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Colorado Rockies 1976

Who looks to be NHL ready?

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A question for River Rat fans who get to see the team on a regular basis:

Who on the Rats looks like they can play in the NHL in the near future and make an impact? All I have to go by are stats.

I noticed Ahren Nittel had a strong season last year (25 goals in 50 games), although his +/- was weak. From what I've seen he hasn't done much this year. Some insights?

How about some others? Vrana? Tallackson? Suglobov? Others?

Thanks!

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I know his defense and intensity are questionable but I would really like to see Suggy get some NHL shifts. Sometimes playing at a higher level can be all a guy needs to play harder every time on the ice. I highly doubt that will happen though as the Devils still seem to value defensive play over everything else. Ryan Murphy is probably the next guy they'd call up or something like that.

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Ideally, the next callup would be either Bergfors or Tallackson, with Ryznar having an outside chance. The latter two would even fit into Lou's defensive philosophy. However, as 731 pointed out, the typical Lou move would be Murphy. Not that Murph hasn't been playing well this season, but he's not sticking out to me as the "first one to go up" guy.

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I thought Pikarrienen might get a shot. Tallackson is trying to find his way as is Ryzner. Sluggo might be a consideration because of our sorely needed offense.

We have no depth in Albany. :argh:

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A question for River Rat fans who get to see the team on a regular basis:

Who on the Rats looks like they can play in the NHL in the near future and make an impact?  All I have to go by are stats.

I noticed Ahren Nittel had a strong season last year (25 goals in 50 games), although his +/- was weak.  From what I've seen he hasn't done much this year.  Some insights?

How about some others?  Vrana?  Tallackson?  Suglobov?  Others?

Thanks!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think Nick Bergfors. Bergfors is very good in AHL.Points in every game. And Bergfors gonna be a star someday. He skates awesome and the speed it awesome too and is very gifted one to one and he is great to set up plays. he gonna fit so well in NHL. Bergfors rules

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Bergfors has been fantastic thus far. I wouldn't rule out Suggy either, since he has been fairly strong. The only real thing weighing him down was his performance in that preseason game.

I like the idea of Tallackson. He seems very comfortable out there, and is good with Rynzar. The amount of time that he got in preseason leads me to believe the Devils were wanting to take a good solid look at him, which would bode well for his being called up. Personally, I don't see it just yet, though.

As an enforcer, I wouldn't totally shoot down the idea of Mike Sgroi. I haven't seen him fight yet, but from what I hear, he is a beast. The thing with him, though, is that he can actually play hockey. He is fast and can hit, though not as well as Janssen. He seems a little full of himself, but hey, you enver know. I would definitely take him over Darren Langdon...

Nittel has done poorly because the rats have sucked on the powerplay. That shot from the right faceoff circle is his bread and butter, and he hasn't been set up for them. If the Rats start to establish some pressure on the PP, and don't just turn the puck over at the blueline, his numbers will improve.

I guess if I had to make a definitive statement as to who is #1 at this point, I would go with Bergfors.

We have no depth in Albany.

Like NHL ready depth, or prospect depth? Cuz I think we have a lot of the latter, seeing as good players are being benched every game in favor of getting other good players playing time. Suggy, Nittel, Voros, Vrana, etc., have been in and out of the lineup for this reason, to name a few.

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Thanks guys...interesting stuff.

Voros...it sounds like you're pretty much saying that Nittel is more or less a power play specialist. The numbers bear that out...17 of his 25 goals last season came on the PP. Is he weak at even strength? His +/- was pretty bad last year too.

What seems to be Albany's biggest weakness(es) so far? I see that they've now dropped five straight.

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Thanks guys...interesting stuff.

Voros...it sounds like you're pretty much saying that Nittel is more or less a power play specialist.  The numbers bear that out...17 of his 25 goals last season came on the PP.  Is he weak at even strength?  His +/- was pretty bad last year too.

What seems to be Albany's biggest weakness(es) so far?  I see that they've now dropped five straight.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, it's definitely one of his strong suits. He can still jam it home on even strength, but, like I said, that snap shot of his is deadly, and he doesn't get a chance to pull it off much on even strength. I would say maybe 10-12 of his goals last year were off of that one shot from the right faceoff circle. I think it may be a confidence thing, too, because he did have some dry spells last year, and he just doesn't seem to be hitting the net that much this year when he does get his seldom chance. I wouldn't read terribly into +/-'s on the Rats last year, because pretty much everyone except Murphy had a poor one. That being said, he's not very apt defensively, and I think he might do better at wing-probably a situational faceoff man once in a while though, since he is pretty good on draws. He's a pretty good skater, at least for someone with his size, and occasionally plays physically, but that's not much of his game.

Their first, and most pronounced weakness, IMO, is their awful powerplay. I think it was doing ok in the first 8 games or so, but lately, it's flat out sucked. They just turn the puck over at the blueline half the time. It zaps all momentum that they might hope to achieve from a powerplay, and gives the other teams confidence.

The Rats have also seemed to lose some of that swagger and physical edge they had in the first couple games. First few games of the season, you had Voros hitting and fighting, Clarkson protecting his teammates, etc., but I dunno, there just isn't a huge drive.

And thirdly, I just don't think they've been getting a lot of bounces. They have gotten shots, for the most part. Something like 47 against Hartford, 35 against Bridgeport, 25 verse Hershey, 33 against cuse. An inability to put the puck home and just bad breaks.

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Well, it's definitely one of his strong suits. He can still jam it home on even strength, but, like I said, that snap shot of his is deadly, and he doesn't get a chance to pull it off much on even strength. I would say maybe 10-12 of his goals last year were off of that one shot from the right faceoff circle. I think it may be a confidence thing, too, because he did have some dry spells last year, and he just doesn't seem to be hitting the net that much this year when he does get his seldom chance. I wouldn't read terribly into +/-'s on the Rats last year, because pretty much everyone except Murphy had a poor one. That being said, he's not very apt defensively, and I think he might do better at wing-probably a situational faceoff man once in a while though, since he is pretty good on draws. He's a pretty good skater, at least for someone with his size, and occasionally plays physically, but that's not much of his game.

Their first, and most pronounced weakness, IMO, is their awful powerplay. I think it was doing ok in the first 8 games or so, but lately, it's flat out sucked. They just turn the puck over at the blueline half the time. It zaps all momentum that they might hope to achieve from a powerplay, and gives the other teams confidence.

The Rats have also seemed to lose some of that swagger and physical edge they had in the first couple games. First few games of the season, you had Voros hitting and fighting, Clarkson protecting his teammates, etc., but I dunno, there just isn't a huge drive.

And thirdly, I just don't think they've been getting a lot of bounces. They have gotten shots, for the most part. Something like 47 against Hartford, 35 against Bridgeport, 25 verse Hershey, 33 against cuse. An inability to put the puck home and just bad breaks.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I took that into account. I always compare a player's +/- to that of his teammates.

Do you think Ftorek is part of the problem? I know he drives his players insane after a while.

I just hope all the losing doesn't start wearing on the few prospects we have. We need all the help we can get in NJ right now.

One other question: was that offensive surge Voros had at the beginning of last season just a fluke, or do you see him having the ability to improve his offensive output?

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I took that into account.  I always compare a player's +/- to that of his teammates.

Do you think Ftorek is part of the problem?  I know he drives his players insane after a while.

I just hope all the losing doesn't start wearing on the few prospects we have.  We need all the help we can get in NJ right now.

One other question:  was that offensive surge Voros had at the beginning of last season just a fluke, or do you see him having the ability to improve his offensive output?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think it's quite the opposite with Ftorek. When Red (was it him?) was the head coach, Nittel was doing absolutely nothing (look at his 03-04 stats). But Ftorek gave him a chance, and has seemed to work well with him. Sorta like how Sykora came into his own with Ftorek, I guess?

Probably fluke. I see him as being a more of 3rd-4th line agitator with the capability to park himself in front and play some PP minutes. He does have a good shot which should be utilized, but he doesn't have good finishing capabilities. Ever since the first 15 games of last year, Voros has really gravitated into playing a much more aggressive game. He began to hit more, started to fight, and he gained some muscle.

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I think it's quite the opposite with Ftorek. When Red (was it him?) was the head coach, Nittel was doing absolutely nothing (look at his 03-04 stats). But Ftorek gave him a chance, and has seemed to work well with him. Sorta like how Sykora came into his own with Ftorek, I guess?

Probably fluke. I see him as being a more of 3rd-4th line agitator with the capability to park himself in front and play some PP minutes. He does have a good shot which should be utilized, but he doesn't have good finishing capabilities. Ever since the first 15 games of last year, Voros has really gravitated into playing a much more aggressive game. He began to hit more, started to fight, and he gained some muscle.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

He's known for being better with younger players. I remember he had some serious issues in LA, then NJ, then Boston. His players couldn't stand him in all three cases by the time he was fired.

I actually stood behind him in a line when I was picking up my playoff tickets during the '99-'00 playoffs. It was weird seeing a guy who had coached the team the same year picking up his tickets at the will-call window just like everyone else. When he turned around we made eye contact, so I blurted out, "Hi, Mr. Ftorek." He said hi back. Exiting exchange, huh?

I saw Nittel's '03-'04 stats before...4 goals. And I remember the deal with Sykora...Lemaire just didn't seem to like him, for whatever the reason,

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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When talking about the Rats there is one name that jumps out at me that is truly ready for the NHL...Ahren Nittel who led the rats with his 25 goals he tied for 5th with 36 points.!!!

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When talking about the Rats there is one name that jumps out at me that is truly ready for the NHL...Ahren Nittel who led the rats with his 25 goals he tied for 5th with 36 points.!!!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, NHL ready? I don't really think so. If he consistently puts up these numbers for another year, yeah, then I would say so. He has good potential, but is still very young and very raw. Give him some time.

Edited by Voros19

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