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Big wins mean big hopes

The Kitchener Rangers got off to a thunderous start to their eastern road trip with a convincing 9-1 win over the Kingston Frontenacs. Sure it was the third team in the West taking on the last teamin the East, so you might expect a score like 9-1, but it was still a very big win for the Rangers.

This Frontenacs team beat the Knights last week 4-1, and the Rangers have now beat them by a combined score of 13-2 over 2 games. So what does this mean? Bear with me here, it could be a bit of a stretch to some people.

In my honest opinion, the Kitchener Rangers are better than the London Knights this season. The knights don't deserve first place. Does Kitchener? No. The best team in the Western Conference this season is the Plymouth Whalers. Led by Scott Wedgewood in goal, I think they're the only team this season who can strike fear in to everyone they play. The Knights are good but beatable. Plymouth is a strong team who will come after you every night. This is proven by the Kingston games. London lost 4-1 to the Frontenacs, while the rangers out played them and beat them in 2 games in 5 days. Should a team who is apparently first overall in the country lose to a team who came in to that game with only 11 wins? In my books, that's unacceptable.

How about Ryan Murphy? I think scouts from Carolina should be in touch a little more often. After speaking to Carolina's scouts following Friday's huge loss to the Whalers, Murph exploded for 4 points against Kingston on Sunday night, and followed it up with a strong defensive game and another assist last night. Yes it's only been 2 games, and both were against Kingston, but murph looked a lot more comfortable out there and played a lot stronger too. Look for him to finally start living up to his name down the stretch.

John Gibson played great in his first game back for the Rangers. Had a few eye popping saves. Kingston played a lot better than most would think for a 9-1 game, and Gibby really had to be strong. Great to have him back in Kitchener.

One final topic of note, all 9 goals tonight were scored by 9 different players. That's a good thing for many reasons, including a boost to confidence and a feeling of team depth.

I personally am really starting to look forward to playoff time. If these Rangers can keep it together and not fall apart like last year, we're in for a very entertaining spring.

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