Game Time Prospect Sunday, Mar. 11, 2012

Prospect Sunday header

By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department


NOTE: All of our features are "sprung forward" by 15 minutes this week, so as to allow for the usual postings of Road Music and the Game Day Thread on the hour.


Transactions header

PROSPECT PROMOTIONS / DEMOTIONS:

None to report this week.

PROSPECT TRADES:

None to report this week.

PLAYERS ON SICK CALL:

02-24-12 -- D Jani Hakanpää (Blues Espoo/SM-Liiga) out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury. (LINK, in Finnish).

01-09-12 -- F Jay Barriball and D Jake Gannon (Peoria/AHL) remain on IR with concussions. (LINK).

01-08-12 -- C Jori Lehtera (Sibir Novosibirsk/KHL) out for the season with a broken leg. (LINK).

PLAYERS RETURNED TO DUTY:

None to report this week.

PLAYERS ON SUSPENSION:

None to report this week.


Radar2On The Radar header

COLLEGIATE DOMINOES ARE FALLING:

Three of the Blues' four collegiate prospects saw their teams eliminated in the opening round of their leagues' respective postseason tournaments this week.

One week ago, the Clarkson Golden Knights and goaltender Paul Karpowich were coming off of a triple-overtime 4-3 win over RPI on March 3, and had momentum going into the deciding third game of their first-round series. After a scoreless first period, the Knights scored first on a power play at 8:02 of the second and had everything going their way.

"Everything" lasted for almost exactly five minutes. RPI tied the score on an even-strength goal at 13:03 of the second, and ripped off three unanswered goals in the third, including an empty-netter to seal the 4-1 victory and send Karpowich and the Knights home.

This weekend, both Michigan State (Trevor Nill) and Colorado College (Jaden Schwartz) began their playoffs against Miami (Ohio) and Michigan Tech, respectively. Neither prospect played a significant role in any of the games played; MSU was blasted 6-0 by Miami on Friday, and eliminated last night by a 4-1 score. Nill was held scoreless in the series, and amassed a minus-2 in the two games.

CC, meanwhile, was hosting the lower-seeded Huskies, and seemed to have the advantage with playing at home in the rarified air of Colorado Springs. The Michigan Tech defense, however, limited CC to just 49 shots in two games while the offense threw 70 shots at CC's undrafted sophomore netminder Josh Thorimbert, and the Huskies took the series with a 4-1 win on Friday and a 4-3 overtime stunner last night. In the two games, Schwartz was held to just a single assist and two PM, and was a minus-1.

Karpowich and Nill are seniors, and both are expected to turn pro and compete for jobs in Peoria next season. Peoria's acquisition of San Jose prospect goalie Alex Stalock on loan has left no room for Karpowich in Peoria on an ATO contract, but Nill's solid defensive play and faceoff skills could still find a place with the Rivermen in their stretch run.

There has been a flood of speculation about what Schwartz would do after CC's season was ended; some of the speculation also involved the possibility that both Schwartzes -- Jaden and older brother Rylan -- could sign ATO's with Peoria and turn pro in time to help boost Peoria's offense going into the AHL playoffs. That's still a possibility, but has not happened -- yet. Stay tuned...

The Blues' last remaining college prospect still standing, or skating if you will, is Minnesota-Duluth center Max Tardy. Tardy and the Bulldogs -- ranked third by US College Hockey Online, USA Today, and the semi-official College Hockey News "PairWise" rankings -- swept Minnesota State with a 4-2 win on Friday and a 3-2 double-OT win last night. Tardy has been held scoreless in the postseason thus far.


Yesterday's Blues header

St. Louis is home to the Blues, both the hockey club and that uniquely American style of music that draws on the sorrows and pain of everyday life.

Today's offering is a blues classic sung by a master of the genre. The song is "St. James Infirmary," a tune based on an 18th-century Irish folk song, and the performer is the legendary Bobby "Blue" Bland. This is the lonesome blues at it's finest, sung with soul and conviction by a man with one of the greatest voices in music.

Have a listen:

And, in a special double feature -- because we've had John Denver and his sad songs on the brain all week long -- here's one that always brings a tear to the eye of your GTPD. This has been sort of a "theme song" for your GTPD ever since we first heard it way back in 1975:

As always, this feature is dedicated to someone very special and always on the mind and in the heart of your GTPD. Drivin' my Terraplane to St. James Infirmary, today and every day, lookin' for space and lookin' for you...

If you're interested in the blues, check out "Those Lowdown Blues" on the 'Net every Sunday night from 7 to midnight (St. Louis time). Your Game Time Prospect Department heartily endorses this program.


FEATURES THIS WEEK:

River Readings headerRIVER READINGS

New arrivals in Peoria have made a big difference in a very short time, but the Rivs still have obstacles to overcome. Details at 2:00 PM 1:45 PM Central Time.

Trending Up headerTRENDING UP

One of our "regulars" is done for the year... or is he? Also, familiar faces in the "Fab Five" this week. Details at 3:00 PM 2:45 PM Central Time.

Weekly Stats headerWEEKLY PROSPECT STATISTICS REVIEW

The most complete weekly source of Blues' prospect scoring and goaltending stats available anywhere in one place on the Internet. Details at 4:00 PM 3:45 PM Central Time.

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