Saturday, January 5, 2008

Post Game And Prospects

Post Game Thoughts

Sorry nothing is more frustrating when the refs are major factors in the outcome of a game. Yes Hollweg took a bad penalty but it was nothing that warranted a 5 minute major. Nor does Straka deserve the holding call he got.

None of this takes the Rangers off the hook for the overall performance but really when the NHL officials are giving the other teams that much more help then something is wrong. This was the 3rd game where the refs figured directly in the outcome.

As for the Rangers, once again on this road trip it was the same old song "we beat ourselves" and sorry there comes a time when the song has to be changed.

The first Oiler goal was because they put traffic in front of Henrik. One can not blame this one on Henrik as he rebounded from his effort against the Flames and kept the Rangers in this game.

Dan Girardi's goal was exactly what happens when someone is standing in front of the goalie as Garon never saw his shot until it was past him. As productive as Gomez was with Jagr it is time to shake the entire lineup up.

I am sure so many are saying that Drury bailed everyone out but really it was a combination of things. Jagr getting the puck to Drury though traffic, Drury knocking down the puck and getting a shot off and basically the Oilers losing him.

In the OT, the Rangers were running out of healthy bodies which is why you saw so many crazy combos out there on the PK. Too many players are struggling within themselves.

Best line out there tonight was Dubinsky/Hossa/Prucha but they simply could not get the puck past Garon. When I get back home I will share my ideas regarding how I would redo the lines because these are not getting the job done.

Now for the Prospects

Just because we were at the Oiler game meant that we were not also watching the future.

First Star

Alexei Cherepanov had a goal and an assist as he led Russia to a 4-2 win and the bronze medal at the World Under-20 Championships. While it was a very quiet tournament for Cherepanov at the least he ended his stay there on a positive note.

Second Star

Bobby Sanguinetti had an assist in Team USA's 4-2 loss to Russia in the bronze medal game. Sanguinetti for the most part had a quiet World Under-20 Championship but was named as Team USA's best player in this game.

Third Star

Eric Hunter had 2 assists as his University of Albert Golden Bears whipped on the Manitoba Bison 6-1.

Ryan Hillier's goal may not count in the overall statistics but it was 1 of 3 that his Halifax Mooseheads scored in the shoot out to defeat the Moncton Wildcats 2-1.

However that is not the entire story as Hillier who was named the game's 3rd star by the home Moncton media also recorded a rare fight which helped to wake up his teammates as they were struggling on the road.

The Rest of the Prospects

Carl Hagelin was scoreless and ended his first appearance at the WJCs with no points but he does get to return to Michigan with a silver medal in Sweden's 3-2 overtime loss to Canada in the WJC championship.

Artem Anisimov was scoreless in the already mentioned bronze medal game.

Tomas Zaborsky had his 21st goal (an empty netter) of the season as his Saginaw Spirit shutout the Windsor Spitfires 3-0.

Danny Hobbs had an assist as his Ohio Junior Bluejackets edged Waterloo 2-1 to earn their 2nd win in a row.

Jordan Foote did not score as Michigan Tech had little trouble with Mercyhurst 5-1.

Max Campbell also was scoreless as his Western Michigan Broncos lost 6-3 to Nebraska-Omaha.

Prospect Park World Under 20 MVP

He finished 5th overall in scoring with a 2-6-8 which also led all Ranger prospects, was second on his team as well. Was the only Ranger prospect to be named by his coach as one of the top 3 players for the entire tournament and just might have raised his stock for a possible pro career with his efforts.

We are happy to name David Skokan of Slovakia as our WJC MVP

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