Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Assist Day

Tuesday Afternoon Update

The great folks from the Moose Jaw Warriors sent this picture of Dylan McIlrath's trick shot/"fight" from Sunday's skill competition. 

If there is nothing report tonight we will just enlarge the image to give you an idea just how big the Truck is.

A stick tap and SO to Marnel of the Warriors for the image

It was Family day in Canada but for New York Ranger and New Islanders prospects who saw action on Monday it was more assisting others day.

Christian Thomas (NYR 2010 2nd) and Calvin De Haan (NYI 2009 1st) teamed up to set up the game's only goal as their Oshawa Generals shut out the Brampton Battalion 1-0. The win was the 5th straight for the Generals as they pulled to within 3 points of the Ottawa 67's for first place in the OHL's East Division.

Thomas saw his goal scoring streak come to an end after 5 games but the primary assist extended his point scoring streak to 6 game (8-4-12). Thomas is now 45-36-81 on the season and with 11 games remaining the question is can he reach the magic number of 50?

Now while everyone is talking up the possibility of Chris Kreider leaving Boston College after this season why can we not toss Thomas's name out for consideration? It is just something to think about when you watch a Ranger team that can not score at even strength let alone on the power play.

De Haan is no slouch either as his assist was his 34th assist of the season gave him a 4 game scoring streak (0-7-7) and 36 overall points. Next season we expect De Haan to be reunited with his former teammate John Tavares on the Islanders.

While everyone seems to be tossing out everybody else's name as contenders to the OHL title and the trip to the Memorial Cup we want to know why not Oshawa?

De Haan is an excellent 2 way defender who offers the Generals a very steady presence as the leader of their defense. Nothing rattles him and that is the kind of player contending teams need to advance in the playoffs.

In fact while we are on the subject offense may win games but what you do on defense is what is going to win championships. Sure we fully admit our bias because of Dan Maggio (NYR 2009 6th) and Tony DeHart (NYI 2010 5th) but add in Scott Valentine, Jimmy McDowell and Kyle Hope and you have a blueline corps that can play any role needed.

While everyone is beating up on each other, Oshawa is quietly winning so do not discount this team.

Ethan Werek (NYR 2009 2nd) and his Kingston Frontenacs did Oshawa a huge favor when they pinned a 4-3 loss on the Ottawa 67's. Werek had a secondary assist on Kingston's first goal to extend his scoring streak to 4 games (3-4-7).

When we watch the Frontenacs they really do remind us of the Rangers as when they want to they can beat anyone but you have no idea which team is going to show up from game to game. The win was just their 3rd in their last 10 games and they almost gave this one away.

Up 4-1 in the 3rd they gave up 2 goals to Thomas Nesbit in a span of 35 seconds and then had to hang on to win it.

Casey Cizikas (NYI 2009 4th) and his Mississauga St. Michaels Majors 5-2 followed up their 10-1 whipping of the Niagara IceDogs by losing to the Kitchener Rangers 5-2. Cizikas was held scoreless as the Majors lost for the 4th time in their last 6 games.

We have to admit we got a chuckle after reading Buzzing the Net (a must read to all the CHL action and your sneak peak at the 2011 NHL Draft) as the Kitchener Rangers and some of their media were a bit giddy after the win.

Friendly advice to our young prospects out there; take everything one step at the time. Right now if the OHL playoffs were to start tomorrow, the K-Rangers would be facing the red hot Erie Otters. As another of our friends Victor Fernandes tells us the Otters added Andrew Yogan (NYR 2010 3rd) to an already potent offense.

Yogan's return was 1 week sooner than anyone expected but we are glad to see him finally on the ice.

Finally we hope there is some pictures or video of this as the Moose Jaw Warriors held a skills competition on Sunday as Marnel Rasmussen reported at the Warrior blog this tidbit

"Trick shot done by Dylan McIlrath which involved a fight with goal tender Brandon Stone"


(Images courtesy of Aaron Bell and Terry Wilson of OHL Images) (McIlrath courtesy of Moose Jaw Warriors)

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