Sunday, November 9, 2008

Twice as Nice

Last night 5 Ranger prospects combined to score all of one assist, so of course when there are just 2 offensive players then you wind up with a combined 3-3-6 with 2 game first stars and some very strong arguments as to why 2008 is shaping up to be the best Ranger draft class in close to 30 years.

Any concern about how Evgeny Grachev (2008 3rd) was going to respond to the end of his scoring streak lasted about one period as Grachev played what was his best game of the season on Sunday scoring 2 goals along with 1 assist as his Brampton Battalion extended their winning streak to 11 games with a 7-1 whipping of the Belleville Bulls.

This was the battle of OHL Eastern Conference Division leaders and while the Bulls can make a case for playing without regular starting goalie Mike Murphy and Traverse City invitee Nick Pageau, it is doubtful it would have been that big of a difference maker.

With the Battalion up 3-1 in the 3rd period, it was Grachev who put the game away starting with his 7th goal of the season at 10:26. It was a blast from the left face off circle and in tracking Grachev's goals; the 3rd of the season from that spot.

At 15:21, Grachev added a power play goal for his 8th on the season and 3rd power play goal on the year to make the score 5-1. Grachev then finished up his night with a secondary assist on teammate Ken Peroff's 4th goal of the year.

On the season now Grachev is an impressive 8-8-16 in 16 games, a +8 and just 8 PIMs.

Before we begin the Chris Doyle (2008 5th) portion of our report let us take a moment to share this picture taken by Brian MacInnis of the Prince Edward Island Guardian.

This excellent picture is showing Chris Doyle (in white wearing #10) blasting Jeff Desjardins of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies into the PEI Rocket net (earning Doyle a minor for his efforts).

We wanted to show this because we think very highly of the work that the folks at the Guardian do especially Charles Reid who covers the Rocket and has helped us with information over the last couple of years. It is hard to cover the QMJHL but between the folks at the Guardian as well as the Rocket themselves we are able to do so.

As for the Chris Doyle portion of our report, it was just more of the same story from the last month. Another game, another 3 points (2nd straight 3 point game), extending his scoring streak to 10 straight (tying Evgeny Grachev's record) as well as another 1st star of the game to help the PEI Rocket ruin the return of Antoine Lafleur (2007 2nd) back to Charlottetown with an 8-2 blasting of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.

Doyle had in our eyes his best overall game of the season as well on Sunday with a goal as well as 2 assists, a +3, 2 PIM and went 5-3 on his faceoffs. During this streak Doyle has gone 7-12- 19 to jump himself up to 3rd overall in the QMJHL scoring race at 12-22-34.

Doyle scored his prospect leading 12th goal at 17:25 killing off a Rouyn-Noranda rally that had closed the score to 3-2. 39 seconds later, it was Doyle who set up Matthew Lachaine to give the Rocket a 5-2 lead and the rout was on.

In the 3rd, Doyle capped off his evening with a secondary assist on Lachaine's second goal of the evening which made the score 7-2. Not sure what else Doyle is going to do to top what he is doing now but it is going to be fun to watch him go.


The hard part about Doyle's evening is that Antoine Lafleur (2007 2nd) was terrible in net for the Huskies. Lafleur gave up 3 goals in the first 12:44 of the first period before getting pulled.

It was as we said earlier Lafleur's return back to Charlottetown where he spent the first 3 seasons of the QMJHL career. To his credit Lafleur did not make excuses (although playing 3 games in 3 nights is too much in our eyes) and accepted responsibility for his play.

And while the Rocket were having some laughs at Lafleur's expense we will remind them that Lafleur already owns a win over his former team. Lafleur needs more work and over time we think there remains a good solid goalie who can help the Rangers down the road.


Michael Del Zotto (2008 1st) missed his second straight game with an undisclosed (unconfirmed) injury but his Oshawa Generals defeated the Barrie Colts 5-0 in OHL action.

For use the question now is now no longer IF the Generals will trade Del Zotto to a OHL contender but rather WHEN. And if anyone with the Generals asks us who we want to see Del Zotto moved to then our answer is this: Please Send Del Zotto HERE

We are allowed to dream folks.

(Grachev- Brampton Battalion, Chris Doyle- Brian MacInnis of the Prince Edward Island Guardian)


ryanloral said...

wouldn't that be nice!

and thanks for your response about his and grachev's status. can't help thinking about him playing in the nhl one day with anisimov.

Jess Rubenstein said...


I was thinking along the lines of a Russian Version of the Legion of Doom with Grachev on the left, Anisimov in the middle and Zherdev on the right.

That would be a tough line to stop