Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Nobody Asked Me but

Prospect in Action

Let us get the game stuff out of the way first.

2007 7th round pick David Skokan and his Rimouski Oceanic upped their record to 3-0 with a 2-1 win over the Chicoutimi Saqueneens You can check out the Game Box score.

Skokan notched his 2nd assist of the season as he setup Oliver Foriter's shorthanded goal at 8:44 of the first period. It is interesting to note that after 3 games we are seeing Skokan showing some offense but when he does he also does not do as well on his faceoffs as this evening Skokan struggled going 5-13 on his faceoffs.

I also got word today from the Oceanic that I will be able to conduct an interview with David when the Oceanic come off the road. I look forward to interviewing this young man because he came over to North America BEFORE he was drafted by an NHL team which is rare these days.

Training Camp Thoughts

You know I have to laugh when I see all these "I never thought so and so was that good" because I spend most of my time covering these kids. Sure I can do the back patting routine and say "Told you so" when someone I said was going to develop into a player does.

The number one problem with this time of the year is that too often people make snap judgments on a player and do not let it go. This is the time of the year where you will see a ton of mistakes, a ton of very sloppy hockey and players trying to find their own niche.

For example I am seeing in several places how Marc Staal is having a rough training camp and how he will wind up in Hartford. HELLO PEOPLE training camp started last Friday and today is Tuesday that is a whole 5 days, lighten up willya?

Everyone is taking pains to point out that Staal had a rough go of it in the Blue/White game especially when he was matched up with Jagr. OK TIME OUT as we are talking about a 20 year old player going up against a future NHL Hall of Famer, a guy who has been making lots of people look bad on defense for a long time.

Yet because Staal has struggled he is being written off and set to be sent to Hartford for the regular season. Can we wait until we see Staal in game action against non-superstars before we declare him a failure?'

I say this because Staal is a game day player, let him get back onto the ice and go against players he will not be teammates with. Playing against teammates in practice and actual game performance could be worlds apart.

Staal is a heavy hitter with the body so he might not be going all out against his teammates. Let us judge him against the Devils on Friday night please.

Michael Sauer is someone who's performance is not at all a shock to me because I have known him for 3 years. I wrote 2 years ago that Sauer was the best Defensive Prospect the Rangers have.

Still people are now falling in love with him because he is having a good camp and are even suggesting he has a shot at making the Rangers. No he is not ready despite all the great camp he is having, I should know as I know this kid too well.

His offense needs to do a little catching up to his defensive skills first just so he can keep people honest. Sauer would be best served if he spent some time in Hartford where he can play 20-25 minutes a night improving his shot and passing skills.

Using him as a part time NHL player is not in his best interests because young players need a ton of playing time. Let Sauer play for have a season in the AHL and then let us judge if he is NHL ready then.

Rest assured Michael Sauer will be an NHL player just not today.

Roster Cuts

The Rangers announced their first Roster Moves by sending 12 players to the Hartford Wolfpack. Again when you look at these cuts do not look so deep into them because players will shuttle back and forth between now and the beginning of the season.

We will see players cut on paper but remain with the Rangers all the way until opening night so if Alex Bourret is cut today it does not mean he is a failure and doomed to spend the season in Hartford Bourret has a bad shoulder and this will allow him some time to heal.

Anyone want to wager that Bourret will get to play in at least a couple of the Ranger preseason games? Can I suggest to people that patience should be key word here as we are going to see a lot of changes, maybe a trade or two and some head scratching moves but nothing that will cause the end of the world.

Ranger fans please we have not even made it to the first game of the exhibition schedule so let us step back, take a deep breath and not read too much into anything done this week by the Rangers.

After all they do not award the Stanley Cup until next June so we do have a little time.

We got Antoine LaFleur and his Prince Edward Island Rocket in action tomorrow night so check back to see how he did (we hope better than he has been playing)

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