9/22 Recap: Pirates ship begins to fill; KHL heating up

Written By Kris Baker on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 | 9/22/2009

The Sabres today announced their first batch of names leaving camp for farm assignments. Off to Portland of the AHL are the following 14 players: F: Tyler Ennis, Paul Byron, Maxime Legault, Travis Turnbull, Derek Whitmore, Kyle Rank, Brad Larsen, Mark McCutcheon D: T.J. Brennan, Drew Schiestel, Dennis Persson, Matt Generous, Mike Kostka D. J.P. Lamoureux No real surprising moves, as all were expected to start the year with the Pirates. Ennis had the potential to play one more game, but there are too many other battles to be won in other areas. Technically still the captain of the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL, Legault, 20, will shoot for an AHL roster spot and first NHL contract when he reports. The cutdown leaves 33 players still in camp including defensive prospects Tyler Myers, Mike Weber, and Marc-Andre Gragnani; forwards Nathan Gerbe, Tim Kennedy, Philip Gogulla, and Felix Schutz; and goaltender Jhonas Enroth. For those who've not watched any of the pre-season games, Myers has gradually gotten better with each of his three appearances. He's shown an adjustment to speed, demonstrated good escapability to start breakouts, and used his stick well to break up plays for quick clears. At this point I score him ahead of Gragnani and Weber, who committed several turnovers in Monday's win over Washington, but need more views to project him out against the current top-6. ---------------------------- Overseas, a pair of 2005 draft picks are getting deeper into their KHL seasons. Vjacheslav Buravchikov was -2 on as Ak Bars lost to Avangard on Tuesday, 3-1. The 6'1 dman manned the bottom pair with Alexei Yemelin (MTL) for 15:03 if action, a few ticks above his season average of 13:45. Ak Bars next plays on Thursday at Barys. On Monday, Marek Zagrapan was -1 as Severstal dropped a 3-1 decision to Metallurg. The 23-year old is -3 with four shots on goal in three games since scoring the winner in the season opener. Severstal will take the ice on Wednesday against an Amur club carrying former Sabres defenseman, Nolan Pratt. -------- Also of note, PEI's Jordon Southorn stayed away from practice Tuesday with a bug, and may not be ready to go for their Wednesday tilt with 4-0 Saint John. Brayden McNabb and Kootenay will host the Edmonton Oil Kings in a mid-week WHL battle.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The D spot should be Webers as Myers has not, in my eyes played very well.

Anonymous said...

Im sorry but Bakes is The King. If he says Myers is ahead of Grags and Weber, he is ahead of Grags and Weber. (He is right about those turnovers though)

Kris Baker said...

6:02 - I'd be inclined to agree if Weber had played all three games like he did against Detroit, but as of now that D spot should only be his if you play 'follow the money'. It's very convenient to use him over Myers in terms of Myers burning a year towards becoming RFA, etc., and aside from on-ice evaluation, I still think the chips are stacked against Myers staying for a prolonged visit.

My issue is that in the games against the Caps, Weber has made some plays that land a guy in the AHL. Real lazy giveaway in the opener. He put the puck right on Clark's stick to create the first WAS goal. On Saturday, more of the same. He had a few egregious cough-ups from in deep that led to scoring opportunities, including one shift where he committed two in a 15-second span.

Weber was nothing short of excellent in DET. He played his effective physical game and was safer with the puck, but those grenade moments on Saturday against high caliber competition do not instill confidence. If I'm looking for a bottom pair guy, I don't need him to be a stud in transition, but I can't afford poor puck decisions in my own zone.

Assessing the situation as a whole and projecting based on progress made, Myers has been the more consistent guy. I say 'assessing as a whole' because Myers going back to Kelowna makes less and less sense as he keeps showing steady ramp-up.

Kris Baker said...

8:20 - I'm not even the king of my own desk, let alone the prospectsphere. Ah, the dangers of sprinkling opinion in with fact.

I'm very curious to see how this all shakes out.

John said...

We respect your opinion and what you do on this site.

Anonymous said...

....this whole site is appreciated and so is your opinion. You observe and watch these guys almost like a scout, probably more than most Sabres fans.

Anonymous said...

Kris,

LOVE this site, Thank you so much for putting it together and maintaining it. Your perspective is refreshing compared to the canned crap. Keep up the good work!

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