It was a fun edition of The Pipeline Show this morning as Dean and I welcomed 5 guests and covered a lot of territory in the NHL, NCAA and CHL. We looked ahead to the 2011 World Junior Championship in Buffalo and spent a lot of time debating the Linus/Lienus Omark shootout goal from Friday night.
In our first segment we spoke with Brandon Saad of the Saginaw Spirit. He's both a top prospect for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and a likely participant of the 2011 WJC for Team USA. Saad talked about both subject as well as the recent acquisition by the Spirit to bring in John McFarland. He also touched on why he chose the CHL over the NCAA and whether the Pennsylvania native may have stayed home if Penn State had a hockey program right now.
Next Dean and I got into the Omark goal from last night and whether or not it was something to celebrate or frown upon. We'd still like your opinion on that, leave a comment in the Omark post from last night.
Next we went to the University of Michigan and spoke with Assistant Director of Media Relations Matt Trevor. Today is the Big Chill at the Big House - the milestone outdoor game that will feature over 110,000 spectators at the infamous Big House, home of the Michigan Wolverines football team.
Leading off our second hour was Dean's post game conversation with Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning. What did he have to say in the dressing room about Omark's goal? How does he feel about Magnus Paajarvi? Gabriel Landeskog? Adam Larsson? Sweden's national teams moving forward? It was a very interesting interview and highly recommended.
Daren Millard joined us for his weekly segment and on top of his take on Omark's goal, we also discussed the ridiculous All-Star skills competition proposal that would see goalies taking part in the fastest skater and shooting drills. Is Tampa Bay in need of a new goalie and if so, might Nikolai Khabibulin be someone they'd target?
Finally, Dean played a conversation with Ryan O'Marra who also appeared in his first NHL game of the year and also hit the score sheet. The well spoken and insightful forward gave us a rundown on Oklahoma City and the performances to date of many Barons players.
If you missed it live, click the archive... HERE!
Some CHL and NCAA notes from Friday:
- Michael St. Croix has put up some ridiculous numbers lately. 17 points in his last 6 games (added another point on Saturday night) and yet might not be a 1st rounder in the eyes of a lot of scouts.
- Carter Ashton was dealt to the Tri-City Americans. A little of out character for Bob Tory… are the Ams now automatically the 2nd best team in the Conference?
- The Portland Winterhawks have 3 wins in their last 10 games and are about to lose 4 of their top 5 players to the WJC.
- Quinton Howden has 9 pts in his last 4 games, 13 in his last 7 outings. He has 39 points overall including 21 goals, through 29 games.
- Brandon has only managed 1 win in their last 10 games and are now 3 points out of 8th in the WHL's Eastern Conference plus the Oil Kings have 4 games in hand over them. Brayden Schenn should be dealt before the WJC, why wait?
- A huge win for Lewiston who beat Saint John 5-2. Nicholas Champion made 44 saves including 18 in the final period. It was Saint John's first loss in 10 games and the first time they'd been held to 2 goals or less since October 22nd.
- Sean Couturier is playing out of his mind. In Drummondville's 8-3 pouding of Rouyn-Noranda recently, the center now has 17 points in 6 games. He's second in league scoring right now
- North Dakota beat Minnesota State 4-3 thanks to a 3-point effort from Edmonton native Matt Frattin. Former AJHL netminder Aaron Dell was in net again for the Sioux and earned the win.
- The Gophers have struggled at home this year but were able to upset the #2 ranked Duluth Bulldogs by a 3-2 score.
- Jason Zucker and Drew Shore led Denver to a 5-3 win over the Seawolves of Alaska-Anchorage.
- Obviously the big NCAA hockey news this weekend starts in about an hour and a half from now as Michigan hosts Michigan State in the Cold War II and the Big House. 110,000 people will watch the rematch of the 2001 outdoor game that started the trend. You can apparently watch the game in Canada on the Big Ten Network.
- The Saginaw Spirit, who acquired John Mcfarland from Sudbury earlier this week, took on Kingston on Friday. The Spirit came away with the 4-1 win.
- Ryan Murphy had 3 points as the Kitchener Rangers pulled even in the standings with the Owen Sound Attack after beating them 6-2. Matia Marcantouni had 2 goals and a helper for the Rangers.
- Mississauga lost for the second time in a week. The Memorial Cup hosts were downed 3-2 by the Oshawa Generals.