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What do you do with Murph and Matia?

I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day. He stated boldly that if he was in Steve Spott's shoes, he would trade Matia Marcantuoni and Ryan Murphy, but only for big name guys like Mark Schiefle or Tanner Pearson. Of course that's incredibly unlikely as Barrie probably won't move their top 2 guys any time soon.

As stated in a few of my previous blogs, I have a different perspective. I see no reason to attempt to move Murph and Matia. Both players have been struggling with injuries this season, thats no secret. But why haven't they been producing as expected? Maybe everyone in the media is wrong (certainly no one on In The O, we're all geniuses). Now that these two highly touted players have recovered from the injuries its time for them to produce.

Marcantuoni needs to put the puck in the net a lot during the second half of the season. In his first game against Owen Sound last night he seems to have not missed a beat, still playing with his trademarked speed and ability to move the puck quicker than most players can turn their heads. I think with a very strong second half, he can return to the NHL top 10 draft prospects.

Ryan Murphy I believe is stuck at a cross roads. He's trying to improve his style based on what his coaches in Carolina and Kitchener have been telling him, and of course he's going to struggle at first. I think moving in to the second half and even in to next season he's going to be even better than he was last year, and yes I do believe he'll be back in Kitchener next season.

A couple of bright spots, how about Brett Clampitt? That kid is very tough, something the Rangers could have used last season. Him and Cody Sol make up a very tough threat that shows the Rangers won't back down. It's good to see a tough team back on East Ave. A very tough team won the 2003 Memorial cup in Kitchener and i'm sure thats what the fans, and management, really want.

And Franky Palazzese has been unreal. He currently sits #1 in the OHL for save percentage (You mad, Kingston?). I have seen the Knights, Greyhounds, Spits and IceDogs this season and I honestly beilieve, without a doubt, that John Gibson and Franky Palazzese are the two best goalies in the OHL. Yes you can quote me on that. And yes I will be willing to eat as much crow as possible at the end of the season. Houser, Visintin, Campbell, none of these guys are as good as Palazzese and Gibson as a pair. The Rangers record speaks for that.

Of course you can't win championships on goaltending alone (unless you're the Boston Bruins and Roberto Luongo decides to become swiss cheese...), but I believe the Rangers can go pretty deep in the playoffs this season with the team that is in place right now.

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