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Updated: 1 week 2 days ago

[EHM 2018-10-13] Bruins 2 @ Habs 7

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 00:57

Bruins coming off a loss and the Habs a win for game 2 of the season.


Scratches: Byron, Hischier, Tatar

Boston couldn't bear the onslaught in the first period which ended 5-0. Despite struggling at faceoffs, the Habs dominated on shots and boardplays.

Goals and assists were spread around with only Valiev, Honka and Ritchie not registering a point.

Shipachyov was injured with a hip flexor strain - expected to be out for 3 weeks.

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Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[thepuck 2018-10-13 NHL] Pens 3 @ Habs 4 (SO)

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 18:59

Reality is setting in and Julien is already panicking. Recently against LA, Montreal’s strategy was nullified. The run and gun “speed” game doesn’t work on a solid teamwork based strategy like LA. LA’s system makes a team capable of beating even better teams but is a playoff style not always suited for long-term season play. It is a marvellous example of good hockey.

Anyhow, Montreal has tried this mickey mouse strategy before with Therien and it failed. Will it work now?

For those who do not now, I use the old-school C-LW-RW listing of lines and in brackets is their individual rating for the game.

Scratches: Peca, Alzner, Scherbak
IRL: Deslauriers(surgery), De La Rose(cardiac), Weber(surgery), Price(flu)

1st - Habs outplay Pens, down 2-0 anyway.
2nd - more even period, with the Habs taking the lead.
3rd - slower period, Pens tie it up.

OT - 3-3 tie, Montreal gets a 5 on 3 on OT and gives the puck away on every play. Drouin lies on the ice looking around while the Pens get a 2on1 stopped only by a streaking Armia who just gets in and intercepts a pass out of the air.

SO - Byron goes in slow and picks out the open spot. Malkin tries to outwait Niemi to the side and Niemi extends to block. Drouin goes in like a snail watching and waiting, drilling home the second goal. Crosby seems to outwait and outwit Niemi to the opposite side Malkin tried but Niemi extends and raises his glove at the last moment to make the save. Habs win!

Game Notes

When Montreal was down, Gallagher seemed like he was on a mission. HeeEventually scored by working hard (after 4 solid chances). Gallagher changed the whole momentum of the game and kept at it. He is the heart of the team.

Juulsen gets hit from behind by Malkin. No call. Juulsen levels Malkin. Good to see the youngster stand up for himself.

Armia and Byron showed a little chemistry however their centreman, Kotkaniemi looks completely lost and out of his league. At least he didn’t get another hooking penalty, something he’s had trouble learning - hooking the hockey stick is now enforced as a penalty.

Drouin is slow and takes a long time to make a decision. He also turns away from the play and gives up while there’s still time. That said, he can skate well with the puck and avoid being hit but generally accomplishes nothing beneficial. The diving bothers me.

Earlier today I was at the Kings/Sens game and watching Brady Tkachuk (4th overall pick 2018) play and then later on TV watched Jesperi Kotkaniemi (3rd overall pick 2018) and I see a world of difference. Brady is a great player right now. Kotkaniemi may well have potential but he’s not ready yet. Lehkonen looked better when he started in the NHL and he needed two full seasons before he looked like a NHL calibre player in the third. Is this really all about a European adapting to the North American game?

When Julien switched Plekanec to Kotkaniemi’s place on the third line it immediately looked better as all three players gelled really well. While this line looks like the right line, Plekanec makes everyone around him look better. Peca worked well with Hudon and Shaw in previous games so the solution seems obvious.

On defense we seem to lack a stable stoic defenseman like Alzner. Sure, Weber would be awesome however Alzner is reliable and that’s more important than Julien’s preference for rushing once in awhile without any finish.

This was an exciting and very close game. You could tell Pittsburgh was not going to be stunned by an upstart hockey team again but Montreal pulled it out, outshooting the seemingly superior team.

Pros: Gallagher, Niemi, Plekanec, Tatar
Cons: Drouin, Kotkaniemi, Petry, Reilly

Tatar got some points and works hard but he still has something to prove. Petry is always hit and miss. He shows solid talent one game and falls apart the next. Inconsistent but the talent is there and he may just have too much put on his shoulders with Weber out. Reilly had a few pivotal giveaways. It happens.

A goal was called back on Montreal. As Shaw went to the net, a Pittsburgh player got his knee behind him and scooped his legs (slewfoot style) of which the outside one caught the back of the goalie’s foot as Mete beat him with a shot. Debatable call but consistent with what they’ve been calling this year, unlike the hooking and slashing or faceoffs which seem to be a mysterious random call.

Drouin, Tatar, Domi and Gallagher got the bulk of the forwards ice-time. Julien was definitely not rollrolling four lines as the range is from 8 minutes to 24 minutes.

On Defense, Reilly and Petry were favoured by Julien.

#GoHabsGo @CanadiensMTL

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Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[EHM 2018-10-12] Last Farm Exhibitions

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 21:10
Tier 2 AHL

    Top 10s

Noah Juulsen is ranked #7 for Defensemen in the AHL; Goldobin is ranked #2 and Charles Hudon #9 for Left Wingers; Mikko Koivu #4 and Phillip Danault #6 for Centres; Zach Hyman #2 for Right Wings; Christopher Paquette is #1 and Brian Bowen #7 for prospects.

Final Exhibition Griffins 2 @ IceCaps 6


Nygren had a goal and 3 assists; Paquette had 3 assists; IceCaps has 3 powerplay goals; Hudon got heated with Smith and they dropped the gloves - Hudon started off well but Smith ended it; Juulsen played just over 29 minutes; Danault and Goldobin had more than 20 minutes; Goldobin looked tired by the end.

Tier 3 ECHL

    Top 10s

Collin Valcourt is ranked #5 for Left Wingers; Jeremiah Addison #2 for Right Wingers; Joseph Raaymakers #4 for Prospects.


Orlando scored the first two goals; half of Brampton's goals were on the powerplay; Brodeur had 4 assists; Ouellet had just over 25 minutes; Addison and Valcourt were absolutely exhausted by the end; Scherbak and Baker looking a little winded.

Cedarholm, Lindgren and Gagnon will probably join the team soon.

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Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[2018-10-11] Iron Fist S02

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 20:29

The first episode sucked from the fight choreography to the frightening slow plodding screenwriting. In my head, oh no, they’ve Jessica Jonesed the series and nothing will happen for 8 episodes. Luckily from episode 2-9 it’s pretty engaging.

Ward and his sister’s plotlines seem superfluous. You could remove them and their stuff without impacting the plot although it would then move along quicker which means they’re basically tacked on filler. The acting is good, they’re just unnecessary in this season.

Colleen and Daniel are great together and the actors have chemistry. Misty, not so much. She’s more fish out of water in this season. While she does add a dues ex machina here and there, she mostly exists to slow things down and could also be removed without any real loss to the story.

The rest of the cast are commendable and each have important roles. The villain is fantastic as are all the support roles.

Typhoid Mary is easily the best part of the season and in some way because she was my favourite Daredevil character in the comics. She’s portrayed perfectly by Alice Eve (the hottie from Star Trek: Into Darkness) who is stunning and impactful. She makes this season dramatically better than the first. Her skill at playing this dynamic and difficult character are certainly on full display. No double meaning there as she never strips down like in Star Trek. She is the highlight of this whole series.

The plot is simple enough with no real twists but this time around it’s quite entertaining.

I would say this is the best storyline to come out of Marvel TV so far.

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Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[EHM 2018-10-11] Opening Night - Stars 0 @ Habs 3

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 20:09

Opening night at the Bell Centre sees the Habs host the Dallas Stars after the Stanley Cup banner is raised to the ceiling.

Reaves can't start tonight as he's serving out a one-game suspension. It's fairly certain that if either Deslauriers or Ritchie are waived for roster space that they will be claimed. Pezzetta on the other hand is exempt from waivers and despite him playing well, the exemption may seal his fate as an AHL player this year. He's sent to St. Johns. Jokinen's try-out ends (same with Bozak and Baun). Matthew Peca turned down a try-out offer. Attempts to snag the rights to Joel Teasdale from the Panthers have failed. They want too much.

The Habs have too many NHL left-wingers and not enough NHL right-wingers. They have too many AHL right-wingers so you'd think that would be a solution however the left-wingers outplayed the right-wingers even when on their off wing. This leaves the Habs with one winger playing on his off side and scratching three left-wingers just to save them from being snagged by another team for free.

This creates the problem of having players you like and want to keep but not having ice-time to go around. Opening night is also a big deal and likely to shine some good morale into the players who get to be announced as this years team.


Scratches: Deslauriers (healthy), Ritchie (healthy), Reaves (suspension)

While simulations of this game saw both teams very even out of the gate with an overtime likely, the addition of Bryan Little may have made a bigger difference than expected even though he didn't make the score-sheet.

Weber had 22:21 of ice-time and Green 24:11. Weber and Valiev were +2. Sergachev and Honka +1.

Dadanov saw 18:16 of ice-time (his line being +2) while Shipachyov only received 11:32.

Domi led the team with 4 shots on goal and surprisingly Valiev himself got 3.

Shipachyov and Tatar each took foolish penalties in a game that had very few (2 minors each team). The PK unit did well but not the PP. Lines also rolled well with no one becoming over-tired or injured.

Thornton scored from Dawes and Sergechev; Hischier unassisted; Domi from Dadanov.

On most game stats the Stars had the edge except on giveaways/takeaways where Montreal took their advantage.


There are still some decisions on the two feeder teams, especially on defense. Strange roster rules keep Michael McCarron, Nikita Scherbak, Victor Mete and Anton Cedarholm from trying out with the Brampton Beast before the season starts. They will all most likely start the season there.

It's unsure which defensemen will join Kulak, Juulsen, Nygren and probably Reilly on the IceCaps. DeSimone, Muller, Ouellet, Perry, Hickets and Gagnon all have a shot. Bindulis will likely be kept for emergency injury replacement. There is a huge hole on the RD side of both the IceCaps and Beast forcing the defensemen to skate make it on their off side. Some like Muller, Ouellet and Perry are pretty good at doing that.

While the Habs have a glut on LW, the Beast aren't sure who'll fit there. Valcourt will most certainly keep his place with Castonguay and Addison but Verbeek and Gabrielle have underperformed and being let go is a likely future. Versatile Phillips might find his way there and Broll or Gagnon might come down temporarily for some ice-time. Brodeur has certainly locked the second LW position so the 3rd is wide open.

Remember that the ECHL where the Beast play have a strict 18 skater lineup with a max of 20 players on the roster. Once the players signed by the Habs or IceCaps come down, the salary rules kick in and the team will not be able to sign anyone. This league runs heavily on try-outs and unlike the AHL or NHL, try-out players may play in season and playoff games.

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[EHM 2018-10-10] Tier 2 and 3 Exhibition

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 02:23

Ranger took on Martin in a fight late in the first period. It started rough for Ranger who had trouble connecting and Martin landed a flurry of blows. Ranger finally got steady and started connecting so Martin jockeyed for position and they both went down. Easily Martin's win.

Ruck got a shutout.


Brodeur showed some chemistry with Captain Castonguay and scored the Beast's only two goals.

In other news:

C Matthew Peca refused to even sit down and talk about a contract with St. Johns.

Beast LW/C Hayden Verbeek has been loaned to the Peoria Rivermen.

Brodeur and Phillips snubbed contracts from the Beast.

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

HackMoor 2018/10/04 Ascension for Jacko?

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 19:21

THIS WEEK'S GAME WILL BE CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER. (While not quite a Hurricane, I don't like driving and picking up passengers in thunderstorms.)

Games are on Thursday nights sometime after 6:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

The Player for Jacko ordered the pizza, and he earned an honor point.



We left Jacko by his lonesome in a 30 by 30 foot room with a iron door to the North, a wood door to the South, a 15 foot tall statue of an Elf with 6 keyholes in the base, a rolltop desk with bookshelves, and a sense of foreboding evil.

Checking the South door it led to a passageway that turned left, but he left it at that. Turning back, Jacko easily bypassed the magical trap of the North door. (He couldn't disarm it, but instead relied on his Magic Resistance of 80%.) Finding a 10 by 10 foot room with a portcullis, he was he was noticed by some Metal Elementals in the next chamber (rather large 50 by 80 feet room) working a forge. The Elementals first mistook him for their boss (a.k.a. "Master"), then realized their mistake a moment later. So without raising the portcullis, they simply chatted for awhile mainly about the nature of "The Master" (which they knew nothing) and guessing there were keys to the statue to be found behind the other doors behind them.

Taking his leave, Jacko went back, but not without taking anything of value in the statue room. Meaning he dumped the desks and the contents of the bookshelves into the portable hole. Thankfully where was nothing extradimensional tossed in.

Climbing back to rejoin the party they decided to explore the level. Basically they found nothing living there except the Trolls living in the Giant's garbage dump and the Troglodyte tribe mentioned heretofore.

So they explored until they ran into almost every possible wandering monster, (not counting the high rolls which would get them monsters from the next lower level).

A - Four Stone Golems who seemed who have forgotten what they were Guarding. Oh yeah, the hole the the next level Jacko had already gone down. The Golems thanked Jacko for reminding them and went on their way.

B - Four Barbed Devils whom Jacko easily dispatched, snickety snack. It was mentioned Jacko was garnering all the experience for himself, so Gnomex threw a just before the last one died and rock and missed. But it allowed the Party to claim shared experience points.

C - Two Dracolisks, whom Jacko also easily dispatched. Gnomex threw another rock just in time, and missed.

D - Four more Fire Giants taking out this week's trash to the Troll dump. The party was again re-invited to help with the Salamander war.

E - Four more Minotoxes, again whom Jacko easily killed. Gnomex threw another rock.

F - One Type IV Demon, again whom Jacko killed off, while Gnomex threw his last rock, almost wrenching his wrist in the process.

So we came to the conclusion that Jacko has wished himself too powerful for the rest of the Party. So in the session debrief I mentioned that maybe Jacko should "retire". The idea of "Divine Ascension" for Jacko also came up. Which would essentially be the same as retirement, but without the stigma, and without tallying one to the Player's game limit of four retirees.

So I looked at the qualifications for "Divine Ascension".

One - the character in question (hence "Candidate") must have reached a significantly higher level than the rest of the Party, both Player and Non-Player. Citing an example from the rules, if the Party is Average 5th level, then the Candidate should be 9th or 10th level.

Check - The Party average is 6.5 and Jacko is 15th (in three classes).

Two - The Candidate's ability scores must be on a par with other diving beings, at least a lesser demi-gawd.

Non-Check - Only one, STRength is at 24. The rest are above average. Only DEXterity is 19, which is only on its way to gawdly levels.

Three - The Candidate must have a body of worshipers, convinced of his divinity due to their belief in his mighty deeds and miracles which he performs and continues to perform. These must be genuine worshipers honest in their adoration of the person.

Non-Check - Doesn't work for narcissism.

Four - The Candidate must have been faithful and a true follower of this patron Gawd.

Check - Well, even if not so, it was corrected as part of the wish as part of his past history reevaluated.

At which point I realized, we should have done this for Elefus. At least he had followers.

So I determined the first qualification could spill over into the other other two disqualifying factors. Since he met that qualification three times over.

The Player agrees in a way. However he wants to hold back until he finds the Thief who stole the party's super weapons.

So I'll treat that as a quest, once done, ascension time.

Gnomex earned MVP, for throwing the rocks. It was Gnomex' valiant efforts, that earned the whole party's experience point totals, not Jacko.






Zamon, a fifth level Thug.
Grok the Dwarf, a third level WitchRanger (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Friar (a Ranger 5th and Cleric 6th level).
Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Multiclass of 15th level (Infiltrator, Ranger and Battle Mage).

Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome Adept of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus, abandoned to the Blood Cult in the City of Brass on the Plane of Fire.

Serena 2.0 - First Level Battle Mage Second (a Protege of Jacko) topside.
Count Elefus, a human Abbot of Heimdall (Cleric class). RETIRED
Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.





This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.


Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:



Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[EHM 2018-10-09] Beastly Decisions

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 16:14

Brampton has some decisions to make this week and will need to make space for some players from St. John's soon.

Will Logan Brown come down to play Centre now that he cleared waivers? Scherbak is most certainly coming. Potential opening day lineup:

McNiven or Lindgren
Scratches: Petti, Verbeek or J.McCarron

Etienne Brodeur has been impressing along with Kuhn and Raaymakers in net. Hare will likely be loaned out and kept just for injury emergencies.

Castonuguay is leading the team as a Captain should and things look good on that front including Alternate Captain Mike Vernace who had a terrible camp with scouts and other management whispering about releasing him. Vernace has played well during exhibition games but something may be wrong behind closed doors. The other Alternate Captain Valcourt is playing well enough however he's having trouble with his endurance.

At centre, Castonguay may even top the lines when player's come down from St. John's. No one else has stepped up with Verbeek not transitioning to Centre well and Petti really playing himself into an 'extra' position.

The injury to fan-favourite Nieuwendyk has probably cost him a place in the roster for a month or so. There are quite a few options on that LW with few if no players coming from above to play there. Already signed Valcourt, Gabrielle, Verbeek (who's been playing Centre) are having mixed results while try-out Brodeur is most certainly prized. Verbeek, Gabrielle and Shirley have not played up to expectations.

Chouinard has outplayed John McCarron on RW and with Addison already there and Scherbak coming down, at best he'll be a healthy scratch.

There are tons of options on LD however the team also knows at least a couple players will come down from the IceCaps in this position leaving at best one spot open that Vernace will likely take if he continues to pick his game up. If not, Trey Phillips will take the spot. Julseth-White, Ripley, Kyle and even highly-touted Carroll have done very little to convince anyone they belong. Brennan Evans may surprise though.

RD is weak throughout the organization as far as depth is concerned although it's the more skilled side. Weber, Green, Honka, Juulsen, Hicketts, Nygren are solidly in the top two Tiers and even here in Tier 3, Baker is a sho-in for the top line. The next two spots are open and likely will go to LD players who will need to transition over like Phillips, Evans or it may well keep someone like Ripley around - but St. Johns has a huge glut of LD that may also take those spots.

Raaymakers has secured his position making it hard to take more than one higher tier goalie. Kuhn was also pushed down and has played equally well. Hare was never more than a extra backup in case of injury. He'll be loaned out.

    Americans 4 @ Beast 5 OT


Petti and Shirley showed some chemistry this game. Both players are on the verge of being let go, so it was a timely show of quality. Almost half the goals this game were from special teams with three of the four by Brampton.

Vernace and Ripley were both walked around for the firs Allen goal. Carroll couldn't hold off his man for Allen's second goal just as the 5 on 3 against the Beast ended. Petti and Shirley did a few give and go plays before scoring Petti's first of the game. Kyle blew it for two of the following goals. Chouinard held onto the puck for the perfect play to Verbeek ending the game in an overtime win.

Tier 1 News
Habs sign Bryan Little to a one-way one-year contract worth 3.32 Mil. They now must either demote or waive someone before opening night on Thursday. Reaves will be carrying out a one-game suspension for fighting in the pre-season. Ridiculous suspension.

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[2018-10-08 DWUniverse] Smith to Capaldi

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 00:00

In readiness for the new season, I'm trying to catch up. So we watched THE: Day of the Doctor, Night of the Doctor and Time of the Doctor in that order (which is incorrect as Night occurs before Day); finally starting Deep Breath.

Basically skipped all of The Impossible Girl story arc. We did see Asylum and Dinos on a Spaceship some time back before we took a Doctor Who break.

It's cool to see the 8th Dr again. I never really cared for Moffat's desire to fill in every single blank of imagination before he left and consider Dr 8.5 to be something that should always be seen as this dark time no one will ever know the exact details. By setting down every little detail Moffat took all the power away from the Doctor's evolution. Still better than resetting the universe.

When Tennant says, "I don't want to go;" we both teared up. His end is so compelling. Smith's end seemed to drag on and on.

We skipped a few episodes that I did like however on the whole, I believe Clara is a stronger character for the viewer if seen as another companion as opposed to seeing her actual origin for The Doctor play out. Archergirl currently likes Clara which is something I believe will be weakened when she goes back and sees 'her' story.

I really liked how The Doctor pushes two sides to negotiate fairly. It seems like a pretty good idea.

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[EHM 2018-10-8] Morale Shinny

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 20:26

Tier 3

The Brampton Beast are ranked 20th out of 27 in the Season Preview with Justin Baker MVP and Jerry Kuhn as the key arrival.

A contract is offered to Ryan Kyle. Three more exhibition games until the season starts with a game of shinny after that.

Tier 2

The IceCaps have shinny with the Habs today and just two more exhibition games before the season starts.

The St. John's IceCaps are ranked 1st out of 30 in the Season Preview. Texas hot on their heels. Zack Hyman and Phillip Danault touted as the movers and shakers of the team. With some regret we see Mathieu Perreault as the star on the Manitoba Moose. We 'could' have had him.

Tier 1

The Panthers knowing about Montreal's interest in Joel Teasdale, offered him with 2020 3rd pick for star prospect Vince Werhane and the Habs 2019 3rd pick. Possibly trying to cash in on Werhane not being in Kersus' good books. Werhane is touted to be a superstar in a few years and it's widely thought the Habs are grooming him as tradebait.

The Habs counteroffered switching the picks to be Florida's 1st pick 2019 for Detroit's 2nd pick 2019.

Bryan Little and the Habs are close to terms but the Habs aren't sure they need him with pezzetta doing so well. Then it's a decision between Bozak and Little. Are either of them actually a better fit than Koivu was?

Some thought that Mike Reilly would be brought up to compete with Valiev for a spot next to Weber however Assistant Coaches Malarchuk (Habs) and Graves (IceCaps) highly recommended this does not happen.

    IceCaps 2 @ Habs 9

Naturally this was a tough game for the IceCaps and one used to bolster confidence in the top tier team but Hyman still stood tall with Koivu, Paquette, Athanasiou and Kulak holding their own. Juulsen, McCarron, Haugen, Lindgren and to a lesser extent Ouellet were exposed weaknesses on the team. Zenko, Alzner, Honka and Dawes were hard pressed at times while Shipachyov, Domi, Tatar and Green moved up the ice like men playing with boys.

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[EHM 2018-10-07] Final Exhibition Jets 0 @ Habs 4

Sun, 10/07/2018 - 20:52

"So Mikko, we had high hopes and believe that you are an excellent hockey player and person. After an exciting camp and with the new season about to begin it appears our initial thoughts are not working out. Depending on your wishes, we can mutually disolve the contract, put you on waivers, or pay out a release. It's completely up to you."

Mikko Koivu was put on waivers.

OOC: In real life, I don't see this as a viable option. Hockey isn't just a business. Mikko Koivu is a real person that was given expectations to play out the season despite a poor camp. IRL I'd keep giving him the opportunity and at worst ask him what he thinks and go with that. I believe that IRL NHL franchises that treat people the way that the Habs treated Andrei Markov and Mark Streit has the consequence of not being an attractive place when great Free Agents like John tavares pops up. There was zero chance he'd come to Montreal and risk being treated like a commodity. He's a person. he knows it. Montreal management does not. Since this is a Sim, I'm excited to try Pezzetta or Bozak.

Scratches: Domi, Rychel, Hischier, Dadanov
Try-out Scratches: Jokinen, Baun

Bozak is still on try-out fighting for fourth centreman with Michael Pezzetta.

This was the first reunion since Drouin was traded from the Habs to the Jets for draft picks. He ended up with a hip-flexor strain and is expected to be out for three weeks despite playing 18 minutes. Laine also went day-to-day having played only 7 minutes.

Bozak was tested heavily and topped the forwards with ice-time. Weber for D. Valiev looks extra shaky and someone else may get a chance. Tatar surprised a bit on the powerplay.

Starting Day lineup is undecided but from the outside it looks like:

Shipachyov-Rychel-Lehkonen or Byron
Scratches: Bozak, Deslauriers, Byron, Ritchie, Valiev

This lineup means that Bozak possibly doesn't get signed and/or Deslauriers is demoted and/or another defenceman from St. John's comes up which also might mean Valiev is waived. There are a lot of hard choices.

Hard hitting, 27 year-old defenseman Jakub Jerabek is traded to the Ottawa Senators for signed Centre prospect Logan Brown. A Czech for a Yankee.

Koivu clears waivers.

Tier 2

St. John's has a couple exhibition games and readies for some shinny against the Habs. It should be a treat.

The IceCaps see newcomer C Christopher Paquette playing well along with D Brett Kulak. Many games has shown Hyman, Reilly, Reway, Bowen and Danault as exceptional. McCarron, Goldobin, Nygren and Chaput are also playing very well.

McNiven, DeSimone, Bindulis, Mete, Lindgren, Cedarholm have all been disappointing,

This leaves a question on goaltending. The IceCaps will likely start newcomer Ryan Ruck with Lars Haugen as the backup but one of McNiven or Lindgren will alternate with Ruck unless Frey gets signed. One or both of McNivena nd Lindgren could see themselves with the Beast to start the season while the Beast have Raaymakers already excelling.

Tier 3

Beast's fan-favourite Chase Nieuwendyk suffered an injury in practice that will have him out about ten days. Chase is a fringe talent and may only be on the roster because the fans seem to love him.

The Beast were also shocked at losing a shinny game to the SPHL team, Peoria. It was meant to help both teams but by no means did the Beast expect to be challenged. Etienne Brodeur looked very excellent and Raaymakers made some fantastic saves but the rest of the Beast fell apart with Verbeek having an absolutely terrible game.

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[EHM 2018-10-05] Exhibition Twelve Leafs 1 @ Habs 4

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 23:11

Tyler Bozak came as a try-out player for a week.

    IR-Shipachyov DtD

Baun and Jokinen are try-outs so they don't count against the player cap. There is also no extra defenseman being carried, so we have three forwards.

The defensive lines look good. With only one pre-season game left, plus shinny with IceCaps, it's good to see some things have fallen into place.

Gallagher just took-off on a line with Thornton and Dawes, which makes sense. Playmaker, shooter, crash the net. I expect them to stay together.

It seems that Byron will fit in somewhere but likely get bounced from line to line as injuries and other issues crop up. The thing with Byron is that he's the team's PK specialist but otherwise other players plug the holes better. Tatar, Reaves, Ritchie and Jokinen haven't quite found their place and when Shipachyov comes back, other players may be bumped.

I can't say enough how steady Alzner has been back there. For whatever reason he doesn't gel with Weber but otherwise he makes the right plays no matter the situation. Unfortunately, Valiev has been consistently walked around and needs to learn how to cut the skater off into the boards. Assistant Coach Bert Robertson will spend some one-on-one time with him.

If Koivu is released and Deslauriers waived again we'll be left with Ritchie and Byron. Baun will leave when his tryout is over however there is the possible signing of Bozak and the more remote signing of Jokinen.

Jokinen was brought in to play with Koivu and plays pretty well with others but he'd probably have to accept some games in the AHL to stay.

In some ways I feel bad for Deslauriers because Ritchie stole his spot without doing the actual work. He's come in quite highly touted and Deslauriers has worked hard and played well but for him it's sit as an extra in Montreal or play regularly on one of the affiliate teams. In fact, considering the glut in the LW position, he might even be loaned out. It's doubly unfortunate because like Byron, Deslauriers can fit almost anywhere (except centre).

Shipachyov has resumed practice, which will tighten up the roster a bit.

Centre Mika Niemi is signed to a contract that starts at the national transfer window next year. He currently plays for Jokerit in the KHL.

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[EHM 2018-10-04b] Exhibition Eleven Sens 3 @ Habs 6

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 20:24

Defensive LD-man Simon Bourque was traded to Calgary for LD Brett Kulak who arrived lacking game fitness and was sent to the farm.

This may be Koivu's last game to prove himself.


The Sens goalie made this an easy game and a surprise for Habs fans hoping to see Koivu succeed. Is it too little too late?

Sens took 9 penalties and the Habs stayed out of the box...

Haugen was slated to start but at the last minute Hartley put Zenko between the pipes. We have no idea why.

Byron had a tough game and struggled at times but did pot a goal. Domi had the most minutes for a forward and Green had 27 minutes!

One of the main changes this game was Koivu's line being limited to 20 second shifts, so his linemates saw less than 10 minutes of action while he pulled extra time on the powerplay where he assisted on two goals. One was a faceoff draw to Alzner who tossed it toward the net and it bounced of a Sens player tied up with Dadanov. Faceoffs is one of the reasons Koivu was coveted.

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[EHM 2018-10-04] Exhibition Nine-Ten

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 04:03

Exhibition Nine Devils 4 @ Habs 7


Green just edged out Weber for the most ice-time for defense and Rychel took it for offense. Ouellett, Ritchie and Tatar had the least.

The top line really seemed to click which may change Gallagher's position. Thornton and Dawes continue to gel as did Ritchie and Tatar. Koivu continues to struggle on the team. Ouellet seems destined for the farm. Valiev had his best game so far!

Team stats were pretty even other than goals and a complete reliance of Montreal on Zenko who had no one blocking shots.

Media: Price rated top goalie, Weber rated 4th best defenseman, Goldobin rated 5th top prospect.

Exhibition Ten Bolts 3 @ Habs 9

    HS-Ouellet-Ritchie-Reaves (Baun-Jokinen - try-outs)

Domi and Dadanov as well as Thornton and Dawes had solid chemistry this game. We only had one minor penalty as well. Weber and Thornton had the most ice time for Defense-Forward respectively. Sergachev's reduced ice-time seemed to help him.

This defense lineup all played well. The forwards too except Koivu's line which continues to suffer. Deslauriers also did very little.

It's a conundrum with Koivu. Kersus thought he'd love to finish his career where his brother was so successful and he had the right skillset to fill out the roster. If he continues to perform poorly, Pezzetta is the likely suspect to come up and replace him. Even so, he may be a great asset in the playoffs so it might be worthwhile letting him plod along in the season.

Pezzetta grinds and goes to the net. He's a little small for his aggressive play but stands his own. Who would work well with him? Deslauriers and Lehkonen? Jokinen and Tatar? On the other hand, Byron is showing promise at centre between Rychel and Gallagher. When Shipachyov is healthy, maybe Byron centres the fourth line.

I should mention that when Ouellet was signed, there was a scramble of offers to trade Drouin made by the Habs to numerous teams. They didn't take the best potential deal, just the very first one to be accepted which bundled Drouin with a 2021 3rd pick and was sent to the Jets for their 2019 2nd round pick and 2020 1st and 2nd round picks.

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

HackMoor 2018/09/27 Negotiating with Dragons?

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 03:24

​Games are on Thursday nights sometime after 6:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

We had a split meat-lover's pizza, with pepperoni removed from one half of it.



From the previous session we left off with a Troll making a critical hit on Jacko, That having been decided, we settled for my in-house critical hit that we call the "cheese" crit (because it is so cheesy). For those that haven't see my in-house cheese-crit table here it is, based on a second roll of a 20 sided die:

15 - max damage
16 - double damage
17 - double max damage
18 - triple damage die
19 - triple max damage
20 - character death

I adopted this from an early Dragon Mazazine (I think). Maybe it was an issue of White Dwarf? Not sure. Anyway it was written before munchkins padded their hit points and before the 20 hit point kicker from HackMaster. It was deadlier back then. I also never incorporated penetration rolls, which the "max" result should utilize, maybe I should.

Maybe I should also modify the table with a Quadruple and Pentuple progression?

So anyway the Trolls fought until they died and the Fire Giants were still throwing rocks from a distance. Player characters were moving to go face to face, err face to knee with the giants.

Then the Young Blue Dragon showed up, on his round he flew over the giants and landed between the party and the frontrunners who had decided to meet the giants. (There was a small argument about about flying in a dungeon with a dragon's wingspan. I countered this was a "cavern" entrance which was 80 feet wide, and it was a "young" dragon anyway. Not to mention it opens up to the Mushroom forest which was thousands of feet wide and hundreds high.

Anyway, just after the Blue Dragon landed, another Young Red Dragon appeared in the same tunnel.

Jacko, who could speak dragon, decided to negotiate.

A "Cease Fire" was called for.

It took a few rounds, but basically it boiled down to: One, two, three, four, what are we fightin' for? We didn't bother with the Pearly Gates because the Party was still on the Prime Material Plane.

The Dragons stated they were the "pets" of the Fire Giant tribe. However the Dragons think the giants are "their" pets, but don't tell the giants that. Then negotiations turned over to the Fire Giants. And why were these two mis-matched Dragons together? They were drinking buddies and were playing Axis & Allies Classic in their lair before they were interrupted by the Party.

It turned out the Giants were on their guard for invaders because they're currently under siege from a tribe of Salamaders (from the elemental plane of Fire). This area was one of their back doors that kept a heard of Minotaur Lizards for food. The lizards in turn, fed off the Mushroom forest just behind the Party.

"Apologies," replied Jacko, we just killed the herd out back. They're ready for the butcher.

It turned out not to be a problem, as the herd was bigger than the kill, so the herd can still multiply.

Regarding the Trolls, nobody burned them, so they would regenerate in time. No harm, no foul.

Jack agreed to a deal that the Party would "Help out" the Fire Giants against the Salamanders in exchange for directions and the location of any other "passers-by" (as he was still tracking the thief who stole their weapons.)

The Fire Giants agreed and would inform their superiors accordingly. They admitted they had not seen anyone else pass. But the Party was free to look down the passage. And by the way the main door on this level to the Fire Giant's realm was past a part of the Mushroom Forest the Party had not yet explored.

So the Party examined the passageway the Giant's came from and yes they found more tracks of the kind they had been following. It led to a waterfall that fell 400 feet down. (Two levels, for the record.)

The party went down the waterfall chamber and ended up at a lake. There were no tracks of the kind they were looking for. However there were Fire Giant tracks one led to a stinky chamber. Full of more Trolls, who are merely the giant's garbage keepers.

Following the Fire Giant tracks the other way the party went past the lake into other caverns and found the bottom door to the Fire Giant's realm. It of course it only opened from the inside, 8 inches thick. Still no tracks of the kind they were looking for.

Without busting the door, the Deimos decided to backtrack. Especially after I pointed out that the tunnel that led to the waterfall continued on the other side. (It was plainly obvious on the white board we use for a table where I drew the waterfall.) So Jacko left the party behind and climbed back up the waterfall pit to check if the tracks continued on the other side of the tunnel.

Note Jacko has become so powerful he can just spider climb at a speed of 190 per round.

The other side of the tunnel past the waterfall simply turned out to be the path to the Young Dragons' lair anyway and no, there weren't any humanoid tracks. So rather than interrupt the Dragons' game as the dice were being rolled for the umpteenth time to attack Moscow, Jacko went back down the waterfall to explore other venues.

Exploring the cavern where the waterfall landed in the lake further, Jacko found a tribe of Troglodytes living in otherwise unused caverns the Fire Giants were not using. Having his almost perfect ability for non-detection, he went past them and found another pit of an unknown depth.

Jacko climbed down this pit and found a 30 by 30 foot room with a 15 foot statue, a door to the North made of Iron, and a door to the South made of wood.

A cursory exam of the statue showed it was a representation of an Elven wizard, wearing flowing robes, slippers and a thin circlet. On the pedestal beneath there were six identical keyholes. Yes the statue detected as magical.

I called it a night.

Debrief, note Jack is separated from the Party. The Party thinks he is still looking for Thief tracks. Well he is, but is currently occupied by his investigation.






Zamon, a fifth level Thug.
Grok the Dwarf, a third level WitchRanger (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Friar (a Ranger 5th and Cleric 6th level).
Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Multiclass (Infiltrator, Ranger and Battle Mage).

Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome Adept of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus, abandoned to the Blood Cult in the City of Brass on the Plane of Fire.

Serena 2.0 - First Level Battle Mage Second (a Protege of Jacko) topside.
Count Elefus, a human Abbot of Heimdall (Cleric class). RETIRED
Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.





This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.


Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:



Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

Categorically Drinking

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 22:40

Things change with time.....
The last time I did this was May 20, 2009 -

Winter/Relaxing Soft Drink: Diet Caffeine Free Great Value Cola (was Diet Mugs Root Beer but it's unavailable here now)
Refreshing Summer Soft Drink: Diet Tonic Water (was Diet Canada Dry Ginger Ale, which is still awesome)

Powdered: Tang (same but it's been awhile)
Decadent Drink: Vanilla Malt (same but unavailable here)

Hot: Ovaltine, India Nespresso, Gourmet Gold Martello (India and Gourmet Gold replace Sleepytime Tea - Tea is too much work)

All Time Beer: Guinness Draught or any German dark wheat beer (Germans replaced Blackwych stout which became unreliable in taste and in availability)
Summer Beer: Erdinger Wheat Beer (replaced Bohemian and Sleeman Clear)
Winter Beer: Old Vienna (replaced Laker Ale)
Cider: Strongbow Ginger (replaced Magners which is still better than Strongbow original but I don't much like alcoholic cider anymore)

Rum: Anything not Canadian (was Wray & Nephew but I don't really drink rum anymore)
Gin: Ungava or other small batch yellow gins (was Plymouth)
Whiskey: Macallan or Tullamore Dew (special occasions only and I never drink Canadian whiskey or rum - new category)
Mixed: Gin & Tonic (was Zombie)

Shooter: Nope. (was Polar Bear)
Schnapps: I can't remember the last time I had some. (was Apple)
Liqueur: (pretty much steer clear of. (was Maple)

Sparkling Wine: Dom Perignon (same)
Wine: Anything dark red and bitter but this is a very rare thing (was Pelee Island Shiraz)

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[EHM 2018-10-03b] Exhibition Eight - Kings 2 @ Habs 1

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 22:16

RFA Ouellet accepted a four year contract from the Habs worth an average 1.95M. This will take some pressure off DeSimone although it will also limit DeSimone's chances of making the pro club.


Reaves and Paquette had a good tilt after Alzner almost deflected a shot passed Price. Reaves landed the final punch but it was a good one for both guys.

Montreal had five penalties and LA had four. LA converted on Sergechev's holding call. LA outshot, outblocked, and outhit the Habs. LA looked superior all game despite the tight score.

Domi and Alzner assisted on Rychel's goal. Rychel actually stole the puck in the offensive zone, tossed it to Alzner while he skated toward the net (give and go style). Alzner bumped it over to Domi who hit Rychel on the tape as he passed uncontested in front of the net and slid it by Quick. This was against the normally impenetrable Muzzin-Doughty defensive wall!

Weber did not have a good game and was beaten twice, both times stuck on the ice with Alzner.

Tatar had 8 shots on goal.

Green had the most minutes for a defenseman and Lehkonen the most for a forward. Valiev and Reaves getting the least.


Alzner and Weber do not compliment each other. Weber needs someone speedy with him however Valiev, while not speedy, may get a shot with him as a test.

Domi is reliable at Centre.

Thornton-Dawes-Reaves continues to work.

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

[EHM 2018-10-03] Affiliate Intermission

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 14:11

AHL/ECHL Exhibition & TC

The Beast whomped the Swamp Rabbits 6-3 with Flanagan leaving the ice with an injury and Brodeur, Brine, Vermeersch and Chouinard excelling.

The Beast training camp was a whirlwind.

Off the bat, Etiene Brodeur and Luke Ripley impressed in the early drills while Ryan Kyle and Tim Cavar looked slack, needing improvement.

Matt Boudens suffered a major injury in the first scrimmage. Cichy, Tipoff were injured later. Castonguay, Vernace and Caron(2) played poorly while Vasaturo, Cichy, Verbeek, Miceli, Brown, Ferriero, Wolframe(2), Shirley, Brodeur, Chouinard, Lloyd and J. McCarron(2) had exceptional games with Vermeersch playing one with perfection. Samuel had hit and miss games.

Stridemakers: John McCarron(2), Garrett Vermeesch, Wolframe
Head-turning: Collin Shirley(2), Banfield, Domin
Disappointing Efforts: Vernace(3)

Potential further try-out players: LD/W Trey Phillips?, D Noah Carroll, D Luke Ripley, LD Brennan Evans(fighter), LD Ryan Kyle, W Etienne Brodeur, LW Collin Shirley, LW Chase Nieuwendyk, LW Jared Domin, RW John McCarron, RW Garrett Vermeersch, RW Nicholas Chouinard*, C Cody Ferriero*, C/LW Brandon Wolframe?, C Niki Petti

Attempts will be made to sign: C Cody Ferriero, D Luke Ripley

The IceCaps lost in a shootout to Bingahmton. Despite losing and being slightly outrshone by Kielly, Lindgren was solid. No one excelled although Goldobin received second star (Lindgren third) and Hudon, Reway, D'Agostini played well enough.

In camp: Ruck, Smith and Ebbing have been flashing their talent to the coaching staff. Assistant Coach Adam Graves has warned that cuts need to be made.

The last scrimmages saw Broll struggle while Ruck, Haugen, Lindgren, Frey, Reilly, Bourque, Mete, Bereglazov, Goldobin, Hudon, Ebbing, Scherbak, McCarron performed adequately and no one stole the limelight.

Choices have to be made. From the tryouts, the IceCaps wnat to sign one goalie and one or two defensemen in case of injuries as well as checking out some talent long-term. GM Guay has seen Beast GM Guiness find some diamonds in the rough and would like to try her hand at it.

Overall the camp was frustrating in that many of the expected regulars performed poorly while they did quite well in exhibition games.

As for the try-outs, Guay wants to see more from these players:

Forward - Beauregard, Pacan (injured for much of the camp), Vigneault
Defense - Emond, Perry, Baker (contracted to the Beast)
Goalie - Frey, Kuhn

Final exhibition of training camp gave us these details (there will be more exhibition games but all training camp try-outs will be gone after this hwoever normal try-outs may return):

IceCaps: Garbowsky and Vigneault may have playeds themselves out of a future opportunity, both playing poorly. Kuhn also didn't have a good showing. Perry and Gazzola however did show us a decent performance that may get them another looksee. As for those already signed, Goldobin and Danault excelled with Reway and Hicketts not far behind. DeSimone was the only disappointment of the signed players.

Beast: Chouinard handedly won a fight with Brassard that set the tone for a blowout game by the Beast. Chouinard may have gotten himself a serious look by management. Brassard yapped at Chouinard and paid the price. Ferriero was the top performer with Shirley, Domin and Meland hot on his heels. Everyon except Smith and Phillips played well and they didn't really play poorly.

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

BeerWar Alc./Vol. 3: Erdinger Weissbier vs the Farmer's Daughter

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 03:13

Stepping out of the trenches

Erdinger Weissbrau 500ml Tall Boy can 5.3%
A German wheat beer.

Erdinger is the shortform of the brewing company that makes this particular Weißbier. They also make Leicht, Alkoholfrei, Urweisse, Dunkel, Kristall Sommerweisse, Schneeweiße and Pikantus. The roots of this brewery are in Bavaria. If you don't know where that is, go to Liechtenstein, buy some stamps, take a quite tour North and a little East. It's well worth the trip! This particular brew is their flagship. Noted as EW periodically fortan.

Farmer's Daughter Blonde Ale 473ml Tall Boy can 5%
A Blonde Ale best served in the hayloft.

This pale ale is from the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada. This isn't to be confused with the complex maze of Ottawa proper but the beautiful rolling valley West of Ottawa.

What struck me about this “Ale” is how much it tasted like a German wheat beer. After my turn in the hayloft I decided I had to take a closer look and begin this odyssey. Yeah, I just say words that sound neat. Niftilicious. Farmer's Daughter (noted as FD periodically) is by Whitewater Brewing Co. which makes sense if you know Ottawa culture. Now if you're an Ottawatonian, you likely haven't heard of the Ottawa Valley. It's filled with the people who actually support your NHL franchise. The people range from Pembroke to Kingston with Smiths Falls being in the centre.

Back to what's important..... Haylofts.

Both of these luxurious beauties pour easily although the EW appears more frothy but loses it's head in shock at the scandalous Farmer's Daughter which knew how to deal with it's small stalwart head.

The first taste of Erdinger's finest is frothy goodness that coats you in it's, wheat for it, embrace.

FD tastes like Erdinger's little sister... Uhm... Well, it's very similar yet lighter and more ample.

While both are obviously carbonated, neither hit you as too much or not enough. Both are just right.

EW is mildly sweet and the carbonation sits near your wisdom teeth long enough for a good lecture and to have a little dance. Trust me, those wise old buggers will enjoy it. Moreso if you do not oxygenate this fine brew as it will cater to their pleasure with more patience.

FD is ever so slightly sweeter however before you know it, it's gone down in a hussy, er, hurry, not waiting to come up for air. In fact oxygenating this lady makes little difference.

EW is a little meatier but the flavours of both are similar. EW feels and tastes good for any occasion. It's a little heavier than FD but both are still moderate to light and both sit very well if EW maybe sits a little quieter.

FD knows what it's doing and takes advantage of you, and hay, why not. Now you know what you're getting into. Just remember that while EW is steady, FD is a smidgen lighter and more adventurous.

Whichever you choose, enjoy!

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[EHM 2018-10-02] Exhibition 5 Bruins @ Canadiens

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 15:04


As usual, the opposing team scored first. We must work on it however this tight game went to a shootout that we lost. Price, Jokinen, Lehkonen and Drouin all failed us.

Koivu and Tatar showed some more chemistry and everyone else looked pretty good. Muller is being given more slack than the average player because we gave up a 2nd rounder for him and he projects to become a good player.

Jokinen has arrived as a PTO. As if we needed more wingers to choose from....

The Beast had an Exhibition game seeing Raaymakers do well in nets with Valcourt, Miceli and Addison getting the three stars of the game. Petti didn't do well. The AHL crackdown on rough-stuff hurt the IceCaps in their Exhibition with the Wolfpack. Pezzetta was ejected after beating the blades off Cormier. Danault showed why he almost made the Habs; Pontarelli and Juulsen also had a good game.

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs