The number one question New York Ranger fans ask is why in the world do we also cover of all teams the New York Islander? One it was a natural desire to expand Prospect Park but a second perhaps even more important reason; a good solider wants to know as much about his enemy before battle as possible.
Like it or not, the Islanders and Rangers are rivals so knowing as much as possible about their future makes sense especially when their prospects face the Ranger prospects.
On Friday, there were 3 different encounters between Ranger and Islander prospects with the Ranger prospects winning 2 out of the 3 matchups. We can say we learned things about prospects from both teams some good some bad.
Islander First Star: Anders Lee
Anders Lee is a prime reason why we cover the Islanders as the 2009 6th round pick is in his sophomore year and any questions about a "sophomore slump" are quickly disappearing. For 2 periods gave Lee's 2nd ranked Notre Dame a huge fight.
Lee set up the tying goal, scored the game winning goal and then turned out the lights on Ohio State with an empty net goal as 2nd ranked Notre Dame came from down 2-0 to win 5-2. Lee was 2-1-3 on 7 shots to earn the game's first star to improve to 4-2-6 in 3 games this season.
The story on Lee and the rest of the Islander report can be found right here.
Ranger First Star: Danny Hobbs
We can imagine Ranger fans going "who the heck is Danny Hobbs?" but the 2007 7th round pick just so happens to be the captain of the UMass/Amherst Minutemen. Hobbs is trying to use his senior season to earn himself a Ranger's contract and he got his season off to a good start.
Hobbs had a goal and 2 assists (including setting up the game winner) to help UMass earn their first win of the season 5-3 over Bentley. Hobbs is a 5'11 190 lb power forward and in his season opener he showed the power side of his game.
Gordie Clark has been one of Hobb's biggest boosters as we still have the notes that Clark talked about how he felt Hobbs was a prospect who played up to his competition. We shall see if Hobbs becomes the 3rd member of the 2007 draft class to earn a contract (Carl Hagelin and Max Campbell were the others).
The rest of the Ranger report can be found here
An Interesting Friday
Thursday saw Owen Sound take on Peterborough in what was a penalty filled contest. Friday was the fallout from that game as 2 serious items came out of this game that we really wanted to make sure you found out about because it is hard to argue with them. First former Ranger assistant coach Mike Pelino sent a huge message about personal accountability that we wish Ranger coaches had the courage to do.
Pelino is the coach of the Peterborough Petes and he scratched Andrew Yogan (NYR 2009 3rd)
who is his number one center because Yogan took one too many undisciplined penalties for Pelino's liking
. It was a risky move by the coach but it was one he felt he had to take.
Yogan said he accepts Pelino's decision and blames only himself.
"I'm really disappointed. That is not really my game," Yogan said. "Obviously, it's my fault and I can't blame it on anyone else. It shouldn't be happening and he's right. He's definitely sending a message by doing this. For me, it hurts."
Now we will see if the talented Yogan does in fact learn from this because honestly this was a badly needed move more than a year in the making. Yogan has a world of talent but his biggest flaw is himself as Yogan at times has put Yogan ahead of the team.
It is a huge part of why the Erie Otters traded Yogan away during the off-season. Yogan knows that the Rangers are watching what is happening and do not doubt for a second that Glen Sather has not talked to Mike Pelino about this.
The second item is the OHL suspending Owen Sound coach Greg Ireland
pending a hearing on Monday. Why was Ireland suspended? The OHL says because Ireland sent one of his players Daniel Zweep with one intention; to fight him right after the puck dropped.
Want a textbook case of a staged fight then this is it. 8 seconds into the game Zweep went after Peterborough's Derek Mathers and they fought.
Now the reason why only Ireland was suspended was that Mathers was already on the ice as part of the announced starting lineup for Peterborough and Ireland replaced players to get Zweep on the ice. See these are the kind of fights that really need to go because it started with pre-game yakking and led to this.
Now Greg Ireland is going to be the person who the OHL is going to make the example out of. Can not argue with this move at all (Stick Tap to Neate Sager for his coverage of this incident)
Kirill Kabanov (2010 3rd) is not going to play in Sweden but he went from limbo to a spot in the 2012 Memorial Cup. The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada sent Kabanov to the Shawinigan Cataractes as part of a multi-player deal.
This whole ordeal was dragged out and drawn out with the Armada really did not get a whole lotin return. Very disappointed in how this was handled but there is one very happy Russian prospect who now has a shot to play for the Memorial Cup.
Good for Kabanov as his reputation wrongly took a beating here. The rest of the QMJHL is now about take a beating from a player who wants to show the world what he can do.
(Lee/CCHA, Hobbs/UMass Athletics)