Monday, March 10, 2008

And Now A Word On Everything Else

Even though none of the prospects are in action we still have some news to pass along for you still. It was a long long weekend in a longer season that seems to never take a day off.

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll

Carl Hagelin's Michigan Wolverines had the week off having earned a bye in the first round of the CCHA playoffs. In last week's poll the Wolverines dropped to second after an overtime loss to Ferris State.

In this week's poll, the Wolverines moved back to the top spot in the polls by capturing 15 of the 24 First Place Votes, last week's number one North Dakota fell to number 2 after winding up with 2 ties this past week.

College Conference Tournament Match ups are set

This is one of those good news, bad news and really bad news type of situations. The good news is that Jordan Foote and his Michigan Tech Huskies made the WCHA playoffs, the bad news is that they get to play the just mentioned 2nd ranked North Dakota. The really bad news for Michigan Tech is that North Dakota has not lost since January 4th a span of 17 games in a row.

During WCHA conference play, Michigan Tech was 1-3 during the season against North Dakota having split at home and getting swept on the road. Michigan Tech has played well against some of the best teams in the country but the odds are very good that next week at this time we will be talking about whether or not the Rangers will be offering Jordan Foote an ATO as we expect the Huskies to be swept in 2 games.

If anything we are rooting for Michigan Tech if for no other reason but to try to explain how the WCHA Final 5 works for those who have not experienced it.

Carl Hagelin's Michigan will be hosting Nebraska-Omaha this weekend and in all seriousness we really doubt that Nebraska-Omaha is going to beat Michigan in this series as it will be an upset if the series goes 3 games.

BCHL Conference Semi-Finals

Greg Beller and his Vernon Vipers will return home for games 3 and 4 trying to get back into the Interior conference semi-final series that they are trailing 2 games to none to the Pentiction Vees. So far the Vees have not had too much of a problem with Beller's Vipers and Beller has not scored.

The Final Week In the CHL Regular Season

For all 5 Ranger prospects playing in the CHL all of their teams have clinched a berth on their respective leagues with Antoine Lafleur's Prince Edward Island Rocket becoming the last team to clinch a spot.

However this week will go a long way in determining who is seeded where as Ryan Hillier's Halifax Mooseheads and Bobby Sanguinetti's Brampton Battalion are both fighting for division titles which also means top seeds in the first round. Both teams are hanging on to 3 point leads with 3 games remaining.

Tomas Zaborsky's Saginaw Spirit could finish anywhere from 5th to 8th in the OHL's Western Conference as 4 teams are separated by 1 point with Zaborsky's Spirit having 3 games left to play.

David Skokan's Rimouski Oceanic are currently in 7th in the QMJHL's Telus Division and the best they can do is the 6th seed currently held by Shawinigan who are holding a 2 point lead with both teams having 3 games remaining.

Antoine Lafleur's PEI Rocket are currently 7th in the QMJHL's East Division holding a game in hand over Telus division transfer Victoriaville. With the QMJHL being unbalanced in terms of division setup the 9th place team moves over to the East Division for the playoffs being seeded based on their own record. If you are not confused then you have not been paying attention.

Who will be the Prospect Scoring Champ?

Last season the prospect scoring champion was a no contest as Tom Pyatt of Saginaw won everything from goals to points to plus/minus. This season the only thing that has been decided is plus/minus as baring a massive miracle belongs to Tomas Zaborsky who currently is +14.

Here is how everything else breaks down:


1- Hillier 33
2- Zaborsky 31
3- Sanguinetti 29


1- Sanguinetti 39
2- Zaborsky 36
3- Hillier 34


1- Sanguinetti 68
2- Hillier 67 (tiebreaker is most goals)
3- Zaborsky 67

All 3 prospects have 3 games remaining so this one will be interesting to see how it ends.

Looking Ahead

Antoine Lafleur and Danny Hobbs will be in action on Tuesday evening so we will have that plus how the OHL treats those who "dive" and get called for it. It is a rule we really think the NHL should adopt.

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