Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Players Of The Week

Choosing our Prospects of the Week for the New York Islanders and New York Rangers was for a change not an easy task this week. Nobody really had an eye opening week as we had some single game performances like Chris Kreider had for Boston College and Corey Trivino for Boston University.

But in the end we wound up going with Anders Lee (2009 6th) for the Islanders and Scott Stacjer (2009 5th) for the Rangers as both had the most impact on how their teams did for the week not just one game.

First Anders Lee the sophomore forward for Notre Dame, we admit it that boy do we just love watching this monster play. The leading goal scorer in all of the NCAA with 10 goals as well as the only prospect Islander or Ranger to reach double digits in goals.

Lee and his now 4th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish took to the road for 2 games against Bowling Green. Lee was the player with the big goals as on Friday night his 9th goal of the season to give Notre Dame a 1-0 lead that they never gave up

On Saturday, Lee scored the tying goal with his 10th goal of the season as Notre Dame went on to a 3-2 win and the sweep of the weekend series. It was Notre Dame's 3rd straight win and their 5th of the season.

Lee is a scary sight on the ice as you have a 6'3 218 power forward who when he sets up in the slot is impossible to either stop or move out of there. And what was a "let's take a chance pick" on Lee is starting to look very good for the Islanders.

Other Islanders we looked at were Ryan Strome of the Niagara IceDogs and Kirill Kabanov of the Shawinigan Cataractes. And you know this trio as it is has the makings of a very lethal line combo as you have the bull strength of Lee, the offensive creativity of Kabanov and the offensive package to make it all work in Strome.

Good news for the Islanders bad news for the rest of the NHL.

Scott Stajcer (2009 5th) was the odd man out because he had an overage year of eligibility remaining and the Rangers had 1 too many spots to fill. So Stajcer was sent back to the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL.

We knew it was the right move for Stajcer after losing what really was looking like his break out season last year. It created yet another goalie logjam but Stajcer has made it clear that he fully intends on staying in Owen Sound.

If last week is any indication of his intentions then Owen Sound is going to have a happy problem of having 2 starting goalies. Last week Stajcer made 2 starts and was 1-0-1-0 in them with a 1.98 Goals Against and a 0.949 save percentage.

Stajcer earned the game's second star in an overtime road loss to the London Knights as he gave up 2 first period goals then kept his Owen Sound team in the game long enough for them to rally and tie the game up. The Attack lost in overtime but gaining a road point was a small consolation.

On Sunday, Stajcer was at his best holding the Windsor Spitfires to just 1 goal in a 5-1 Owen Sound home win. Stajcer had to be at his best in the first period as his Owen Sound teammates were out played and dominated.

Out shot 18-6 and giving the Spitfires 3 power plays, Stajcer yielded a goal and then shut the Spitfires out the rest of the way. In the 3rd period with Owen Sound holding a 2-1 lead, Stajcer stopped Alexander Khokhlachev on a breakaway then stopped him again when the puck was right on the goal line.

That took the fire out of the Spitfires as Owen Sound broke the game open with 3 late goals for Stajcer's 2nd win of the season. Stajcer since his rough beginning since returning to Owen Sound has been lowering his numbers.

Now the 6th best goalie in the OHL despite his 2-2-1-1 record, Stajcer now has a 2.62 goals against and a 0.920 save percentage.

Michael St. Croix 1-2-3 with a 9 game scoring streak was the other Ranger prospect up for consideration.

(Lee/Notre Dame, Stajcer/Aaron Bell-OHL Images)


saulpaulus said...

The NYI have SO MUCH talent at F that it's hard to know right now how it all will fit together. It seems likely that Nino will join JT & Matt on the 1st line, Strome will center Grabs & Ox, & Lee & Kabanov will be part of a 3rd line w/ Nelson or Petrov, Cizikas will likely center Martin and Haley or Theoret.

Stajcer sounds like a good prospect. It must be disheartening for him to realize that best case scenario is either getting traded or being Henrik's backup.

Jess Rubenstein said...


I would have to say that forwards and goalies is an area where the NYI are at their strongest. Not sold on their defensemen as they really only have 1 "stud" stopper and that is Mayfield.

As for Stajcer, he is just 20 and most goalies do not get to be every day regulars these day until they are 24-25 so a lot can happen in 4-5 years.