Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Slow Sunday

For the second day in a row, Ranger prospects had a quiet day on the scoresheet which given the kind of numbers that have been put up this season is on the rare side. For us it is nothing to be concerned about right now as there are always going to be quiet times.

Evgeny Grachev and his Brampton Battalion took on the Belleville Bulls in a key OHL Eastern Conference match up. The Bulls and Brampton have been 1-2 in the Eastern Conference for most of the season and this game was the typical 4 point match up.

Going into the game the Battalion trailed the Bulls by 2 points in the standings but a 3-2 Bulls win opened up a 6 point lead in the conference standings. Grachev for the first time since December 11th and 12th has gone 2 games in a row without a point.

It was a quiet evening for Grachev who just might be a tad worn at this time of the season. After 51 OHL games, time with the Rangers and then time with Russian WJC along with all the other stuff that Grachev has been asked to do there is a possibility that even a 19 year old could be worn down.

Michael Del Zotto and his London Knights shut out the Sarnia Sting 3-0 on Sunday in what turned into a penalty filled game. There were 29 penalties called in this game including 6 fighting majors.

Del Zotto was held scoreless in this game and wound up a -1 with one minor penalty.

Tysen Dowzak notched an assist on his Kelowna Rockets first goal of the game as the Rockets with 3 goals in the 3rd period defeated the Chilliwack Bruins 4-1 in WHL action. With the assist, Dowzak has tied his career high for points with at 13 but quietly between his offense as well as his defensive improvement has raised his plus/minus to a season high +12.

Antoine Lafleur got to sit again as his Rouyn-Noranda Huskies defeated the Val-d'Or Foreurs 3-2 to give rookie goalie Mikael Audette his 3rd straight win in goal. Lafleur it appears has played himself out of the starter's job with the Huskies.


As happy as I am to see Andy Bathgate and Harry Howell get their rightful place up in the rafters of the Garden, I can not help but to think that if not for Adam Graves being the unselfish person that he is that today's honors would never have happened.

Graves it appears is the only person Ranger's management who understands how it would have looked for the Rangers to have retired his number 9 while a player who is in the Hockey Hall of Fame was not also honored.

Graves in all honesty is not Hockey Hall of Fame material despite all the great things he has done for the Ranger world. You get into the HOF for your play and sorry to say this; Graves does not have those kinds of numbers.

However if there ever is a HOF for being a great human being then Graves is a first ballot winner because of his unselfishness.


One last note from the nonsense out of the Medicine Hat/Lethbridge game was that there were a total of 20 fighting majors handed out in the game. It will be a shock if there are not suspensions as well as fines handed out because of the nonsense that took place in this game.

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