Sunday, April 10, 2011

Some Sanity For Your Sunday

With just 2 games on the schedule involving New York Islander prospects, it was kind of nice to see some sanity returning to the playoffs even if it was late on arriving,

In the WHL the first game of each series was won by the underdog road team and for a couple of teams they repeated the trend in Game 2. It took a while but Nino Niedereiter's (2010 1st) Portland Winterhawks righted themselves to come back in game 2 to win 6-3 over the Kelowna Rockets to even their series at 1-1.

But it was not an easy win for the Winterhawks as they did not wake up until the 2nd period of this game. Not sure if Kelowna is doing the right thing in how they are defending against Niederreiter.

Yes you have to shadow Niederreiter but 2 guys and trying to provoke him is not a bright idea as Niederreiter is not the only major weapon on the Winterhawks and the Winterhawks showed that on Sunday night. The Winterhawks got a hat trick from Ryan Johansen and points from 3 players expected to go in the first round of the 2011 NHL draft to beat the Rockets.

Seriously Niedereiter is not going to lose his cool every time he is hit and all you are going to do is give the Winterhawks power plays (well if you have decent officials calling the game) and his hockey IQ is smart enough to see what the Rockets are trying to fall for it.

Niedereiter had a secondary assist on Joe Morrow's goal for his 12th point of the playoffs.

While Niederreiter and Ryan Johansen get a lot of the attention, this Winterhawk team has 2-3 players who may not go 4th and 5th in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft but they will go in the first round.
Give us Ty Rattie, Sven Bartschi or Joe Morrow any day of the week as especially Rattie and Morrow played a huge role in Portland's win. (Sorry Neate Rattie was rightfully in my book the first star).

In Sudbury, the Mississauga St Michaels Majors fired 63 shots at Sudbury Wolves goalie Alain Valiquette but had to come back from a 0-2 deficit to earn a 3-2 win in Game 2 of their series. Casey Cizikas was kept scoreless but maybe we need a new category regarding shots on net.

The QMJHL has a stat called "dangerous shots"  and to us it is a better way to judge how strong a goalie was. Yes the Majors fired off 63 shots but maybe at most 20 were actual scoring chances.

Sudbury is a heart and soul underdog but sadly not enough weapons to steal this series.

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