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Can Kitchener Survive with Franky Palazzese

The Rangers have a pretty impressive goaltender. In fact he was a gift that has paid off for Kitchener. He ranks tied for 10th in wins, 6th in Goals against and second in Save Percentage. He is John Gibson. The Kitchener Rangers rookie goaltender (Drafted by the Anaheim Ducks this past june) who has been an absolute stud in net for Kitchener. His counterpart, former Kingston Frontenacs scapegoat Frank Palazzese, is tied for 11th in wins, 13th in Goals Againast and 3rd in Save Percentage. Who is the back up and who is the starter? That has been a question asked amongst many a media members this year. The Rangers faithful will always answer that Gibson is your number one netminder and Frank is not the backup, but the second goalie.

Like a few times this year, Frank Palazzese has been thrusted into the crease as not the number 1 goalie, but the only goalie. That is not only fine with Franky, but the fans wish Palazzese all the best. After the season Palazzese had in Kingston, it was a shock to most (I still believed in FP) that he can play this well. As soon as it became evident that he is a goaltender in this league the fans cheered him on as much as Gibson. Considering how rabid the Kitchener fans can be not only home at the Aud, but on the road as well, Franky says he never gets that butterfly feeling on the ice,

            ‘I don't get nervous or even think about anything negative like that, I'm just looking forward to playing, and only taking one game at a time And do the best I can in every game’

            Doing his best is what he does, I don’t think I have to try and sing the praises of him anymore. With Gibson out for another period of time, the Rangers will hope Palazzese can help guide them to at the bare minimum solidifying the 3rd seed in the east.

The London Knights are 10 points ahead of Kitchener, but Kitchener has a game in hand. The Rangers do not have to worry about losing ground in their division with Owen Sound 14 points behind them, but Sarnia is expected to start climbing the rankings and pressure Kitchener. The only unofficial time table that has been given for Gibson is that he would be able to resume training/rehabilitation in 7-10 days after his surgery.

            Taking a look at their upcoming schedule. From the time that Gibson has surgery to the time when he should be healed, the Rangers would have played 6 games, 3 of those 6 will be against Division leaders Plymouth and London. 8 of their final 19 games are against their division. This is not the time to be having a key injury to the lineup and Palazzese says that there should be no negative thoughts withhim in net,

            ‘…not thinking anything negative just worried about one game at a time, and trying to win every single game.’

            Ranger nation may have gasped about the initial thought of running with Palazzese instead of Gibson. Heck, he understands, but the Rangers are probably better with Palazzese given the fact he has had to run lengthy spans of being the starter with Gibson out.
            ‘…with the boys we have, we all have confidence in each other to get the job done on any night’

            If Kitchener happens to lose ground it will not be because Palazzese couldn’t win the game. Not only will he prevent the Rangers from falling down the standings, he will help improve them as he always rises up to the challenge. Then again… I have been saying this since last January… Just Saying.


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