Sunday, January 12, 2014

Does anyone have an aspirin?

So a quiet Saturday night gave me way too much free time to take a wander around the Ranger Universe and boy did I regret it after seeing some of the stuff being written.

The prospects were not that much better as nobody really stood out and the bigger story was Anthony Duclair not scoring it seems. Playoff positioning is already in full swing and you can almost tell by the way teams played/didn't play.

Kyle Burroughs (NYI 2013 7th) and his Regina Pats are a good example of that after they spanked the Saskatoon Blades 6-2 on Saturday evening. Burroughs had a primary as well as a secondary assist during Regina's 5 goal first period to insure the Pats had an easy one. For Burroughs, the assists were his 23rd and 24th of the season to go along with 3 goals for 27 points.

Burroughs and the Pats are unbeaten in their last 5 games and are moving up the WHL's Eastern Conference standings. The win put the Pats just 1 point behind the Swift Current Broncos for the lead in the WHL's East Division lead and in a virtual tie for 4th place with the Medicine Hat Tigers (Tigers hold 3 games in hand) in the conference standings.

The team chasing the Pats are Ryan Pulock's (NYI 2013 1st) Brandon Wheat Kings who just one point behind the Pats in both the division and the conference standings. Pulock set up what proved to be the game winning goal in the 3rd period when he set up John Quenneville for a power play goal which broke a 2-2 tie and helped the Wheat Kings to a 5-2 win over the Prince Albert Raiders.

The assist improved Pulock to 13-23-36 as Pulock's Wheat Kings opened up a 4 point lead over the Red Deer Rebels, Prince Albert Raiders and the Kootenay Ice in the standings.

Robbie Russo (NYI 2011 4th)
had an assist on 6 shots while teammate Steven Fogarty (NYR 2011 3rd) was scoreless as their 15th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish shut the University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers out 5-0 to sweep their weekend series. Russo in 3 games against the Chargers this season is 2-4-6 as he improves to 4-11-15 on the season.

Griffin Reinhart (NYI 2012 1st)
was scoreless as his Edmonton Oil Kings crushed the Lethbridge Hurricanes 8-0. The win was the 6th straight for the Oil Kings who are chasing the Calgary Hitmen for the WHL's Eastern Conference lead. The win pulled the Oil Kings to within 4 points of the Hitmen with the Oil Kings holding a game in hand.

For the first time in 2014, Anthony Duclair (NYR 2013 3rd) failed to score any points for his Quebec Remparts. Duclair saw his 8 game goal and scoring streak come to an end as his Remparts defeated the Saint John Sea Dogs 3-1. Duclair went 9-10-19 during the streak to bring his season totals to 36-29-65 on the season has not gone more than 2 games without scoring this season.

Jesse Graham (NYI 2012 6th)
as scoreless as his Saginaw Spirit shutout the London Knights 2-0. The win was the 4th straight for the Spirit after a 6 game losing streak. Graham was a +2 with a minor for crosschecking.

Cristoval Nieves (NYR 2012 2nd)
returned to the 9th ranked Michigan Wolverine's lineup after missing Friday's game against 14th ranked Wisconsin. Nieves was scoreless and for the most part ineffective adding to what has been a rough season for the sophomore center.

Nieves has just 1 goal all season and that came in the season's 2nd game of the season or 15 game ago.

The Maine Black Bears had little trouble defeating Doyle Somerby (NYI 2012 5th) and his Boston University Terriers 7-3. Somerby was scoreless on 2 shots for the Terriers.

Stephon Williams (NYI 2013 4th) got his first start in net for the Minnesota State Mavericks since December 14th and lasted all of 41:34 before getting yanked after allowing 3 goals on 12 shots. I did not see the game but I have to seriously wonder if Williams should have been yanked in that situation.

Last season's hero has struggled for the Mavericks and I wonder if Williams deserves better than this.

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