Soundin' Off -- the lifeboat

Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Rockin' Meeting (edited)

F: Comeau-Colliton (A)-Nokelainen
D: Fata-Berry
Wotton (C)-Mitchell

F: Bayda-Aucoin (C)-Willis (A)
Angelidis-Guite (A)-Murley
D: Vernace-Boychuk

(Note: Berry wasn't listed with a phantom A today.)

I might have asked about all the lineup switches -- The D pairs were pretty fluid in-game -- but other things happened.

That's clearly the longest postgame meeting ever.

From what I hear, fans who stuck it out for 37 minutes to wait for Michael Mole's and Steve Regier's autographs -- and never got 'em, because the meeting still had about 15 minutes to go at that point -- got free tickets.

Bridgeport's other seven-plus-GA games: Feb. 1, 2002, at Springfield (L, 7-1); Jan. 28, 2005, at Providence (L, 7-5); Nov. 4, 2005, vs. Manchester (L, 7-5, the 31-shots-in-the-second-period game); March 30, 2003, at Hartford (L, 8-0, the bench-two-lines game); Oct. 5, 2005, at Wilkes-Barre (L, 8-1, opening night); Oct. 23, 2005, vs. Wilkes-Barre (L, 8-3).

Fraser has fit in just fine. His stuff got mislaid on the way to Bradley, so he played Saturday night in Brandon Cullen's gear and Joe Ferras' skates.

I'm going on hand signals here and nothing more, but it looked to me, when ref Mark Hulshof was assessing to Messrs. Boychuk and Nolan in the second, that he signalled the cross-check and the slash and then waved his arms, like, "no penalties on the board." If he did call fighting majors then -- as he, one hopes, meant -- then indeed there would be no penalties on the board. But it doesn't look like he mentioned them, does it? Anyway, Nolan and Boychuk got released after two minutes and a whistle, and then at the start of the third, apparently the ref noticed they weren't in the box. He got them locked away... For 33 seconds and a whistle, which was all they "had left" after "beginning to serve their seven minutes" at 13:33 of the second... There's one you don't see every day. (I have Nolan with one shift during his major; didn't keep Albany's, who I almost just called Lowell there.)

Brendan Shanahan talks to Larry Brooks about the "New NHL," and how it's not quite what they envisioned. Shanahan makes some cogent points.

It's weird sitting here with big parts of the boards taken down. Got an eerie summertimey feel to it. And that's a bad feeling to have. Especially after a 1-7 stretch and a 50-minute team meeting.


So we say goodbye to deer ol' 2006. I can't say I'll miss it much. For the Sound Tigers, it ends with a 36-31-5-5 regular-season record, and a 3-4 playoff mark, including 0-3 at home. (Good gravy. What-if essay question: What if they'd won just one of those home playoff games?) In the moment, it ends with a 4-9 December record, including regulation losses in seven of the last eight.

This is the fifth seventh time in team history that the Sound Tigers have gone as many as eight games with only one victory; interestingly, in five of those streaks, the wins came in overtime or shootouts. Also interestingly, those other four streaks came in pairs: The two in 2002-03 combined to a 2-8-2-1 (ties-OTL) drought, while the other two combined for that infamous 2-12-1-1 drought at the New Year in 2003-04. Add: There were also two such eight-game streaks last year, which had regulation victories: One in December, right before the Wilkes-Barre game that turned the season around; and the other to end the season, when they were pretty much an ECHL team because of the injuries and callups.

Quite a year. We said a fond farewell way too soon to Dave Baseggio, Pat Bingham and Lane Lambert. It's not meant as a slight against those in their offices now when we say they deserved better. (Arguably, that's what they got.) Steve Stirling got another job, one in which he seems very happy, and so it should be. Such all-time Tigers as Rob Collins, Jeff Hamilton, Tomi Pettinen, Cole Jarrett, Eric Godard, Matt Koalska, Ryan Caldwell and Jody Robinson moved on. Sean Bergenheim left, for now at least. Guys like Travis Brigley, Wyatt Smith, Justin Papineau, David Masse, Paul Flache, Luch Aquino departed. And toughest of all, Kevin Colley had to go just when he reached the top of the mountain.

The hockey world lost Marc Potvin, Gary Dineen, Stefan Blaho, Gennady Tsygankov, Boom Boom Geoffrion, Red Storey, Jonathan Delisle, Floyd Curry, Andrei Lomakin, Tommy Sandlin, and I'm sure I'm forgetting someone or -ones. We the ink-stained lost Jack Lautier, Gene O'Donnell and Tim Moriarty.

Well, it's far later than I ever thought I'd be here tonight. See you in '07.


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