Saturday, April 13, 2013

Crossing another one off

Tommy Hughes (OHL Images)
It seemed kind of strange watching a team wearing Ranger colors losing a game and not having any problem with it. Yet in the only game played involving a New York Ranger prospect that was exactly the case on Friday night.

Tommy Hughes (NYR UFA 2013)
returned to the London Knight lineup after sitting out a 1 game suspension as his Knights defeated the Kitchener Rangers 4-1. The win gave the Knights a 4-1 series win as they advanced to the OHL Western Conference Finals for the 2nd straight year.

Hughes was scoreless but a +2 as the young defenseman has all of 1 assist for the 2013 playoffs but scoring isn't the job that the Knights ask of him. They want him playing the John Tortorella defense AKA block shots and play a physical game which typically means Hughes doesn't see a lot of the spotlight.

But what he does get to do is cross another digit off the docket. 8 wins down and 8 wins to go for the London Knights as they try to repeat as the OHL champions. Ranger prospects haven't earned many trips to the Memorial Cup in recent years but Hughes would help raise the number to 3 (counting Shane McColgan and Josh Nicholls of the Saskatoon Blades).

In fact there is a possibility that a total of 5 Ranger prospects could play for the 2013 Memorial Cup which would guarantee that at least 1 Ranger prospect would wind as a Memorial Cup champion. That hasn't happened in a very long time and unless I am mistaken the last Ranger prospect to win it was in 1997 when then 1995 2nd round pick Christian Dube won it with the Hull Olympiques.

Yes there are Ranger players like Dan Girardi who won it with the London Knights but that was before he became a Ranger or a Ranger prospect. Plenty of Ranger prospects have played for the Memorial Cup but fewer have won it.

With the Knights win then it means that as was mentioned yesterday there will be plenty of time off before the conference or league semifinals get underway next Thursday.

Oh and before I forget in the Knight's win was depending on your point of view saw the end of the series finish with a "cheap shot" or "classless celebration." What is interesting about this situation is before I show the clip I will mention the names involved since both players are the sons of former well known NHL players.

For the London Knights it was Max Domi son of Tie and for the Kitchener Rangers it was Max Iafrate the son of Al. Now I wonder how many of you will prejudge the incident based on the fathers?

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