Sunday, May 22, 2011

If It Is Working Why Break It?

So which of the following is true of New York Ranger prospect Scott Stajcer? Is it (a) he is happy that he has a Ranger contract, (b) wanting to play, (c) putting his team first or (d) all of the above?

If your answer was (d) then you had it right as the one question I got asked the most on Saturday evening was why wasn't Stajcer even dressed as the back up when Owen Sound took on Kootenay in their opening game at the Memorial Cup?

Owen Sound coach Mark Reeds is not talking but after watching the Attack from the first round of the OHL playoffs to where they are tonight, I think I have the answer. First Jordan Binnington shut out Kootenay 5-0 so unless lightning strikes or Binnington is injured before Monday night then he will get the start.

As for the 3 headed monster known as the Owen Sound goalies that has gotten Owen Sound to the Memorial Cup; it is a case of if it is working don't break it. Jordan Binnington started the OHL Playoffs with Michael Zador as the backup.

When Binnington struggled then Michael Zador stepped up with Stajcer moving into the backup position. When Zador struggled it was Stajcer who stepped in to help the Attack keep winning.

When Stajcer struggled then the Attack reversed the order going to Zador then back to Binnington. Maybe because it is working that people are having trouble understanding how this 3 goalie rotation is not a source of discontent.

There are many a team which would kill to have the kind of problem that Owen Sound has. 3 goalies who would be good enough to start on any OHL team but are together in a unit that simply gets the job done.

Each of the goalies have made a contribution to the Attack getting this far; Stajcer has 8 wins, Binnington 5 and Zador has 4 but more importantly is whenever 1 goalie struggled then the replacement stepped in and won.

20 years from now when someone looks at who won the OHL Championship, it is going to show all 3 as champions; there will be no asterisk saying this goalie was more important than the other.

But the more it works then the more it gets people wondering how it does. The best reason seen so far comes from Attack defenseman Jesse Blacker over at Buzzing the Net:

"All three of the goalies give us confidence," defenceman Jesse Blacker said. "Coach is coach of the year for a reason and;he'll pick the right guy."

Or to put it in it's most simplest terms, Coach Mark Reeds has a team who checks their ego at the door and comes together as a team with a common goal; a championship.

In beating a very good Kootenay team on Saturday 5-0 the Attack got points from 9 different players. Yes like every team they have stars but as a whole they get contributions from the entire team.

And credit has to go to the players themselves as by putting their team first is going to help their dreams of playing professional hockey. Do not think for a second that a player who is known as someone who does what he has to in order to help the team win gets more attention than the star who puts his stats first and team second.

How many NHL teams do you think want players who leave the ego at the door and does what it takes to help his team win? How about all of them as a team like the Attack has to be a coach's dream.

Come next Sunday if the Attack are holding the Memorial Cup then pretty sure that who played and who did not will not matter. Calling yourself a Memorial Cup Champion will make things feel better.


Add Gordie Dwyer to the list of former New York Rangers who became head coaches at the junior level. Dwyer who played for the Rangers briefly during the 2002-03 season was named as the new coach of the Prince Edward Island Rocket.

Sorry we have lost count of the number of former Rangers who have gone into coaching when they finished playing. But the list goes from a Kelly Kisio to a Doug Lidster while others like Doug Soetart wind up as General Managers.

(Stajcer/Aaron Bell-OHL Images)

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