For the last couple of days, and continuing today, I have been and will be looking at each team in the NHL and identifying a couple of players in particular that fit into one of two categories based on the once popular kids game, Chutes and Ladders. The players in the “chutes” category will be players who exceeded expectations last season, and will have a difficult time avoiding a slide in the coming season. The “ladder” category will consist of players who are ready to climb a level in their play and step up a notch. Feel free to brows back to see previous teams, and look for the last few teams today.
Chutes: Martin Erat – The late season acquisition for the Capitals didn’t seem to mesh very quickly in Washington and seems to have lost his offensive touch. There is a spot for him on the second line in Washington, as long as the can seize the opportunity. But if the audition after the trade is any indication, (3 points in 12 total games) it might not be a good fit.
Ladders: Karl Alzner – A somewhat surprising invite to Team Canada’s orientation camp will likely make more people take notice of the solid young blueliner and the all-around game he possesses. It will also give him a little boost of confidence and help him step his game up to the next level.