Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Double Feature

Once upon a time when people when to the movies they got to see not one great movie but two features for the price of one. That was the kind of Sunday we got out of our Ranger prospects as both made plays that led to their team winning.

Why bother trying to pick one star on a day when two are equally deserving so here is the Prospect Park Double Feature featuring 2 stars from the draft class of 2008.

Returning for an Encore Performance

Last Night's Star Chris Doyle (2008 5th) of the Prince Edward Island Rocket was once again a star on Sunday as Doyle scored the game winning goal to help the Rocket defeat the Val-d'Or Foreurs 3-2 in QMJHL action.

Doyle's 7th goal of the season at 15:30 of the 3rd period broke a 2-2 tie to help the Rocket earn their second road win over the Foreurs in the last 3 days. In addition to the goal, Doyle also added his 15th assist of the season on the Rocket's second goal.

Very quietly, Chris Doyle has gotten red hot thanks to points in 4 straight games going 2-6-8 in those games. That quiet hot streak has moved Doyle into 11th place in the QMJHL scoring race as well as being the leader among the Ranger prospects.

At 7-15-22, Doyle is as we said in the preseason preview learning the lessons from his first Ranger's camp and putting them to good use. We also have to salute Doyle for going 4-0 on face offs as well as making our upcoming choice for Prospect of the Week a very easy selection one to make.

(Monday Morning Update: The QMJHL named Chris Doyle as the Telus Offensive Player of the Week, Congrats to Chris)

And Now For Our Double Feature

We offer up the performance of 2008 First Round Pick Michael Del Zotto. Del Zotto who for reasons that escape us just does not get any love from many quarters. When you are 2-12-14 in 13 games as a defenseman then you must be doing something right.

If you are looking at Del Zotto's -6 or that he has just 2 goals this season so far and thinking that Del Zotto is not playing well then you are making a mistake. If averaging over a point is not good enough for you then odds are Del Zotto will rarely ever earn your support.

Take Sunday for example as Del Zotto had 2 assists including making the play that led directly to the game winning goal to help his Oshawa Generals a 4-3 win over the Barrie Colts. The first assist was a secondary one but the second one directly led to teammate Taylor Carnevale scoring his 3rd goal.

It was Del Zotto on the attack, clearing some space for himself on the power play and then getting the puck down deep so Carnevale had little trouble scoring. The advantage of being the kind of offensive weapon that Del Zotto is sometimes gets forgotten.

People get so wrapped up in stopping you that others can find openings that lets them make plays just like Carnevale did. Scoring on the power play at 17:07 of the 3rd period like Carnevale did was because Del Zotto used his skills to make plays and give the Generals a badly needed win.

The win broke the General's 4 game losing streak and helped the Generals bring their record back to 500 at 7-7-1. With the Generals about to go on a 4 game road trip that will last until November 8th then this was a huge win for the Generals.

Getting back to Del Zotto though as one thing that people may not realize is Del Zotto is consistent. In the 13 games that Del Zotto has played with the Generals; Del Zotto has scored points in 10 of them.

Del Zotto is working his backside off trying to become a better overall player not just a scoring defenseman and that kind of change takes time. It will not always show up in the scoresheets so patience is what we preach about Del Zotto as the reward will be one heck of a player.

Del Zotto will be moving his act to Broadway a lot sooner than people may realize and when the show does come to the Big Apple; it will be a long running hit.

(Doyle-Prince Edward Island, Del Zotto-New York Rangers)

No comments: