While others want to focus on who is to blame for what happened with Alexi Cherepanov. the rest of the hockey world continues to move one including the world of Ranger prospects.
Antoine Lafleur wishes that he had the night off as Lafleur got drilled for 6 goals as his Rouyn-Noranda Huskies got blown out by the Quebec Remparts 7-1 in QMJHL action. Lafleur got little help from his defense just like he did last season with PEI as in the 3rd period the roof caved in on the Huskies.
2 straight unassisted goals scored 42 seconds apart in the 3rd period broke open the game as the Remparts won their 6th straight road game. Lafleur can be blamed for 3 of the 6 goals as they were shots that should have been stopped by Lafleur.
The folks with PEI will point to his efforts tonight as typical of Lafleur's inconsistency and why they chose to go in a different direction. For Lafleur's sake we hope this is just a bump in the road for him.
The Day After
It is a shame that the focus remains on point fingers and accusations regarding what happened to Alexi Cherepanov rather than working towards finding ways to prevent something like this from happening again.
Maybe the biggest problem with how the New York and hockey media in general is reporting this can be traced to an innocent remark that Dubi Silverstein made at the Blueshirt Bulletin yesterday.
Dubi pointed out that Mitch Beck and myself were two of the very few reporters who actually got to talk to Alexi at the 2007 NHL draft (Larry Brooks of the Post is the only other active beat reporter who was there).
Mitch and I do not agree on many things but it has to be pointed out that maybe our experiences with Cherepanov led to how we both covered this tragedy.
Mitch wrote at Howlings:
I vividly remember greeting him as he walked to the podium to answer the media's questions. I remember being impressed by how "strong" he seemed to be; not in terms of him possibly bench pressing a Buick, but more in terms of his mental toughness and the excitement that was on his face. In fact, I took that picture of his great smile from the podium that Blueshirt Bulletin used to announce his arrival to NY. As much of a thrill as it was for me to be a part of the draft from the inside, that experience will forever be a reminder of what could have been and never got the chance to be.
No finger pointing by Mitch either and as in our own ways we were affected by a smiling teenager who really truly wanted to be a Ranger.
My own experience can best be remembered as asking Cherepanov while everyone else was talking to Tom Renney what he was looking forward to about New York and his response was: "I want to meet all the beautiful girls in New York"
Spoken like a true teenage boy.
It is also ironic that tomorrow I will get to interview 2008 second round pick Derek Stepan of the Wisconsin Badgers. No matter what life does move on
47 minutes ago