Wednesday night was an evening where your personal bias would have affected how you might've seen things from the New York Ranger or New York Islander prospects. We are all biased; denying being biased is only fooling oneself which is why we like to hear as many different views as possible.
The moment you say you can look at a prospect of your favorite team with 100% open objectivity then the only person you are fooling with such a statement is yourself. It is your own likes/dislikes that form the basis of who you are and they do come into play even when watching prospects.
Andrew Yogan (NYR 2010 3rd)of the Peterborough Petes is a case in point because we felt that he deserved mentioning as one of the top players of the night by Yahoo's Buzzing The Net. Yogan was 2-2-4 in a losing effort as the Belleville Bulls defeated the Peterborough Petes 6-5.
Yes, we cover Ranger prospects so yes we have a bias here but in our case what we see is that both of Yogan's goals had an impact. The first tied the game up at 1-1 with his second coming in the same period giving Peterborough a 2-1 lead.
In the second, Yogan had a primary assist on Nick Ritchie's goal which tied the game up at 4-4. In the third, Yogan gets a secondary assist on the goal that gave Peterborough a 5-4 lead.
Yogan earned the game's third star in a losing effort and while it wasn't perfect Yogan was on ice for 2 Belleville goals and took 2 minor penalties, you got to wonder if Peterborough would've been even in the game if not for Yogan?
Yogan is now 35-34-69 which means he is second among Ranger prospects for goals and third overall in points. Teammate Peter Ceresnak (NYR 2011 6th) was scoreless, a -1, and a minor penalty for "checking to the head."
The loss was Peterborough's 3rd straight and effectively takes them out of serious playoff contention with just 4 games remaining on their schedule. Peterborough is 9th trailing by 4 points but having played more games.
Yogan we shall see joining the CT Whale on an ATO (amateur tryout contract) on March 19th. It's still remains up in the air whether Yogan is offered a Ranger contract but his play over the last month to us says he has earned one.
Yogan still has a lot of work to do if he plans on ever playing for John Tortorella (read that as his defense needs serious work).
Our other big game of the evening was Dylan McIlrath (NYR 2010 1st) and his Moose Jaw Warriors in Edmonton to face Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) and his Oil Kings in a battle of WHL Eastern Conference division leaders.
By the time the night was over both teams clinched their respective division titles with Moose Jaw winning the East Division for the 3rd time and the Oil Kings, their first Central Division title.
The other little details are that Edmonton rallied from behind to earn a 3-2 overtime win which extended their WHL Eastern Conference lead over Moose Jaw to 7 points with just 5 games remaining for both teams.
Now one thing both teams will most likely agree upon is that the officiating in this game was subpar and quite honestly one would think that as important a game as it was for both teams that the officiating would've been better.
The one play that would be of interest to Ranger fans took place late in the first period as Dylan McIlrath was called for a "check to the head" minor. If you're a Oil Kings fan then you are upset because McIlrath wasn't given a major and ejected.
If you are a Warrior fan then you're upset because McIlrath was given a penalty because the player that he checked was all of 5'9 and McIlrath is getting punished because the other guy was short.
If you listen to the Oil Kings announcers they are saying that everybody in press row felt that the refs blew the call. If you listen to the Warrior side they are saying it's a hockey play.
(A note about the location of Edmonton's press box, it is closer to the ceiling then it is to the ice I know I've been there and as unpopular as this will sound, hard to make that kind of call from the press box)
But Dylan McIlrath should take a peek at what's being said and realize the kind of scrutiny he is now under. There is a very good chance that McIlrath does get suspended because of all the other penalties he has taken this season.
This is "no-win" for both player and league because player gets punished on account of the other player being 8 inches shorter. The WHL at the same time has to say that any hit to the head is unacceptable.
Personally I would like McIlrath to take a 1-2 game suspension now so he realizes that he has to be more aware of the situations he finds himself in. Is it fair? Course not but the reality is that down the road McIlrath is going to find himself in this kind of situation in the NHL.
In Spokane, Brendan Kichton (NYI 2011 5th) and his Spokane Chiefs were hosting Shane McColgan (NYR 2011 5th) and his Kelowna Rockets. Spokane is fighting for home ice advantage as the 4 seed while Kelowna already knows it will be no worse or no better than 6th.
This is one that Spokane is gonna really regret because they outplayed the Rockets, they held a 43-25 engine shots but in the end it was their special teams that led to a 3-2 shootout loss. Spokane went 1 for 5 on the power play but was 2 for 4 on their penalty kill.
Brendan Kichton had the primary assist on both of Spokane's goals while McColgan was held scoreless. Kichton now is 14-52-66 still tops among Islander prospects and WHL defensemen.
Over in the OHL, JT Miller (NYR 2011 1st) and his Plymouth Whalers visited the Erie Otters who were able to find 2 goalies for this game. Yet the final score was Plymouth 10 Erie 6 so after Crisp-a-mania, the difference in getting "real" goalies was that Erie gave up 3 fewer goals?
This is poetic justice for Erie GM Sherry Bassin who took a ton of abuse over using Connor Crisp in goal even in the loss because it doesn't look like having an extra goalie made a difference after all.
Miller scored his 24th goal and received his 7th fighting major of the season in the win. Miller is now 24-37-61 61 on the season (5th in prospect scoring, 2nd in fighting majors)
The Whalers pulled into a virtual tie for the OHL's Western Conference lead but have played 2 more games than the London Knights have.
Finally there's no other way to put this but Scott Stajcer (NYR 2009 5th) enjoy a seat on the bench as there is no way we can justify supporting Stajcer as the starting goalie in the playoffs for the Owen Sound Attack.
Against the Barrie Colts, Stajcer surrendered 6 goals on 28 shots in a 6-2 loss. Stajcer picked the wrong time of the season to go into a slump.
Even worse is while Stajcer is struggling down in the ECHL, Jason Missiaen played his way to a 2nd "Reebok Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the week" award which is nice way of saying he has passed Stajcer on the depth charts.
(Yogan- Terry Wilson of OHL images)
3 hours ago