Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday News, Views and Notes

That dashing young man pictured to the left is Mister Max Campbell (2007 5th) a freshman at Western Michigan and our Prospect Park Player of the Week. Max earned the honors thanks to his first NCAA goal and two assists as his Broncos swept 2 games from Bentley College during Campbell's debut weekend.

It was an impressive coming out party for the 6 ft. center from Strathroy Ontario as he earned first our "Third Star" for his efforts on Friday night and then the "First Star" for his play on Saturday. What made his efforts even more impressive was that it was also the first weekend that Prospect Park had named 3 stars this season since all but one prospect was in action.

So far we really have liked what we have seen from Campbell as he has clearly lived up to the Ranger hype as a "skilled speedster" by as a true freshman starting the season as the 2nd line center for the Broncos. Campbell plays for veteran coach Jim Culhane who's coaching style will help Campbell's development because Culhane uses an up tempo attacking style of hockey.

We have this feeling this will be the first of many times where we award Max our Prospect Park Player of the Week.

Tomas Zaborsky who had a 3 point effort on Sunday as well as Bobby Sanguinetti were also considered for this week but Campbell earned it for solid play in 2 games not just one.

Look out Russia

Kudos to Halifax's Ryan Hillier (2006 3rd) as he was named to the QMJHL roster for the 2007 ADT Canada/Russia Challenge. It was a selection that was well deserved by Ryan who is one of the leading goal scorers in the QMJHL. It is yet another sign that Ryan is arriving as a all-around player.

Ryan is off to what we believe is going to be a career season 11-6-17 in just 14 games after a 32-27-59 season last year. We believe that Hillier has finally shed the inconsistent label that has held him back so it appears that the Rangers are going to get a huge steal from this 3rd round pick.

It might be interesting to see if Hillier will get a chance to go against 2007 Ranger first round pick Alexi Cherepanov.

On second thought

Yesterday I said "I could understand this move" when I saw that the Prince Edward Island Rocket fired Yanick Jean as their coach. I felt at the time that even though they had won 3 games in a row the team was under-performing.

Then I read this from Rocket GM Serge Savard Jr. and kind of wonder if Jean was hung out to dry:

“We had taken a decision at the end of training camp, no matter what happened, that it was Yanick’s last year,” said Savard. “We were not going to renew (his contract).

Jean was a goner no matter what and you made this decision at the end of training camp? Here is what I do not understand which is why keep a coach you did not have any confidence in? Why not replace him then and there rather that disrupt your team during the season?

What is rarely said is that when a coaching change is made that sometimes you create a situation where you divide the locker room into supporters of the former coach and those of the new coach. Very rarely does the team go on to have a successful season.

Players are not stupid, they can sense when they are playing for a coach who is a lame duck and maybe now we can better understand why this team has been under performing. We can now go back and wonder if the Rocket management gave their coach all the tools he needed to win.

The whole situation bothers me because it makes me question if perhaps Antoine Lafleur is not in the best possible situation for him to develop as a player.

Chouinard has a long time track record as a coach in the QMJHL except for one minor detail he has not coached in the "Q" since getting fired in 2002 by Quebec. Chouinard says he is a teacher, well "teach" we will be watching what kind of education Antoine Lafleur receives from you.

Prince Edward Island is back in action tomorrow night so that will be the first of what I believe will be many tests.


Mark said...

What line does Hillier play on for Halifax? Does he play with Voracek? Looking at the scoring sheets, it doesn't seem that way with Voracek assisting on only 1 of Hillier's goals. If so, why not put your best playmaker with your top scorer?

Jess Rubenstein said...

Hillier plays on the second line but his linemates seem to change with each game.

Sometimes he has played with Yuri Cheremetiev as he center sometimes with Tomas Knotek. The RW has changed even more often.

I am trying to get a feature on Ryan for this season so that will be one of the questions I ask