Monday, April 22, 2013
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
While the NHL saga burns on...
A couple of switches today for Bridgeport, one necessitated by illness: Casey Cizikas, under the weather, had the morning off to see a doctor. Jason Clark filled his spot with Nino Niederreiter and Colin McDonald. One other change: Mike Halmo and Brett Gallant swapped places from this weekend's lines.
Yesterday's ECHL transactions had Kael Mouillierat signing with Idaho. Yannick Riendeau, briefly on Bridgeport's roster after the Cantin/Mottau/Rolston trade, signed with Stockton of the ECHL (h/t Jason Guarente).
As seen on yesterday's Chat: I haven't had the time to sit down and really evaluate all this, but it's fun to ponder idly: did the Dark Ages really exist? This paper says no; the count just skipped about 300 years. (h/t Eric Barker, who's so worth the follow.) There is a book about that period in Europe -- which, I guess, presumes the Dark Ages did actually exist -- that I've been dying to read but haven't had a chance to get through. Taken it out of the library about four times in the past two years. Someday.
Monday, October 15, 2012
More... or less (and chat Tuesday, 1:30)
Turned out the Sound Tigers didn't skate today. They'll go the rest of the week in preparation for the Penguins. We'll do a chat tomorrow (Tuesday) at 1:30 p.m. The box will appear here at some point today. And tip of cap to Milford's Doug Coby, Whelen Modified Tour champion.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Penalties and Providence
They gave up three power-play goals in Hartford, but as Scott Pellerin said, it wasn't really their worst PK night.
Tonight was pretty good. Six Providence chances, on which Bridgeport outscored the Bruins 1-0 and was only outshot 6-3.
"We've got a lot of energy," Brandon DeFazio said.
They used it to take away second chances, to limit first chances, and to rush out two-on-one in the first period and tie the game on a rebound, Ty Wishart chip to Brock Nelson up the right wing, shot-save, rebound-score.
They had a couple of bounces go against them on the power play last night, and the other one was a five-on-three.
"We wanted to respond," Nelson said. The PK gave them some momentum. They took a lead on the power play, then scored a couple of goals in the third.
"It's been a great weekend for us," game-winner Jon Landry said. "We played really hard. We jelled together as a team. We're getting the results we're looking for."
Two points for Watkins and DeFazio thanks to the empty-netter. Another good game for Nino Niederreiter, who got props from his teammates, Pellerin said.
Coach's decision, Pellerin confirmed, on Matt Donovan. "We've got a lot of depth positions. That's the message we're sending to the guys. Everybody has to play to their level, max out their level. If not, there are times you're not going to play."
Pellerin said the training staff and the management decided it was best, given Anders Nilsson's illness, to give Kevin Poulin the start. That was best for the team. And when did that decision become final? "About 20 minutes before warmup," Pellerin said. Poulin said he was unfazed. He looked to have an early bobble or two but made some good saves.
Nelson had a shift on the penalty kill where he took out about 15 seconds on his own, working one-on-four to Michael Hutchinson's right. "Brock, for a young player, is a solid two-way player," Pellerin said. "He's going to find his offensive side. I think you saw some of it this weekend. He's a guy I'm looking forward to working with. ... He's a guy you can put in all different situations."
I'm pretty sure I hate my three-stars selections. Just so you know. (I mean, they're fine, the players. My selections. You know.)
Prescout. A goal for Trevor Smith, but a winning goal for Hugh Jessiman. WBS plays next Friday at Springfield, so equitable travel for some reason. (In fact a 3-in-3 for WBS next weekend, where that's BPT's only game.) I think that one may force Jason Iacona to change his Twitter avatar, if I followed correctly the bragging that went up and down I-81 this week.
Adirondack put up 48 shots and six goals on Chad Johnson and Portland. Five combined points for Schenn and Couturier. Meanwhile, the defending Calder Cup Champions In Exile won their Syracuse home opener. Springfield won, too. Albany did not.
Team's off tomorrow. More (I think) Monday. And we'll chat on Tuesday.
It looks better in person, promise
The banner is hung -- same design, new colors, to the right of the 2002 ones -- as is one honoring team doctor Ken Dressler, between the Canadian flag and the Yale banner; he'll also be honored on-ice before the game. The ribbon board isn't complete yet, but the ad boards that were at that level -- at the bottom of the suites, hanging over the lower bowl -- have been moved up to the top wall, next to the scoreboards on either side of the rink.
More interesting is on the ice, where it appears Nathan McIver's debut comes at the expense of Matt Donovan. Presume we'll hear more about that after the game, though I don't think it's injury-related. He was on for two of the three goals yesterday as well as the play that turned into the penalty shot.
Arriving in town for Bridgeport's home opener are the Providence Bruins. Had thought Nilsson might be the man tonight, but Poulin led them onto the ice. One to scratch each way, though Cantin and Trotman looked to be the ones.
F: Niederreiter-Cizikas-McDonald (A)
D: de Haan-Wishart (A)
MacDermid (A)-Whitfield (C)-Knight
R: R. Fraser. L: Colby, Galvin.
Ryan Fraser returns -- and returns with his wife and 6-month-old son.
It strikes me way too belatedly that Webster Bank's colors would've fit much better with the original colors. Oh well.
They really could've gone either way after that first period. You know? Play a great period, outchance them, dominate them at even strength, trail 2-0? That can turn ugly as easily as it can turn into something like this.
They turned it into something like this. They never stopped coming. They got the puck low and attacked the net. They worked to draw penalties; after an 0-for-3 start, they capitalized in the second. That opened the door. They scored on the rush. They scored in the slot. They scored off broken plays, maybe karmic payback for the way the Whale took the lead.
Mostly, they scored.
"(The Whale) capitalized on bad bounces," Brock Nelson said. "Coach wasn't too disappointed." With 19 shots, Bridgeport had to "settle down and finish those chances. We were able to do that."
Nelson helped set up Nino Niederreiter's goal on the rush, battling with Micheal Haley on the wall before the puck went ahead two-on-one. Guys like Niederreiter, Colin McDonald, John Persson, Brandon DeFazio battled for the puck or for position.
How those young forwards responded to the pro game was going to be a big question of the season. For the first 60 minutes, at least, they responded pretty well.
Was impressed with Kirill Kabanov, especially in the second period. The penalties shook the rhythm of the rolling of the lines, and he wasn't playing special teams. Couldn't have been easy to get into the flow. But he had a very strong start to the second.
"I was nervous a little bit in the beginning," Kabanov said. "Coach started trusting me a little more, gave me a little more ice time, and my partners were great tonight. All the team had really good efforts. We deserved that win."
Scott Pellerin realized Kabanov may not have gotten the time he'd normally get.
"He forechecked very well," Pellerin said. "His attention to detail and teamwork, I'm really happy with the way he played."
Fifth time Bridgeport has scored five goals in a period, and the first time in almost three years. The second time, as tweeted earlier, was here, six years ago Saturday: I think it might've been the Wolf Pack's opener, but Bridgeport played the night before in Binghamton. That was the night Blake Comeau scored five points after posting four the night before. Sorta-fun fact about those five five-goal periods? Bridgeport trailed by two goals heading into three of them. (Tied in the other two.)
Pellerin on Win 1: "I really enjoyed it. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous." He got lots of support from his assistants and the trainers, he said. "Everyone was together. The players were really accountable all game long." Bridgeport is 7-4-1 in openers, including 4-3-1 on the road and 2-0-1 here. (That "1" is something called a tie. Ask your parents.)
I told a friend after the first that Chris Kreider reminded me of those kids who get kicked out of Pop Warner for being too good.
Prescout. They led; they didn't win; they had 10,000 show up to watch, so not bad.
Connecticut high school schedules were posted Thursday on the new CIACSports.com. Hamden-Fairfield Prep at the arena on Feb. 2, 1 p.m.; Norfolk in town that night. Think I might stick around after the morning skates?
Kenny Reiter finds himself one of three goalies in Fort Wayne, Justin Cohn notes.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Getting it started
Season 12 begins in Hartford, facing a guy who's played more games for Bridgeport than all but three men. (He also has more penalty minutes than all but one. We'll see if Micheal Haley starts his race up the Hartford list tonight.)
Both teams had seven defensemen for warmup; looked like McIver and Niemi were the odd men out.
F: Niederreiter-Cizikas-McDonald (A)
D: de Haan-Wishart (A)
F: Kreider-Newbury (A)-Kolarik
D: Collins (A)-Gilroy
R: Hersey, Lemelin. L: Galvin, Redding.
Trevor Frischmon tweeted his destination this afternoon, by the way: Graz, Austria.
Three A's tonight. Pellerin reiterated he's not in any hurry to slap a 'C' on anyone; he'll see how the leadership plays out, whether that takes a couple of weeks or longer. Poulin was first off. Hamonic appears to be in; they'll dress seven defensemen for warmup.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Camp almost over/preseason chat
A routine 3.5-hour drive to the Island this morning. Took almost two hours to get to Westport alone. Figured I'd make it in time for Thursday's practice.
Survived, though, and arrived just in time for the end of Wednesday's practice. Pairs were apparently pretty familiar; Travis Hamonic wore a red no-contact jersey, and though Scott Pellerin still wasn't sharing specifics, he sounded hopeful Hamonic and maybe Max MacKay would at least be available Friday. MacKay skated on his own, Pellerin said. The lines were the same as yesterday's, apparently (other lines at the first tweet). The three Swedish forwards were in yellow, which drew some comment as appropriate.
Pellerin said the plan is that everybody still in camp is going to make the trip up to Bridgeport and start the season here. As far as captains, "if you look at our team, we've got a really strong leadership group," the coach said. He said he'd talk to Garth Snow and the other coaches about it, but "I'm not in any rush to name a captain at this point."
The team has a mobile app. My phone can only call people, so I'll leave the reviews to you guys.
Lindsay Kramer reports that Trevor Frischmon is going to Austria. Abbotsford released Kael Mouillierat from his tryout, destination unlisted. He was on Idaho's season-ending roster. Meanwhile, Rick DiPietro's going to Germany.
New Binghamton beat writer Matt Weinstein is on Twitter and on the blog. Did I ever link to new Adirondack beat writer Diana C. Nearhos? If not, Twitter; blog. (Tim McManus will still be writing, as it turns out.) Yes, I've got a blogroll to update.
From the Canadian Press' Chris Johnston, Brett MacLean is doing well, though he's had to retire after this summer's scare. (There's also a new look at the AHL site, as you'll see at that link. My bookmarks still work, and the page formats in Internet Explorer, so I give the redesign a big thumbs up.)
Interesting New York story from the Times.