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Offensive consistency eluded the Bulldogs last
season and it’s safe to say that it’s happening again this year.  In their
two losses, Hamilton put up their highest shot totals of the season and could only manage
single goals in each of those games.  Consistency has also been a problem in
Wheeling but they did manage to get a win for the first time in a while. 
The World Juniors are now just a month away, my Final Thought looks at what
Montreal prospects could suit up in that tournament.

The Dog

The old adage is that you can’t score if you
don’t shoot.  With a pair of 40+ shot losses, the motto for the week
appeared to be "Shoot less, score more."

News and

– Starting the game off strong is something the
Bulldogs haven’t done in quite a while.  In fact, they have allowed the
first goal of the game a whopping 14 games in a row.

– Veteran NHL blueliner Mike Commodore signed a
PTO and will likely make his debut this coming week.  Speaking of the
defence, Greg Pateryn (elbow) is still out 6-8 weeks. 

– Goalie Scott Darling, who signed a PTO when
Peter Delmas went down with an ankle injury, was released prior to the St.
John’s road trip and returned to Wheeling.

– Lines from the most recent game:


Blunden – Dumont – Gallagher
Holland – Bournival – Palushaj
Quailer – Boyce – Avtsin
Hagel – Berger – Stortini


Beaulieu – St-Denis
Tinordi – Ellis
Nash – Corbin


November 20:

St. John’s 3, Hamilton 1

November 21:

Hamilton 2, St. John’s 1

November 25:

Lake Erie 4, Hamilton 1


Rookie Patrick Holland is in a
rough patch.  He has zero points in the past three weeks and hasn’t had a
positive +/- rating in a game in over a month. 









3 Antoine Corbin 3 0 0 -2 7 4
4 Brendon Nash 3 0 0 -1 2 2
5 Jarred Tinordi 3 0 0 E 5 2
8 Nathan Beaulieu 3 0 1 -2 10 4
11 Alain Berger 1 0 0 E 1 0
12 Zack Stortini 3 0 0 E 2 16
13 Steve Quailer 3 1 0 E 6 0
14 Michael Blunden 3 1 0 +1 8 0
15 Kyle Hagel 3 0 0 -1 7 14
17 Brendan Gallagher 3 1 1 E 9 0
18 Michael Bournival 3 0 0 E 7 2
20 Louis Leblanc 1 0 0 -1 1 0
23 Joonas Nattinen 2 0 0 +1 0 0
28 Aaron Palushaj 3 1 0 -3 10 4
32 Frederic St-Denis 3 0 0 -2 4 0
37 Patrick Holland 3 0 0 -2 8 0
40 Gabriel Dumont 3 0 1 +1 11 0
44 Morgan Ellis 3 0 1 +1 7 9
47 Darryl Boyce 3 0 0 -3 7 4
67 Alexander Avtsin 2 0 0 -2 2 0






29 Robert Mayer 0-1-0 .906 2.07
30 Cedrick Desjardins 1-1-0 .886 3.32


Goals: Gallagher/Palushaj
Assists: Bournival/Boyce (5)
Points: Brendan Gallagher (10)
+/-: Joonas Nattinen (+3)
PIMS: Zack Stortini (64)
Shots: Brendan Gallagher (55)


November 30:
Hamilton vs Abbotsford
December 1: Hamilton vs Abbotsford

Farm’s Farm

The 20-day winless streak for the Nailers was
finally snapped this past week, a week that saw shutouts in both games that
Wheeling played.

Here is how the Wheeling players contracted to Montreal
or Hamilton fared:








3 Stefan Chaput 2 0 0 -1 9 0
21 Ian Schultz 2 0 0 E 1 0
25 Phillipe Lefebvre 2 0 0 E 4 0
27 Daultan Leveille 1 0 0 E 0 0

– Chaput is the team leader in shots with 45 on
the season.  Lefebvre (+2) is the team leader in +/- by a forward.


November 28: Trenton vs Wheeling
November 30: Wheeling vs Elmira


With the World Juniors set to
begin next month, we’ll be seeing information about training camp invites in the
days and weeks ahead.  Here are my assessments on the Habs’ prospects and
their chances of representing their respective countries.


Sebastian Collberg – Sweden:
Regardless of his struggles to produce this season (although he has played
better since dropping down to the second division), Collberg is likely to be a
top six forward for the defending champions.  I don’t think he’ll be the
go-to guy (players like Mika Zibanejad and Filip Forsberg are strong candidates
to be their top forwards) but he should see lots of ice time.  For many
fans, this will be the first time since being drafted that we get to see
Collberg play an offensive role.

Alex Galchenyuk – USA: This
one is a no-brainer, even with USA Hockey’s reluctance to take too many players
from the CHL.  The Habs’ top pick and top prospect should be a top forward
and an offensive catalyst for the Americans.  There are only two ways he
doesn’t make this team – either he gets hurt or the lockout ends soon with
Galchenyuk going to training camp.

Decent Chance

Charles Hudon – Canada:
With his early season performance in Chicoutimi and his play for Team Canada
both in the Summer and Super Series vs Russia, Hudon has made a very strong case
to make the team.  If the lockout were to end soon meaning that some of
their top players weren’t available, I’d call him a lock for the team.  I
think he will make the team but it’s not a guarantee like it is with the others.

Brady Vail – USA: Four
weeks into the season, I’d have said his chances were terrific. 
Unfortunately, his offence has tailed off recently (just three points in his
last nine games) which will hurt his chances.  If he can pick up his play
and prove that he can provide a bit of offensive punch from a bottom six role
(which is where he would be if he made the team), he still should have a good
chance of making the squad.  Otherwise, he will need to have a terrific
training camp to earn his spot – something he is capable of doing.


Erik Nystrom – Sweden:
Nystrom struggled in offseason camps for the Swedes which is the main reason
I’ve placed him in this category.  In terms of his performance this year he
has exceeded expectations, picking up over a point per game in his junior league
while recently earning a call-up into the Allsvenskan (the same league Sebastian
Collberg plays in).  However, with the strong depth Team Sweden has, there
aren’t many spots available and plenty of capable candidates to fill those

Note: Tim Bozon (France)
would be a lock to play for his country, however, with France playing in the
second division, Bozon has indicated he will remain in the WHL during the
tournament as he feels it would be best for his development.

If you have any questions/comments, please feel
free to drop me a line at [email protected].