The winners of the WHL and QMJHL playoffs will compete against the host team the Mississauga St. Micheals Majors and a second representative of the OHL. Right now we know that only Casey Cizikas of the host team the Majors will play for a chance at the Cup.
The rest of the playoffs average 13 days a round to play so you will a lot of 4 games in 5 nights as the rounds get more important.
So we will start our journey by working our way from east to west and look at the 2 prospects from the QMJHL Ryan Bourque of the Quebec Remparts and Kirill Kabanov of the Lewiston MAINEaics.
Ryan Bourque (NYR 2009 3rd) and his Quebec Remparts have been at the top of the QMJHL standings almost from the very start of the 2010-11 season. The Remparts are as veteran a team as you can have in junior hockey and are led by former NHLer Patrick Roy.
The Remparts finished 3rd overall in the QMJHL with a 48-16-1-3 record good for 100 points and the top spot in the Telus East Division. That most likely gets them home ice for at least the first 2 rounds of the QMJHL playoffs.
The Remparts have a lot of experience in their lineup but what in our eyes is their achilles heel will be their lack of size especially on their blueline. They do have Patrick Roy who has won a Memorial Cup as a coach and whether you like his antics or not; Roy knows how to get the most out his lineup.
The Rempart's strength is a strong team defense that allowed 187 goals which was the 4th fewest in the QMJHL. Their offense when it is on will rack up the goals as they finished 2nd on the league in goals scored 277.
We do see the Remparts making it as far as the QMJHL semi-finals but to go anything further they will need some help. For Ranger fans, here is a chance to see what Ryan Bourque can do as one of the veterans with big game experience, the Remparts will need Bourque to play large for them to advance.
Kirill Kabanov (NYI 2010 3rd) and his Lewiston MAINEaics on the other hand are one of the younger teams in the QJMHL. The MAINEaics have won a total of 2 playoff games going back the last 3 years and you have to go back to 2007 to when they last won a playoff series.
The MAINEaics finished 2nd to the Quebec Remparts in the Telus East Division and 8 overall in the QMJHL with a record of 40-24-1-3. A young all right but their biggest weakness is they can not stay out of the penalty box as they led the QMJHL in penalties with 1201 PIMs.
Kabanov may be smiling in this picture but you have to wonder just how badly he is going to want to defeat the Moncton Wildcats who are first up on the MAINEaics list. After all that Kabanov went through with the Wildcats last season and early this season; you have to believe that Kabanov is going to want to beat the Wildcats.
We hope so because as this is an 8/9 matchup and the MAINEaics are limping into the playoffs then they need Kabanov to elevate his game not just one but several notches for them to have a chance to win a series or 2.
They are not championship material this year but next year when the Memorial Cup will be hosted by the QJMHL they will be looking to make a run.
For the playoffs what we created is a couple of pages to keep track of how Ranger and Islander prospects are doing in the playoffs. We hope to be able to keep track of points during each series as the teams advance.We are not sure what we will do for the NCAAs but we will have something in place before Friday.
The Islanders have added Shayne Neigum and Art Bidlevskii to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Both players were members of the Regina Pats in the WHL who did not make the WHL playoffs.
Neigum a left winer is better known for his PIMs than his scoring skills as he registered 194 PIMs in 64 games while going 11-6-17 -37.
Bidlevskii plays defense went 3-6-9 in 57 games with 140 PIMs.
(Stick tap to Gregg Drinnan)
(Memorial Cup courtesy of the CHL, Bourque/Katherine Eps, Kabanov/New York Islanders)