Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Two for Tuesday

Robbie Russo (Matt Cashore)
A pretty quiet Tuesday in the prospect world for the New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects with only 3 seeing any action and will get to them in a bit.
We even have a prospect of the week in Robbie Russo of Notre Dame but first I really need to vent a bit.

First the name of the sport is ice hockey; it is not the National Hockey League and really all the people complaining about the lack of ice hockey they have at this point in time is their own fault. If you miss the Rangers or Islanders then that is one thing but boy does it get old seeing all these people complaining about the lack of hockey.

There is plenty of good quality ice hockey all around you and quite bluntly if you aren't willing to open your eyes then it is no longer the fault of the NHLPA or the NHL that you don't have hockey. If you are able to read this then there is an entire world of ice hockey from the Canadian juniors to the NCAAs to the AHL and ECHL and finally in Europe as well.

Take a trip up to Hartford or Bridgeport or even better Trenton where the Titans play in the ECHL. Sure they are a affiliate team of the Flyers but Friday and Saturday nights for 9 bucks it is buy one get one ticket.

And I love this promotion better:

NHL Season Ticket Exchange (Friday and Saturday)

The popular – and nationally recognized – promotion is back! Bring your 2012-2013 NHL season ticket, or proof of payment if your NHL team did not mail out your tickets, for a complimentary ticket to the Titans. Flyers, Devils, Islanders, Rangers…doesn’t matter! Bring it to the Sun National Bank Center on game day and enjoy an actual hockey game again…on the Titans! Just bring your ticket/proof of payment to the Titans information table outside Gate A to redeem your free ticket.

There is also a game on Saturday night at the Garden featuring 2012 2nd round pick Cristoval "BOO" Nieves and his Michigan Wolverines taking on the Big Red of Cornell. If you say there is no hockey after this point then sorry but it is your own fault.

If you just want to listen to a game on the web, get a hold of me and I can send you to several places where you can get your "hockey fix."

Prospect Of The Week Robbie Russo Notre Dame

The very old cliche that hockey people use almost to death is "that the game is 60 minutes" and for Robbie Russo (NYI 2011 4th) of Notre Dame; that cliche rang very true for him. Robbie earned the "Player of the Week" for a 2 goal, 1 assist week that also included reminding us that a player can go from goat to hero with just one play.

On Thursday, Russo and Notre Dame were in Yost Arena to play the Michigan Wolverines and Russo had as bad a period as one could have without getting ejected. One horrible turnover where Russo put the puck right on the stick of a Michigan player who only had to shoot and he scored.

There was no excusing what happened as it gave Michigan a 1-0 lead just 4:38 into the first period and the rest of the period was one of those where nothing went right but Michigan didn't score.

In the 2nd period, Russo settled down and it did not hurt that Notre Dame scored a shorthanded goal which took Russo off the hook. Going into the 3rd period tied at 1-1 gave Russo a chance to atone for his mistake.

In the 3rd with the score still tied at 1-1, Russo got to play hero when he set up Bryan Rust for what turned out to be the game winning goal at 14:22. It was Russo's 3rd assist of the season and it helped Notre Dame earn a 3-1 win.

Friday night was even better as Russo had his very first 2 goal game (#'s 3+4 including the game winner) as a member of Notre Dame as he led Notre Dame to a 4-1 win over Michigan. Even better was that it was the first time since February 1978 that Notre Dame had swept a series from Michigan on their home ice.

(Thanks to Notre Dame Athletics for the video)

Russo was named the "first star" for his performance and it got even better for Russo who on Monday was honored by the CCHA as "the CCHA Gladiator defenseman of the week."

Congrats to Russo on the double honor.

Game Action

Just 2 games in the WHL for the prospects as first Griffin Reinhart (NYI 2012 1st) and Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) led their Edmonton Oil Kings against the Swift Current Broncos.

This game was all about defense as Reinhart and his mates on the blueline made life miserable for the Broncos, disrupting any flow or offensive attack that the Broncos attempted. Reinhart and his fellow defenders kept the Broncos from converting on the power play; no goals on 5 attempts by the Broncos as the Oil Kings improved on their WHL leading 93.1% (8 for 116).

It is a good thing that the Oil Kings do have that good of a penalty kill as they are also the 3rd most penalized team in the WHL. Michael St. Croix had a rare quiet night for him ending a modest 3 game scoring streak.

In Victoria, Shane McColgan (NYR 2011 5th) was scoreless as his Saskatoon Blades lost to the Victoria Royals 5-2. The loss dropped the Blades back under 500 at 10-11-0-1.

Victoria used to be partly owned by Glen Sather when the team was based in Tri-City and Chilliwack. The new ownership of the Royals hired former Sather Assistant GM Cameron Hope to be their GM.

The First Rankings are In

And Islander fans might be happy if the season is wiped out as in 2005, the NHL went by record in setting the draft order. The Islanders would select 4th and the Rangers would have picked 29th had they not traded for Rick Nash.

Here are the North American Rankings and here are those for Europe. If I was an Islander fan I would be looking at either Sean Monahan a 6'2 and still growing center from Ottawa in the OHL or Darnell Nurse a 6'4 defender playing for Sault Ste Marie in the OHL.

Ranger fans sorry but you won't be seeing a pick until 59th unless they trade up. And if I had the first pick there is no question I would grab Seth Jones of Portland.

Sorry Nathan McKinnon is talented but Seth Jones is franchise material as when he is on the ice; he DOMINATES. Ranger fans had best pray that the Islanders do not draft him as yes he is that good.

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