Thursday, November 25, 2010

Early Reason For Thanksgiving

The New York Islanders may be on their way to what is looking more and more like the 1st pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, their current prospects are showing that the Islander fans can have some hope for better days.

When the Lewiston MAINEaics took a gamble and traded for Kirill Kabanov (2010 3rd), there were those (us included) who had their doubts as to whether or not this was a move worth making. The MAINEaics had a good team without Kabanov so this was a risky move for them to make but so far the move looks like it is working out.

Kabanov had 2 goals as the MAINEaics defeated the Chicoutimi Saguenéens 7-4 on Wednesday night. Justin Pelletier of the Sun Journal reported that Kabanov's first goal was part of the quickest 3 goals in MAINEaic's franchise history.

Kabanov started the outburst when he netted his 2nd goal of the season at 13:07 of the first period, the MAINEaics added 2 more goals in the next 52 seconds to jump out to a 4-0 lead and cruised from there.  Kabanov added his 2nd goal of the game in the 2nd period (the MAINEaic's 6th goal of the game) as Kabanov is now 3-3-6, +5 in 7 games for the MAINEaics .

Nino Niederreiter (2010 1st) set up Oliver Gabriel's shorthanded goal in the 2nd period to give his Portland Winterhawks a 2-1 lead enroute to a 4-2 win over the Everett Silvertips.

For Niederreiter it was his lucky 13th point of the season (6-7-13) as the Winterhawks improved to 21-4-0-1 which is not only the best in the WHL but is now the best record in all of the 3 Canadian junior leagues.

The third member of the Islander prospect party on Wednesday was David Toews (2008 3rd) of the Brandon Wheat Kings. Toews has been a pleasant surprise on the offensive end as he adjusted from NCAA hockey to the juniors as in 16 WHL games Toews is already at 4-8-12 (his NCAA highs are 5 goals, 16 points).

His Wheat Kings are struggling this season after hosting the 2010 Memorial Cup as entering their game Wednesday night game against the Swift Current Bronco on a 4 game losing streak. The Broncos traded their losing streak for a winless streak as they lost in overtime 3-2 with Toews was scoreless.

On the New York Ranger side it was not a happy night on the prospect side as Roman Horak (2009 5th) and his Chilliwack Bruins got shut out by the Prince George Cougars 4-0.  On a night where the Tampa Bay Lightning were beating the Rangers 5-3, it was their 2010 1st round pick Brent Connolly who was beating the Bruins.

Connolly had 2 assists to help the Cougars not only win but to make matters worse for the Bruins is that the win leapfrogged them past the Bruins in the standings as well.

To put a cap on what a bad night for the Ranger universe was the news out of Owen Sound that the Attack had called up a goalie to dress as a back up to replace Scott Stajcer (2009 5th).

According to the Attack, Stajcer has an undisclosed nagging injury that they wanted to want to give a chance to use caution and let heal. With a game on Wednesday (a 4-3 loss to Sarnia) as the move makes sense as they can use Jordan Binnington as they did and again when they play on Saturday giving Stajcer 8 days to rest and recover.

We get to enjoy Thursday night off and want to wish everyone no matter where they live a Happy Thanksgiving

(Images: Kabanov/Moncton Wildcats, Niederreiter/Portland Winterhawks, Horak/Chilliwack Bruins) 

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