Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A busy week with a strange start

Monday is usually an off day for the New York Ranger and New York Islanders prospects but not this week. This is going to be a very busy week but for many prospect a very important week that could be a factor in how the season winds up.

But first things first as this week's New York Ranger prospect of week. For us the choice was kind of made for us as Shane McColgan (NYR 2011 fifth) of the Kelowna Rockets was the only Ranger prospect had a good week.

McColgan only had a 2-2-4 performance in two games last week but his points were key to his Kelowna Rockets winning both games on the road in Prince George. On Friday night McColgan only had one goal, but it was the game-winning goal as the Rockets earned a 2-1 win, while McColgan was named the game's third star.

Saturday night, it was McColgan with a three point effort helping his Rockets earned a 4-1 win. With a goal and two assists, McColgan was named game's First Star in helping the Rockets sweep the two-game series.

Those wins have enabled the Rockets to build up a six-game unbeaten streak and raise the team record to above 500.

In 19 games remaining in their regular-season and trailing 5th place, Vancouver by 11 points, it does not seem as if the Rockets will be able to catch them. But getting on a roll now could help McColgan and his teammates possibly pull off a first-round playoff upset.

McColgan: for the season is now 15-38-53 which leads the Rockets and has McColgan third among the Ranger prospects.

This was a good one because we are not sure how the communication breakdown happened but we missed reporting that Chris Kreider (NYR 2009 first) had earned a share of the Hockey East player of the week for the week ending January 30, 2012.

Kreider had a five point weekend against New Hampshire (2-3-5) starring with a 1-2-3 Friday night where his goal was shorthanded one and he followed it up Saturday night with a goal and an assist.

Kreider leads Boston College in scoring with a 16-14-30.

All of this is a nice lead-in to the annual Beanpot tournament, which got underway Monday evening with Boston College facing Northeastern. What we love about this annual tournament is that Chris Kreider will provide us with a heart stopping highlight reel goal.

It didn't come out of Monday's game as Kreider was scoreless in fourth-ranked Boston College's 7-1 rout of Northeastern. It was good effort by Kreider, who was active, perhaps maybe a little too active since he was hit with a roughing and hitting from behind minors in this game.

But we'll take that kind of night from him because like we said the key to Chris Kreider is going to be him getting off no less than four shots a game.  When does things like that. It means Boston College has a better chance of winning.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure that Chris Kreider, as well as his Boston College teammates Monday's Beanpot final all circled on the calendar since it will be against Boston University. Boston University has so far owned Boston College on the ice this year beating him badly this is for the Beanpot.

We also have a bit of bad news as Kirill Kabanov (NYI 2010 third) suffered a concussion Saturday during the game with the Saint John Sea Dogs. Not good news for the young Russian as we believe this is his second confirmed concussion in the last two years.

We don't know how long he's going to be out, but we have hope that Shawinigan will not rush him back to the lineup. Kabanov is a really good kid whose work really hard at changing his ways and becoming a good person.

The Islanders need a healthy Kabanov because his personality and his willingness to interact with fans will do a lot to help the Islander franchise rebuild their fan base.

Brendan Kichton (NYI 2011 fifth) has become one of our favorite prospects to watch this season. As we've said before, he's not the biggest dog on the blueline, but we can see him helping the Islanders in the next few years.

For one thing, he does know how to quarterback a powerplay something the Islanders could use. Monday night Kichton's Spokane Chiefs were hosting the Seattle Thunderbirds and yes, Kichton was a difference maker.

Kichton had a one goal, +3 effort to help Spokane earn a 7-3 win over the Thunderbirds.  Kichton's goal was a killer as it came on the power play with the score tied 2-2.

With just 5 seconds remaining on the power play, Kichton blasted one from the right face-off circle to give Spokane a 3-2 lead at 19:37. Spokane did not trail again in this game, but it was also a record-setting goal for Kichton.

It was Kichton's 41st career goal was Spokane and he became the all-time leading goal scorer among defensemen in Spokane history. It's a well-deserved honor for Kichton, but I'm pretty sure he will tell us that the two points that the Chiefs gained was more important.

Kichton improves to 13-41-54 on the season, tops among all WHL defensmen, but more importantly for the Chiefs the win gave them sole possession of fourth place in the WHL's Western Conference.

Tuesday Tuesday

While the Rangers will be taken on the Devils, it will be a rare busy night for us. The big game is going to take place in Chilliwack where Steven Fogarty (NYR 2011 third) and his Penticton Vees will be attempting to make BCHL history.

Fogarty and company will be going with it 30th consecutive win. And if you're interested, the game will start at 10 PM Eastern/ 7 PM Pacific and you can listen in for free here. It won't be high-tech but it is hockey from the heart.

Tuesday will also feature Christian Thomas and his Oshawa Generals taking on the Peterborough Petes featuring Andrew Yogan and Peter Ceresnak. That game is going to be for sixth place in the OHL's Eastern Conference; the Petes currently own it with a one-point lead over the Generals.

In the OHL's Western Conference, it will be Islander prospect Andrey Pedan and his Guelph Storm trying to break out of the three-game losing streak and try to catch up to 7th place Windsor with a trail by four points, but have four games in hand on.

(McColgan- Kelowna Rockets, Kreider- Dennis Pause, Kabanov- Shawinigan Cataractes, Kichton- Spokane Chiefs)

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