Monday, April 4, 2011

The Sun Is Going To Come Out Tomorrow

When people ask why we tell both New York Ranger and New York Islander fans that better days are coming; it is simple we get to see nights like the Rangers had against Boston years in advance.

We get to see a kid named Brandon Dubinsky tell us in 2005 that he deserved to be on the Rangers because he was better than the centers they had in training camp. We watch as that being cut motivates him to what you have seen out of him this season.

We get to see a Michael Sauer undergo the torture of a rehab for a hip surgery because he wants to become a New York Ranger. We watch as he tells us over the summer that this was going to be his year and he was going to earn that roster spot.

We know how much playing in the NHL means to Sauer especially on a day when an article is posted about how his older brother Kurt is still dealing with the after-effects of a concussion he suffered in 2009. When Sauer talks about how special scoring the game winner was to him, we know because we have watched Sauer refuse to give up on his dream.

We even learn from when we are wrong as Derek Stepan has proven us to be this season when we thought he was not ready to make the jump to the NHL. Silly us because we go back over our notes from the first time we talked to Stepan when he was a freshman at Wisconsin and we made a side note about how Stepan appears to have a master plan for his career.

Stepan did have that master plan and 21 goals later for number 21, we do not mind at all eating those words. But the message that really we hope that Ranger and Islander fans but realize is that patience, faith and hope is what will lead both franchises back to winning records.

The number one thing one can take from the Rangers comeback win over the Bruins is that when the Rangers badly needed goals look at where they came from. Brandon Dubinsky (2004 2nd) tied the game, Michael Sauer (2005 2nd) put the Rangers in the lead and then Derek Stepan (2008 2nd) put the dagger in the Bruins to seal the win.

3 huge goals by 3 home grown 2nd round draft picks, when they were selected none were expected to become stars but they wanted to wear the Ranger's uniform not for the money but to live out their dream of playing in the NHL.

So when we say Islander fans watch a Casey Cizikas (2009 4th), a David Toews (2008 3rd), an Anders Lee (2009 6th) as they grow then see that there is a promising future. It is not just the Nino Niederreiters or John Tavares that will restore the Islanders to being a respectable franchise; it will be guys like those who have to go that extra mile to make it to the NHL.

And when we say the Carl Hagelin's (2007 6th), the Roman Horak's (2009 5th) and the Christian Thomas's (2010 2nd) are going to one day be wearing Broadway Blue; it is not a dream it is a look at the future.

Yes say we are crazy when we say in 2-3 years when the Rangers and Islanders play that the games will be not just for the pride of the fans but for playoff seeding. It is OK with us if you laugh now when we say that down the road it will be a playoff series between the Rangers and Islanders that will bring new passion to the rivalry.

We are OK with it because on Monday night in a span of 2:55, it was 3 second round picks that few thought much of when they were drafted that just might have saved the entire Ranger season. Yes that was us laughing when Stepan's goal went in.


Sadly for one Islander prospect, his season came to an end on Monday night as David Toews (2008 3rd) and his Brandon Wheat Kings finally ran out of gas. The Wheat Kings lost 7-5 to the Medicine Hat Tigers in game 6 of their series to be eliminated 4-2.

But while it looks like a loss on the scoresheet, it was a win for the Islanders as a decision that Toews made last summer to leave North Dakota and join Brandon turn out to be a winner. 

Toews said playing in Brandon was going to be the best way for him to help his chances of becoming an NHLer and it is hard to argue with him. A 20-28-48 season with 9 power play goals and 5 game winners was only part of the improvement. 

For Toews it was playing on the power play, the penalty kill and on the top line for Brandon. It was the little things like the long bus rides and almost professional lifestyle that is going to help Toews when he reports to training camp next year.  Like we said the Islanders won here.


One game 7 left to play among the prospects but in Andrew Yogan's case, he will be sitting it out as a healthy scratch when his Erie Otters take on the Windsor Spitfires. In fact if the Otters do advance in the playoffs that Yogan is going to need someone to get hurt for him to return to the lineup. 

According to Victor Fernandes at, Otter coach Robbie Ftorek is quoted as saying

"I told him (Yogan) the other day that we’re probably going to go with what we’ve got,” coach Robbie Ftorek said Sunday. “He’s fine, but he doesn’t have the hands and the timing that the other players have because he only played nine games (in the regular season because of shoulder surgery).”

Why do we get this feeling that Yogan will be playing elsewhere next season?  Maybe it is because this is the second Ranger prospect to come back from an major injury only to wind up not playing.

(Images: Dubinsky/Portland Winterhawks, Sauer/Hartford Wolfpack/CT Whale, Stepan/Wisconsin Badgers)

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