Saturday, March 21, 2009

Report Card: Omaha Lancers

Team Record: 28-20-7

Total Points: 63

Goal Leader: Louis Leblanc - 28

Assist Leader: Pat Mullane - 34

Points Leader: Pat Mullane - 57

PIM Leader: Ian Ruel - 119

+/- Leader: Jake Hauswirth, Joe Marciano - +15

Wins Leader: Jeff Teglia - 19

The Lancers lost arguably the best goalie in Drew Palmisano during the off season, so that put them in a bind. Jeff Teglia was brought in to be the backup, though coach Bliss Littler couldn't find the veteran goalie to take the #1 spot. Teglia is young and raw, but made the most of his opportunity to play and kept the Lancers in games early in the season. The Lancers then added Kris Lazaruk out of the WHL, and he has been given the #1 spot over Teglia. Lazaruk continues to get starts, though he has been less than stellar. He's had a couple of great games, but they seem to be followed up by not so great performances. I feel that if the Lancers want to go anywhere in the playoffs, Lazaruk needs to step up his game or Teglia needs to play.

The Lancers defense is very inconsistent. Joe Lavin is one of the best overall defensemen in the entire league and helps anchor the Lancers blue line. C.J. Ludwig is a player who has developed very well over the course of the season and has become a reliable force. Dennis Brown is very offensive minded and has great puck handling abilities, though he lacks strength to win one on one battles routinely and hurts his team. Drew Olson is another player that has been developing very nicely. He still makes mistakes here and there, but brings a lot of energy to the team and isn't afraid to throw his weight around.

Omaha may just have the most talented forwards in the entire league. Led by Montreal Canadiens draft pick Danny Kristo and projected 1st rounder Louis Leblanc, this team has many options to put the puck in the net. Pat Mullane is currently leading the team in points and assists, and is also a threat whenever he steps on the ice. Jake Hauswirth is a goal scoring machine and has an extremely hard and heavy shot. I remember one goal where he deked around the defenseman, took the shot, and hit the puck out of midair into the back of the net. The Lancers are able to roll all four lines and still put the puck in the net. Steven Whitney has been really impressive so far. He is small, but very quick and has a knack for the net.

Team Grade: B

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