Thursday, October 27, 2011

Consistently Streaking

It is a shame that a night where we saw New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects continue scoring streaks that a player who did not play becomes the top story.

Dylan McIlrath (NYR 2010 1st) was not in the lineup for the Moose Jaw Warriors as they faced off with the Prince Albert Raiders. We have a reliable source who tells us that McIlrath is "day to day" due to an upper body injury.

We do know that McIlrath took an elbow to the head on Sunday in the Warrior's game against the Kootenay Ice and he missed practice on Monday. It is sad that the WHL were the ones who were the first to announce their "7 point plan" aimed at reducing injuries but now they will not say whether or not a player has a concussion.

How are we supposed to know whether or not concussions are truly being reduced when there isn't any actual coverage of when a player has in fact suffered a concussion? We are reduced to gossip and guessing games but more importantly it damages the WHL's credibility since we have no way to verify whether or not a player has suffered a concussion.

And really do you want New York Ranger fans who are already wondering about the status of Marc Staal and his own concussion issues wondering about a top prospect?

Whether it is the Rangers or any other league, concussions are now a legit issue that needs to be dealt with in an open and honest manner. How are we supposed to believe anyone claiming concussions are down when you will not tell us when they happen?

Those who did play on Wednesday had impacts on how their teams did starting with Ryan Strome (NYR 2011 1st) of the Niagara IceDogs as Strome's 1-1-2 was key to the IceDog's 6-4 win over the Erie Otters.

Strome's 5th goal in his 6th game since rejoining the Niagara lineup turned out to be the game winner. The IceDogs rallied in the 2nd period for 4 goals after trailing 3-1 after 1.

The Otters just played terrible in the 2nd as they gave up 2 shorthanded goals 10 seconds apart. After Niagara had just the lead at 4-3 on a shorthanded goal; Strome stuck for his own shorthanded goal to make it a 5-3 game.

In the 3rd, Strome had a secondary assist on Niagara's 6th goal for Strome's 4th assist of the season. Strome has scored in all 6 games since rejoining the IceDogs going 5-4-9.

The win was the 3rd straight for the IceDogs as they reached the 500 mark with their record now at 6-6-0-1 and 4-2 with Strome in the lineup. Fellow prospect Mitchell Theoret (NYI 2011 7th) was scoreless.

Shane McColgan (NYR 2011 5th) knows a thing or 2 about being on a hot streak as his own streak reached 10 games after McColgan registered his 4th goal of the season in his Kelowna Rocket's 2-1 win over the Prince George Cougars.

McColgan is 4-8-12 in his last 10 games but overall 4-11-15 which ties him with fellow 2011 pick JT Miller for the Ranger prospect scoring lead. McColgan has played in 12 games and has points in 11 of them.

Guess McColgan is addressing his consistency issues quite well so far this season. McColgan said that he was going to make sure that USA Hockey knew he was playing well and plans on forcing his way onto the Under-20 roster.

Keep scoring Shane and they will send a limo to come get you. In this one McColgan got Kelowna on the board with a blast of a shot at 15:48 of the first period that Prince George goalie Drew Owsley had no chance of stopping.

Speaking of JT Miller (NYR 2011 1st) as while he does not have a 10 game scoring streak what he does have is a tie for the prospect scoring lead AND is now the leading goal scorer among Ranger prospects after his 7th goal of the season.

Miller made his 7th count as it tied the game up at 2-2 at 9:17 of the second period on the power play. It was Miller's 1st power play goal of his OHL career but the young forward is now 7-8-15 on the season with points in 6 out of his last 7 games (5-5-10).

Has anyone seen the critic who said Miller could not buy a goal to save his life around lately?

Michael St. Croix (2011 4th) may have been a little slow getting to the scoring party but if either McColgan or Miller blink then St. Croix just might blow by them. St. Croix is on his own 7 game streak after his primary assist just 52 seconds into the 3rd period gave his Edmonton Oil Kings a 3-1 lead as they went on for the 4-1 win.

St. Croix is 3-8-11 during his own streak as he climbs to 4-9-13 just behind Miller and McColgan. His Oil Kings have won 3 straight and have the 4th best record in the WHL in what is going to be a great race for the WHL this year.

We almost feel sorry for John Persson (NYI 2011 5th) as he was the only one not to score as his Red Deer Rebels lost to WHL Central Division leaders the Kootenay Ice 3-2. Do not feel too sorry for Persson as he is 3-7-10 this season in 9 games for the Rebels.

Try These Numbers

It is a shame that Thursday night that the Rangers do not introduce Gordie Clark and his scouts at the Ranger home opener. If anyone deserves a standing ovation it is these guys as if you want to see some numbers then try these.

Taking just the 2011 draft class and the 4 forwards taken: JT Miller 7-8-15, Steven Fogarty 5-7-12, Shane McColgan 4-11-15, and Michael St. Croix 4-9-13 then add those numbers up

20-35-55 is flat out impressive as the Rangers have not had these kinds of early season numbers from any draft class since the late 1980's. Hey add in 1-10-11 from the 2 defenders and you are 21-45-66.

Take a bow boys you earned it.

(McIlrath/Moose Jaw, Strome/OHL Images-Aaron Bell)

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