Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Elect This

What a really strange day for prospect hockey from a fight filled "School Day" to the return of the New York Ranger's top offensive prospect Chris Kreider. The New York Islander prospects faced off against each other so they won and lost but none of them got out of line.

The one game out west was more an explosion from 2 players who the Rangers need to be offering contracts to. So strange that on a team that Glen Sather owns a piece of that 2 of the best prospects the Rangers have are not under a contract for next season.

The big news if you are a Ranger fan is that Chris Kreider (2009 1st) finally broke though and scored his first goals of the 2010-11 season. Kreider scored 2 goals as 4th ranked Boston College struggled before finally putting UMass-Lowell 5-2. 

It is really hard not to say that Boston College is not suffering from post-championship hangover as UMass-Lowell came into this game with just 1 win all season. Kreider got Boston College going when he scored his first of the season at 10:08 of the first period.

Kreider did not play a bad game but he did get fooled into taking a penalty by a deke in the 3rd period. Kreider got his 2nd of the season when he scored an unassisted empty net goal to seal the win for Boston College at 19:06 of the 3rd.

We still believe what ails Kreider's game is his not shooting as while he scored 2 goals but he only had 2 shots on goal. Kreider is a scorer and he needs to be more selfish with the puck as few have his size and strength to stop him.

Some of the teams in the OHL are starting a new tradition called "School Day" where the teams play during the day and the kids get a day off from school to attend a hockey game. The game between the Mississauga St. Micheal's Majors and Oshawa Generals was not a textbook example of how to show good sportsmanship.

10 fighting majors, 90 minutes of penalties and some bad attitudes later it was the Majors with a 4-1 easy win. Casey Cizikas (NYI 2009 4th) was scoreless for the Majors and compared to others had a quiet night.

 For the Generals, Calvin De Haan (NYI 2009 1st) earned the 3rd star of the game as he teamed up with Christian Thomas (NYR 2010 2nd) to set up the only goal of the game for the Generals. De Haan was a -1 as was Thomas.

Thomas improved his season numbers to 11-9-20 good for 2nd among Ranger prospect scoring after missing 1 game due to a mandatory suspension. The 3rd member of the Generals Tony DeHart (NYI 2010 5th) was a -2 on the game.

Out west, the team we said was a very dangerous one, the Chilliwack Bruins showed their firepower against the Kootenay Ice who had come into this game winners of 7 straight and just whipped them 6-2. Forget the score as the 2 goals the Ice scored were meaningless as the Bruins just took them apart in the 2nd period.

This was a "Get Away" game for the Bruins as they were ending a 4 game road trip to the WHL's Eastern Conference. Most times teams was tired and tend to lose the last game of a long road trip.

Chilliwack blew this game wide open in the 2nd period in the first 5 minutes as the Bruins scored 3 goals on 3 shots. Roman Horak (2009 5th) wound up with the game winning goal of the game thanks to his goal of the season at 4:21 of the 2nd period.

It was Horak's Ranger prospect leading 21st point of the season and this is coming from a prospect who even we think of as the future defensive center of the Rangers. Horak has far exceeded anyone's expectations and if he has not proven worthy of a Ranger contract then we do not know what a prospect has to do.

And since we are handing out Ranger contracts then we want one for Brandon Manning (TC 2010) as no Ranger defensive prospect in the 7 years we have done this has done everything that Manning has done. From Michael Del Zotto to Michael Sauer, Ranger defensive prospects have been basically one way defenders.

Manning does it at both ends of the ice and every time we see him, Manning does something else to impress us. Tonight it was a missile of a shot from the point that went in for the backbreaking goal of the night with just 6 seconds remaining in the 2nd period and a 5-0 Bruin lead.

For a team that has never shown a problem giving out free agent contracts to players who do not deserve them, why Manning was not offered an NHL contract still boggles the mind.

(Images: Kreider/New York Rangers, Cizikas and De Haan/Aaron Bell/OHL Images, Horak/Chilliwack)

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