The only problem is that the Calgary Hitmen are a huge step up in class for the Tigers as witnessed by the 4-0 shutout they put on the Tigers in Game 2 of their series on Sunday. The Hitmen have held the Tigers one of the better offensive teams in the WHL to just 2 goals in 2 games while scoring 9 of their own.
But to be fair; we had the Tigers written off after looking bad against the Ice in the first 2 games and the Tigers came back with 4 straight wins to win the series. Can the Tigers come back is the bigger question as they have to find a way to get untracked on the offensive end to have a chance.
19 shots just is not going to cut it especially when 9 of those shots came in the first period. What has to happen is that Tomas Kundratek needs to become more of a force on offense than with his fists (though a willingness to fight a player 6'5 does impress us).
Kundratek needs to be the player he was in the first round as few in the Calgary lineup are going to match his skating and passing skills. If Kundratek gets more involved then the Tigers have a chance.
So we got asked why we are not saying anything about the OHL playoffs; the answer is kind of easy as there aren't any Ranger prospects still playing in that league. Still we watch with interest because 3 players who will go in the first 4 picks of the 2010 NHL draft are involved and there is one player who the Rangers had at Traverse City (Luke Pither) that they did not choose to sign.
Luke Pither who plays for the Barrie Colts only returned to them for the season and finished 3rd in the OHL scoring with 94 points (36-58). What bothers us is that the Rangers did not offer him a contract so instead Pither signed with the Flyers.
Then add in Craig Cunningham of the Vancouver Giants who was 6th in WHL scoring with a 37-60-97 (and leads the WHL playoff scoring with 8-8-16 in just 6 games) who also was at Traverse City and now re-enters the NHL draft.
And of course our favorite Luke Walker of the Portland Winterhawks who was 27-30-57, won a gold medal with Team USA and showed what a true team player he is by his willingness to do whatever his team need to win. Walker also re-enters the draft.
So we bite our tongues because we think the Rangers made 3 bad moves on top of the even worse moves like Kotalik and Brashear. Remember it was Glen Sather who said "Young players get better, older players just get older".
(Kundratek courtesy of the Medicine Hat Tigers)