Monday, March 31, 2008

Moving On Up

Ryan Hillier and his Halifax Mooseheads have to be a coaching nightmare. When they are playing with the passion and energy that they are capable of then they are almost unbeatable as they were in Games 1 and 2 of their series against the Victoriaville Tigres.

Of course when the Mooseheads do not then everyone can defeat them as was the case in game's 3 and 4 of the same series. They are a frustrating team to watch at times as they have so much depth that a 33 goal scorer plays on the 3rd line.

Entering Game 6, the Mooseheads were looking to finish off the Tigres to advance in the QMJHL playoffs and advance they did after they blew the Victoriaville Tigres out 7-0 to win the series 4-2. The Top seeded team moves on to play their chief rival this season the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles with the schedule to be announced on Tuesday.

Ryan Hillier's 4th goal of the playoffs at 7:01 of the first period opened the floodgates for a 5 goal first period and it was all on cruise control after that. Hillier added an assist on the 5th goal in the first period as he earned the game's third star.

However it was more than just the goal and assist that had Hillier standing out, as Hillier was a +2, given credit for 3 "dangerous shots" (scoring chances), credited for 1 good hit and even won a face off. Hillier also drew a penalty from Victoriaville to give the Herd a 5 on 3 power play which they scored on.

It was a total all around game for Hillier which begs the question what would happen if Hillier played like this every night? We hope to find out as the Mooseheads move on to the QMJHL quarterfinals.

Before we move on we want to point out that Hillier is now 4-5-9 in 6 games with 2 game winners out of the first round.

Make it Official(part 1)

The Rangers made it official that Bobby Sanguinetti is joining the Hartford Wolfpack as they issued a press release via the Wolfpack to announce the move. There was no mention if they had Sanguinetti sign an ATO (which would be the smarter move) or if his entry level contract has started.

We really do need to urge people to have some caution here and not expect Sanguinetti to take the AHL by storm. As much as we like Sanguinetti (and we really do think he will be a star), we want to allow him to develop at his own pace not expect him to hit the ground flying.

He just might need some seasoning at the AHL level next year so the Rangers we believe are planning their off-season in that manner. The best surprise would be if Sanguinetti did make the Rangers next training camp but we do know the Ranger mindset when it comes to prospect development.

Sanguinetti must show that he can (or could) dominate at the AHL level for an extended period of time before they will deem him as NHL ready. The Rangers are not going to do to a very talented prospect what has been done in the past to others which is rush them to the NHL before they are ready and screw up their development.

Make it Official (Part 2)

It will be announced on Tuesday that Tomas Zaborsky will sign a contract with the Hartford Wolfpack according to our sources. While details of said contract are not known at this time we expect it to be an ATO (Amateur Tryout Contract).

Zaborsky who has been with the Saginaw Spirit for this past season is coming off a 31-39-70 season. We detailed in our report yesterday what we thought of Zaborsky and are happy to see that he is going to get a shot.

Weekly Poll

Given that there are only 4 active teams remaining in the NCAA Division One Mens Hockey Tournament; it should come as no surprise that Carl Hagelin's Michigan Wolverines will go into the Frozen Four as the top ranked team in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll.

Michigan will be taking on fellow CCHA member 5th Ranked Notre Dame on April 10 at 9 EDT (we think that time is wrong) and the game will be shown on ESPN2.

(Hillier picture courtesy of the Halifax Mooseheads)

No comments: