Sunday, February 17, 2008

Crunch Time is A Coming

The Rangers are not the only ones who are fighting for playoff positioning as so are their prospects and their teams. For some they are already assured of a chance for post season play but others are going to have to fight hard either to just make it or to avoid a quick exit.

Bobby Sanguinetti and his Brampton Battalion they fall into the "all is well but want better" position as going into Sunday's matchup with the Peterborough Petes, the Battalion were the number 2 seed in the OHL's Eastern Conference and after Sunday's 6-4 win over the Petes have an 8 point lead over the Niagara IceDogs.

The Battalion scored 5 unanswered goals starting in the second period to comeback from a 4-1 deficit to win this game. While Sanguinetti was held scoreless, he was a +3 on the game to bring his season +/- to a +7 which should help to lower the questions about his defensive skills.

The Battalion are starting to play some of their best hockey of the year and as they have won 7 of their last 8 games and are 8-2 over their last 10 games. The Battalion have a tradition of doing well in the OHL playoffs and could go very deep which might mean Sanguinetti just might miss his chance to join the Hartford Wolfpack this season.

On the other hand the other OHL team with a Ranger prospect the Saginaw Spirit are struggling as they have had chance after chance to improve their playoff positioning but appear stuck in the 8th seed in the OHL's Western Conference.

If today's game with the conference leading Kitchener Rangers is any example of what will happen when these 2 teams meet in the first round then the Spirits will not be around long.

The Rangers scoring 2 goals in each period blew out the Spirit 6-2 as Zaborsky was held scoreless. This game was not even close as the Rangers spotted the Spirit a 1-0 lead and then scored 5 unanswered goals before finishing the Spirit off.

While for Zaborsky this will mean a chance to join the Hartford Wolfpack for their playoff run, this is not how he hoped to end his junior career. Zaborsky came back as an overage player for the rebuilding Spirit and has been struggling as of late scoring just 2 goals over his last 14 games.

That is going to make it hard for him to earn a Ranger/Wolfpack contract despite his 25-28-54 numbers. The Rangers have plenty of smallish forwards so Zaborsky is going to have to kick his game up a notch over his team's last 13 regular season games.

We know Zaborsky has the talent to do just that.

The Week Ahead

We are going to have a busy week as we said it is time for playoff positioning and we will be taking a look at who should do well and who won't. We believe that that there are at least 4 players who will be earning ATOs from the Wolfpack and will break down the how and why this week.

This week will also have Ryan Hillier and his Halifax Mooseheads hosting Antoine Lafleur and his Prince Edward Island Rocket. We are hoping that the Rocket give Lafleur the start to see if he can bounce back from last nights poor performance.

And as always we will have those results and more.

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