Wednesday, January 21, 2009

When 4 Means Bad News

The theme for the two Ranger prospects in action on Wednesday evening was the 4 goals their teams each gave up in the losses that both teams suffered. However both teams took different paths to their losses and that is where things get not so nice.

We have to start with Tysen Dowzak (2008 UFA) and his Kelowna Rockets who discovered that they are no closer to the Vancouver Giants than they were before the changes to their roster. The Rockets play in the same division as the Giants but reality is that teamwise; the two teams are a world apart.

The Rockets took a 3-2 lead into the third period and the Giants as they did to Medicine Hat last week scored 4 third period goals to win 6-4.

The Rockets thought that things would be different this time when the 2 teams met. The pregame talk was about the Rockets would use this game to measure how much closer they were to the Giants after adding 4 players. The reality check was despite any changes to the Rocket roster that they are not in the Giant's league.

The difference also shows in the standings as the first place Giants are 26 points ahead of the second place Rockets. In this game, it was 2 players who took the Rockets apart combining for 4 goals and 3 assists.

The players were Evander Kane (write this name down as he is a future NHL star) with a hat trick as well as future Ranger nightmare and WHL leading scorer Casey Pierro-Zabotel with a goal and 3 assists.

We are used to the Giants as with them there is no such thing as a safe lead against a team that is 38-4-3. You do not get that kind of record at any level of hockey unless your team is firing on all cylinders.

From a prospect standout: Tysen Dowzak returned from his one game healthy scratch and really did not show much anything different. It makes you wonder why he was scratched in the first place as for the 2nd straight game, one of his teammates Tyler Myers fired the puck into the stands to take a delay of game penalty that led to a power play goal for the other guy.

In many ways the Rockets are a lot like the Rangers as they are a talented bunch up front among the forwards with some talent on the blueline. Some of the Rocket fans think that Rocket coach Ryan Huska is not doing a good job and that the team has not performed up to expectations.

It will be interesting to see how the Rocket rebound from a loss that they put a lot of hope into.

Then there is Tomas Kundratek and his Medicine Hat Tigers who's game against the Lethbridge Hurricanes might wind up making more news for the line brawl that broke out after the Hurricanes scored the empty net goal to put the game out of reach.

For the Tigers over the last few games, they simply have not been able to finish teams off and tonight it cost them. Last night they were able to escape with a shoot out win but against the Hurricanes, the Tigers let a 4-3 lead disappear as they dropped a 7-5 decision in regulation.

It was the second loss the Tigers suffered to the Hurricane in the last 8 days and to be honest they deserved both losses. The Tigers simply could not find ways to stop the Hurricanes when it mattered the most.

Kundratek actually had an assist (3 game scoring streak) on the night to give him his 11th point on the season. Kundratek also was a -1 with 2 PIMs (his 4th straight game with a penalty) but compared to the Slapshot nonsense that broke out at the end of the game his penalty is nothing.

Both teams combined for 168 PIMs on a combined 40 infractions. When those who want to see fighting banned then they will use a night like this as evidence as the kindest description we heard was "Stupidity Reigns"

Medicine Hat defender Matt McCue we hope gets to sit for a few games as he earned the following at 19:09 of the 3rd period (please note that none of this is a typo):

2 for instigator, 5 for fighting, 5 for fighting, a game misconduct, a game misconduct

That is right 2 fighting majors as well as 2 game misconducts for a total of 32 PIMs on the same play. There is no legit reason, rational or excuse to talk one's way out of this. McCue is also one of the Tiger's assistant captains which makes this in our eyes even worse.

For the Hurricanes they were not better in our eyes as center Dwight King got 27 minutes during the same nonsense. Sorry we can not call it a fight or a brawl when we see behavior like this. A second Hurricane got 20 PIMs during this nonsense so we expect suspensions on their side as well.

If this happened in an NHL game then the media frenzy that would have happened here would have been unreal but valid. No excuse for this sort of behavior at any level and if anything it helps fuel the anti-fighting crowd.

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