Saturday, May 17, 2008

More on the Mem Cup

Here's my look from Friday's paper at the incredible success of the Kitchener Rangers and at four players to watch in the Memorial Cup, which got underway last night.

The Rangers held on yesterday to beat the QMJHL champion Gatineau Olympiques in overtime, 6-5, despite the fact they're still rolling with backup goaltender Josh Unice. The Spokane Chiefs and Belleville Bulls kick their tournament off later today.

For the draft junkies out there, here are the players in the tournament ranked by Central Scouting for the 2008 draft:
Rank Categ. Name
Pos. Club
32 NA Skater Shawn Lalonde Defense Belleville
101 NA Skater Stephen Johnston Left wing Belleville

171 NA Skater Steven Delisle Defense Gatineau
197 NA Skater Travis Stacey Left wing Gatineau

11 NA Skater Mikkel Boedker Left wing Kitchener

9 NA Goalie Dustin Tokarski Goaltender Spokane
64 NA Skater Mitch Wahl Center Spokane
187 NA Skater Mike Reddington Defense Spokane
198 NA Skater Jared Spurgeon Defense Spokane

Boedker's the Danish kid pegged to go in the top 10 this year, and he looks pretty smooth. You wonder if he'll get passed over like Anze Kopitar early in the draft because of his birth country.

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At 10:21 a.m., May 18, 2008, Anonymous Numbers Guy said...

Kopitar got passed over because of his junior league, not birth country. Boedker plays junior in the O - and he's productive and big. He'll deservedly go high.

At 11:57 a.m., May 18, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Kopitar was playing junior in the Swedish system and doing quite well when he was drafted.

At 11:12 a.m., May 20, 2008, Blogger Dennis Prouse said...

James - are any of your media brethren asking questions about the current Memorial Cup format? Good God, is it ever boring. Here we are, five days away from the Final, and already Spokane has a guaranteed spot in the big game. They have absolutely nothing to play for tonight. If they beat Gatineau anyway, it sets up a game tomorrow night between Belleville and Kitchener that will be completely meaningless for both teams.

I guess the CHL has no interest in changing the format as long as they keep selling out the ticket packages each year, but from an "outside" fan perspective, the Memorial Cup format is awful. No drama, no excitement. They need to get eight teams in this thing, and run it like the NCAA Elite Eight - win and you move on, lose and you go home. Now THAT would be worth watching. Conversely, what on earth would motivate a hockey fan to watch tonight or tomorrow night's games? B-O-R-I-N-G.


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