Coz for Thought: Bulls, Colts providing intrigue

Mark Scheifele has his Barrie Colts squad on the verge of a championship.
April 23, 2013, 12:37 PM

Friday Night Hockey

The Colts practiced at Allandale Arena, about a five-minute drive from the Barrie Molson Centre. Allandale Arena has an olympic-sized sheet. It’s the arena where figure skaters Brian Orser and Jennifer Robinson trained.

Dale Hawerchuk takes pride in his team’s PP. He allows his first unit to be creative unless it’s not working. At which time, he preaches going back to the basics.

Mark Scheifele makes something happen every time he touches the puck.

Alex Yuill got injured in last year’s playoffs and it took until the second half of this season for him to round back into form.

While I was critical of Andreas Athanasiou last year, I still feel the Detroit Red Wings got a steal in the 4th round.

Mathias Niederberger could go back to Germany and play in that country’s to league tomorrow. But he’s proving in this series that he is worthy of North American pro consideration.

Barrie’s defence is underrated, but just wait until Ryan O’Connor returns.

Aaron Ekblad’s skating needs to improve, but other than that he’s lived up to the billing as an exceptional player. For two years he’s played against the oppostion’s very best.

George Burnett was more candid and casual than I can remember him being in the past.

Bulls back-up keeper Charlie Graham got a tour of the production truck and broadcast booth prior to Friday night’s game.

Surprised to lean of Tyler Graovac’s abscence from the Bulls’ lineup, but he did return for game 3 and had two points.

Jake Cardwell seems to be enjoying the OA role. He has great respect for the Ottawa 67’s who moved him to a place where he has a chance to win.

The Bulls recipe for success to win the series includes controlling the neutral zone with speed, an overachieving PP and for Malcolm Subban to continue playing the way he has.

So impressed with Scott Simmonds. As the owner’s son you may think he’d have a sense of entitlement. That’s not the case at all, and he’s become a key contributor for the Bulls.

Yardmen Arena needs some updating. The Bulls have a perennial playoff club and would benefit from increased corporate support that only a new arena could provide.

One name I haven’t mentioned is Bulls Assistant Coach Jake Grimes, who looks primed and ready for a Head Coach’s job somewhere in the OHL.

QMJHL

The long-awaited start to the Halfiax-Rouyn-Noranda series finally got underway Saturday night. If you like goal scoring you may want to tune-in.

Apparently there’s quite a buzz in the city of Halifax for what they hope will be a trip to Saskatoon in mid-May.

Nathan MacKinnon looks poised to prove to everyone that he should be the top pick in the NHL draft, he was in on eight of the first 11 Mooseheads goals in their series with Rouyn-Noranda.

Stefan Meatteau Jr. will not play another game with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.

I appreciate what the Armada is trying to do. It has happened on more than one occasion this season when a player was given a team imposed suspension for undisciplined play, conduct detrimental to the club. Club President Joel Bouchard has been more than adamant that no one is bigger than the team.

WHL

The battle of Alberta is alive and well. With both the Flames and Oilers officially eliminated from playoff contention, let’s hope the people of Alberta will realize just how good the CHL is and support the Hitmen and Oil Kings as if they were in the NHL.

The Portland Winterhawks looked poised for a return trip to the Ed Chynoweth Cup final. Mind you, we said that last year when the Blazers were down 3-0 before coming all the way back to force a game 7.

The Saskatoon Blades are back to work. My guess is, the Blades contacted both Eric Veilleux in Baie-Comeau and Brian Kilrea in Ottawa for some tips on what to do with a lengthy layoff.

2014 Mastercard Memorial Cup

Barrie, London, and Windsor all made their formal presentations to the Mastercard Memorial Cup bid committee Wednesday. Expect a formal announcement in early May.

London has most of it’s host committee back from the 2005 Cup. Further, the London bid’s strength is the hockey club’s post-season performance over the last two seasons, and the number of high-end players expected back for the 2013-14 season.

The Windsor bid’s strength is the local area’s infrastructure. A great rink, amazing on-site practice facilities, and an huge parking lot at the WFCU Centre for ancillary events. The downtown core is also vibrant with restaurants and hotels.

Barrie has been through this process before, so the Colts’ organization surely learned from previous unsuccessful experiences. The city and region are on-board to help in terms of some building renovations to increase capacity, and better suit the media. The Colts should have a decent on-ice product, and being roughly one hour from the city of Toronto may very well help raise the profile of the event.

I wonder if the Kingston Frontenacs are kicking themselves for not applying to host the 2014 Mastercard Memorial Cup?

U-18

Canada looked dominant in it’s win 6-0 win over Sweden Tuesday morning. Special teams were simply amazing. Can’t say enough about Connor McDavid’s play. If he were eligible for the 2013 draft, he’d be the first overall pick.

This event will mark the first time each qualifying team will have to play in a quarterfinal game (no byes into the semis). This format will be used by the IIHF moving forward.

You can follow the progress of the U-18 team right here.

Stat Trick

Blainville-Boisbriand with and without Stefan Matteau Jr
Status GP W L OTL SOL PTS
In the lineup 35 22 8 1 4 49
Out of the lineup 33 19 11 1 2 41
Playoffs (in lineup) 11 8 2 1 (down 2-0 in round 3)

* includes 11 playoff games played to date

Completely Off Topic

Why is it that every time I bring my car in to get serviced, the technician tells me there’s something else wrong with it and I need to spend an extra $500 to get it fixed? And this is a car still under warranty.

FNH

Plymouth @ London Game 5, check here for broadcast times.

By the Way

Check back tomorrow to see NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings

More CHL

For more on the CHL, be sure to check out the latest from Patrick King. 

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