The Bulldogs have hit the halfway point of the season and find themselves in
nearly an identical situation compared to where they were after the one-quarter
mark, hovering just over the .500 mark and hanging on to a low playoff spot.
A lot of Hamilton’s success this past quarter can be attributed to some stingy
defence and quality goaltending, resulting in some higher grades this time
Players must have played in at least five games to receive a grade.
Robert Mayer: B: There were more good games than bad for the
AHL veteran netminder who allowed two or fewer goals in three of his five
starts. Tokarski started to see more of the workload, allowing Mayer to
have ample rest before most of his games and that seemed to help. Even
though his performance overseas doesn’t count in his grade, it’s worth noting that he won
a pair of games at the Spengler Cup including the championship contest.
2nd Quarter Stats: 5 GP, 2-3-0 record, 2.42 GAA, .910 SV%, 0 SO
Season Stats: 12 GP, 3-7-2 record, 2.96 GAA, .899 SV%, 0 SO
Dustin Tokarski: A-: With Hamilton’s offence going into the tank, a
lot of their success recently can be attributed to Tokarski who closed off the
quarter with seven straight starts allowing two goals or less. In my
books, he is the Bulldogs’ MVP of the first half of the year and finds himself
inside the top-5 among all AHL goalies in GAA and SV%. There should be no
doubt left as to who their top goalie is.
2nd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 7-4-1 record, 2.29 GAA, .919 SV%, 0 SO
Season Stats: 26 GP, 15-7-2 record, 2.09 GAA, .928 SV%, 1 SO
N/A: Mike Condon (Only 3 GP; he did play reasonably well in each
contest though which was a positive sign in case injuries arise.)
Nathan Beaulieu: B+: After struggling to find his way after settling
back in Hamilton from his back-and-forth stints with the Habs, Beaulieu played
much more consistently at both ends of the rink over these past few weeks.
He still is making some questionable mistakes but they’re becoming less frequent
while he was one of very few players who provided any sort of regular threat
2nd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 2 goals, 6 assists, 8 points, even rating,
15 PIMS, 54 shots
Season Stats: 32 GP, 4 goals, 10 assists, 14 points, -4 rating, 21 PIMS, 91
Joel Chouinard: C: Although he has yet to show any of the upside he had in junior (he had a 68 point season several years ago), Chouinard
has worked his way into the every day lineup in recent weeks, beating out Drew
Schiestel and Nathan McIver for the spot. He’s still nothing more than a
filler player for the team though.
2nd Quarter Stats: 13 GP, 1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point, even rating, 6
PIMS, 10 shots
Season Stats: 29 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, even rating, 8 PIMS, 26
Darren Dietz: C+: Dietz hasn’t had the offensive impact that many were
hoping for after a stellar junior season last year but he has provided some
defensive stability which has helped keep him in the lineup regularly.
It’s likely to be a slow development curve with him but as long as he keeps
playing well in his own end, he’ll stay in the lineup which should get the
scoring element of his game going over time.
2nd Quarter Stats: 18 GP, 0 goals, 4 assists, 4 points, -2 rating, 18
PIMS, 17 shots
Season Stats: 22 GP, 0 goals, 4 assists, 4 points, -1 rating, 24 PIMS, 19
Morgan Ellis: B: Ellis bounced around between the second and third
pairings (and even the press box at times) early on but now he has settled in as
a steady second pairing player. His defensive game continues to improve
although he has yet to become the two-way threat he was at the junior level. Still, his game
is finally on the upswing and he is beginning to show some promise once again.
2nd Quarter Stats: 18 GP, 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 points, +4 rating, 22
PIMS, 31 shots
Season Stats: 31 GP, 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points, +10 rating, 24 PIMS, 40
Nathan McIver: D+: An injury took him out of the lineup and he has yet
to reclaim his spot since getting the green light from the doctors. McIver
has been a bit better defensively than expected but at the same time, he hasn’t
provided the physical style of game that was expected of him.
2nd Quarter Stats: 6 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -2 rating, 9
PIMS, 2 shots
Season Stats: 16 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point, -2 rating, 38 PIMS, 7 shots
Greg Pateryn: B+: Pateryn continues to be a go-to player in all
situations for the Bulldogs. While he doesn’t thrive in any particular
situation, he doesn’t struggle with any one either, making him their most
reliable blueliner in the first half of the year. If the Habs are planning
to give their youngsters a shot, he most certainly deserves a chance to play a
few games with the big club.
2nd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points, +3 rating, 14
PIMS, 33 shots
Season Stats: 31 GP, 7 goals, 9 assists, 16 points, +10 rating, 31 PIMS, 63
Drew Schiestel: D+: Like McIver, Schiestel got injured and then never
got a chance to get back into the lineup, eventually getting sent down to
Wheeling of the ECHL to get some playing time. So much for having a
Hamilton native on the Bulldogs…for now at least.
2nd Quarter Stats: 5 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point, even rating, 10
PIMS, 6 shots
Season Stats: 21 GP, 0 goals, 6 assists, 6 points, even rating, 16 PIMS, 23
Jarred Tinordi: B: After playing a relatively passive style early on,
Tinordi was much more involved in the play this quarter, especially on the
physical side of things. I still don’t think he’s ready for a full-time
role yet though as he still has lots to work on with regards to his puck
movement and overall offensive game.
2nd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points, +3 rating, 46
PIMS, 37 shots
Season Stats: 33 GP, 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points, +3 rating, 52 PIMS, 56