With the gifted people back in the highest league on earth, and with Hartikainen and Paajarvi joining them there, the opportunity for the ‘bubbling under’ talents like Curtis Hamilton and Tyler Pitlick is there in a big way. Who will win the day?
For the 2010 2nd rd picks, this is the opportunity they’ve been waiting for, and with that we got word that Tyler Pitlick was hurt and unlikely to return for several weeks. That leaves a Hamilton and a bunch of depth picks to wage war for playing time and PP opportunities. Here’s how it is going:
- Ryan Martindale 4, 2-2-4 +1
- Toni Rajala 4, 2-1-3 -1
- Tyler Pitlick 3, 0-2-2 E
- Kristians Pelss 4, 0-2-2 +1
- Curtis Hamilton 2, 0-0-0 -1
- Phil Cornet 3, 0-0-0 E
Pitlick looked good in the three games before injury, but Hamilton remains a lightweight even at the AHL level. Martindale, a man who barely registered in pro hockey a year ago, has joined Rajala and Pelss as the guys who are earning minutes.
- Todd Nelson on Pitlick: “It’s really disappointing. We’ve been through this with a lot of your young guys where we get a guy like Tyler where it’s been a tough year for him but this weekend he played some really good hockey, had a couple of assists and started to turn the corner. Then in the third period he got tangled up with a guy and his right knee is really bothering him. Right now, as we speak, he’s getting an MRI done and until we get the results off that we can’t determine how long he’s going to be out for.”
I know that sometimes I get stubborn on a guy (Smid made a dumb play last night but I haven’t mentioned it, a sure sign of maturity) but for me Pitlick’s a player. He might not post the good crooked numbers this year but there’s a player there all the same. Hamilton? I don’t think we’ll be talking about him much come summer. Sometimes these kids just don’t work out.