Monday, February 11, 2013

No wins on Sunday

(Edmonton Oil Kings)
Sunday was not a fun day for the 4 prospects of the New York Rangers and New York Islanders who saw action. 3 games resulting in 3 losses and for 2 of those teams, the losses might have an impact on their playoffs down the road.

In Swift Current, the Edmonton Oil Kings saw their 11 game winning streak come to an end against the Swift Current Broncos 3-1. Edmonton's defense was sound but their lack of on-ice discipline is what cost them this game.

One of the reasons one can say why the Edmonton Oil Kings have the best penalty killing unit in the WHL is because they have been called for the 4th most penalties in the league. Sunday was a bad day for the Oil Kings as they were called for 9 penalties and Swift Current scored on 2 of the resulting power plays.

Pick any cliche you wish as the Oil Kings were at the last stop of a 5 game road trip, the 3rd game in 4 days, or even all streaks come to an end. Oil King coach Derek Laxdal won't use any of them as an excuse for why his team lost.

Swift Current got on the scoreboard first scoring an even strength goal at 4:54 of the 1st period for the only goal of the period. In the 2nd period, Swift Current made it 2-0 on a power play goal at 9:05 but Edmonton would score a power play goal of their own to make it a 2-1 game.

That would be all the offense they would get past Swift Current goalie Eetu Laurikainen (and yes that is his real name) as he stopped 38 out of 39 shot for the win.

Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th)
saw his 12 game scoring streak stopped (7-12-19) and teammate Griffin Reinhart (NYI 2012 1st) took a very rare double minor for high sticking to end his evening a bit earlier than normal.

Edmonton is off until they play again next Sunday at home before they start off on an even longer road trip which will take them through the WHL's US Division and a date with the Portland Winterhawks.

In Spokane, the Spokane Chiefs missed out on a chance to reclaim 4th place in the WHL's Western Conference when they lost to the Victoria Royals 5-3. Give the Royals credit as they jumped on the Chiefs for an early lead and they shut down Brenden Kichton (NYI 2011 5th) completely.

Spokane is at times a confusing team to follow as you can see them defeat the top of the WHL's standings as they have wins over Portland and Kelowna but then when they have a chance to put themselves into a strong position they lose games they shouldn't. Yes they have been beaten up and hit by injuries but so has everyone else.

Sometimes being the captain stinks but Brenden Kichton needs to be more than the highest scoring defenseman in the WHL; he has to put the Chiefs on his shoulders and carry them more often. That is the difference between getting an NHL contract or an AHL one.

Mitchell Theoret's (NYI 2011 7th) and his new team the Barrie Colts need to read what was just written about the Spokane Chiefs. The Colts are the current leaders in the OHL's Eastern Conference but their lead is shrinking as of late.

Sunday the Colts were in Sarnia to play the Sting and the Colts got stung losing 6-5 in overtime. The Colts can blame only themselves as they lost to a 6th place team. Theoret had a secondary assist on Barrie's 2nd goal but he took a hooking call in the 2nd period which the Sting cashed in for their 4th goal which at the time tied the game up.

Theoret is not the only one to blame here as the thought that getting back Mark Scheifele from the Winnipeg Jets gave some players the wrong idea that Scheifele would carry them the rest of the way. Theoret is now 21-28-49 on the season but he still needs to do more if he wants a pro contract at the end of the season.

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