Consistent offensive production has been nothing but a myth for the Hamilton
Bulldogs in 2013-14. Over the past several weeks, there were some nights
where the forwards were lighting the lamp but there were too many others where
the well dried up. As a result, our third quarter grades are all over the
place. Some are high while others are quite low.
Players must have played in at least five games to receive a grade.
Sven Andrighetto: A-: Although as a rookie he shouldn’t be counted on
to provide front line production, Andrighetto did just that. He is
entrenched on the top line and powerplay and is one of the few bright spots (if
not the only one) up front for the Bulldogs this season.
3rd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 6 goals, 7 assists, 13 points, -1 rating, 4 PIMS,
Season Stats: 45 GP, 14 goals, 16 assists, 30 points, -2 rating, 22 PIMS,
Michael Blunden: B-: Although he did well in providing some offence
while playing a defensive role, Blunden also really struggled defensively.
As a key member of Hamilton’s checking line, his struggles proved to be costly
at times. At this stage, he has shown that he’s a complementary player at
best in the minors and the ‘Dogs need more than that from him.
3rd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 5 goals, 4 assists, 9 points, -10 rating, 12 PIMS,
Season Stats: 50 GP, 13 goals, 15 assists, 28 points, -5 rating, 60 PIMS,
Justin Courtnall: C: For a good portion of this stretch, Courtnall
found himself back on the fourth line which is where he belongs. He has
toned down the physical play lately which is a bit surprising considering he’s
supposed to be an energy player. On the plus side, he continues to play
relatively well in his own end.
3rd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, -2 rating, 27 PIMS,
Season Stats: 51 GP, 5 goals, 3 assists, 8 points, -3 rating, 69 PIMS, 64
Gabriel Dumont: B: Like Blunden, the defensive struggles from a player
on the checking line are concerning but Dumont’s offensive game showed signs of
life for the first time in a while. He now is the team leader in goals
despite seldom playing on the top line and top powerplay units.
3rd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 7 goals, 3 assists, 10 points, -8 rating, 36 PIMS,
Season Stats: 55 GP, 15 goals, 12 assists, 27 points, -8 rating, 82 PIMS,
Stefan Fournier: C: Progression continues to be slow but steady for
the former Halifax Moosehead. Similar to Courtnall, the reduction in his
physical/pugilistic play is a bit puzzling given his role on the fourth line but
his all-around game is still improving.
3rd Quarter Stats: 16 GP, 1 goal, 3 assists, 4 points, +1 rating, 11 PIMS,
Season Stats: 39 GP, 2 goals, 5 assists, 7 points, +1 rating, 86 PIMS, 46
Patrick Holland: C-: Holland’s offensive game has eluded him for most
of the year now. He still plays well in defensive situations but as a
two-way forward, he needs to be scoring more than once every couple of months.
He came on strong towards the end of 2012-13, it will be important for him to do
so again this season.
3rd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points, -3 rating, 2 PIMS,
Season Stats: 44 GP, 5 goals, 11 assists, 16 points, even rating, 2 PIMS, 61
Louis Leblanc: D-: Leblanc was shuffled up and down the lineup and
nothing seemed to get him going. As a former first rounder in his third
pro season, he should be a go-to player for this team. Instead, his role
now is even less than it was in his rookie campaign.
3rd Quarter Stats: 16 GP, 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 points, -5 rating, 23 PIMS,
Season Stats: 51 GP, 11 goals, 12 assists, 23 points, -2 rating, 53 PIMS,
Maxime Macenauer: B: For a player who started the season on a tryout,
Macenauer sure has worked his way up the depth chart in a hurry. He now
seems to be entrenched as the number one centre and is providing some defensive
responsibility on that trio which is important since his wingers have typically
been offence-first players.
3rd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 3 goals, 5 assists, 8 points, -1 rating, 20 PIMS,
Season Stats: 55 GP, 6 goals, 12 assists, 18 points, -1 rating, 48 PIMS, 85
Joonas Nattinen: D: Although he isn’t getting much ice time, one point
in this quarter simply isn’t good enough for Nattinen. He’s a fourth liner
who can kill penalties and not much more. The odds of him getting another
contract for next season are dropping quickly.
3rd Quarter Stats: 18 GP, 1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point, -2 rating, 8 PIMS,
Season Stats: 55 GP, 6 goals, 6 assists, 12 points, even rating, 20 PIMS, 52
Jordan Owens: C+: He didn’t play often but when he did, he was
passable in a variety of roles. As newcomers come in from their
junior/college teams down the stretch, he may not see much more game action but
as far as depth players go, he’s worth playing every now and again.
3rd Quarter Stats: 6 GP, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, even rating, 11 PIMS,
Season Stats: 17 GP, 0 goals, 4 assists, 4 points, -2 rating, 30 PIMS, 24
Martin St. Pierre: B-: He’s putting up the points which is what the
Habs are paying him nearly a quarter of a million to do and it’s worth noting
that St. Pierre has been on line three quite often. However, his compete
level in his own end has been inconsistent which isn’t what you want to see from
3rd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 3 goals, 10 assists, 13 points, -7 rating,
Season Stats: 54 GP, 10 goals, 30 assists, 40 points, -14 rating, 42 PIMS,
Nick Tarnasky: C: Tarnasky is getting a lot more ice time than he
should be (often spending time in the top six) and he hasn’t done much to reward
Sylvain Lefebvre’s puzzling faith in him. On the plus side, he is still
doing his job as an enforcer which is the role he was supposed to fill in the
3rd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points, -9 rating, 42 PIMS,
Season Stats: 57 GP, 11 goals, 7 assists, 18 points, -17 rating, 109 PIMS,
Christian Thomas: B-: Overall, Thomas played relatively well and was
shuffled regularly between the first and third lines. It is, however, a
bit concerning that a player with as strong of a shot as he has seems to be
having a lot of difficulty putting the puck in the net.
3rd Quarter Stats: 17 GP, 4 goals, 3 assists, 7 points, +1 rating, 6 PIMS,
Season Stats: 36 GP, 7 goals, 11 assists, 18 points, even rating, 20 PIMS,
N/A: Robbie Czarnik