How about those Quad City pluckers!

Not a bad day yesterday down at Ricoh Coliseum, the dug-out arena once best known for hosting Ontario’s best show horses, but now reduced to housing the Toronto Maple Leafs farm club, and five games a year of my “Coors Light Division” team, the Sharks. Yes, it’s never a bad day when you get to go to a hockey game, even when the aforementioned Sharks generate more scoring chances in a 32-minute game than our Flames on the farm managed in 60.

Now, that shot out of the way, I’ll give Ryan McGill and the QC staff credit: They almost drew a point out of a game through sheer will and goaltending. They kept the Toronto Marlies, who have a fair number of quality AHLers and are having a monster season, to the outside for the most part, and lost only 2-1 in a game where Toronto held a big majority of the possession. Team defence is strong. But transition, passing … well, let’s just say there’s a lack of skill on the farm right now. Guys who I noticed (or was asked to notice):

Adam Pardy: I had no idea he was so used. Played on what seemed like the de facto No. 1 pair with Tim Ramholt, and was far and away the better of the two. He’ll be in the NHL soon.

Brandon Prust: Making noise, making plays, looking good all night. I have no idea why this guy’s on the farm and Mark Smith was signed to play with the Flames. Prust would do Smith’s job, but better.

Curtis McElhinney: Man, he’s got great fundamentals, and is capable of some highlight-reel style saves as well. You’ve gotta think that he got the screws this year: He got hurt, and the Flames’ mediocre record during his entire run made take-a-chance-on-him starts impossible. He’s going to get a shot eventually, I think, but it won’t be with the Flames.

Tomi Maki: Basically invisible. Sorry WI.

Grant Stevenson: There’s skill there, and all the offense — power play or otherwise — runs through him. But he seems a bit soft on the boards and is definitely undersized, which I presume is the reason he hasn’t been called up at any point.

Krys Kolanos: There’s obviously skill there, which is why he’s had so many chances, but one play in particular really stuck out for me: In the offensive zone, he was battling for a puck with a Marlie just to the side of the net. Kolanos had the body position, but rather than step into the play and grab control of the puck, he softly pushed at it with one hand, and immediately had it taken away. It was just lazy — and probably why he’s stuck in the minors. Also, he sticks his jersey into the back of his pants, so he looks like a dork on the ice full-time.

Brett Palin: This defenceman wears an ‘A’ with this team and is far and away the team leader in +/- — and he’s a nice player, but doesn’t look like an NHL prospect to me. He’s more stay-at-home than David Hale, and that’s saying something, but he doesn’t have Hale’s efficiency in the defensive zone.

Kris Chucko wears No. 9: And, since the jersey is basically the same as the NHL one, it just looks weird. Especially since the guy is about as far from Lanny McDonald as you could imagine. Waste of a No. 1er for sure, unfortnately. And apparently it’s bad news to play for QC and have an alternate spelling of “Chris” for your name.

Marlies Dance Team: Who knew that existed? Moves were a little more provocative than you’d expect, especially since they’re positioned right in front of the family section. But some young pubertarians, and one bald old man, did heartily enjoy the short skirts, ongoing movements and autograph sessions.

So there you have it, my day with the QC. I leave with congrats to Dion Phaneuf, source of most search-engine referrals to this blog, on his big breakaway game win in the All-Star Skills show, and goal in the “big game” tonight. Keep drawing the traffic here, buddy.


~ by duncan on January 27, 2008.

7 Responses to “How about those Quad City pluckers!”

  1. so tömi mäki had a bad game… 😉

  2. I was amazed with Kolanos – he was the softest, laziest player I’ve seen in a long time. You’d think someone trying to carve a path back to the bigs would have some fire…

    The take-away message for me after that game was the Flames are still pretty barren when it comes to prospects. The best players on the farm are overaged, AHL fodder. Ramholt, Pelech and Chucko look like loooooooooonnng shots at best.

  3. two things i didn’t say earlier cause i was being snarky:

    1. let’s not forget that our best prospects are playing in russia (taratukhin, giordano), sweden (backlund) and in the CHL (puustinen). presuming we can push them forward/backwards into the A or the N, the situation might not be as bleak as described above.

    2. it just occurred to me that you described mäki as invisible. did you MEAN to do that ??!?!?!?!


  4. Snarky? Is it because of the cold? (Sorry about your minus-50, by the way.) Anyway …

    1. Good point, and I think I’d take any of those four over anyone on the QC.
    2. I did mean to do that. He left nary an impression — and I had good seats. What did you think I meant to say?

  5. i was playin’ on the walkINVISIBLE. which was what i was trying to query the second time round…..

  6. Wow, I’m dense. My powers of deduction have apparently declined.

  7. […] I was feeling pretty special yesterday when I found out that I can make the same assessment as Ron Sutter about Quad City prospects (particularly Pardy, McElhinney and Prust) after watching […]

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