A few days ago I profiled four relatively unknown hockey players who came out of nowhere to make an immediate impact with their respective clubs. Tonight, I profile three more such players.
Krys Barch, Left Winger, Dallas Stars- Barch scored the only Dallas goal on Saturday night as the Stars were upset by the Nashville Predators 5-1. Barch, drafted by the Washington Capitals in 1998 (4/106), spent the last seven season toiling in virtual anonymity in the AHL and ECHL. Barch is a grinder no doubt, who put up 107 PIM in 26 games in the NHL last season for the Stars. Barch’s hard work and determination may have landed him a regular spot on the team’s 4th line alongside fellow tough guys Brad Winchester and Todd Fedoruk.
Mike Mottau, Defenseman, New Jersey Devils- Mottau has surprised many hockey observers by dressing in the first 2 Devils games, especially with Stanley Cup Winner Richard Matvichuk waiting impatiently in the wings. Mottau scored a goal and proved his critics wrong as the Devils won their first game of the season Saturday night, on the road no less, as they upset the Florida Panthers 4-1. Like Barch, Mottau has spent the last seven or so seasons up and down between the AHL and NHL. Interesting to note that the Quincy, Massachusetts native played with Brian Gionta as a member of Boston College. Is this another New Jersey Devils pro scouting hidden gem? Let’s not get too excited just yet.
Jeff Finger, Defenseman, Colorado Avalanche– Finger made the Avalanche out of training camp as the team’s reserve seventh defenseman and has made the most of his opportunity. Finger, drafted by Colorado in 1999 (11/240) is a classic stay-at-home defenseman who is not afraid of the rough stuff. Finger had 116 penalty minutes in 2005’06 with Lowell of the American Hockey League. Finger played his college hockey with St.Cloud State.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Ezra Ginsburg.