The IceCaps recently passed the one-quarter mark of the season and find themselves around the middle of the pack. Here are our grades for the first quarter of the year, beginning with the goaltenders and defencemen.
Players must have played in at least 5/19 games to receive a grade.
Charlie Lindgren – A: You never know what you’re going to get with goalies in their first year out of college but Lindgren is off to a very strong start. A lot of the IceCaps’ wins came as a result of him stealing the show. The goaltending was spotty at times last season but most nights, Lindgren has had his ‘A’ game.
Stats: 12 GP, 8-4-0 record, 2.17 GAA, .934 SV%, 0 SO
N/A: Yann Danis (4 GP), Zach Fucale (2 GP), Bryan Pitton (1 GP, released)
Mark Barberio – A-: He started off the season about as bad as a number one defender could but after the first week, he was his usual reliable self. While time on ice stats aren’t officially tracked (at least publicly; teams do their own tracking), it’s safe to suggest Barberio is among the league leaders in that category as he’s used in every situation. There’s a huge difference in the defence when he’s not in the lineup.
Stats: 18 GP, 3 goals, 11 assists, 14 points, even rating, 20 PIMS, 40 shots
Brett Lernout – B-: Expectations are higher this season with less quality depth on the roster but so far, Lernout hasn’t really blossomed into someone who can be reliably counted on in the top four night in, night out and as a result has bounced around between different pairings and roles regular. He’s having more good moments than bad ones at least and is starting to assert himself more. All in all, a decent start to his sophomore season.
Stats: 19 GP, 0 goals, 6 assists, 6 points, +4 rating, 22 PIMS, 23 shots
Julien Brouillette – B-: Signed merely to give them some depth, Brouillette has shown himself to be a capable defender when given the chance to get in the lineup. He seems to have the trust of Sylvain Lefebvre now and is playing more than he’s sitting. Not bad for someone that started the season without a contract anywhere.
Stats: 5 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point, +2 rating, 0 PIMS, 5 shots
Joel Hanley – C: After holding his own with the Habs late last year, I was curious to see if that would carry over to the minor leagues this season. It hasn’t. Hanley is a serviceable 4th/5th defender who is miscast in a high end role and unfortunately he has been exposed a few times on poor defensive plays.
Stats: 11 GP, 1 goal, 3 assists, 4 points, +4 rating, 6 PIMS, 13 shots
Josiah Didier – C: Lately he has been on the outside looking in when it comes to getting into the lineup but Didier has played effectively in his own end when he has suited up. Unfortunately for him and St. John’s, he brings little else to the table (he’s a true stay-at-home defender) which limits him to a bottom pairing role most nights.
Stats: 13 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point, even rating, 4 PIMS, 7 shots
Tom Parisi – C-: When you’re in your first pro season and you’re a healthy scratch nearly 60% of the time, things aren’t going well. It’s not necessarily that he’s doing anything that poorly, he’s not just doing much of anything period when he plays. I’d like to see him get a stint with Brampton in the ECHL to try to get him some confidence and even some consistent minutes as the way he’s being used isn’t good for his development.
Stats: 8 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -1 rating, 0 PIMS, 9 shots
Jonathan Racine – C-: He was able to hold down a third pairing role with Florida’s farm teams the last couple of years but Racine hasn’t played well enough to be in the lineup more often than not so far. Early on, they asked him to play a bigger role which didn’t go over well but while he’s better suited as a third pairing player, they’re better off most nights playing more of a prospect over Racine who is basically a roster filler so far.
Stats: 8 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, +1 rating, 8 PIMS, 5 shots
Ryan Johnston – D+: Johnston is fine when the puck is on his stick. When it isn’t and he has to defend though, it’s often an adventure to put it nicely. The inability to trust him in virtually any defensive situation has resulted in him steadily falling down the depth chart this season and justifiably so. He needs to show considerable improvement in his own end very soon if he wants a shot at a contract next season.
Stats: 14 GP, 1 goal, 3 assists, 4 points, -7 rating, 4 PIMS, 18 shots
Philip Samuelsson – D: Signed to provide St. John’s with a reliable veteran, Samuelsson hasn’t really lived up to the billing. It didn’t help that he was benched early on for lack of effort in the preseason (and has been in the doghouse ever since) but he has played more like a third pairing blueliner than the top pairing player that he should be given the lack of depth this back end has.
Stats: 17 GP, 1 goal, 3 assists, 4 points, -5 rating, 4 PIMS, 17 shots
N/A: Zach Redmond (1 GP)