This year more than any other, Ottawa has tasted the benefits of their great farm team. Some prospects that weren't even supposed to be callups this year stepped into the big scenery and filled the voids admirably. Having a deep Ahl team is a commodity that only few organizations in the league have and all the credit goes to the Murrays and Dorions of this world for assembling one in a very short time frame.
While watching Wiercioch, Dziurzinsky and Gryba (among others) establish themselves as regulars in the lineup, I couldn't help but think about the recurent comment that fans and analysts seem to make most of the time when it comes to prospects playing in the minors. It sounds like this:
''(Insert the name of about any Bingo callup this year) is (one, two, three) year(s) away from being ready''
There seem to be a common belief that prospects aren't ready until some unidentified thing occurs and turns them into National hockey league players. I'd like to know what that thing is. A dominating training camp? A good minor league campaign? A mistake free NHL sting in the event of a callup?
Conversely, at which point does a player becomes a ''veteran''? Does that qualifier fit the 22 years old Erik Karlsson or is it reserved to the likes of Gonchar, Phillips, Neil and Alfredsson?
My opinion is that the only way to know if prospects are ready is to give them a chance to play, judge their play and learning curve and then make an informed decision about whether or not they would benefit from playing time in the big league or would be better off in the minors. Inversely, I think that a player becomes a veteran when he knows what it takes to win. When he's able to make the little plays that goes unnoticed on the score sheet but help preserve a lead or spark a comeback.
What's your opinion? Share your thoughts!
On another note...
- Craig Anderson as been day to day for 31 days and counting.
- On a bus ride five days ago, two young habs fans were talking about the Daugavins shoutout attempt against Rask and were still amazed by how sick the move was. Even if he didn't score, the Daugman succeeded because the goal of the shoutouts is to entertain the hockey fans and those two sure were.
- I was at the Boston game last week. The first ever regular season national hockey league game I attended to and it was amazing. The result of the game was not but the experience was. Crazy is the number of things that goes unnoticed or are simply not shown when you watch the game on tv.
- Things like Zibanejad's display of mesmerizing puck skills and skating ability in the warmups. He owns and protects the puck like a feline on its prey. He's got tremendous talent.
- About the game itself, we obviously owned the Bruins for the most part, but they stayed composed and Khudobin bailed them out a couple of times. Then, toward the last 10 minutes of the game, they turned it up and kept coming at us. I thought the inexperience of our team got exposed a bit as you could see that the pressure was getting more and more to the young players. They took advantage of it and pulled on top with the last minute goal that gave them the win. Robin Lehner was furious but really, you could just feel it coming.
- What a player, that Chara dude!
- Lastly but not least, even if we got some disapproving looks and comments from the granny sitting beside us, my friend and I started the Alfie chant at 11:11 of each period. When it comes to Alfie, you don't care about the 19000 people morose wednesday night crowd.
Next: #5: Playing god