At the halfway point of the season, the Hamilton Bulldogs found themselves in
a dogfight for a playoff spot and were actually holding onto one for a time.
Now, less than 20 games later, postseason aspirations are a pipe dream.
Despite the struggles in the win-loss column, there were a few semi-bright spots in
this quarter of the year for Hamilton. Our grades kick off with the
defence and goalies.
Players must have played in at least five games to receive a grade.
Robert Mayer: C+: With Tokarski spending a decent portion of this
stretch of games with Montreal, Mayer got to see more action and to his credit,
he had a few decent outings. With Devan Dubnyk now in the fold and
Tokarski to return this weekend, he may find himself the odd man out of the goalie
rotation, barring one of the three getting loaned elsewhere.
3rd Quarter Stats: 10 GP, 4-6-0 record, 2.87 GAA, .910 SV%, 0 SO
Season Stats: 22 GP, 7-13-2 record, 2.92 GAA, .904 SV%, 0 SO
Dustin Tokarski: C-: In the first half of the year, Tokarski was
stealing a lot of games for the Bulldogs. Lately, that just hasn’t
happened. He has allowed the untimely goals that hurt him at the end of
last year and hasn’t made the key save at the right time as often. On the
plus side, he didn’t look out of place in a pair of games with the big club.
3rd Quarter Stats: 8 GP, 2-6-0 record, 3.13 GAA, .891 SV%, 0 SO
Season Stats: 34 GP, 17-13-2 record, 2.34 GAA, .919 SV%, 1 SO
N/A: Devan Dubnyk
Nathan Beaulieu: B: Statistically, it was a decent run for Beaulieu,
who also spent a decent amount of time with Montreal prior to the Olympics.
However, bad habits were starting to creep back into his game after being sent
down. That’s one of the reasons why he has yet to be recalled since then
despite the fact that he put up some points.
3rd Quarter Stats: 10 GP, 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points, -3 rating, 4 PIMS,
Season Stats: 42 GP, 5 goals, 15 assists, 20 points, -7 rating, 25 PIMS, 112
Joel Chouinard: C-: With the injuries and recalls, he has managed to
stay in the lineup on a regular basis. Unfortunately that’s not a tribute
to his play but rather the fact that there weren’t too many other options.
Still, he’s at least giving the team reasonable minutes but that’s all there
really is to say about his play.
3rd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point, +2 rating, 11 PIMS,
Season Stats: 48 GP, 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points, +2 rating, 19 PIMS, 40
Darren Dietz: C-: For one of the top offensive defencemen in the WHL
last year, Dietz has struggled in that area all year long. Unfortunately,
he’s now out for the season with a torn hamstring, meaning that he’ll have lost
over half of his rookie campaign to various ailments while ending his year on a
low note. With potentially several blueliners coming in for 2014-15, he’ll
need to be better to stay in the lineup.
3rd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point, -2 rating,
25 PIMS, 14 shots
Season Stats: 34 GP, 0 goals, 5 assists, 5 points, -3 rating, 49 PIMS, 33
Morgan Ellis: D+: It looked like he was starting to turn the corner
earlier in the year but Ellis took some significant steps back in this quarter.
The only things that have kept him out of the #6 role is the injury to Dietz and
the fact that one of the ‘big 3’ is up with the Habs more often than not lately.
He needs a much better final few weeks or his hold on a roster spot next year
may not be guaranteed.
3rd Quarter Stats: 11 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -2 rating,
2 PIMS, 17 shots
Season Stats: 42 GP, 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points, +8 rating, 26 PIMS, 57
Nathan McIver: C: McIver’s role has been a minor one this year but he
continues to meet expectations. When he’s in the lineup, he plays a
physical style and doesn’t make too many mistakes in his own end. Hamilton
quietly signed him for the rest of the season last month so that he can be the
#7 guy for the rest of the year.
3rd Quarter Stats: 13 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point, -2 rating, 32 PIMS,
Season Stats: 29 GP, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, -4 rating, 70 PIMS, 16
Greg Pateryn: B: Pateryn’s offensive production doesn’t seem to be
letting up which bodes well for his future. Defensively, he slipped a bit
in this stretch as he seemed to struggle with being the player matched up
against the oppositions’ best regularly. Even with that, he has been
Hamilton’s best blueliner all year long.
3rd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 3 goals, 6 assists, 9 points, -3 rating, 23 PIMS,
Season Stats: 50 GP, 10 goals, 15 assists, 25 points, +7 rating, 54 PIMS,
Drew Schiestel: D: The fact that he’s a Hamilton native may be the
only thing that’s keeping him with the Bulldogs and not with Wheeling of the
ECHL. Even in limited minutes, he has struggled more nights than not.
If any prospects/college FA’s get signed to tryouts, Schiestel should fall
behind them on the depth chart and basically be a healthy scratch for the rest
of the year.
3rd Quarter Stats: 13 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -6 rating, 15 PIMS,
Season Stats: 34 GP, 0 goals, 6 assists, 6 points, -6 rating, 31 PIMS, 41
Jarred Tinordi: B-: He spent a lot of time with Pateryn and that
pairing had their defensive struggles. However, Tinordi’s puck-moving
skills and his confidence with the puck in general both improved.
Regardless of what his role in Montreal will be, those are two elements that
needed improvement so despite the issues in his own end, there were still some
positives to speak of.
3rd Quarter Stats: 14 GP, 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points, -7 rating, 18 PIMS,
Season Stats: 47 GP, 3 goals, 6 assists, 9 points, -4 rating, 70 PIMS, 73
N/A: Davis Drewiske, Myles Harvey