Monday, December 4, 2006

Good news and bad news for Screaming Eagle players today

Good news for today: Paul McIlveen was named QMJHL Offensive Player of the Week thanks to his five goals and one assist in the two games played this week. He was absolutely electric in those two games, with most of his goals being highlight reel calibre. Hopefully this serves as a real confidence-builder for a guy who had been struggling a bit in the four or five games prior to this week.

Bad news for today: Captain James Sheppard was surprisingly left out of the invitations for Team Canada's World Junior selection camp. James hasn't set the world on fire with his offensive totals so far this season, but he has still been a well-rounded two-way force for Cape Breton; playing in all situations and dominating at times physically, creating space for himself and teammates and causing turnovers in the Eagles' favour.

Many still expected him to at least be extended an invite, seeing as how he was selected 9th overall in the NHL draft and has been representing our nation for the past few years, playing very well on U-17 and U-18 teams within the program. This is not to say that players should be able to ride the coattails of their past performances into an invite to the WJC camp, but it certainly seemed like he was very much on Team Canada's radar and that only a disastrous start to the season would see him fall off of it. While Sheppard's offensive totals could be a little bit higher, he certainly hasn't had a disastrous start to the season.

From the Eagles' point of view, this means that he won't be lost to the team this month as was expected, but you always want the best for your players and I'm sure everyone is disappointed for him and wishes he had gotten the invite.

Thoughts on either issue?


cb~eagle~fan said...

I didn't realize that we now have a blog section of the Eagles web site. Great addition! I'm sure that once more people get on to it, it will start flying!
As to the comments in your blog, I totally agree.
Paul McIlveen is amazing to watch. He handles the puck with such speed and finesse when he is on. I hope the OHL realize what a talent they let slip through their fingers, and kudos to the scouting staff who picked up on him. He's been a great addition.
And in regards to James Sheppard - yes, he definintely should have been invited to the tryouts for the World Juniors. On the other hand though, at least we won't lose him for that period of time. That's not much consolation to Shep though - he deserves to be there!

Inside the Nest said...

Thank you for your comments and I'm glad that you like the addition of the blog to the team's website. We're thinking the same thing as you, that once more people become aware of it, and once a few more kinks are worked out, it will take off......... with the eventual goal of the "Inside The Nest" blog becoming one of the very primary sources for fans to get up-to-the-minute information on the Eagles.

Good comments on McIlveen and Sheppard as well.

Anonymous said...

i can't believe James Sheppard wasn't invited to the World Juniors try outs. That's a real shock. And if it's a shock to us I can imagine how he's feeling. It's good news for the Eagles but I would still rather see him go to the World Juniors for the betterment of his overall career.
As for McIlveen- Great job with the Offensive player of the Week. Very well deserved. He has a real prescence when he is omn the ice and has a way of making things happen, and giving his hardest effort every time he's out there.

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that Sheppard wasn't chosen to represent our country. He is the top power forwards in the Q league. Hopefully he will show those who didn't invite him that they made a huge mistake and tears it up at home instead.

Anonymous said...

Well can you believe that Sheppard, choosen 9th overall in the NHL draft, was left out of the evaluation camp for the World Juniors???
Arguably the best power forward in the league has 29 points in 20 games after missing the first month of the season, all of training camp with a bad back.
Maybe this was the reason he wasn't invited to camp but we as fans that see him play every night know that he has what it takes to represent his country at this tournament.
I hope that Sheppard proves to everyone that they made a big mistake in the next coming months....and tears it up in the Q league.
I would also like to say that the orginization made a great decision in signing Mario Durocher. He has brought a new look to our offensive game that has lead the eagles to second place in our division. Hopefully he will be here for a few more years

Inside the Nest said...

I would like to comment on the point made by the fan who said that he or she thinks that the hiring of Mario Durocher has been a big help to the Eagles, especially their offensive game, so far this season.

I don't know the X's and O's of the game well enough to know who exactly is most responsible for any changes in on-ice strategy/execution, but I agree with you that it is plain as day that we are getting a lot more out of our top offensive players than we have been able to during any other season of the Eagles' existence. In my wildest dreams, I did not imagine the dynamic offensive production the Eagles have put forth so far this season. As well, this is the first season in a long, long time that the Eagles have had a potent powerplay that ranked near the top of the league. All of these positive offensive changes have been affected without any real sacrifices made on the defensive end; the Eagles are still near the very top of the league in such stats as goals against average and penalty killing.

Is it a coincidence that all of these positive changes have occurred in the same season that Mario Durocher has come on board? Likely not. Thanks for your very good observation.