Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thinking Out Loud

Prospect Action

For the second time this season Antoine Lafleur was pulled from a game as his Prince Edward Island Rockets lost to the Saint John Sea Dogs 6-2 in QMJHL action on Thursday night.

It was a frustrating outing for Lafleur but in many ways it also is helping to prove that he is suffering from what I believe is the "Post Draft Hangover". I really think it will not take a whole lot for Lafleur to turn things around IF they (the Rocket coaching staff) gives the kid a chance to catch his breath.

For the game, Lafleur struggled big time as he gave up 4 goals while facing just 14 shots. Lafleur was given the hook about midway in the 3rd period and one almost has to feel sorry for him at the moment.

Fans of the game at time can be way to quick to label and toss aside a prospect. I said it once and I will repeat myself "Lafleur will be alright in time" so before people decide to place a bust label on him can we at least wait until mid-season?

I would rather see Lafleur struggle now early in the season than lose his game at the end of one. I actually think going though this struggle is going to help Lafleur down the road because it will help to keep him humble and appreciate the good times when they happen.

I am also willing to bet that when Lafleur comes out of his slump there will be no hotter goalie than he will be. Watch and you will see.

Thinking Out Loud

Since I do not get many chances to say my thoughts about the Rangers here goes:

Trying Drury with Jagr is something I knew was going to happen. I said over at the Blueshirt Bulletin when they first signed both Drury and Jagr.

Sorry folks but how many times have we been told that the offense runs though Jagr when he is on the ice? So why have 2 playmakers on the same line if one (Jagr) is going to run the entire offense?

In the long run I believe it gives the Rangers 2 very dangerous scoring lines by having 2 strong playmakers running the offense. After all did we all complain that Shanny lacked a playmaking center last season? Now he has one.

I keep seeing that everyone thinks it is Dawes VS Dubinsky for a roster spot. I do not because when the Ranger capped Cullen back to the Canes the 3rd line center spot was gift wrapped and handed to Dubinsky.

Dawes I am sorry to say never really has a chance because the Rangers already have 2 smallish goal scoring forwards in Prucha and Callahan. This basically knocks Dawes out of the running for a roster spot.

I really feel bad for Dawes but he has not scored when given the chances. Dawes is a great human being and the kind of person you would be proud to know but he is the 3rd man in a 2 man rotation I am sorry to say.

The only way I really see Dawes ever really becoming a Ranger regular will be if the Rangers trade Prucha or Cally. Otherwise I fear that Dawe's only hope of playing in the NHL will be elsewhere.

It will not be the Rangers fault, it will be matter of others producing when they got their chances.

While Artem Anisimov may have played well in both training camp and the preseason games, I believe the Rangers do not want to retard his development by playing limited 4th line minutes so he goes to Hartford to be the first line center.

Anisimov is going to be on the Ranger roster at some point this season but for now it is best for him to play a ton of minutes in every situation so his development can be improved.


Really busy weekend for the Ranger prospects and I will update you all weekend long


Wexblog said...

Just wanted to say this site is fantastic and I look forward to future updates.

steve said...

Jess you are great....
I really enjoy this site and your opinions. I also agree on your opinions on lafleur, drury and dawes.
Jagr, has said many times that he is a play maker and does not consider himself a goal scorer, thus Drury would be perfect for him. The Drury can score and pass.
As for Gomez with Shanahan, and Avery, I hope it works. But Gomez with Prucha and Callahan, would bring comparisons with Giota and Elias...very fast guys to be with Gomez who also is fast. Shanahan has been losing a step or two every maybe by mid season we may see shanahan on the third line and prucha or callahan on the 2nd line, What do you think?

Jess Rubenstein said...


Thanks for the support I am new at this so it helps build the confidence.


You know I never even considered Prucha and Cally with Gomez but think that is a possibly scary line with speed to kill.

At first I pictured Gomez with Cally and Shanny as the 2nd line BUT Shanny has made me really question if his skills are leaving him too fast.

By midseason I think we might see your combo of Prucha and Cally with Gomez but please wear seat belts because speed does kill and those 3 would have a ton of it. Nice combo wish I had thought of it first LOL

Mark said...

I was wondering what you see this team looking like in a few years. My expectation would be along the lines of




If these prospects play to their potential, this looks like a very dangerous and cheap team, kind of like buffalo the last few years. If we a top line finisher and a top d-man, this team looks stacked.

Jess Rubenstein said...


Tell you what I will save that for next week when the prospects are off because that too is a great subject to write about.

Hope you do not mind waiting but that is too an interesting idea not to give a full article to