He’s in the picture, which is often a good sight if you want to be named a “Biggest Standout.” Colin White leads a group of five players who had big weeks and garnered a well-deserved feature. After a couple of rough weeks, the three brightest goalies in the organization attempted to one-up the recent performances of Craig Anderson and Mike McKenna.
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Crookshank had the biggest night of his career on Saturday night, as he scored two goals and added a primary assist as the UNH Wildcats blanked Dartmouth by a score of 4-0.
Up there with Jacob Bernard-Docker as the Sens most impressive NCAA rookie, Crookshank’s play has been trending up as late, and he’s been rewarding his coach for giving him consistent top-six minutes.
Angus Crookshank put up a pair of goals and added an assist in UNH's 4-0 win on Saturday night.— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) December 9, 2018
Crookshank (#6) is having a great freshman NCAA campaign, putting up 8 points in his last 6GP. He's got 11 PTS (4-7-11) in 16GP. pic.twitter.com/HBzyykJIEM
Aaron Luchuk’s recall may have been because of the injury to Filip Chlapik (more on that later), but I’d like to think that he earned it, too. After starting the year slowly after recovering from a concussion, Luchuk had three goals, five points, and 11 shots on goal in four games last week.
What’s most impressive to me is that the style of play that worked for him in junior is what I’m seeing in the highlights below. Won battles in the corner, great lower body strength, and good vision. I’m hopeful that Troy Mann can slot Luchuk accordingly into a top-nine position so he gets a real shot to stay with Belleville, even when everyone’s healthy.
#GoSensGo prospect Aaron Luchuk picked up 1G+1A in the last Beast game on Nov2. He works the puck free in the corner then tips in a shot from the point, later he sends a pass to the slot for a one timer goal. Luchuk now sits at 8pts in 16games. pic.twitter.com/nPYQyOLuSY— MaxTheLimitSens (@MaxTheLimitinfo) December 5, 2018
#GoSensGo prospect Aaron Luchuk picked up 2G Sunday for Brampton. That's 4pts (3G+1A) for Luchuk this weekend. He's picked up points more frequently as the season has progressed. Signs that concussion symptoms have abated, or just getting comfortable as a pro? pic.twitter.com/9gSWei06Pi— MaxTheLimitSens (@MaxTheLimitinfo) December 10, 2018
I would not have believed you if you told me before the season that Colin White was going to be second in rookie scoring in December. That’s no slight on White — who’s always had a high skill set and was named Belleville’s rookie of the year last season — but perhaps indicative of me (and probably many of us) putting too much stock in his 21 NHL games last season.
White looks fantastic. Of course, he’s playing with Mark Stone — he who can get mediocre players signed to long-term deals — but when he’s on the ice, it really looks like they’re complementing each other well. Moreover, White has been playing centre when he started the year (and played most of last season) as a winger, takes a middle-ice role on the top powerplay unit while leading the team with 5 powerplay goals, and is occasionally matched against the other team’s best lines.
Yes, he had a couple of rough outings against the Canadiens, but he bounced back in a big way over the weekend. Without Matt Duchene for next little while, White will have every opportunity to be the team’s premier centre. Responsibility like that will only help when he’s slotted back down the lineup later on.
I couldn’t find any highlights of his 45 save shutout performance, but Joey Daccord earns a feature here regardless. It’s his fourth (!) shutout of the season, which leads all NCAA netminders, and his save percentage ranks 10th among goalies with more than 10 games played.
Two starts, two great performances for Marcus Hogberg — who continues to perform well after returning from injury a couple weeks ago. The team in front of him gave him two different workloads — allowing only 20 shots against to start their 3-in-3, but giving up 36 to end the weekend.
Hogberg was up to the task in both starts, helping his team earn three of a possible four points in his two starts. His glove used to be an issue in the past, but looks quick here. Moreover, he looks more aggressive in general, happily challenging shooters when the time calls for it.
18 saves for Marcus Hogberg tonight, improving his record to 2-0 with a .915 SV% and 2.00 GAA pic.twitter.com/2ovLrh4ywm— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) December 8, 2018
Marcus Hogberg (and his posts) are the reason Belleville is tied 0-0 with Toronto after 1 period. He's stopped 15/15 while the BSens have only managed 4 shots. Hogberg is gonna see a lot more rubber in the next 2 periods, the final of a 3-in-3 this weekend. pic.twitter.com/FCwERZJXDc— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) December 9, 2018
- Brady’s best buddy, Josh Norris, has cooled off from his early scoring streak. Asked earlier this week when he think he’ll turn pro, to him that’s still “a little too far ahead”. He’ll almost certainly be representing USA at the World Juniors, with 17 points in 15 games so far for the University of Michigan.
- While we’re talking about goalies, Filip Gustavsson’s start against Providence on Saturday night wasn’t shabby either. He won his first game in five starts, and has seen his save percentage slowly creep back up to .891.
- Your weekly Josh Norris update? 1 goal, 1 assist, an overtime winner, named to Team USA’s preliminary roster, and a dashing ugly holiday sweater.
- Logan Brown and Rudolfs Balcers both had solid weeks, bolstered by four-point nights against Laval.
- On the injury front: Andrew Sturtz, Christian Wolanin, and Jordan Murray are still out in Belleville, and Filip Chlapik was seen in a walking boot after blocking a shot late in the team’s 1-0 loss to the Marlies on Sunday. Jonny Tychonick also missed both of UND’s weekend games with an undisclosed injury.
- Brady Tkachuk has gone pointless over four games — an inevitability, even if it didn’t look possible with the way he was scoring early on. I thought he was quieter than expected against the Canadiens, but even when he’s not producing, he continues to be a physical presence.
Tkachuk out of nowhere pic.twitter.com/EzHSYmQSkB— Capital Gains (@Capital_Gains65) December 9, 2018
- Want to start your day off well? Listen to the commentator’s excitement on Jacob Bernard-Docker’s late game-tying marker on Saturday night: