Guess Henrik Lundqvist was looking for some extra practice
on Friday night as Ranger prospect Ryan Graves (2013 4th) and his
QMJHL champion Val-d’Or Foreurs took to the ice against the hosts of the 2014
Memorial Cup the London Knights. The Foreurs playing a little less than 48
hours after defeating the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in game 7 of the QMJHL Finals
played like they were exhausted.
But not Lundqvist imitator Antoine Bibeau as the Foreur’s
goalie stopped everything with a 51 save 1-0 shutout win over the Knights. To
say Bibeau was outstanding would be a monster understatement as the Foreurs
were allowing shots from anywhere the Knights wanted. To make matters worse was
the Foreurs repeatedly icing the puck leaving exhausted players stuck on the
ice even longer than they should have been.
As for Graves, he was simply playing defense not looking for
any offense but you could see as the game wore on that he was playing on heart
and whatever fumes he had left.
In the game’s last 2 minutes, Graves was caught out on the
ice for close to the entire 2 minutes as his Foreurs were icing the puck at
every chance they could. Not sure why the Foreur’s coach didn’t use his own
timeout but Graves and those stuck on the ice got some help when Dale Hunter
used his timeout after an icing.
The Foreurs were facing a team that had 34 days of rest
after being eliminated in the OHL Western Conference semifinals and in their
home. The Foreurs less than 48 hours of rest plus the close to 900 miles of
travel should count their blessings that they escaped this game with a win.
The Foreurs are off until Monday when they will face the OHL
champions the Guelph Storm.