Mike Sanderson

  • Like
Author
  • 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft: Halifax swings coup, takes both Groulx and McIsaac in wild draft day

    The Halifax Mooseheads selected Benoit-Olivier Groulx with the first overall selection at the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft. (Vincent Ethier/QMJHL Images)The Halifax Mooseheads selected Benoit-Olivier Groulx with the first overall selection at the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft. (Vincent Ethier/QMJHL Images)
    The Halifax Mooseheads stole the show Saturday at the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft, ending the debate of who to take first overall by swinging a deal for both players.

    The Mooseheads selected forward Benoît-Olivier Groulx first overall, making the son of former Gatineau Olympiques coach Benoit, and then traded the seventh, 16th and 24th picks and a first rounder next season to the Baie-Comeau Drakkar for the second overall pick to take blueliner Jared McIsaac.

    The Mooseheads now have a pair of excellent cornerstones to build around, and with young forwards Arnaud Durandeau and Joel Bishop and defenders Jocktan Chainey and Walter Flowers all 17 or younger, they have a very bright future.

    The Drakkar were somewhat handcuffed if they wanted one of the top two players. Groulx was the top ranked player by the QMJHL’s central scouting list, and McIsaac flat out said he wouldn’t report to Baie-Comeau if he was picked.

    Jared McIsaac, left, Benoit-Olivier Groulx, center, and Olivier Rodrigue, right, were the top three picks. (Vincent Ethier/QMJHL Images)Jared McIsaac, left, Benoit-Olivier Groulx, center, and Olivier Rodrigue, right, were the top three picks. (Vincent Ethier/QMJHL Images)Don’t feel too bad for them, though, as they ended up with four picks in the

    Read More »from 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft: Halifax swings coup, takes both Groulx and McIsaac in wild draft day
  • 2016 QMJHL Draft preview: Halifax has control of their destiny with first overall pick

    The Halifax Mooseheads could select forward Benoit-Olivier Groulx, seen here checking USA defenceman Mattias Samuelsson into the boards at the Youth Olympic Games in Norway in February, with the first pick in the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft in Charlottetown Saturday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Al Tielemans/IOC via AP)The Halifax Mooseheads could select forward Benoit-Olivier Groulx, seen here checking USA defenceman Mattias Samuelsson into the boards at the Youth Olympic Games in Norway in February, with the first pick in the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft in Charlottetown Saturday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Al Tielemans/IOC via AP)
    The Halifax Mooseheads have an important decision to make.

    Do they go with the consensus number-one pick; the son of a prolific now-former Gatineau Olympiques head coach, a star power forward who could develop into a top line center?

    Or do they go with the potential number one blueliner; a hometown kid who could keep the tickets coming in and let the marketing staff take the day off while the money rolls in? Oh, and he’s also good at hockey, possibly as good as the other guy?

    That is the debate for the Mooseheads between Benoît-Olivier Groulx and Jared McIsaac, Do they go forward or defenceman with the top pick in the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft Saturday at the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown?

    Either pick will be a good one for Halifax, who finished their scorched earth portion of their rebuild and start fresh with a young team and a new coach in André Tourigny. Groulx is ranked number one in the league’s central scouting list, but there is speculation that the Truro blueliner McIsaac may

    Read More »from 2016 QMJHL Draft preview: Halifax has control of their destiny with first overall pick
  • 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup: Homegrown Huskies march to first Cup appearance

    The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies won their first President's Cup in team history this season, defeating the Shawinigan Cataractes in five games. (Hugo Lacroix/QMJHL Media)The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies won their first President's Cup in team history this season, defeating the Shawinigan Cataractes in five games. (Hugo Lacroix/QMJHL Media)
    Is it possible for the number one ranked team in the CHL to come in under the radar?

    The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies dominated their way through their QMJHL competition, running the table in the regular season with a 54-9-3-2 record, blasting their way through the playoff bracket with a 16-5 record, and a 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup berth in the process.

    The goal is in sight, but the Huskies aren’t done. They won their first President’s Cup in their history – the first in their franchise’s history since 1970 as the Montreal Junior Canadiens – and they will march on, led by head coach Gilles Bouchard.

    While the top line of the London Knights, Christian Dvorak flanked by Matthew Tkachuk and Mitch Marner, may get the most attention, the Brandon Wheat Kings as western champs after reaching the finals a year ago and with 2017 NHL draft hopeful Nolan Patrick in tow, and the Red Deer Rebels hosting the first Memorial Cup tournament in Alberta since 1974, it can be easy to forget the Huskies as the

    Read More »from 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup: Homegrown Huskies march to first Cup appearance
  • 2016 QMJHL President's Cup final preview: Cataractes could upset Huskies

    Anthony Beauvillier of the Cataractes leads all playoff scorers with 26 points. (CP / Ghyslain Bergeron)Anthony Beauvillier of the Cataractes leads all playoff scorers with 26 points. (CP / Ghyslain Bergeron)
    Welcome to Buzzing The Net’s preview of the QMJHL’s President’s Cup final.

    Two teams are left standing after a strong final four. The Shawinigan Cataractes defeated the Saint John Sea Dogs in five games and the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies outlasted the Moncton Wildcats in six. The top two seeds in the regular season are the last two squads playing. The league will crown a new champion, as neither team has a President’s Cup to their credit. The fans in Rouyn-Noranda have been waiting 20 seasons, while Shawinigan fans have seen 38 seasons without a championship. They can be somewhat comforted by the Cataractes’ Memorial Cup win in 2012 as hosts.

    In the third round, Mike went 2-for-2, nailing both series, including the Rouyn-Noranda-Moncton series in the correct amount of games. That puts his playoffs predictions record at 10-for-14, with six of those predicted in the correct amount of games. You may read his third round preditions here, his second round preview here, and his first round

    Read More »from 2016 QMJHL President's Cup final preview: Cataractes could upset Huskies
  • 2016 QMJHL third round playoff preview: the cream has risen to the top

    Saint John's Thomas Chabot has been the league's best defenceman in the playoffs, with 17 points from the back end and solid two-way play. (CP / Ghyslain Bergeron)Saint John's Thomas Chabot has been the league's best defenceman in the playoffs, with 17 points from the back end and solid two-way play. (CP / Ghyslain Bergeron)
    Welcome to Buzzing The Net’s preview of the third round of the QMJHL playoffs.

    The second round is over, and from the smoke emerges four teams – the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, the Shawinigan Cataractes, the Saint John Sea Dogs and the Moncton Wildcats. The three division winners are still around, along with the Wildcats, who led the Maritimes division for a good stretch at the start of the season. The league finally had its first series that went the distance, when the Sea Dogs dispatched the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in Game 7 6-2.

    In the second round, Mike went 2-for-4, and whiffed completely on Moncton and Shawinigan. That puts his playoffs predictions record at 8-for-12. He got the correct team and games in the Saint John series in the second round, meaning five of his twelve series predictions have been correct. You may read his second round preview here, and his first round previews here and here.

    Third round action opens in Shawinigan and Rouyn-Noranda Friday night.

    (2)

    Read More »from 2016 QMJHL third round playoff preview: the cream has risen to the top
  • 2016 QMJHL second round preview: end of the line for the Armada

    Rouyn-Noranda's Timo Meier led the playoffs in scoring in the first round, with 13 points in four games. (CP / Ghyslain Bergeron)Rouyn-Noranda's Timo Meier led the playoffs in scoring in the first round, with 13 points in four games. (CP / Ghyslain Bergeron)
    Welcome to Buzzing The Net’s preview of the second round of the QMJHL playoffs.

    Only one series featured a true upset in the Q’s first round – 13th-seeded Blainville-Boisbriand dispatched fourth seed Val-d’Or in five games. No series went further than six games. All teams entering play will be well rested, and three of the four series provide very interesting matchups to survey.

    In the first round, Mike went 6-for-8, missing Moncton and Blainville-Boisbriand. He called the winner in the correct number of games in four of the eight first round series. You may read his first round previews here and here.

    Second round action opens in Saint John and Shawinigan Thursday night, and in Gatineau and Rouyn-Noranda Friday night.

    (5) Gatineau Olympiques (49-15-3-1, 102 points) vs. (6) Moncton Wildcats (42-20-6-0, 90 points)

    Season series: Moncton (1-0-1-0). Prediction: Olympiques in 6.

    Series in a sentence: Offence wins games, but defence wins championships, and the Olympiques were the league’s

    Read More »from 2016 QMJHL second round preview: end of the line for the Armada
  • Veleno, year one: exceptional, once you look at it

    Saint John's Joe Veleno has looked impressive in his own right as the QMJHL's youngest player this season. (QMJHL Images)Saint John's Joe Veleno has looked impressive in his own right as the QMJHL's youngest player this season. (QMJHL Images)
    This season, Saint John Sea Dogs forward Joe Veleno did what no other QMJHL player has ever done before – play a season in the QMJHL as an exceptional status player.

    After a very late and controversial call to make Veleno the first non-OHL exception pick from Hockey Canada, fans were waiting for a strong season from the league’s first overall pick.

    They did get a strong rookie season from Veleno, but a combination of strong linemates and strong team meant that he didn’t get to show off as much exceptional talent as he might have otherwise, with a strong and deep Saint John team preventing him from having to step into a big role right away.

    In fact, you could be forgiven if the first thing you think of in regards to Veleno is a play in December in Halifax, where he was hit by Kelly Bent and then tangled in a scrum with the overager, while Sea Dogs forward Boko Imama came off the player’s bench to step in on the Mooseheads’ enforcer, throwing punches at Bent over a linesman and earning

    Read More »from Veleno, year one: exceptional, once you look at it
  • 2016 QMJHL first round playoff preview: Part 2 – the maybes

    Moncton Wildcats goaltender Keven Bouchard might be the most impactful player in all of the first round of the QMJHL playoffs. (CP / Ghyslain Bergeron)Moncton Wildcats goaltender Keven Bouchard might be the most impactful player in all of the first round of the QMJHL playoffs. (CP / Ghyslain Bergeron)
    Welcome to Buzzing The Net’s preview of the first round of the QMJHL playoffs.

    The OHL and the WHL have regional playoffs and conferences to fight though, but the QMJHL wants none of that in their own #RoadToRedDeer, so they opt for the 1-to-16 straight league seeding format. Here at Buzzing The Net, we’ll look at the first round of the Q playoffs in a two-part series, starting with the top contenders and ending with the middle matchups.

    All series start with Games 1 and 2 on Friday and Saturday.

    (5) Gatineau Olympiques (49-15-3-1, 102 points) vs. (12) Québec Remparts (26-32-8-2, 62 points)

    Season series: Gatineau (3-1-0-0). Prediction: Olympiques in 4.

    Series in a sentence: A series that should be short and may be better remembered for the drama from the two coaches off the ice rather than anything on it.

    Why the Olympiques should win: The Olympiques are built for the playoffs, with a devastating top pairing on the blue line and a defensive system played to a tee thanks to veteran

    Read More »from 2016 QMJHL first round playoff preview: Part 2 – the maybes
  • 2016 QMJHL first round playoff preview: Part 1 – contenders vs. pretenders

    Philippe Cadorette was acquired by  of the Shawinigan Cataractes to address their goaltending situation, and he has 60 career QMJHL playoff games to his credit. (CP / Ghyslain Bergeron)Philippe Cadorette was acquired by of the Shawinigan Cataractes to address their goaltending situation, and he has 60 career QMJHL playoff games to his credit. (CP / Ghyslain Bergeron)
    Welcome to Buzzing The Net’s preview of the first round of the QMJHL playoffs.

    The OHL and the WHL have regional playoffs and conferences to fight though, but the QMJHL wants none of that in their own #RoadToRedDeer, so they opt for the 1-to-16 straight league seeding format. Here at Buzzing The Net, we’ll look at the first round of the Q playoffs in a two-part series, starting with the top contenders and ending with the middle matchups.

    All series start with Games 1 and 2 on Friday and Saturday.

    (4) Val-d’Or Foreurs (49-15-3-1, 102 points) vs. (13) Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (26-32-8-2, 62 points)

    Season series: Val-d’Or (5-0-1-0). Prediction: Foreurs in 4.

    Series in a sentence: The Armada called up a Junior A goalie and scratched a number of players for their final game of the year to avoid playing the Foreurs and it backfired; much like how this series will go.

    Why the Foreurs should win: They bring size and a lot of experience to the table.Mario Durocher’s men have been battling

    Read More »from 2016 QMJHL first round playoff preview: Part 1 – contenders vs. pretenders
  • Behind closed doors, QMJHL refs receive failing grades from coaches

    Referee Olivier Gouin (L) signals a penalty during the 2015 Mastercard Memorial Cup. Gouin was one of the two QMJHL officials to work the Memorial Cup in 2015, and has graduated to working some AHL games this season at only 25 years old. (REUTERS / Mathieu Belanger)Referee Olivier Gouin (L) signals a penalty during the 2015 Mastercard Memorial Cup. Gouin was one of the two QMJHL officials to work the Memorial Cup in 2015, and has graduated to working some AHL games this season at only 25 years old. (REUTERS / Mathieu Belanger)
    Be it international sneers for ruining the ice surface or getting hit in the nether regions with a beer can for doing their job, the officials have had it tough in the QMJHL in 2015-16.

    Making the right call can turn an already-hostile arena and one team completely against them, and don’t even think of making a wrong one.

    According to coaches, they’ve been making a lot of the wrong calls this year.

    The latest report, from F.-D. Rouleau at the Journal de Montreal, is scathing. A number of Q coaches ripped apart the officiating staff of the league, stating that the game is confusing with inconsistencies between games and between referees, and even the suspension system.

    The coaches surveyed responded under anonymity. If they made themselves public they would surely get fined.

    “I would give the officials a 9-out-of-10 some nights, and then a 2- or 3-out-of-10 on others,” one coach said. “It’s very unequal. Sometimes we have great referees and sometimes we have very bad ones.

    “There are

    Read More »from Behind closed doors, QMJHL refs receive failing grades from coaches

Pagination

(135 Stories)