what nights they are going to play and other nights they don't show up. Reminded me of Ribs and thats not a good thing. In his defence, he is apparently coming off a concussion, so maybe that explains his soft play. I want to believe he has potential, as far as making the Habs unless something improves I would put him more than a few years away from making the habs team. Grade - B-

Ben Maxwell - I did not know much about this guy before the game, but I certainly will remember him after it. He played very well. He showed good speed, great work ethic and very good vision on the ice. I was impressed, he also is a very good puckhandler and skater. At times on the power play he played at the point, he also threw some good hits. For me, it was just the fact that every time I saw him on the ice, I kept saying, boy who is that guy he looks good out there, and sure enough it was Maxwell. As far as a prospect goes, he looks good to me. Of course one game is no indication, but if he keeps this up he will be a habs one day. Grade - A

Juraj Mikus - He played pretty well, he had one rush up the ice where he basically went end to end blew past a few guys dumped a few leafs along the way and looked good. He showed some quick feet and some good puckhandling skills. I did not get to see that much of him as the Chips-Latendresse-D'Agostini and Kostitsyn-Grabovski-White line were on the ice the most. Wearing 68 as maybe an homage to Jagr made him noticable. Still a few years away. Grade - B

Gregory Stewart - He was another guy, I have seen very little of, but I really liked his gritty play and work ethic. He looked good out there and many times I found myself asking, who is that Stewart kid man he looks good. He had a few really good chances to score and his hard work gave him opportunites to make things happen. Looks like a prototype 3rd or 4th line NHLer and could be used in that role down the line. Grade - B+

Ryan White - Played on a line with Grabs and Kosty and played pretty well. My wife was happy because he was born in Manitoba and so is she, so she frankly thought he was great. As for me, he played well for a rookie, but honestly Grabovski was playing on such a different level, at times you didn't even see who his linemates were. He just made you look at him all the time. With that being said, White has good potential. While the NHL maybe years away from him, he shows promise to me and does alot of things well. Considering he is only 18 he has a bright future ahead of him. Grade - B

Mathieu Carle - For an 18 year old defenceman he was up and down. There were times he got beat and made those rookie mistakes and other times he showed good speed and puck movement that any rushing defenceman should. He through out some hits and took a few as well. He seems raw to me, but has potential, I see a good future ahead for him. Grade - B

Cameron Cepek - Another 18 year old out there, but even though he is listed as 6'1" he seemed bigger out there to me. Maybe because he threw around his body pretty well and also played some decent D at times. He again is very raw, but has potential. If he fills out some more, I think he could become a really tough defenceman down the road. Grade - B

Jon Gleed - At times Gleed played tough and looked mean out there. He isn't the fastest of guys, but for a defenceman has good positional play. He definitely imposed his will on a few Leafs out there. I honestly don't know if he will ever make the NHL, he is one of those on the bubble kind of guys. Maybe good enough to be a 6th defenceman one day or maybe just cut out for a career in the minors. Still though, good heart and good work ethic can take you a long way. Grade - B+

Ryan O'Byrne - Let me just say this, he is one big guy. WOW at 6'5" and 234 pounds he is big. Not only is he big, but he drills people left and right and has very good skating skills, including strong backwards skating skills. Not afraid of the rough stuff at all. Has a good slapshot, although he mistimed a few on the PP and they looked a little bad. Needs to work on his shot control and work a little more on his defensive positional play. In my opinion for what its worth, he should be playing in Montreal this year. He needs to get an opportunity to show what he can do in the big show. He might be a little raw and he might make a few mistakes, but his size and skating skill are something we definitely need on defence on the Habs this year. Grade - A

Carey Price - Let me start buy saying the NHL has put in place wider nets for this tournament. At first I was like, man the goalies look small out there, and then I found out about the wider nets thing and it made sense. The first 2 periods Price look great. Great side to side movement, and for me he was very quiet in the net and positionally looked very strong which are all good signs of a strong prospect. He made a few big saves in the first 2 periods and I think outplayed his counterpart Justin Pogge in the first 2. Now for the bad news the 3rd period. OMG, after getting a tough one scored on him that was not his fault, to me he seemed like he was starting to get shakey. Well it may have seemed at first and moments later it was like the wheels came off. The leafs just had to put the puck upstairs and it was like Price just stood there and watched them go in. I think they scored 3 goals up high on his glove side and 1 high on his blocker side. To me, it looked awful. Again though the nets were bigger so who knows maybe he wasn't that comfortable with the angles and all. Remember he is a very good positional goalie and it seems to me his style of play is very effortless and simple. It could be he has learned to play that way to compensate for a weak glove hand. I can see how people think he has potential, I can also see how Justin Pogge who was drafted lower is a better goalie than him. Honestly, it seems to me that after going so high in the draft, he does not have the mind to handle the pressure, that is what I noticed as he started letting goals in. After getting drafted so high by us many thought he would be a lock for the world jr teams and he has yet to make one, even this year it looks doubtful. For some reason at times you think he won't make this save and he does and other times you think he has got this one and he doesn't. Honestly for all the hype and all the talent and he does have talent, I don't know with that weak mind of his whether he will ever start for the Habs in the future. We better invest in a shrink, because he seems to have a fragile psyche. Grade - C

There were a bunch of other players who played as invitees. None of them stood out to me at all, but they were not going to get the playing time that our drafted and signed prospects would, so I am not going to grade them, but I will mention them by name so you know who they are.

forwards

Pier-Olivier Mouton, Eric Neilson, Kevin Petit, Alexandre Picard-Hooper

defence

Frederic St. Denis, Martin Frechette, Andre Joanisse, Conrad Martin

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Thanks.

Some very encouraging descriptions.

I'm not too worried about Price. We'll see what happens.

:king: :hlogo: :king:

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Thanks.

Some very encouraging descriptions.

I'm not too worried about Price. We'll see what happens.

:king: :hlogo: :king:

price will be a great goalie in the NHL for many years..he had one more goal against him than pogge but had twice the shots. anyways, I don't expect price to be ready for the next 2-3 years

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What kinda bullshit are these wider nets? They had better not make their way to the NHL...

Encouraging news about Chips and Grabs... Maybe Grabs will be our temporary solution for Saku?

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What kinda bullshit are these wider nets? They had better not make their way to the NHL...

Encouraging news about Chips and Grabs... Maybe Grabs will be our temporary solution for Saku?

maybe pleks willmove up ang grab or chips will take his place

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Thanks.

Some very encouraging descriptions.

I'm not too worried about Price. We'll see what happens.

:king: :hlogo: :king:

yah, particularly since 9 scouts out of 10 will say the exact opposite as he just said : They all say that one of Price's main asset is between the ears.

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Grabovsky is 22 yrs old and has been playing against men in Russia. Its not really surprising that he gets to shine against 19 and 18 yrs old kid. Kinda of unfair, actually.

I said in the other thread, Grabs could easily step in right ahead and earn the Koivu-replacement slot or fill in at center on a speed/scoring depth line (Perezhogin-Grabovsky-Murray for example).

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Maybe a Samsonov - Grabovsky - Kovalev line is in the making? :D.

Might be awhile, but if he does crack the line-up, I'm sure Carbonneau would try it out.

Great read man, awesome work.

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No shock here about Grabovsky's skills.

I have been preaching for months tht this guy is the real deal and will make the Habs out of camp over Kostitsyn.

Bad timing for Kosty, but the better player is what the habs need now.

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No shock here about Grabovsky's skills.

I have been preaching for months tht this guy is the real deal and will make the Habs out of camp over Kostitsyn.

Bad timing for Kosty, but the better player is what the habs need now.

He sounds like he was flying offensively, but how was Grabovsky in his own end? Was he hitting, and covering his man? With Carbonneau behind the bench, you can bet that the more defensively responsible prospect will get the chance to start the season in Montreal.

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He sounds like he was flying offensively, but how was Grabovsky in his own end? Was he hitting, and covering his man? With Carbonneau behind the bench, you can bet that the more defensively responsible prospect will get the chance to start the season in Montreal.

thanks for all the great replies guys, I really appreciate it. As far as Grabs in the defensive zone, he tracked back well. I personally expect a center to be the 3rd man in helping his D in the corners and he did that. Obviously defensively he needs some work, because his offensive game is so strong, he looks weaker on defense. That being said, I don't believe his line had a goal scored on them during the game so +/- wise he would have been a +4 i believe as he was on the ice for 4 goals. I guess if you cause the other team to be chasing you all night, defence isn't an issue lol. I know that he will have to improve his defensive play to play for carbo, but honestly, if he was to play with Kovy and Samsonov that line would only be on the ice for one reason only to score goals. I don't think with that kind of talent, they would have the puck in our own zone too often hehe.

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Thanks for the report, I've been waiting for one, then my internet was down..... Please keep us informed on the whole tourny if you can.

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I'd definetly love to see him, Chipchura, and Kostitsyn give the vets a run for their money at camp!

Just think, we may finally have yet another reason for Bob to get rid of Ribeiro the slacker!

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Maybe a Samsonov - Grabovsky - Kovalev line is in the making? :D .

Sammy and Grabs both have the same size & style. Not sure they'd work well on the same line.

If Pleks move up to replace Saku, Carbo might have to completely dismantle the 3rd line and put Begin-Bonk with Johnson. That'd leave Perezhogin with no linemates. I'd see Grabovsky become his center, and a defensive/physical winger like, say, Murray, be plugged with them for insurance policy.

Or Carbo could decide to keep Perezhogin with Johnson and have Grabovsky replace Plekanec while Pleks replaces Saku. Either way, its a nice problem to have.

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Hmm... I'm not worried about Price at all. If his worst problem is mental then we've got one hell of a prospect coming up considering he's well-known for his maturity and for not giving up after being scored on, etc. It was probably just a matter of having the bigger nets - all the angles are changed, and if a positioning goalie doesn't know angles then he's gonna have problems.

Nice stuff about the other guys.

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I guess there were shut outs last year and the league feels there shouldn't be. Thus the bigger nets. Why not take away the goalies, put in soccer nets and add 3 pnts for a feild goal? Will the Yanks like the game better if the scores looked like football? How the heck do we save our game from these morons in power?

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Thanks FLOWER .

Our prospects seems to have won over the Panthers 5-1 last night,....where is our report FLOWER..ha.ha.

I wish I could have been there to write a report. anyways, I won't be there for Monday nights game, but I will be there on Tuesday for the final game. Right now it looks like the Leafs and Habs will meet to decide the tourney winner on Tuesday. Also, I plan on taking my video camera to at least get some video or snapshots to post with my review of the game!!

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theflower thx for the highly detailed report. :king:

I think the wider net experiment is because the new higher scoring NHL is a bunch of crap. Yes, scoring was up a bit, but penalties last year were almost tripple the usual amount. When players figure out you cant hook anymore the penalties will reduce and the scoring will come down. The penalties will probably still be up this year, but by next season players will have adjusted their styles. The NHL actualy needs a real way to increase scoring. I think the whole focus on increasing scoring to help market the game is stupid, but the hooking should have never been allowed to get so ridiculous in the 1st place. I'm bummed the NHL isnt going to cut down on interference.

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