Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Slovakian Report

Tonight's Star

Sometimes too much emphasis is placed on points scored. Sure the idea is to outscore your opposition but you also have to prevent them from scoring and that is where tonight's star David Skokan fits in.

Skokan did not score anything tonight as his Rimouski Oceanic defeated Antoine Lafleur and his Prince Edward Island Rocket 4-1. We will talk about Lafleur later as Skokan is our story tonight.

Skokan as we said did not score a point but he was dominating on his faceoffs going 14-5. Skokan took the body registering 3 "good" hits, was a +1 and had 4 minutes in penalties. Skokan played the role of shut down defender and he played it well.

The Rest of the Prospect Action

Antoine Lafleur got the start in goal for the Rocket and took the loss as he gave up the 4 goals on 35 shots faced and this was yet another frustrating performance for the Rangers 2007 2nd round draft pick. Lafleur faced 12 shots that were labeled as "dangerous" (we prefer scoring chances) along with taking a penalty in the game.

In all honesty we have hoped that Lafleur was getting his game together as he was showing the very signs of promise that led to the Rangers using that 2nd round pick on him. We have looked for all sorts of reasons to be supportive of him.

We are to blame as well, we thought his play at first was "Draft Hangover", then we thought it was simply the lack of experience by the defense in front of him, the changing of coaches and even the lack of regular playing time. We have hoped for a trade for Lafleur as a change of scenery would help turn things around.

Now we are no sure what if anything will fix Lafleur, Prince Edward Island has a promising rookie goalie who for most of the season has had a winning record so odds are good that Lafleur will need to go elsewhere if he is going to be a starter next season.

We believe the Rangers will at the least hold on to his draft rights for another year but now goaltending will become one of the prime needs to be addressed at the 2008 draft.

Tomas Zaborsky was scoreless as his Saginaw Spirit fell out of the 6th seed into a tie for 7th with a 6-3 loss to the Sarina Sting.

Award Time

Congratulations are in order as the Canada West Conference winner of the University of Alberta Alumni Trophy which is given to the Outstanding Freshman in the Canada West Conference. Hunter the Ranger's 6th round pick in the 2006 Entry Draft had an 11-18-29 mark in 29 games.

Hunter in case you missed it was also named to the Canada West 2nd team along with the All-Conference Freshman team.

(Skokan picture courtesy of the Rimouski Oceanic)

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