Follow Notch’s observations all week long at the Leaf’s rookie tournament in Kitchener.
Boston @ Ottawa
Final Score – Boston 4-3
Best Player on the Ice – Boston goalie: Michael Hutchinson
Barrie Colts fans will know him as he played in the OHL for them last season. He was peppered by shots all game and stayed calm and square. He was only caught out of position once all game. He, like most goalie prospects it seems, is tall, listed at 6'3" and a slim 188 lbs. Reminded me of Ryan Miller.
Did anybody show they were NHL ready? Yes, his name is Alain Goulet.
This Boston defenseman split time last year between Nebraska of the CCHA and Gatineau in the Q. He also stands 6'3" and weighs in at 195 lbs. His all around play was fun to watch – never, never out of position – it was like he was playing against Peewee's. He had an active stick and just never made a mistake. Not only was he a beast in the defensive zone, he made some solid breakout passes, jumped into the rush at the right time and pinched when he should. He wasn't even on my radar at all, yet he became my focal point as the game wore on. He looked like Lidstrom against these other rookies – dominating.
Does Milan Lucic have a clone? No, but Matt Marquardt sure plays like him.
Another 6'3" player, but this time a forward. He is listed as 222 lbs and he threw that weight around any chance he got. Whenever he was on the ice, the Ottawa players took notice. His nice hands accounted for the first goal on a pretty little wrap around. He is fast, but patient when he has the puck. Another huge power forward in the Bruins system. The Northeast division just wet their pants.
Zach Hamill played, but he was a no show on the ice. Not impressed. Sure he is quick, but seemed soft. Not willing to battle.
Finally a small player for Boston. Listed at 5'9" (they must have measured him with skates on), Chris DeSousa is just too small. It is fine if you are Martin St. Louis and have speed to burn, but DeSousa just can't keep up to the play. He had the effort and tried to make an impression, but he was just getting by. He honestly seemed to be the hardest worker out there, but he was just too small and too slow. Bad combination.
Just past the middle of the first period, Jason Wilson of the Bruins crushed Jason Bailey from Ottawa with a late hit. Wilson was assessed an interference penalty and Bailey left the game and did not return. I saw Bailey dressed is his suit in between the second and third periods and I asked him how he felt. He shrugged his shoulders rolled his eyes and said OK, but not great.
As for Ottawa, they outplayed Boston all game nearly doubling the shots on goal. Ottawa held a decided territorial advanta