Sunday, 29 September 2013

Mike McCarron not on the first line with the London Knights?

A commenter on social media posted that, after seeing Mike McCarron in action against the Guelph Storm tonight, there is a lot of development that will need to occur for him to turn out as Canadiens fans almost expect him to, that is to be a big tough Top 6 winger who'll cause havoc in front of the opposition net and inject a healthy dose of mean in the lineup.  In short order.

Instead, his report spoke of a lack of icetime, having only two shifts in the first twelve minutes, and playing on the third line with the Rupert twins, agitators and grinders, instead of the top line and on the powerplay.  Another worry is with his skating, as he tended to coast around to keep his speed up, since his acceleration isn't that great, but this won't cut it in the NHL, coasting around in circles (otherwise known as andrei-kostitsyning) doesn't work there, the game is all about stops and starts, skating in straight lines.

Idly, this is where we can revisit the decision to play at London rather than at Western Michigan. My sense is that NCAA hockey is heavy on practices and skill development, while CHL hockey is better for playing lots of games and developing that game feel and facing pressure situations. I thought that getting lots of gym time and working on his skating stride in college might be preferable, based on the scouting reports. A bonus would have been that he could have turned pro and played AHL hockey next season, as an option. With the Knights, he has to play at least one more season before he can go to the AHL.

Now, when we were told that Mike would play on the first line with Bo Horvat and Max Domi, that he’d get lots of powerplay time, be the guy who bangs in the corners on that line and mucks it up in front of the net, pots in rebounds, that sounded good. We thought of a possible selection to the US World Junior squad, and a guaranteed trip to the Memorial Cup, and the London Knights made sense, they were just as propitious a destination as any other really.

It’s early in a long, long season, and we shouldn’t panic just yet, but really, were we astoundingly stupid to trust Dale Hunter?  Shouldn't that guy be in jail anyway, for crimes perpetrated against humanity, hockey, and Pierre Turgeon?

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