The IceCaps are now entering the stretch run of their season and are hoping to make a late push for the playoffs. Before they get there though, let’s take a look back at the last quarter of the year with our grades, starting between the pipes and on the blueline.
Players must have played in at least 5/19 games to receive a grade.
Eddie Pasquale: A-: While the team overall didn’t have a ton of success in the games that Pasquale started, it wasn’t because of him that they weren’t winning much. He has kept them in pretty much every game he has started over the last few months which is really all you can ask for from a backup goalie on a minor league contract.
Stats: 7 GP, 2-3-1 record, 2.35 GAA, .929 SV%, 0 SO
Zach Fucale: B-: Fucale’s numbers this past quarter are more or less around his season average. On the one hand, you’d like to see him show some improvement. On the other hand, he’s not really regressing either and is doing so as a starter instead of a platoon option like he was at the start of the year. That’s nice but for the IceCaps to make a run down the stretch, they’ll need him to step it up.
Stats: 13 GP, 6-6-1 record, 2.79 GAA, .907 SV%, 1 SO
Morgan Ellis: A: Ellis may very well be the MVP for the team by the time all is said and done. There’s virtually no one of consequence left on the back end and he just keeps rising to the occasion. It didn’t go well for him with the Habs unfortunately but his quick return to St. John’s was huge for them.
Stats: 18 GP, 5 goals, 6 assists, 11 points, -1 rating, 8 PIMS, 46 shots
Victor Bartley: B-: For someone who has as much NHL experience as Bartley does, it was understandable to expect him to play a bigger role than he wound up doing with the IceCaps. However, he did log some big minutes and helped to stabilize the back end when he was there so his time in St. John’s was still somewhat productive.
Stats: 10 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, -4 rating, 6 PIMS, 16 shots
Joel Hanley: C+: Hanley has been asked in recent weeks to take on a larger role than I think anyone really expected. While there have been some ups and downs, he has handled the extra ice time relatively well all things considered.
Stats: 19 GP, 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points, -5 rating, 8 PIMS, 21 shots
Brett Lernout: C: I know it’s his rookie season (and one that won’t even count as a year on his contract) but I was hoping Lernout might have been ready to take on a bit bigger of a role with so many players missing. He just isn’t, though. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – he is a regular in his rookie year which still counts for something.
Stats: 19 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point, -4 rating, 16 PIMS, 16 shots
Ryan Johnston: C: Johnston’s first real stretch of games has been interesting to say the least. When the puck is on his stick or the play is in the offensive zone, he looks pretty good. There have been plenty of nervous moments in his own end, however. There’s some intriguing potential with him though and it will be worth following to see if his defensive zone play improves.
Stats: 18 GP, 0 goals, 6 assists, 6 points, -11 rating, 8 PIMS, 20 shots
Josiah Didier: C-: While Didier has reclaimed a regular spot in the lineup since returning, that’s about all he has really done. He’s trying to play a physical style but it comes back to bite him when he has to drop the gloves as a result of it as fighting’s not his thing. He’ll need a big final quarter to get the ELC he covets from the Canadiens.
Stats: 11 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, even rating, 15 PIMS, 6 shots
Darren Dietz: C-: With all of the injuries and recalls, Dietz needed to step up and really assume a top pairing role. He didn’t. He wound up spending a lot of the time on the third pairing instead playing more of a minor role. Dietz has looked pretty good in Montreal but he wasn’t playing the greatest before getting recalled.
Stats: 19 GP, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points, -2 rating, 26 PIMS, 33 shots
N/A: Mac Bennett (only 2 GP), Travis Brown (only 1 GP)