Eden Prairie - Team Summary

The Latest 400 or so Topics

Moderators: Mitch Hawker, east hockey, karl(east)

Post Reply
eazy98
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:11 pm

Eden Prairie - Team Summary

Post by eazy98 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:49 pm

Just throwing this out there, hoping others can do something similar for the teams they follow closely so we can learn more about each team heading into the home stretch.

Eden Prairie Team Capsule

The Stats
- Record – 15-3-1
- Goals Scored per Game – 4.53 (average 32 shots/game)
- Goals Allowed per Game – 2.32 (average 24 shots/game)
- Power Play – 21 goals on 70 chances (30%)
- Penalty Kill – 13 goals allowed on 77 chances (83.1%)
- Games I’ve attended – 10 (at Prior Lake, at Farmington, Cretin, at BSM Elk River, Grand Rapids, Edina, Hill-Murray, Cloquet, at St. Thomas)

The Quick Summary
- This is a fun team to watch led by outstanding individual efforts. The superstars are junior Casey Mittelstadt and senior Michael Graham. These two guys can put on a show at any time and always make it worthwhile to attend an EP game no matter the opponent.
- They score goals but also play with physical intensity. At times the physical intensity is too much (hence their 77 penalties) but it does set the tone. The top 2 forward lines are as strong as any in the state and the 3rd is solid as well. 53 of their 65 5 on 5 goals are from the top 2 lines.
- I don’t claim to be a hockey expert (just watch a lot of hockey) but at times struggle to determine their system on offense. It seems like the plan is to give it to whoever wants/has it and they see what happens. It seems to work because they score a lot of goals, but at times it’s frustrating to watch. It seems like they could create more if they spread out and worked to find open space.
- Defensively they are sound. They have a couple guys who have some offensive flair to their game, but otherwise do a great job of limiting opportunities and clearing out in front of the net. There aren’t too many bad goals given up due to the solid defense and steady (and sometimes spectacular) goaltending.

The Details
Casey Mittelstadt – Everybody on here knows about this kid so it’ll be brief. For me, he’s the most entertaining player to watch since Justin Kloos. I look forward to watching every shift, much like going to the DECC and watching Spehar as a youngster. His acceleration and speed through the neutral zone with or without the puck is unmatched. He knows how to get open to receive the puck then has moves on top of moves to get around the defenders. The go-to move is the NHL 94 move, he skates along the boards from the goal line toward the blue line, he will make a 90 degree turn at about the hash marks and take it to the slot. Along the way he’ll either fire it on net, continue through the slot because the goalie is out of position, or pass to an open teammate. It’s fun. 19 goals and 27 assists for 46 points so far. Excellent on the power play with 5 goals and 10 assists but lethal on the penalty kill. He has 1 goal and 5 assists and is a nightmare for opponents with the open space on the kill. His shot is powerful and quick. So, maybe it won’t be brief, but the kid is fun to watch.
Michael Graham – We all saw the highlight reel goal against Blaine at the tourney last year. That’s a nice summary of his game. He’s big, quick, has outstanding hands, and can snipe. The 2nd line was not the same when he was out last week against St. Thomas. He can play the power game when needed but also has slick moves that create offense. Another fun player to watch, one of the best in the state.
Line 1a – Mittlestadt – Nolan Sullivan – Spencer Steen
Sullivan doesn’t get as much fanfare as the superstars but is scoring almost as much. He has 16 goals and 18 assists on the season. He works with Mittelstadt well and has a great shot. Steen is a solid part of the top line and plays his part well.
Line 1b – Graham – Cole Lawrence – Hunter Johannes
Johannes is the leader of the physical game. He accounts for 45 of the 191 team penalty minutes. If somebody is messing with his teammates, he’s not afraid to be the enforcer, and also looks to put the body on his opponents at all times. He still contributes offensively with 6 goals and 8 assists. Cole Lawrence completes the line. He’s a big kid and is skilled with the puck. He moves through the neutral zone powerfully and plays off Graham perfectly. 10 goals and 17 assists on the season so far. He’s a key member of the top PP unit with 3 goals and 5 assists. Both of these guys excel digging the puck out of the corners and creating chances.
3rd Line – Jarod Blackowiak is the standout here. He has 6 goals and 2 assists on the season. He gets some time on the 2nd power play unit and seems to have a knack for scoring in some big spots. A couple of the goals were excellent snipes from the top of the circle. He jumped up to the 2nd line last week when Graham was out.

Defense
Nicky Leivermann is the leader. He has 6 goals and 21 assists. He’s sound in the defensive zone, but I tend to pay more attention to his offensive game. He’ll lead the rush up the ice when needed and isn’t afraid to pinch on an open puck in the offensive zone. He’s also the quarterback on the top powerplay unit. Fun player to watch with the puck.

Louie Roehl is the other offensive minded defensemen. He doesn’t have a goal but does have 13 assists. He also rushes the puck often and can make things happen in the offensive zone. Despite being a little smaller in stature, he’s not afraid to throw the body around.

Goaltending
Time is pretty much split between Wiencek and Durocher. Wiencek has slightly better numbers (1.87 GAA vs. 2.65 GAA and .923 SV% vs. .891 SV%) but both have played in the big games. It’ll be interesting to see if the rotation continues down the stretch or if Smith settles on one guy. Other teams would be happy to have either as their full time netminder.

A Look Forward
- The rest of the regular season is tough. 6 games to go. 2 against Edina, BSM, Wayzata, and Hopkins at home and Minnetonka on the road. They should be well tested for the tough section games.
- Section seeding will be interesting depending on the results from the final 6 games. No matter the result they will be tested by some combination of Holy Family, Minnetonka, and Prior Lake.
- Apologies to fans of those teams, but I’m hoping to see Mittelstadt and Graham on display at the X again this year.
Last edited by eazy98 on Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

Sats81
Posts: 2732
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:29 am

Post by Sats81 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:42 pm

Eazy. Do one for LN. You know u watch them more than ep. Come on!!

eazy98
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:11 pm

Post by eazy98 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:01 pm

It's in process.

Sats81
Posts: 2732
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:29 am

Post by Sats81 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:13 pm

eazy98 wrote:It's in process.
Good man. And kloosy=best HS hockey player in mn since late 90s 👍👍👍

eazy98
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:11 pm

Post by eazy98 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:35 pm

A couple changes from the game tonight.

The top line is now Mittelstadt, Graham, and Lawrence. The 2nd line is Sullivan, Steen, and Johannes. I'm not sure when this changed, but it looks like a good change. The top line is dynamic and dominates. The 2nd loses a bit, but can still hold their own.

My recap of the top 4 defensemen was wrong. Wesley Young is one of the top 4 guys. He had a PPG tonight and played a solid game.

Sats81
Posts: 2732
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:29 am

Post by Sats81 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:40 pm

eazy98 wrote:A couple changes from the game tonight.

The top line is now Mittelstadt, Graham, and Lawrence. The 2nd line is Sullivan, Steen, and Johannes. I'm not sure when this changed, but it looks like a good change. The top line is dynamic and dominates. The 2nd loses a bit, but can still hold their own.

My recap of the top 4 defensemen was way off.
Personally I think its a mistake to put Graham and Mittlestadt together. Hurts their depth. First time they do it in a long time and look at the result. Of course no one has ever accused Lee Smith of being a great coach. I will give him this though: Whenever he has had the talent he has got it done. '09 with Leddy and the super sophs with Rau and Seeler. '11 with Rau and his terrific group...'14 the cupboards weren't exactly bare with Spinner, Snuggerud and cast who won some titles in youth hockey.

I think Graham has underperformed this yr. Just my opinion.

@hockeytweet
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:43 pm

Post by @hockeytweet » Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:06 am

Personally I think its a mistake to put Graham and Mittlestadt together. Hurts their depth. First time they do it in a long time and look at the result. Of course no one has ever accused Lee Smith of being a great coach.
What he said.

You know that expression, "Nobody does more, with less"? Not exactly applicable here.

WarmUpTheBus
Posts: 692
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:24 pm

Post by WarmUpTheBus » Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:03 am

Another line change in the game last night was Edina moving Clayton Phillips up to forward. He scored on a breakaway off an EP turnover at the blue line.

Sats81
Posts: 2732
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:29 am

Post by Sats81 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:23 am

Sounds like Brinkman is really helping too. Again, I wouldn't want to play these guys coming up. Giles should get them dialed in here soon.

boblee
Posts: 9146
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 6:57 pm
Location: Fargo, ND
Contact:

Post by boblee » Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:08 am

I would say Grand Rapids has enough coverage at GRHS Hockey Online that it could be used as a dynamic capsule. www.grhshockey.com

FadedRedLine
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:14 pm

Post by FadedRedLine » Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:33 am

The word "Capsule" bugs me.

blueblood
Posts: 2586
Joined: Fri May 26, 2006 8:36 am

Capsule

Post by blueblood » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:10 am

FRL:

I'm having GrandMeadowHockeyFan nightmares in reading that word :shock:

DrGaf
Posts: 636
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:08 pm

Post by DrGaf » Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:06 pm

Sats81 wrote:Sounds like Brinkman is really helping too. Again, I wouldn't want to play these guys coming up. Giles should get them dialed in here soon.
still too young for a run. But, they' could be monsters in 2 yrs... can't wait for last years bantam aa crop to get to junior/senior yrs.
Sorry, fresh out, Don't Really Give Any.

Puckstopper81
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:38 pm

Post by Puckstopper81 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:00 pm

Without either Middlrstadt or Graham EP is an above average team at best. Without both of them, below average HS team.

Post Reply