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Time for Leaders to Emerge

*please note, this post was written prior to the Rangers game against the Otters on friday night*

Who exactly is leading the Kitchener Rangers right now?

Overall, the team isn't doing bad. Middle of the pack, a little over .500, exactly what was expected of them. But in Kitchener, that isn't a very good excuse. It was expected that Matia Marcantuoni would have an explosive season, leading the team in points and showing that he's worthy of a first round pick come June. Ryan Murphy was supposed to come back from Carolina and show everyone how to run a power play. Looking shortly after training camp, a lot of people expected a very strong defensive core which includes Ben Fanelli, the aforementioned Murphy, Winnipeg Jets property Cody Sol and Julian Melchiori, Max Iafrate, Evan McEnemy, as well as promising rookies Cory Genovese and Jared Gilbert. So what's wrong?

Well firstly, McEnemy is out for the season after an injury earlier this month in Saginaw. That's a huge blow to the Rangers after he started out so strong. Secondly, Murphy, who was expected to lead the OHL in points by a defenseman currently sits 42nd amongst OHL blue liners. Obviously he needs to step his game up. Critics have long said that Murphy takes too many risks and doesn't pass enough. We have seen a bit of evidence of that this season. Murph likes to skate the puck and move quickly. He's constantly thinking shot when he should start thinking pass a little more often. He's also had quite a bit of pure bad luck around the net this season, missing a couple glorious opportunities on Tuesday against London. On a brighter note for Murph, he was selected to team OHL to play against the Russians in the Subway super series. The game will surely be a test for him as he tries to crack Canada's world junior squad in December. Surely all of this is something Murph is already very much aware of and is definitely trying to get better.

The second issue i've seen is with Marcantuoni. MM was touted as being very improved over last season but hasn't really shown much in that department. In 8 games played this season he only has 3 points and is a minus 1. He missed a few games early on with a concussion, and unfortunately for him he has struggled in the past with injuries. But if he wants to make a strong impression with NHL clubs this year, he's going to have to step it up and start putting pucks in the net. The fans in Rangers Nation won't put up with poor play, from someone who's supposed to be amazing, for very long. Just ask Brandon Maxwell.

Hopefully these 2 guys have woken up through out the week and step it up against the Otters this weekend. On a positive note, Captain Cat (Michael Cattenaci) has been showing signs of improvement and will hopefully be back with the team soon. Cat suffered a concussion two weeks ago against the Owen Sound Attack. Having him back in the lineup will help this team immensely, as he is the smallest guy with the biggest heart in the OHL.

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