Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tis The Season That Makes Us Jolly

Forget Christmas, if you are a fan of either the New York Islander or New York Ranger prospects then this is your season to be jolly.

It is playoff time and if you really want to get any kind of idea what kind of future your team has then this is going to be one of the your best guides. If you are new to Prospect Park then allow us to introduce you to what we call the "Staal Standard"

What the "Staal Standard" does is measure the impact a prospect has on helping his team win the big games. Basically it asks a simple question: When the big game comes did the prospect rise or fall to the occasion?

Friday night was a very good night as we got to see some great performances and also a first as teammates Calvin de Haan (NYI 2009 1st) and  Christian Thomas (NYR 2010 2nd) carried their Oshawa Generals to a wild 6-5 win over the Kingston Frontenacs.

We start with de Haan who earned "First Star" honors after a career high 5 points (2-3-5) but to us even better was every single point was a key play no matter if it was a goal or an assist. The captain of the Generals did exactly what you want your captain does which is pick up his team when they are struggling and make plays.

Islander fans we have been saying all season that real help is on the way and de Haan is just 1 of several choices we had for your first star check it our right here

We have the video highlights of this game (courtesy of MisterDB) so pop this one into full screen, spend 13 minutes and see OHL history happen. de Haan wears 24 and Thomas 27 both in white.

By history we mean that Christian Thomas's first goal of the night was number 50 making Christian and his father Steve as the first father/son duo to both score 50 goals in a season.

If you are a Ranger fan and wondering about the future then we will start the debate: Why not Christian Thomas making the team next season?

We have been watching Ranger prospects since 2004 and no prospect not Marc Staal, not Chris Kreider or Derek Stepan has turned up his game the way we have been watching Thomas do?

The other day we said it was now a matter of when not if Thomas would break 50 goals. What blew us a way was how Thomas kicked in the 50 goal barrier with a Hat Trick including his 9th game winning goal of the season?

Thomas had a 4 point effort against the Frontenacs which is the 5th time this season that Thomas has had 4 or more points in a game. You want to improve the Ranger power play then go back and look at that video again and see who had 3 power play goals (he only has 17 double any other prospect).

What the hat trick also did was set OHL history as the goals meant that for the first time ever a father and son both had 50 goal seasons in the OHL. Father Steve did it 25 years ago while as a member of the Toronto Marlies.

18 goals in his last 17 games is saying Gordie Clark and his scouting staff stand up and take yourselves a well deserved bow. Oh and this is just the beginning of a rather good Ranger prospect report right here.

(Images: Aaron Bell of OHL Images)

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