Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday Night Special

Want to bet that even 2006 first round pick Bobby Sanguinetti (a New Jersey native no less) and lifelong Ranger fan was happy to see the Ranger shut out the New Jersey Devils? Sanguinetti though was a bit too busy to watch the game though.

Our leading prospect scorer was helping his Brampton Battalion to a 5-1 road win over the host Peterborough Petes. Sanguinetti had a power play assist in the second period to help stake his Battalion to a 3-0 lead at the time.

For Sanguinetti, he is now 8-12-20 record in just 13 games. That for those of you crazy about numbers that puts Sanguinetti on a pace for 108 point season which I think would also make him the CHL defenseman of the year.

Something else to consider which is that USA Hockey still has not named their team for the World Junior Championships. I would love to hear how they would explain leaving Sanguinetti off this year's team.

Though his eyes

One of the reasons why you should be a subscriber to the Blueshirt Bulletin is because unlike so many other websites or magazines, we look beyond what is going on the ice to see what is happening to Ranger prospects.

For example Antoine Lafleur has been struggling this season so we asked Charles Reid of the Guardian to help us understand what has been going on with Lafleur:

Prospect Park: We are watching Lafleur struggle this season and if we go by the numbers only his season is off to a very rocky start. Why do you believe he is having such a tough season now that he has been pulled from 3 games so early in the season?

Charles Reid: Right now he seems to have lost his confidence although not from being pulled - he's been off his game since his first start. On the ice, he's having problems stopping high shots to his glove hand (it plagued him last season) and sometimes loses his concentration. He' s given up at least three goals over his left shoulder into the top corner and has let in a few soft goals. In past interviews, he's been relaxed and joking, but recently he's been searching for the right words and a little flustered. He's a smart kid though and I think will pull out of his funk.

PP: Every year a draft pick comes down with what we call "The Post Draft Blues" where he enters a slump that seems to last about half a season. Is it a confidence thing or are the Rocket just not playing a good team defense to support him?

CR: A bit of both. Lafleur's "Blues" are real, but the Rocket defence is young (four of the seven are 17) and the forwards have been slow to react to transition offence from the opposing team. The D's also been turnover-prone particularly from its veterans. On Monday (Oct. 22) Rocket brass fired former coach Yanick Jean for Guy Chouinard and I think they're hoping the move will spur the defence to play better. It's been stronger lately and the team is better for it, but so far the D has been inconsistent.

PP: Are we seeing the real Lafleur this season or as someone who's him play is just a string of bad luck?

CR: It's not the real Lafleur. He had bad outings last season and bounced back the next game (sometimes the next period or play). Even this season he's shown flashes. For instance, the Rocket were ahead 3-2 against the St. John's Fog Devils on Oct. 17 in the third period. The Foggies T.J. Brennan scored on a slap shot from the point (off a Rocket defensive turnover) beating Lafleur high over the glove-hand shoulder and tied the game. Lafleur made four stops in overtime. In the shootout, the Foggies Mario Kempe had Lafleur beaten, sprawling and sliding to his right, but Lafleur stuck out his glove and made a point-blank save. The Rocket scored on its next attempt and eventually won the game.

The Guardian is Prince Edward Island's best source for news about the Prince Edward Island Rocket. We developed an instant liking for Charles Reid after getting to see articles like this one which covered the Rocket's blowing yet another lead in their Wednesday night loss to Cape Breton.

Our thanks to Charles Reid for taking time out of his busy day to talk to us.


It is time for the weekend and that means hockey, more hockey and even more hockey. We have so much hockey that it is kind of hard to know where to begin but we will be providing coverage of some excellent matchups this weekend.

Our feature has to be Jordan Foote and his 15th ranked Michigan Tech Huskies as they host top ranked North Dakota this Friday and Saturday night. Even a split here would do a ton for the Huskie's dream of making the NCAAs.

We also have Max Campbell and his Western Michigan Broncos traveling to Niagara trying to end the Purple Eagles 14 game home winning streak.

Carl Hagelin and his 3rd ranked Michigan Wolverines host annual powerhouse Boston University.

In the CHL, Antoine Lafleur and the PEI Rocket head to Halifax where Ryan Hillier and his CHL 7th Ranked Halifax Mooseheads await.

We have altogether 12 different Ranger prospects in action this weekend which means lots of work for us but more information about the future of the Rangers for you.

So stay with us at Prospect Park for the prospects and Dubi with the report on the Rangers/Maple Leafs at the Blueshirt Bulletin

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