Hockey Fan Forums banner

21 - 40 of 96 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,520 Posts
Who even gets out there? I'm guessing our top 4 (Pronger, Carle, Timonen, Meszaros) will stay the same, but what about the forwards? There are so many options, it will be interesting to see who gets a lot of PP time.
What a terrible problem to have. :n

Too many good players to give everyone good PP minutes. That must just suck. :duh
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,225 Posts
What a terrible problem to have. :n

Too many good players to give everyone good PP minutes. That must just suck. :duh
It really is terrible. I can't even imagine being in Laviolette's tough position. ;)
 

·
HF-MOTM Winner - Apr 08
Joined
·
6,349 Posts
Discussion Starter #24
It really is terrible. I can't even imagine being in Laviolette's tough position. ;)
Draw straws. "You have to be kidding, right? I have to play the power play minutes again???"

I would imagine the Flyers will have a pretty dominant power play.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
934 Posts
I think we even saw the powerplays without one of its likely quarterbacks - Leino.

PP 1: LW Briere, RW/C Richards, C/RW Carter, D Pronger, D Carle

PP 2: LW Giroux, C/RW Leino, C/RW Guerin/Zherdev, D Timonen, D Meszarjos
 

·
HF-MOTM Winner - Apr 08
Joined
·
6,349 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
Interesting article making an argument why Bartulis should be the 7th defenseman:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Posted: 9:55 p.m.

By Tim Panaccio
CSNPhilly.com

All or nothing.

That’s pretty much how this Flyers’ training camp will break for young Latvian defenseman Oskars Bartulis.

If he can make the roster as a seventh defenseman, he knows he has a future here. If not, and he’s waived, someone will likely pick him up because though he is 23, he is not waiver exempt.

More than that, Bartulis has a three-year, $1.8 million contract. His light cap hit of $600,000 is an attractive number for clubs looking to add a young, depth guy, still developing.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.

Bartulis feels he can beat out Matt Walker, who came over from Tampa Bay in the Simon Gagne trade.

“Every camp is huge, but this one is my second year,” Bartulis said. “Like last year, I came in late in October and didn’t make it right away. This year, my goal is to make it right away and be on this team from the beginning.”

Walker has 306 NHL games experience versus Bartulis’ 53 last season. Both are 6-foot-2, but Walker is “thick” as the Flyers’ scouts like to say, a term meaning he is stocky up top and can play physically. Walker is a stout 235 pounds. Bartulis is a mere 184 pounds.

The Flyers see potential in Bartulis, but he has on-ice maturing to do. He didn’t play against Boston or Montreal in the playoffs, yet still had seven games of action. In Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, he got unnerved on the ice along with partner Lukas Krajicek and it cost the Flyers a goal in a 2-1 loss.

“Last year I was learning every game,” Bartulis said. “It was something new for me. This year, I know what is expected in this league. It is like a next step. I need to be sharper on the ice. To read the game better, read the passes and bring my game to another level.

“I think I kinda did a little bit in the playoffs. It was different. That is what I feel I need to bring now. I didn’t play a lot in [the playoffs]. You get in there and it’s close. You learn from that. That is what I am going to try to bring this season.”

The Flyers’ lack of quality depth in the fifth/sixth spots in the Cup Final convinced management that a substantial upgrade was in order. Hence, the trade for Andrej Meszaros and signing of Sean O’Donnell before Walker came into the picture.

“I saw what they were doing,” Bartulis said. “They want a better defensive corps and I have a chance to be part of that. I just have to be there. I think it’s good for the team.

“Yeah, it kinda [worries] you see eight defensemen, and think about that. But at the same time, you want to be here because it’s a good corps and lots of veteran defensemen. You watch from them and you learn.”

Because Chris Pronger is still rehabbing his right knee, the defensive pairs in camp have been mixed continually. Bartulis came into camp knowing he doesn’t have a regular partner regardless. Meszaros and O’Donnell are expected to be the third pair and O’Donnell said as much last week.

If Bartulis is going to make the team he needs to demonstrate he can make defensive plays in his own end under pressure without panicking. It’s as simple as that.

On Tuesday night in the Flyers’ preseason 4-3 shootout win against the New Jersey Devils, Bartulis played right defense with Sean O’Donnell and took shifts with others, including Braydon Coburn and Walker.

Bartulis drew a penalty in the opening period during a Flyer penalty kill that led to a 4-on-4 goal from Jeff Carter in front of goalie Johan Hedberg. Through two periods, however, Bartulis was minus-1 in the game and played 22:50. Only Kimmo Timonen (25:19) and Meszaros (25:06) played more.

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said Bartulis will get a long look in camp before any decisions are made. He wants to see improvement.

“You look for young players to take the next step and he is not alone,” Laviolette said. “[Claude] Giroux is in that category and JVR [James van Riemsdyk] is in that category and a guy like [Andreas] Nodl.

“You want to see them make an improvement with their physical play on the ice, their power and the way they play the game. I don’t think Oskars is any different. He’s going to get the opportunity in a lot of exhibitions to go out and crack the lineup.”

Bartulis made his NHL debut last Nov. 12 against Ottawa. On Dec. 2 after general manager Paul Holmgren gave him a three-year, one-way (NHL only) contract. He can’t be sent down without going through waivers. For a while, the contract gave Bartulis security.

“It kinda gives you some confidence,” Bartulis said. “Inside, your thinking you have a three-year deal, but at the same time, it doesn’t matter. You have seen in the past what happens with guys who have one-way or whatever, they go to the minors.

“Especially for me, I’m a young guy and have to work hard every day to show them I want to be here. And that’s it.”

Now here’s the rub. Walker is in the second of a four-year, $6.8 million deal with a cap hit of $1.7 million. Bill Guerin is in camp on a tryout and the general belief is he’ll get a contract probably similar to Walker’s.

The Flyers have less than $900,000 cap space. The decision on whether to keep Bartulis over Walker comes down to money – Bartulis saves the Flyers $1.1 million – and not talent. That’s life in the new NHL. Either way, this position impacts whether the team signs Guerin, barring a trade.

There is one notable intangible that may factor in.

Bartulis is the only player on the Flyers’ roster right now who speaks fluent Russian. During drills, he and Nikolai Zherdev, who understands English but can’t speak it very well, are constantly talking.

Bartulis said he has been helping Zherdev off the ice in daily routines in which Zherdev needs someone who speaks English better than him. In some cases, Bartulis has helped Zherdev better understand what Laviolette wants from him in drills.

It’s entirely possible that factors into whether Bartulis makes the final cut, as someone who can help ease Zherdev’s transition with the team, on and off the ice.

“I try to help him with the team,” Bartulis said. “I know myself what it is like. You are kinda shy, your language is not that good. He’s doing good. I have been helping a lot with [Segei] Bobrovsky in translating.

“With Zherdev, I have been helping him outside hockey with his life situation … The only thing for him is his problem to talk but he understands everything.”

Obviously, the battle for the seventh spot on defense is a little more complicated for the Flyers than it may appear.


E-mail Tim Panaccio at [email protected].
http://www.csnphilly.com/09/21/10/Bartulis-Begins-Quest-in-Flyers-4-3-Shoo/landing_flyers.html?blockID=315621&feedID=695
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,225 Posts
I think we even saw the powerplays without one of its likely quarterbacks - Leino.

PP 1: LW Briere, RW/C Richards, C/RW Carter, D Pronger, D Carle

PP 2: LW Giroux, C/RW Leino, C/RW Guerin/Zherdev, D Timonen, D Meszarjos
Depending on how much he improved we could very well see JVR on one of the PP units. Regardless, they should have a top 3 PP again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
934 Posts
Depending on how much he improved we could very well see JVR on one of the PP units. Regardless, they should have a top 3 PP again.
He looked pretty good last night...I mean, I notice him every time. He skates well, and although he definitely still has the skinny guy center of gravity, he doesn't seem as gumby on his skates so far. I'd be curious to see how much mass he packed on over the summer. He still drives to the net well and gets shots off. So added bulk would probably help that one as well.

I don't know if I see him excelling in the powerplay scenario though. He seems best with open ice and time to think. Powerplay specialists like Briere or Leino opperate best in this area - quick decision-making and little space. JVR's shot also isn't the best, nor do I see him being able to maintain a position in front of the net (minus Pronger actually I don't see anyone else who will be the Holmstrom this PP unit needs). I wouldn't put JVR on either unit for quite some time.
 
21 - 40 of 96 Posts
Top