Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Got Nails got wood bury playoff hopes

We come here in sadness as we witness the beginning of the end of the 2011-2012 hockey season for some New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects.

It is a shame as when the season started, it was full of promise and hope but unfortunately for a few prospects, their hopes and dreams will soon be resting in peace.

We start our sad journey with Andrey Pedan (NYI 2011 3rd) and his Guelph Storm as their playoff hopes are on life support now after a 6-1 loss to the Kitchener Rangers. Now, while the Guelph Storm (2 games in hand) are only one point behind the eighth place Sault St. Marie Greyhounds; it is their own effort and overall play that eventually is going to kill off any hopes of a playoff berth.

"Those who refuse to learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat their failures"

That is what basically sums up the Guelph Storm as it is the same old sad story when it comes to losing. Underachieving, lacking in self-discipline and quite honestly not willing to go the extra mile for each other.

How can you win when your starting defenseman keeps taking penalties that lead to the other team scoring power-play goals? You are not going to win many games when the other team is up 5-0 before you even score.

That is the fate of the Storm as they gave up three goals in the first period, then two more in the second before they finally scored in the third period. Pedan was scoreless and took a high-sticking penalty in the second period that Kitchener turned into a goal.

And we will not kid anybody here as if Guelph where to make the playoffs as the eighth seed in the OHL's Western Conference; they would stand no chance against the London Knights who are the anti-Storm.

In the OHL' s Eastern Conference, we have two teams, one of them will make the playoffs only because the Kingston Frontenacs have already been eliminated from playoff contention. Our money is on the Peterborough Petes failing to make the playoffs over the Oshawa Generals.

Monday saw both the Oshawa Generals and the Peterborough Petes in action with both teams also losing. It doesn't matter how badly you lose when you don't come away with any points.

Oshawa got whipped 6-1 by the Barrie Colts and really the only thing that Oshawa didn't do was gift wrap the game with a bow and ribbon. When you give up 4 power-play goals in 9 chances, then the only ones who you can blame are yourselves.

It was 5-0 with about 90 seconds remaining in the 2nd period before Oshawa even got on the board. Christian Thomas (NYR 2010 2nd) had a secondary assist on the goal so Thomas is now 29-29-58 on the season.

Meanwhile, over in Peterborough the Petes were hosting the Brampton Battalion and they were great hosts giving the Battalion a 3-1 win. Andrew Yogan (NYR 2010 3rd) and Peter Ceresnak (NYR 2011 6th) were both scoreless but Yogan took a penalty as well as a 10 minute misconduct for "abuse of official" which basically ended his day midway in the third.

While Oshawa was giving away power-play goals, Peterborough could not score any putting on a performance that could best be described as "textbook New York Ranger power-play." The Petes went 0 for 5 against the Battalion which contributed to their losing.

By the end of Monday, both Oshawa and Peterborough saw themselves dropping a spot in the OHL Eastern Conference standings. Oshawa fell to 7th while Peterborough finds themselves in 8th.

Both teams were passed by Mississauga, who won their game so they jumped into 6th. Both teams would've fallen even further had Belleville not lost. Belleville though holds two games in hand on both teams which puts Peterborough in more danger than Oshawa.

In the WHL there are two teams that were not worried about whether or not they're gonna make the playoffs because both are leading divisions in the WHL's Eastern Conference. Dylan McIlrath (NYR 2010 1st) and his Moose Jaw Warriors lead the WHL's East Division by 10 points with after Monday's action 12 games remaining.

Their lead is pretty safe and they are currently trying to catch Michael St. Croix's (NYR 2011 4th) Edmonton Oil Kings for the WHL's Eastern Conference leadership. The Oil Kings lead the Warriors by four points in the conference standings and we've circled March 7th because that's when both teams will meet.

It would be the battle of the physical defense against the instant attack offense; too bad this game will be shown in the USA. Both teams were in action on Monday and the scores for both games were 5-4 with the games decided by the shootout.

Moose Jaw was in Swift Current taking on the Broncos, the Warriors though lost their game, but this was wild as both teams scored goals with their goalies pulled on delayed penalties.

Every time that Swift Current scored the Warriors responded until the shootout which is when the Broncos finally got the last shot in. McIlrath had a primary assist on Moose Jaw's 3rd goal of the game for his 17th assist of the season (2-17-19), but took a crosschecking penalty that Swift Current cashed in for their first goal of the game.

In Edmonton, it was the opposite as the Oil Kings defeated the Medicine Hat Tigers 5-4 in the shootout. Medicine Hat and Edmonton play in the WHL's Central Division and after this game Edmonton (game in hand) leads by eight points.

Michael St. Croix had a goal for his 38th on the season and 92nd point while being named the game's 1st star. On this one, we wouldn't have given the first star to St. Croix as much as we like to see Ranger prospects being named first star. It should have gone to a teammate Mark Pysyk who had a three-point game.

Cannot be perfect every time but it's nice trying.

(The Undertaker- WWE)

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