Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tuesday Roundup: Who's Ready for a Full-Time Opportunity?

Practice was canceled today with only Erskine, Muir, Pothier, and Beech taking the ice to work with head athletic trainer Greg Smith. Pothier was on the ice for an extended period time performing many different skating and shooting drills. He looks as though he could return at any time, hopefully even as soon as this Thursday in Tampa.
(Photo Courtesy of Christopher Millete/Patriot-News)

With the Capitals playoff run on it's last breath, it's time to take a look at who is ready within the system for a chance to play with the big club.
  1. Tomas Fleichmann (16 g+ 25 a= 45 p in 40 games, +8) - Nicknamed "Flash" for his game changing speed, he has nothing let to prove at the AHL level after averaging over a point per game each of the last two seasons. The problem is he's a left winger, which the Capitals currently have plenty of in Ovechkin, Semin, Pettinger, and Brashear. He needs to focus on adjusting his game to the right side if he wants any chance to secure a spot in Washington. It also hasn't help that he has yet to show much at the NHL level in his brief opportunities this season. That being said, he deserves a shot to see what he can do given the chance to play 10-15 minutes a night with the Caps.
  2. Dave Steckel (21 g+ 19 a= 40 p in 47 games, +18) - After excelling last season on the defensive aspects of the game, Steckel has added an offensive punch this season. That all around game has elevated him to the number one center on a very good Hershey team. His 6'5" 220 pound frame means he has the size that teams covet. He could immediately step in and provide some strong competition for the fourth line center position with the struggling Brian Sutherby.
  3. Alexandre Giroux (32 g+ 19 a= 51 p in 46 games, +26) - A versatile forward who can play any of the three positions on the line, Giroux has proven to be a goal scoring force at the AHL level. He has at least 32 goals in each of his last three seasons with the Bears and the Hartford Wolf Pack. It's hard to believe that despite his success he has only played in three career NHL games to date (1 with the Rangers last year, and 2 with the Caps this season). He needs to be given the opportunity, like Fleichmann, to play 10-15 minutes a night to see if that ability can transfer over against tougher competition.

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