Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Short Sunday Report

For Michael Del Zotto, the learning curve is always going to provide him with new challenges almost nightly. Case in point was the 2-1 loss that Del Zotto's Oshawa Generals suffered at the hands of the Ottawa 67's on Sunday.

The 67's are going to be like most OHL teams this year geared up to stop the 2 main offensive threats that the Oshawa Generals have in John Tavares and Del Zotto. On Sunday the 67's were able to blanket the Generals limiting them to just 22 shots on goal in their win.

For Del Zotto there are a couple of areas where he is going to not be very happy with his performance. Starting with taking 2 minors that put the 67's on the power play and the other was his -2 for the night.

It is going to be tough for Del Zotto and Tavares as the expectations on their performance are going to be very high but as a team the Generals are expected to be one of the OHL's bottom dwellers.

Del Zotto and Tavares did combine to set up the Generals only goal which gives Tavares a OHL leading 10 points in 4 games and Del Zotto his second assist in 2 games.

Del Zotto and his Generals will be facing a tough task next weekend as they get to play 3 games in 3 days. It will be interesting to see how Del Zotto plays come next Sunday.

Other news

Tomas Kundratek is still waiting to make his WHL debut with Medicine Hat and the word we are getting is that as soon as Kundratek is ready he will be counted on to play on both Tiger special teams.

On the other hand while the Brampton Battalion are still hopeful that the Rangers will send Evgeny Grachev back to them, one has to wonder if part of the reason to keep Grachev with Hartford has to do with the KHL.

If Grachev plays for the Battalion then he will not get paid for his play. The concern has nothing to do with Brampton because Battalion GM/Coach Stan Butler has a long relationship with Tom Renney.

What it does have to do is the KHL waving a lot of money in front of Grachev to lure him back to Russia and the concern has to be if Grachev goes back to Russia then it will be for several years.

It makes sense to keep Grachev in Hartford with Artem Anisimov and close to New York City with their very large Russian community. If Grachev were to head to Brampton then he would be the first Russian to play there.

The Cold War has reruturned to the hockey world

(Del Zotto : Oshawa)

The Russians prospects should have body guards at all times


Matty said...

is it me or does Del Zotto look a bit squished in that picture? *G*

Laurie said...

Grachev is still technically under contract with Yaroslavl. From what I understand, like Anisimov, they allowed him to leave. The only team he could go back to is Lokomotiv and they're not going to wave money at a player they already have a contract with and allowed to leave in the first place. Especially when that player is unlikely to even crack their stacked line up.

However, keeping him in Hartford with Anisimov and (assuming they return) his parents, who spent the season with him in the US last year, does make a whole lot of sense in comparison to having him placed with a billet family who likely isn't familiar with his language or culture.

But ultimately I think it'll all come down to whether the organization thinks he's physically and mentally ready for the AHL. A favorable off-ice situation won't trump what's best for him on the ice.