Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Good and Somewhat Not So Good Night

Tonight would have been nice if we could have stuck to Luke Pither scoring his OHL leading 8th goal and 3 game winning goal of the season. But sadly we could not as Pither's Barrie Colts 6-4 win over the Guelph Storm was marred by 35 penalties including 5 different fights.

Now we believe that fighting has it's place in hockey but sometimes at the junior level it gets out of control and takes away from the game. It was a disappointment to see what should have been a good match wind up with 93 PIMs.

Still Pither may have only one goal in this game, it is still an impressive start for the 20 year old as between the 8 goals (7 on the power play) and 3 game winners it is hard not to like his efforts.

With his Colts already up 4-3, Pither got his goal at 1:02 of the 3rd period off a feed from teammate Simon Gronvaldt for what proved to be the game winner. Pither's offense has been a huge reason why the Colts are off to a Eastern Conference best 3-0 record.

The Colts lead the OHL in goals scored with 20 but also 93 PIMs as well. Despite Pither's 8 goals, he is still not the leading scorer in the OHL; that honor belongs to his teammate Alexander Burmistrov (3-6-9)

For 20 minutes Mitch Gaulton and his Erie Otters made it a game with the defending Memorial Cup Champions the Windsor Spitfires. Sadly the other 40 minutes showed not only how good Windsor could be but also how they too can turn a game into a brawl.

The Erie Otters held a 3-2 lead over the Spitfires thanks in part to Gaulton setting up teammate Andrew Yogan for a power play goal. It was Gaulton's 3rd point of the season (1-2-3) and while his offense is as advertised we would like to see his defense pick up a bit.

As in the Barrie/Guelph game, this one also turned ugly as 23 penalties for a total of 71 PIMs but just 4 fights (if that is any consolation). In this one it took all of 2 seconds in the game for the first fight to break out.

Still it does bother us that those same defending champions had boarding, instigator (twice), and a major for cross checking called on them. Those are the kinds of calls where someone could have gotten hurt and if anything helps fuel the anti-fighting crowd.

Games like these 2 do not help hockey's cause and maybe the CHL needs to become uniform with it's rules on fighting rather than 3 different sets of rules.


The Rangers/Wolfpack sent 20 year old Sam Klassen back to the Saskatoon Blades on Thursday. It is a move based in part due to the Rangers cutting Bobby Sanguinetti and the rumored refusal of Tomas Kundratek to report to Medicine Hat.

Now Klassen might not be happy about returning to the Blades but in the long term it might help him. The Blades without Klassen were already ranked 6th in the weekly BMO CHL Mastercard Top 10.

The Blades are the defending champions of the WHL's Eastern Division and the addition of Klassen to a team that just received back 2 other key players from NHL training camps. It turns the Blades from a good team to a serious playoff contender in the WHL.

(Pither and Gaulton courtesy of the New York Rangers, Klassen courtesy of the Saskatoon Blades)

1 comment:

Amos said...

i saw too that daniel bartek was cut from wolfpack camp and is going back to juniors... i'm sure him and the other traverse city invitees (luke walker, craig cunningham, etc) have some extra incentive to perform.
btw, i know it's late, but happy prospect park anniversary! glad to see you hit that 600 milestone... i've been here for every one!