Monday, May 16, 2011

Chris Kreider Responds To Rumors of Him Leaving Boston College

According to Andrew Gross of Rangers Rants theere was a rumor running around Boston College message boards today that said forward Chris Kreider was going to leave the Eagles and sign with the New York Rangers this summer.  Gross says that after speaking with Kreider this evening that nothing has changed for Chris and the expectation is that he is going to back to college next season.

Kreider competed for Team USA in the recent World Championships and while he played well in some games against lesser competition, he struggled against the more talented clubs showing that more development is necessary.  Things could always change, but for now it appears that Kreider will be in an Eagles uniform this fall.

Minnesota Wild Fans Show Amazing Grace In Boogaard Farewell

When someone passes there is a typical desire to accentuate the positives of who they were in their life, but what the Minnesota Wild fans did last night for Derek Boogaard was about showing his family what he was in theirs.  The depth of the imprint that Boogaard left on the fans of the Wild and the community in his five seasons there is special given how the community has sought to give back to the family in their time of grief. 
I have always believed that hockey fans are amongst the most compassionate in the world and the family environment that hockey brings to the players and fans has been on full display since Boogaard’s passing this weekend.  It would be impossible for that same bond to exist between Boogaard and the New York fans given his short stay and the even shorter chance to get to know him, both on and off the ice, but today I am in awe of the beauty of what the Minnesota fans did last night. 
Last night, organized via facebook by Wild fans Katie Haag, 19, of St. Francis and Shelby Leske, 18, over 300 Wild fans gathered at the Xcel Energy Center for a memorial service that included Derek’s family.  Michael Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune has an amazing recap of the events that included family, friends, teammates and organizational members of the Wild speaking about Derek.  The gesture started by the fans was a way for the fans and even the family to get a little comfort in this time of grief as they share their thoughts, memories and even grief as a unit and not alone. 
The story of how the crowd began to sing “Amazing Grace” together is one of those things that you cannot plan and speaks to the emotions that were running through those gathered.  The whole event was a tribute not only to Derek Boogaard and the love of the hockey community, but to the people and fans of the Minnesota Wild who showed their love of their team, a player who was no longer there, and amazing grace.
Also be sure to check out Michael Russo’s account of how facebook made the entire night possible and what it meant to the Boogaard’s.
Boogaard’s funeral service will be held on Saturday in Regina, Saskatchewan. 

Rangers Player Review: Brandon Dubinsky

Looking at Brandon Dubinsky’s 2010-11 campaign is tough because in one breath you want to focus on the step forward he took in his overall production, but in the next you cannot help but consider what could have been if he had maintained his early form.  Dubinsky had a breakout year during his fourth full season with the club as he scored 24 goals and had 54 points which both led the team. 

During the first half, Dubinsky was the team’s best player and carried the offense to the point where he was at a level worthy of All-Star consideration.  Gone was the inconsistent performance and production issues that had been plaguing Dubinsky during his prior season leaving only the skill and determination he had shown flashes of before. 

Few if any players, especially in the forward core, had more asked of them than he did as he was not only playing on the Rangers’ top line, killing penalties, and playing on the power play, but he was asked to take most of the face-offs for the team.  He led all forwards with an average of 20:14 of ice time per game and as the season went on the combination of that and his stress fracture seemed to wear Dubinsky down and make him less effective. 

He was an excellent two-way player all season, but his offense dipped severely in the second half and saw more of the Dubinsky of prior seasons than the All-Star type year he was putting up early on.  Before the break he played in 47 games and had 17 goals and 21 assists.  Following the break, after coming back from the stress fracture in his leg, he had only seven goals and nine assists in 30 games.  His inconsistency continued in the playoffs as he struggled mightily early in the series with the Capitals, but showed flashes in Games 3 and 4 before fading again in Game 5.
Let us take a look at the breakdown of Dubinsky’s numbers by month.
Games Played

Not only was he leading the team on the ice in terms of production, but the effort and consistency during the game was transferred off the ice as well with him becoming a leader in the room and someone to seriously be considered for a letter next season. 

There are a lot of positives to take from the 2010-11 season for Dubinsky, but there are still concerns about how much of his potential he will reach going forward.  The talent is there for him to be a 65-70 point first line type player if the consistency in production ever matches it for a full season.

Grade: B+

Photo: Vancouver Green Men "Class Up," Dress Like Don Cherry

When the Vancouver Green Men mocked Carrie Underwood, wife of Nashville forward Mike Fisher, during the Canucks series with the Nashville Predators, Don Cherry had some choice words for the duo. 
"The Green guys, they were funny at the time. And I liked'em. I really did. But when you get personal. When you get personal, with wives and stuff like that, then this is no good. This should never be."
During Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the San Jose Sharks the Green Men would have something to say back to Don Cherry when they dressed up like Don Cherry and had a cardboard cutout of him wearing one of their outfits.

Something tells me this is not over as Cherry will definitely have something to say.

Hat tip to Puck Daddy