MOAR Morgan


Rather than more pointless lockout talk, I thought I’d look back at the Friday Night game between the Moose Jaw Warriors and the Edmonton Oil Kings.

There are a few things that stood out and are worth pointing out about Rielly’s performance last Friday.

The first forty minutes were some of the most conservative I’ve seen Rielly play. He was reluctant to pinch or join rushes, and was constantly looking out for Oil Kings sneaking through the neutral zone. Of course I wouldn’t say this is a bad trait, but this isn’t the true selling point of what Rielly brings to the table either. If Friday night was your first look at Rielly, I’d say you didn’t see what he truly brings to the table.

What Rielly brings to the table is the ability to make plays like his beautiful pass to Tanner Eberle for Moose Jaw’s only goal. It’s not often you see a defenseman go behind the oppositions net, take up post on the low boards, and throw a tape to tape pass between a defenseman’s legs for a tap in. This play in conjunction with Morgan’s thirty second game of keep away that he played in the first period are a great reminder that his puck handling skills and vision are on par with his incredible skating.

The third period brought a different side of Rielly that I hadn’t seen before. He truly looked frustrated, and somewhat fed up with how bad things were going. The good there is that he obviously cares; the bad was it becoming clear that Rielly was trying to do too much himself. The ugly is that the season will only get worse for the Warriors. They’re light on talent and experience and there’s little a playmaking defenseman can grow in that environment. It seems that any kind of playoff run will be out of the question for Moose Jaw.

With the Team Canada tryout camp for the World Juniors coming up, followed by the tournament itself, Rielly will have a December filled with meaningful hockey, but when the trade freeze is lifted after the World Juniors I’d hope that Morgan Rielly will be relocating to a stronger club like Kamloops, Edmonton or even Saskatoon (their ticket is punched for the Memorial Cup). That way, he can finish the year off with worthwhile development, in case there’s an NHL season in 2013-14.

Monday Morning Links…

What Will Joe Colborne be in Toronto?
For the rest of the season, a Marlie. After that I agree with Michael and think that Antropov is a pretty solid possible upside, but I’d assume he’ll be brought along slowly just like Nikolai.

Mario Lemieux Moves into a $20 Million Home
Those poor, hard done by NHL owners.

Marlies lose third straight
Kadri and Frattin are still producing so that’s a plus.

Ryan Murray’s injury creates space on Team Canada’s World Junior Roster
Ryan Kennedy suggests that Stuart Percy’s no nonsense game might make him a potential candidate for the vacant spot.