Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Hat Trick To History

Anyone who has been a Ranger fan for more than 10 minutes would have seen this coming after the Windsor Spitfires defeated the Kelowna Rockets last Tuesday evening to force their way into the tiebreaker game.

The oldest cliche in hockey is when you have someone down then you must finish them off otherwise it may come back to haunt you. The Rockets did not get the job done when they had the chance and because of that the Windsor Spitfires are the 2009 Memorial Cup Champions.

3 goals on Windsor's first 3 shots of the game chased Kelowna goalie Mark Guggenberger but the game was over except for the shouting. Windsor did everything that a championship team is supposed to do as they from the opening faceoff dictated how and at what tempo this game would be played at.

We could go on and on about how this game was won but that is not important for Ranger fans as Windsor was a Ranger prospect killer. En route to winning this championship the Spitfires did something we had never seen before which was to end the seasons for 3 different Ranger prospects and their teams.

First they took out Michael Del Zotto and the London Knights in the OHL conference finals, then it was Evgeny Grachev and Brampton in the OHL finals before Sunday's finishing off Tysen Dowzak and Kelowna.

Dowzak has nothing to be ashamed of as his stock has risen over the last month with his play. Dowzak remains a project but it appears that he is understanding that to become an NHLer what he has to do.

Dowzak's play especially when Windsor had a 2 man advantage late in the game was solid. Dowzak even though the game was for intents and purposes over did not let up which is a good sign about his character.

Dowzak can also take comfort in the fact that he got to be the last player/prospect associated with the Rangers to end his season. Dowzak despite the loss in the Memorial Cup still is a WHL Champion and given what Kelowna went though is quite the accomplishment.


Post Memorial Cup Notes

First we would love to ask Tyler Myers if he was hurt in Sunday's game as Myers was totally ineffective and almost invisible. Something had to be wrong with him as not once did Myers go on the attack and it was nothing that Windsor did.

Myers is heading to the Sabres which is bad news for the rest of the Eastern Conference. At 6'7 with a combination of skill and brute strength it is going to be interesting to watch his transition to the NHL. It was scary to watch Myers used as a forechecker by Kelowna and if Buffalo does the same it will make life harder for everyone else.

As for the Rangers, the Devils had 2 prospects playing for Windsor in the Memorial Cup; of the 2 Adam Henrique (2008 3rd) appears to be the better prospect but do not over look Harry Young (2008 7th) who at 6'4 is a physical presence who fits in the Devil's team first style of play.

Despite what happened to him in the game on Sunday, we would still grab Mark Guggenberger for the Rangers as one bad game will not take away from what Guggenberger did for Kelowna during their playoff run. Of the 3 goals he gave up only the last one would be in our book his fault.

And we have to say this as anyone who has read this blog has known that we are huge fans of Taylor Hall as well as thinking he is the future of the NHL more than Crosby is. That being said we totally disagree with Hall being chosen as Memorial Cup MVP.

Ryan Ellis scored the biggest of goals for Windsor during this Memorial Cup run, without Dale Mitchell the Spitfires are not even playing in the final or our choice Adam Henrique who in addition to being the 2nd leading scorer at the Memorial Cup was consistent with his play in all 6 games.

Hall in our eyes did not play well until the last 2 games for Windsor and he got this MVP based upon his reputation.


What is next for us here

Well for starters Dubi wants a Ranger draft preview ASAP for the Blueshirt Bulletin so that will take a couple of days as to be fair we want to as is our tradition be different from the rest. Our approach is to look forward at what might be the Ranger lineup in 2-3 years.

At 19 we see some options that make us a bit nervous but at the same time hopeful of what could happen. The one thing we have to hope for is that the Rangers put serious thought in continuing what is becoming a positive trend in drafting first and second rounders who become Rangers.

We are also looking for ways to make this site better and if we can figure out coding then we will move it over to Typepad or if need be a different site where more people can become more involved in reporting the news on Ranger prospects.

The goal remains to bring as many eyes, ears and voices to the table in order to bring the most detail about the Ranger's future

We have been playing with various "social networking" sites but would love to hear your ideas as to which you folks think would be better Twitter or Facebook. We have Twitter set up but welcome suggestions on how best to use it to help get the word out on the prospects.

(Taylor Hall courtesy of the OHL)


Amos said...

ok so brett connolly won chl rookie of the year over evgeny grachev with a 60 point season? i must say that seems like a travesty. comments? also, do you know if there's anywhere to see some you tube footage of the london knights playoff run this year? i'm trying to look at some del zotto action.

Jess Rubenstein said...

Connolly was a one man show as a 16 yr old for Prince George. It is disappointing but understandable given the big picture.

This is the best one can do for Del Zotto tape