Dustin Penner: A+
This guy seriously looks like a man on a mission. I always knew he had great hands, but he’s even using is body a lot more to do that ‘Eric Cole drive’. I like how he’s given the “A” when given the chance, and he’s making a very strong case to keep it with his play. His defensive game has always been great, so I don’t know why MacT roasted him a lot even last year when he was leading the team in +/-.
Ales Hemsky: A-
He’s been the same Hemsky as always, except this time he isn’t leading the team in scoring. Great vision, frustrating when he skates right into defenders. I’ve kinda gotten used to that, but it would be nice to see him take his game to a safer level. Reminds me kind of like Alex Kovalev, fun to watch when he’s hot, but extremely frustrating when he’s cold.
Patty O: B
He tries, I’ll give him that much, but I blame Pronger. Every player since him has been snakebitten or has some sort of troubles. We traded him for:
Joffery Lupul: a hometown boy with tons of talent and excited to play here, but didn’t bring it and was run out of town. So we traded him for…
Joni Pitkanen: an elite puck moving defenseman, who had injury and personality issues fitting in the team, so we traded him for…
Erik Cole: our ‘first line winger’ for Hemsky, who tried and struggled playing on the left wing and couldn’t score goals, so we traded him for…
Patty O: a guy who loves to shoot the puck and will solve some of our shooting woes, but has a shooting % south of 5 for whatever reason. Who’s next?
Sam Gagner: C+
Watching last Columbus game, I was wondering if we should have picked Voracek over Gagner. I was thinking, we should have still picked Gagner, but send him back to junior afterwards. Voracek plays with a lot more confidence than Gagner has, but if he can get his confidence up he’s pretty dominant offensively.
Gilbert Brule: B
He’s kinda reminds me of a younger Raffi Torres, a hard nosed player that likes to shoot the puck. He seems more of a follower when hitting. When JFJ and Stone were laying the bodies, he seems to follow suit, but since they went down he hasn’t been doing it as much.
Mike Comrie: B
A lot like Brule, he has been giving us some secondary scoring and is very poised out there.
Andrew Cogliano: C
He’s a speedy guy that runs around everywhere. He’ll have good shifts, but he’ll also have bad ones. Seems to have the same issues as Gagner, but I hope it’s just because they are young and they will grow out of it.
Shawn Horcoff: C-
To be honest, I really don’t know what the difference was when he was out of the line up. His faceoffs hasn’t been stellar either. He’ll have his good days in the dot, and his bad days, but then again, so does everyone else it seems. He still gets 20 minutes a night from two coaches now, so he must be doing something right. Most people in general look at his salary, then look at his points, and judge him on that, but Quinn must be seeing something else.
See Brule, bringing the same kind of gritty hockey this team needs.
Robert Nilsson: F-
I hate giving nicknames, but I call him Robert Failsson. That’s two coaches now that don’t like his game. In a way he’s Ales Hemsky without the offense and doesn’t want to get into the dirty areas, you get a guy that turns over the puck. Worst player on this team at the quarter.
Ethan Moreau: C-
Plays hard, but takes too many penalties, what more do you expect?
Zack Stortini: B
See Gilbert Brule/JFJ
Ryan Stone: B
Ryan Potulny: B-
He was the dagger in the heart for Big Mac IMO. Played special teams on his first game and capitalized.
Liam Reddox: B-
Plays hard, need the more skilled guys to play with as much heart as him.
Ryan O’Marra: n/a
Did you know that he was born in Japan? How cool is that!
Steve Mac: F
Okay I lied when I said Nilsson was the worst player, but not for the lack of trying. I think it took management this long to cut him because of all he’s done last year, and all he has done to improve his skating. But in the end, guys like him are not needed anymore in the NHL.
Fernando Pisani: C+
Not an offensive dynamo, not a defensive liability.
Lubomir Visnovsky: A+
On pace for 56 points and very sound defensively. He can do it all. I bet he can even win draws and play between the pipes. I sent my jersey in to get his name on it.
Denis Grebeshkov: C
He had a great start, but has regressed since then (right around when Souray was injured…). Which defenseman will we get? He’s a very two faced defenseman, either very good or very terrible.
Steve Staios: B
He’s been Steady Steve so far, so no complaints.
Tom Gilbert: C+
I’ll give him the effort part. He does lead our defensemen in shots taken, but only has a shooting% of 3. If he had the same % as Lubo I don’t think anybody would be complaining right now. He’s our O’Sullivan on defense.
Jason Strudwick: D+
There’s a reason why he is the one sitting and playing 30 games a season when we have a healthy lineup. Can’t blame him for the short bench though. I still think his spot should go to Peckham if possible for development purposes.
Taylor Chorney: B
Thrown into the fire, did well. Reminds me of when Gilbert got called up before he had his big season.
Sheldon Souray: B
We havn’t seen too much of him, but the team is like night and day when he’s out of the line up.
Theo Peckham: C
He was set back a bit because of injuries… so not sure how he would have been if he wasn’t injured.
Excellent prototypical backup. He can sit for long periods of time and still play well when called upon. Gave the team a chance to win everytime he played.
Nikolai Khabibulin: B
Makes huge saves, lets in some soft goals. A solid average goalie is the best way to describe him.
I think Quinn is doing well on the coaching front despite the injuries, it is up to the players to buy in (see Penner). He seems to have the call-ups pretty motivated as I see a lot of effort from Reddox, Potulny, O’Marra, etc.
We are full of guys that aren’t able to contribute to the team, and it seems like they will wait to the bitter end to cut them (Schremp, Mac). Lots of fat to trim, but it seems like management likes to carry fat around.