Baby Rangers Fall To Buffalo In Traverse City Finals

September 15, 2011, by

The Rangers prospects lost what looked to be a relatively lopsided battle with the Baby Sabres, dropping the championship game 5-2 last night.  Here’s one last bulleted list going through this game, and the tournament in general:

  • It is very clear that the Rangers Traverse City roster was top heavy, especially on defense.  There was very little in terms of quality after Dylan McIlrath and Tim Erixon.  At forward, it was a little less obvious, but the lack of depth definitely hurt the Rangers.  Ryan Bourque, Christian Thomas, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Carl Hagelin, and Shane McColgan can only do so much.
  • Blake Parlett really fell from grace fast, eh?  He had a marvelous first game, a mediocre second game, was scratched the third game, and had a miserable finale.  He still has holes in his game, and will work on them in the AHL this season.
  • Let’s not forget Jyri Niemi was a veteran and played in the AHL prior to this tournament, but was no where to be seen.  He has a lot to prove this season if he wants to remain with the Rangers organization long term.
  • Tommy Grant is another relatively old guy who left me wondering what he was doing, same with Lee Baldwin.
  • Sam Noreau can’t skate, at all.  It is painfully obvious that he was getting burned by pretty much every opponent.
  • Jason Wilson has a lot to prove now.  He left a lot to be desired this tournament.
  • As for the non roster invitees, it wouldn’t shock me to see them all let go
In the end, the Rangers were done in by lack of depth.  However, that doesn’t discount that they have six or seven quality prospects that will continue to develop in their respective leagues this year.
Finally, kudos to MSG for covering the tournament this year.  We have been wanting this for a while, and MSG nailed it with the coverage.  Looking forward to next year’s tournament already.
Categories : Game Wrap-ups, Prospects


  1. George says:

    That hit on Thomas was something to be discouraged. That type of hit in a juniors tournament made me very angry. That was something deserving of punishment.

    • Dave says:

      You mean the hit in the first when he got his head knocked off? Was a clean hit.

      • Dave says:

        Unless I’m thinking of a different hit.

      • Chris in MA says:

        It was going to be a clean hit… until the guy realized that Thomas slowed up and the guy lifted his elbow.

        Contact was made with the elbow to Thomas’ head… thus, elbowing.

        The hit was poised to be a textbook hipcheck and my gut reaction was that it was a clean hit, till the replay showed the elbow.

  2. Eric says:

    Having 6 or 7 quality prospects that will be NHL’ers is a far cry from where the Rangers have been. The big club is fairly young so there are good days in front of us as Rangers fans. Do any of the kid’s make the Rangers and do they have big enough roll that it doesn’t hurt there development? Looking forward to good season that could be very interesting.

    • Dave says:

      Erixon is essentially a lock to make the team. After that, I would think Hagelin has the best chance to unseat a veteran. If Hagelin makes the team, then it will be at Zuccarello’s expense.

      • Matt J says:

        I’d rather see Avery or ec be banished if hagelin makes it.

        • Chris in MA says:

          As much as a love Avery, hes going to have to have an amazing camp if he expects to solidify a roster spot.

          ECand MZA, on the other hand, I feel that both have an even tougher climb… though I’d say good riddance to EC.

  3. Chris in MA says:

    Agree wholeheartedly that MSG nailed the coverage. It was delightful. I was just happy that NHL Network carried the MSG coverage so I was able to watch up here in MA.

    As for Parlett… if I remember correctly, they said he sat out 1 game because of a knee injury, and he was doing fairly well last night until he got hit in the knee again. Now, I dont think he was as good as Erixon or McIlrath, but I wouldnt be so quick to assume he ‘fell from grace’.

    Erixon, Hagelin, Bourque are the 3 that I’d like to get a real shot during training camp. Bourque might even be a faster, more skilled, version of Callahan. Hagelin has amazing speed and agility. And Erixon is just a solid Dman.

    McIlrath still has some work to do. He plays will almost all the time, but… when he gets beat, or is about to get beat, he takes dumb penalties. Happened 2 games in a row, late in the game. Unacceptable.

  4. scrangersfan says:

    I watched all four games and was very encouraged by what I saw but I must say that the Rangers need to concentrate on drafting a future goalie because the two guys playing in the tournament were absolutely terrible.IMO.if we had te Buffalo goalie in last night game, the game would have been won by the Rangers.