By Mike Buskus
One tie and one point on the week
One point in the standings is all that the Albany River Rats have to show for their efforts this past week. On Friday, they lost to the Hershey Bears, 3-1. On Saturday, after coming from behind late in the game to take the lead, they wound up with a 5-5 tie against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
On the other hand, the top brass with the New Jersey Devils got a look at goalie Scott Clemmensen, the rookie from Boston College who has had only limited playing time behind Martin Brodeur in New Jersey. With virtually the entire Devils’ management and scouting team in attendance, on Friday Clemmensen got his first professional start. He was in the pipes as the River Rats took on the Hershey Bears.
Although the Rats lost, 3-1, not one of the three goals allowed (on 28 Hershey shots) could be called a “soft” goal. Clemmensen was the victim of a porous defense in front, as the first goal (Matt Herr of the Bears) was a rebound in front which the defense was unable to clear. The second goal was even more obviously a defensive lapse, as a Bear slid across the hash marks from right, unmolested and picked his spot. Finally, the third Hershey marker was a classic 2-on-1, with the goaltender watching the puck-carrier. Only problem was that the lone defender back did not block the pass and Jeff Daw of Hershey had an easy “shovel-in” goal.
Of the 25 saves, most were routine, but several very nifty ones were included. To date, Clemmensen (who was returned to New Jersey the next day) has not st Read more»
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Over the past several seasons, to an extent since the 1993-94 season the Rangers organization has struggled to re-stock the system for a future run at the cup whilst struggling even more to keep a most competitive veteran club on the ice. The likes of Daniel Goneau have been spotted in Rangers blue as have Johan Holmqvist and even Jason Labarbera.
As former Ranger prospects Doug Weight, Todd Marchant, Aaron Miller and more find their niches in the NHL and have blossomed into stars or solid NHLers, the Rangers for one reason or another have had a great deal of trouble bringing these kinds of players up from their own system into the NHL as Rangers, long time Rangers.
During this offseason G.M. Glen Sather did a stellar job in loading the Rangers AHL affiliate in Hartford with young talent such as Matt Kinch, Layne Ulmer, Mikael Samuelsson(via San Jose trade) and so on… even some have found their way to New York with the likes of Dan Blackburn via the 2001 draft and former 1st rounder (BUF) Barrett Heisten. But the age old question remains…”why are the Rangers signing journeyman veterans or former stars well past their prime and not giving the prospects a shot?”