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Posts Tagged ‘Justin Pogge’

So, what is a Habs fan to do when he is stuck with tickets to six Toronto Marlie games? Scream and curse why I have been punished this way? Or, just realize, it is karma for slagging on Maple Laugh Nation all these years.

In the end, as a fan of hockey, whether it is in Montreal, Toronto, Nashville or Phoenix, I have started to attend the games. Of course, a nasty twist as well with the tickets I got saddled with, I had no choice in picking the games, none of them are games against the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Habs AHL affiliate. Karma is indeed a kick in the jewels.

The Marlies are a fun hockey experience in the end, the real Toronto hockey fans seem to be there, simply because they can afford the tickets. Ricoh is loud, the fans chant and scream, there are a lot of families and kids are smiling, laughing and happy and that is what really counts in the end.

Speaking of kids, Justin Pogge, I have seen him defeat the Chicago Wolves and look solid in the process and then stink up the joint against the Rockford Ice Hogs last Saturday.

In his last two NHL call-ups, eight days apart, he has been bombed for 11 goals in two games. Pogge needs to stay with Leafs and get the seasoning and fair shot he needs to prove value. The team is going nowhere anyway, so they might as well roll the dice and start him or dress him as a backup so he can get a feel of being a pro in the NHL.

The kid has obvious weaknesses, easily exposed in the NHL, with the Marlies, his size and athleticism allows him to get away for a lack technique and focus…most of the time. In the NHL, it simply does not, he seems to be unsettled, then again, he has no defence in front of him when he does start and he has this pressure to prove himself in “one-offs”.

Keep the kid up in NHL and get him to settle his feet and put that stick down on the ice, and in front of him,  to cover the massive five-hole he has. He needs to decide, or have it decided for him, that he will be a butterfly goalie or a standup, aggressive goalie.

His physique reminds of J.S. Giguere of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks but this yo yo, pogo-stick  action the Laughs put him through may end up creating Toronto’s version of Andre “Red Light” Racicot.

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One nice backhand deke in the preseason and the Leafs has the next coming of Bobby Orr according to the hype machine in this city.

Young Luke Schenn did in fact make a sweet move to beat Manny Legace in a shootout yesterday for the winning goal in a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues. Way to go kid, unlike Bryan ‘McWhiff’ McCabe, you have the game fundamental of scoring in the other team’s net, down pat. Good job, now go down to the minors.

With trader Cliff Fletcher moving up in the recent draft to secure the fifth pick which scored Schenn, this prospect needs to be cared for and developed. He needs to go down to the minors and play a lot of minutes in a lot of situations, more than he would every get in the NHL during the season. If Schenn were a Hab prospect in camp, he would be headed to Hamilton by the start of the season. 

Bulldog celebrates the Calder Cup.

Bulldog celebrates the Calder Cup.

 

This kid is good, let him grow. The key to the Habs recent resurgence is the fact the let their good prospects grow in the AHL with the Bulldogs and gee, look what that resulted in, a Calder Cup. Also, that patience resulted in a chunk of the Habs current roster including highly skilled and developed players. But what are we to expect, the Leafs are the team that left goalie prospect Justin Pogge riding the pine during the AHL playoffs last year, instead of giving him valuable experience, for the sake of winning something…ANYTHING…in Leaf Nation.

Through Hab-coloured glasses, I can honestly say Schenn is one of the Leafs best prospects in recent memory. Their last solid draft pick was the oft-injured Carlo Colaiacovo and Schenn is likely way better in his own end whereas Carlo has good hands and vision up ice.

 Schenn does not have to be Bobby Orr, hell, if he can even get close to the greatness of Borje Salming (another Swede would have looked great in a Habs uniform) the Leafs have struck gold.

 

Two things the Leafs wont have anytime soon, a Stanley Cup or someone like Bobby Orr.

Two things the Leafs won't have anytime soon, a Stanley Cup or someone like Bobby Orr.

 

If the rush him, they may just waste his talent or blow reading his potential, as they did with Luke Richardson (1st round, 7th overall by Leafs) or Jason Smith (1st round, 18th overall by Devils)- serviceable, strong reliable defencemen they sent away for a pack of peanuts.

If they really screw up, the could end up with Slava Duris or Anders Erikson- guys that make Patrice “Breeze-by” Brisebois look like Orr or Larry Robinson.

 

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