Thursday, February 26, 2009

This Rocket's Red Hot Glare

The current Rangers are not the only ones who now have to make an impression on John Tortorella; the prospects also need to show the coach about their desire to become a part of his teams. Give Tysen Dowzak some credit for stepping up and making the first statement about his desire.

Dowzak and his Kelowna Rockets traveled to Medicine Hat to play Tomas Kundratek and the Medicine Hat Tigers in a game that ended about 8:41 in the first period.

It ended when with Dowzak's Tigers already up 3-0, Dowzak dropped the gloves with the Tigers John Stampohar as Stampohar was trying to fire up his Tiger teammates. Dowzak's efforts in the fight did not give the Tigers any momenteum and if anything fired up his Rocket teammates to score 2 more goals in the first period for a 5-0 lead.

The Rockets dominated this game eventually winning 6-1 but Dowzak sent a message to the Rangers about his play as of late. For the second time in 4 games (both key games for the Rockets), Dowzak combined a fight, some solid defensive work and a +3 to help the Rockets to an important road win.

If we were to give a defensive player of the month award then Dowzak wins it in a runaway, not because he has a +9 but because his play in the defensive end has become a huge reason why the Rockets have gone 8-1-0-1 in their last 10 games.

The second half of a season along with the playoffs is where prospects either make or break their season. Dowzak has decided he wants to make his last WHL season a memorable one. Dowzak is now tied with PEI's Chris Doyle for the fighting major lead among Ranger prospects with his 5th fight of the season.

As for Tomas Kundratek, this game was a disappointing one to watch as he finished with 2 shots and a -2. Kundratek who had been showing all the signs of breaking out has gone silent offensively which is very frustrating. If any of the Ranger defensive prospects are ideal for the Tortorella system it is Kundratek who can play solid hockey at both ends of the ice.

The problem is that as of late he can not seem to decide which end he wants to play the most at or sadly he has gotten more notice for his willingness to drop his gloves. We will keep saying this to Kundratek; nice idea but that it is not going to help you make it to the Rangers.

What will is his willingness to play smart 2 way hockey which as we have been told is the key to the Tortorella system. Tortorella is going to want defenders who can play strong enough defensive to break up the many odd man rushes his system causes and that is a strength that Kundratek does have.

Over in the OHL, Michael Del Zotto had a quiet evening as his London Knights defeated the Guelph Storm 3-2. Del Zotto is going to be interesting to watch over the rest of the season as the very gifted offensive player has to be wondering where he might fit in to the Tortorella system.

Memo to Del Zotto, do not worry as Tortorella will like the firepower you will be giving him and he will work with you.


Memo to Ray Ferraro and Pierre McGuire

Subject: Ranger bashing on TSN

Hey guys just wanted to drop you a note that while Ranger fans do not need any help disliking Sather could you please just once get your facts right when you trash the Rangers. We get it already that both of you have serious emotional issues when it comes to the Rangers.

Ray we know that Neil lied to you when he said he would not trade you after you signed with the Rangers and then shipped you to the Kings. Ever since then you have gone out of your way to trash anything and everything Ranger.

However when you get the facts wrong then you help Sather because you give him ammo to say that the media is nothing but assassins. Bad news there Ray, Glen Sather was not the GM who signed Mike Keane and Brian Skrudland. That was Neil Smith who signed both for the 1997-98 Rangers before he and Dave Checketts chased Messier out of town.

Sather did not join the Rangers until 2000 and yes we all know about his bad signings but when the one you highlight on TSN is one that Sather did not do then you simply look like the person with the vendetta that can not let go.

As for you Pierre, something is very wrong when you make Mike Milbury look smart which you do everytime you appear on NBC. Wonder how dumb you are going to look when someone shows you a copy of the Ranger roster for the 94 cup team and Bruce Driver's name is not on it like you said it was.

Even worse is that you actually make it sound like Bruce Driver was the only Devil the Rangers signed as a UFA who was worth something. Ask any Ranger fan who watched his painful play as a Ranger and they will tell you otherwise.

It was embarrassing to watch this game on TSN and have to listen to such garbage. The Rangers have a ton of problems there is no question about it but there is no need for those in the supposed hockey media to take cheap shots that are not correct in facts.

(Dowzak courtesy of Tim Swanky/Kelowna Rockets)


steve said...

Hey Jess,
I agree with you in your previous post that the Rangers should not make the playoffs so they can get a higher draft choice, but after looking at the standings and seeing so many western conference teams vying for a playoff with lesser points than the Rangers, it just tells me that even if the Ranger do not make the Playoffs, we are only looking at 15-17 round draft choice at best. So I don't think the Rangers will be getting one of those elite players that you mentioned. And for the Rangers to qualify for a lottery pick, they have to be one of the 5 worse, which I can not see happening after looking at the standings. So even if the Rangers do the make the playoffs we are talking about 1 to 3 draft position difference. So now I am really torn about them making or not making the playoffs. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

i thought the comments were dead on in general though a detail or two may have been off the mark