Down in the basement at the GM Centre and internet access is non-existent. Hooked up through my BB, so let's see how long it holds up.
Lots of news in the injury front.
Kitchener Rangers centre Matia Marcantuoni is back in the lineup for tonight's tilt after missing four games with a fractured finger.
Forward Nick Czinder is on his return to play protocol after dealing with a concussion but blueliner Jared Gilbert is still a week away, at best. He is also battling a concussion and woke up this morning with a headache.
Radek Faksa didn't make the trip to Oshawa. He has been dealing with energy issues. The club ran a bunch of tests and they all came back negative. So rule mono out. But his throat is sore and the next step is to see if he needs his tonsils removed.
Matt Puempel-Matia Marantuoni-Tobias Rieder
Ben Thomson-Domenic Alberga-Eric Ming
Brent Pedersen-Josh Sterk-Justin Bailey
Darby Llewellyn-Curtis Meighan-Matt Schmalz
Ryan Murphy-Ben Fanelli
Evan McEneny-Max Iafrate
Cory Genovese-Owen Stewart
John Gibson (10-3) starts.
Mike Dal Colle-Boone Jenner-Tyler Biggs
Brad Latour-Cole Cassels-Scott Sabourin
Sebastian Uvira-Brian Hughes-Adam Lloyd
John Urbanic-Will Petschenig-Evan Buehler
Matt Petgrave-Colin Sullentrop
Chris Carlisle-Josh Brown
Tyler Hore-Geoffrey Schemitsch
Dan Altshuller starts (11-6-0-1)
Got a few questions about players in the Rangers' system. The club still owns the rights to Matt Peca, Zach Aston-Reese and Keli Grant.
Unless the Kitchener Rangers are overwhelmed with a huge offer, don't expect to see goalie Franky Palazzese moved.
Coach/GM Steve Spott essentially said the kid is here to stay. If he is traded, it won't be until after the world junior championships.
Teams have been calling about Palazzese, who owns a 2-2-1-1 record, 1.99 GAA and .932 save percentage.
"As I said to Frank, I’m not looking to trade Frank Palazzese. I don’t want to. I do want to help him out and have the opportunity to play in the National Hockey League," said Spott.
"Frank is going to be back in junior no matter what next year, as far as I can see. It gives us a nice tandem next year with Frank and Jack (Moylan).
"Should I ever elect to move Frank it’s going to have to make a lot of sense for the hockey club. If it ever were to happen it would be after the world juniors. At this point I don’t foresee that."
- Tobias Rieder pulled a muscle in his back during warmup and is day to day. He missed the entire game but should be able to go Friday.
- Oshawa goalie Dan Altshuller did not impress. He misplayed Matt Puempel's first goal and has lost six of his last 10 starts. It was the little things that stood out tonight -- like when a Rangers' penalty was ending and he failed to bang his stick on the ice to warn teammates. Makes you wonder if the team is in the hunt for a goalie?
- Brent Pedersen's delay of game penalty was costly and led to Oshawa's only goal.
- With Rieder and Faksa out, Kitchener's lines changed on the fly. Rookie Darby Llewellyn got promoted to the second unit and looked liked he fit right in.
- Oshawa is a physical and fast team. A real treat to watch. They will be a nasty first round opponent in the post-season.
- Puempel's second goal looked like it was batted in with his hand, but it was in fact the shaft of his stick.
- John Gibson and Puempel have been as advertised. The concern is who is going to fill their shoes when the world junior championships roll along?
- Matia Marcantuoni had an assist in his first game back.
- That's two wins over Oshawa this year. Kitchener is the hottest team in the OHL at 8-1-1-0 in its past 10 games. CHL top ten should be on notice.
JB's top three Rangers: John Gibson, Matt Puempel, Domenic Alberga