Soundin' Off -- the lifeboat

Monday, October 30, 2006

It's an illusion, Michael

Thanks to e-mailer Lynn, who pointed out that today's notebook broke in an odd spot online: the beginning. The full text follows the joke.

To update the notes, both Comeau (with Tambellini and Colliton) and Nokelainen (with Marjamaki, Ogorodnikov and Pitton) skated today.

And this is directed primarily at one reader, who knows who he is: Saturday turned into an Arrested Development reference-fest, at least on my TV screen. Turned the box on to find a syndicated episode of Without a Trace featuring Alia Shawkat, AD's Maeby Funke, as a guest star. And then on Kidnapped -- like it, though I'm apparently the only one watching -- the little girl did a card trick, only to tell the private investigator, "It's not a trick; it's an illusion." Yeah, I lost it.

WAITING -- Practice at The Rinks at Shelton went without three Bridgeport Sound Tigers forwards Sunday.

Blake Comeau took a shot off the leg Friday night at Providence; he finished the game but was limping afterward. He sat out of practice, standing behind the bench with Brandon Cullen, who's still out with a concussion.

And Petteri Nokelainen remained out, apparently taking care of the knee he had surgically repaired in April.

"It's precaution," coach Dan Marshall said. "We're not rushing him back. ... He just has to take it day by day and see how it feels."

NO PITTS -- Amid Bridgeport's impressive comeback effort Friday, rookie winger Jason Pitton played his most consistent game yet.

He was aggressive on the forecheck and stronger with the puck. And after forcing a neutral-zone turnover, he earned his first professional point on Eric Boguniecki's goal.

"I thought he was really good," Marshall said. "He was confident. He was a strong F1 (first forechecker), he finished his checks really well. I thought he was a presence out there."

For a player who's 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, presence is what the Sound Tigers need from Pitton.

SHOOTING STARS -- In just seven games this season, Bridgeport has already been to three shootouts. In 2004-05, the first year of the modern shootout era, Bridgeport participated in only six shootouts. Last season, the team went to the tiebreaker just five times, tied for the fewest in the league.

TECHNOLOGY -- There may be some scoring changes from Friday night's game. Computer problems, both at the Dunkin' Donuts Center and in the statistics, meant stats had to be phoned in, and at least two goals appear to have something lost in translation.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

New shooter

So the Sound Tigers are on pace for 34 shootouts.

Paces are of course dangerous things. After two games, Blake Comeau was on pace for 360 points, which would be kind of a lot. He's now on pace for 114, unless you just use the sample from the past five games, in which case he's on pace for 24.

Turns out the AHL record for shootout games in a season is 16*. Interestingly, both record-holders did it in 1986-87, the first time the league experimented with the bonus round. The Binghamton Whalers and the New Haven Nighthawks hold that mark.

At least three teams in the "modern" shootout era have finished 15 games tied after 65 minutes: last year's Monarchs (who hold the record for most shootout wins, going 11-4), last year's Omaha Knights and two years ago's Edmonton Roadrunners (who both went 4-11 to share the mark for shootout losses with that Nighthawks team, which went 5-11). (There may be more; didn't feel the urge to dig them up.)

Since the Sound Tigers only went to the shootout 11 times in the past two years, they haven't even seen 15 all-time penalty-shot exhibitions yet.

Signifying nothing and just for nostalgia value, here's the record of a specimen from among the record 16 Nighthawks shootouts. March 13, 1987, Adirondack at New Haven, and I had one of the 3,371 tickets distributed. Barry Melrose minors were responsible for two of New Haven's three power plays, as awarded by Mick McGeough (Kevin Collins and David Butova worked the lines). Glenn Merkosky scored both goals for the Red Wings. Norm Maciver made it 2-2 in the second period. Glenn Healy made 40 saves. And in the most memorable part of the night, a rookie named Ken Baumgartner destroyed Steve Martinson in a first-period fight.

So they went to the shootout, Healy against Sam St. Laurent. I remember Grade School Mike being excited about it, hoping it would happen. Ed Johnstone didn't score, but Guy Benoit scored. The legendary Merkosky didn't score, but Mark Raedeke did. Ted Speers didn't, nor did Dave Gagner. And then Pierre Aubry didn't score, and the game was over.

Grade School Mike was underwhelmed. But you guessed that already, didn't you?

*-As read in the AHL Guide and Record Book last night while parked on I-95 on Long Wharf for an hour after they closed the highway. They eventually turned a bunch of cars around, sent us down the right shoulder against "traffic," and had us use the on-ramp to exit to the local streets. Surreal experience at 2 a.m.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Tied up

Maybe Harlan Pratt and Evgeny Tunik broke the hex here. (Remember the House of Pain?) I'm thinking they just kicked it upstairs. Internet was down almost all night tonight. That wasn't fun for Phil or me or the Providence writers, but it was even worse on the off-ice guys, who had to keep everything through their backup plans and call in updates to the league office. At least one thing got lost in translation. The league was having its own computer issues. Some things will surely change. I'd tell you what, except... the box still isn't fixed as I write. (Early-morning bitty update after a long trip home: Even the updated box isn't right. Some changes will surely come.)

So finishes a 3-2-0-2 month for Bridgeport. Two of those games were two-goal-down comebacks in the third period, and they picked up three of four points in those games. (Remember when the 2003-04 team had some abnormally pretty record at one point after it trailed 2-0? Maybe we've got to start keeping this two-goal deficits in the third stat. They're 1-2-0-1.)

It looked like Providence's first two goals hit something in front. The initial shooter got credit for both. Ferraro scored -- because it was a hockey game, and that's apparently what he does at least once per hockey game -- and Aquino scored a power-play goal, something you might remember from a few weeks ago. (Box gives it to Campoli, but it was Aquino alone in front.)

Then it got hexy: Pascal Pelletier knocked Mark Wotton over, and he faked out Wade Dubielewicz, and he tucked the puck in for the lead. Then Kris Versteeg found a teeny-tiny hole inside the post (after Blake Comeau painfully blocked a Jonathan Sigalet shot) to give the PBroons a 4-2 lead.

Bridgeport had 'em right where it wanted 'em.

The comeback started on a neutral-zone turnover that Jason Pitton forced to earn his first pro point. I thought I saw him doing a lot of good things in the neutral zone and down low tonight. Ferraro led Boguniecki on the breakaway. Then Aquino led Nilsson on the breakaway to tie it. I don't know if they fixed that assist.

Dubielewicz made some big saves in overtime -- one point-blank on Jay Leach, then another 30 seconds later on Martins Karsums from not much farther out -- to send it to the shootout. And the bonus round's the bonus round.

F: Tambellini-Nielsen-Nilsson
Regier-Colliton (A)-Boguniecki
D: Fata-Berry
Mitchell-Wotton (C)
Campoli-Rourke (A)

F: Pelletier-Krejci-Tenkrat
D: Jon. Sigalet-Leach

The Sound Tie-ers have been to three shootouts already. They were only in five last year and six the year before that. (Insert "excitement" joke here.)

Campoli looked a little weird in 11.


Thursday debuted the Web-exclusive Sound Tigers Weekly. It's a lot of the stuff that used to be on the rail on the weekly page. For print, the plan is to still do a weekly feature on Thursdays, plus the Week Ahead and possibly other things if space permits. Here's a link to this week's main feature on Kevin Mitchell.


It's further bloggerific: Greg Logan of Newsday starts one up with a nice piece on covering the Isles back around the dynasty era. And I've been so out of the loop back home at the Real blogs Site that I missed linking to my buddy Sean Spillane's music blog.

And Joey Mullen surfaced Thursday as Kjell Samuelsson's new assistant in Philadelphia.

And a further update early in the morning: The ECHL transactions report that Phoenix signed, as an emergency backup goalie, Jamie Ram. That, Master Kenobi, is a name I've not heard in a long time.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

No room at the inn

For a variety of reasons -- and thankfully it doesn't sound too acrimonious -- Matt Koalska is headed home. The Islanders are working to try to place him elsewhere. Combine the play-the-kids thing with Boguniecki's arrival, and there didn't appear to be a place for him here. More details in tomorrow's story.

Koalska and Caldwell in two days. Wow.

Boguniecki, BTW, skated today (in red pants, still) with Regier and Colliton.


First blush? A trade that will help both teams. Both players seem excited.

Boguniecki had arrived in West Haven by Wednesday evening and plans to be at practice in the morning. He's hoping to work his way back to the NHL, and he didn't feel like that was going to happen in Syracuse, not to mention being far from home. He asked for his release to try Europe -- he said they'd talked about that in the summer, when he signed -- and they asked him if he'd consider a trade. So he'll give it a try in Bridgeport; toss in having the family around, and it has every chance of being a good fit.

Caldwell was on the verge of coming back here into an uncertain spot, quite possibly the seventh spot. Maybe a change of scenery does him good.

And Caldwell... Caldwell's a character, first degree. He makes you laugh. He and Koalska took the weekly "Offsides with" (or "One Dumb Question," as I used to call it, leading Caldwell to ask every day, "Any dumb questions for me?") to another level.

Speaking of the weekly... well, more tomorrow, when there's stuff to link to.

Meanwhile, Rochester keeps the Sabres organization perfect with two late goals. Only 32 saves tonight, though. Disappointing.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Caldwell traded

...to Columbus. Eric Boguniecki is supposed to be coming the other way, but no concrete details yet.

Update, 4:45 -- Isles report 1-for-1, Boguniecki is to report to Bridgeport.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Maybe-easy trivia

(only because we talked about it back at the Real Site this summer)

The Massacre on Broad Street shuffled some men around, leaving eight former New Haven Nighthawks in charge of an AHL bench. Name 'em.

(If all goes well, the answers will be in the notebook tomorrow.)

Meanwhile, Goulet and Mole were assigned to Pensacola.

Update, 6 p.m. -- Just got the e-mail that Chris Campoli is on his way on a conditioning assignment.

Update2, 6:30 p.m. -- Busy Tuesday: Just got the e-mail that the Wolves signed Frederic Cloutier.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Stir it up

If this was a Game 7, I'd tell you I know exactly how the fans feel.

The chances were there. They didn't get buried, and on this one I think you credit the goalie more than the Tigers. Were there mistakes? Yeah. But they still could have won.

If any one of those five or six really good scoring chances gets past Ramo in the first period, this is probably a very different game. And the way the Tambellini-Nielsen-Nilsson line started out, it really looked like it might be.

But it wasn't. Springfield got it done. Hey, Steve Stirling has done nothing in Bridgeport but win.

F: Comeau-Colliton (A)-Regier
D: Fata-Berry
Mitchell-Wotton (C)
Halvardsson-Rourke (A)

F: Healey (A)-Jones-Milley (C)
Keller-Cavanaugh (A)-Reid
D: O'Brien-Smaby

(I appear to have left my notes at the barn, so those are from memory, hopefully accurate. Annoying more because that's three games of line combos gone...)

Good news: PK keeps rolling (though I have them for a chance fewer than does the league, 47-for-51 rather than 48-for-52 -- the difference appears to be opening night). Bad news: PP is 0-for-28 since mid-WBS.

Nice job on the tribute to Stirling's return.

Elsewhere, Raffi Torres is down on the fourth line for now.

And did I hear something about something happening in Philly or something?

Unrelatedly, the only good thing about my team's not making the World's Serious is that they don't have to wear those goofy patches on their caps.

4 a.m. update

('Cause it's a long ride with time to think)

Suggest you read the regular entry below first, but hey, it's your dime...

Update - probably should have talked a bit about the goals. The first one was interesting, because it came soon after a penalty kill, on which Blake Comeau took a shot off a leg and looked like he had been shot. Someone (Tambellini, maybe?) was just about holding him up on the bench. Paul Camelio and John Sullo got him down the runway, I noted the time, and looked up to see Masi Marjamaki fight off a defenseman and center to Peter Ferraro in the slot for a one-timer off the post and in. (That's two of his three off the post.) Dan Marshall was impressed with the one-timer; a younger kid might have tried to do too much with it. (Comeau, BTW, maybe missed one shift, if that.)

The second goal was also interesting. Lots of credit to Robert Nilsson on this one. He took the puck up-ice against Tyler Sloan, had a half-step from the red line, got leaned on in the neutral zone and drew a penalty. Ref was well behind the play, but he must have had the better angle. Anyway, puck winds up in the corner, Frans Nielsen chips it back out to Nilsson, who puts it right to the crease to Tambellini.

Hershey's tying goal is worth a little more explanation than it gets in the story, too, because Frederic Cassivi came up huge. Alex Giroux had just scored to cut the lead in half, and the physical game was developing, and who knows which way it's going to go? And then Steve Regier comes down the right side and uncorks this near-perfect shot to the far side, except Cassivi sticks out the right pad and makes the stop, but Rick Berry's coming down the slot and gets enough of it to send it toward the five-hole, except Cassivi knocks it away. And as you write all that down, Eric Fehr has the puck and finds Tomas Fleischmann alone out in center ice. Breakway, bingo, tie game. Yeah, that Cassivi, he's OK.

Update a couple of dumb stats: That was the sixth-largest crowd ever to watch a Sound Tigers game, fifth-largest in the regular season.

And the Sound Tigers have defeated Hershey five times in a row now, including two shootout victories, dating back to the middle of last year's season series. That includes two wins in a row out there, erstwhile Other House of Horrors. (They broke the Providence jinx last year, too, so we'll see what happens Friday.) Bridgeport's longest active road losing streak: 3, in Portland (0-2-1-0) and Wilkes-Barre (0-3-0, regular season, anyway). If you get freaky and include the playoffs, the building in which Bridgeport has its longest active winless streak? Harbor Yard, 4 (0-3 playoffs, 0-0-0-1 regular season).

Update - How could I forget? In the process of going to Calvary Cemetery... Over the summer, research turned up four more interborough bridges, one of which I'd already crossed. So...

Metropolitan Avenue Bridge? Check.

Pulaski Bridge? Check.

J.J. Byrne Memorial Bridge? That's a big check.

Progress, baby. But I've just taken a peek at this, and I'm wondering how many of these I ought to count. (The "Eastern Boulevard Bridge" has to be the Bruckner Blvd. drawbridge under the Interchange*, and even though it's a drawbridge, I'm not sure it should count as even semi-major. But hey, if we get near the end, might as well make it tougher...)

(Click here if you really want the background; the count is out of date by an uncertain number. No refunds, no exchanges, no tears shed for your waste of time -- or mine.)

* - UPDATE: Actually, the Eastern Blvd. Bridge turns out to be the Hunts Point Drawbridge on I-278. Also done, though. The one under the Bruckner Interchange is the Unionport Bridge.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Dig it

All right, I blew off the roller coaster. Good thing, too.

I guess we got a glimpse tonight of what showed up in Yarmouth. Michael Mole started strong, made some huge saves and helped the Sound Tigers end this mini two-game winless streak.

Apparently they got here not long before warmup*; they got right out there, Mole felt pretty good, and it carried over into the game. Tough to fault a goalie on any of the four real goals tonight (and you know how I feel about the other three). There were some discipline lapses, but the game as a whole was much better-played than Friday's.

And Mole. Dan Marshall said Garth Snow was just hoping to see the kid play while he was here; Marshall said, hey, the kid came all the way up, so why not leave Dubielewicz home from the bus ride and give Mole a shot?

And how far has this kid come? Mole's only other AHL game to date was a mop-up third period in April 2003. Since then, both teams are gone (Lowell (technically) and Saint John), he went back to school, he played a solid first pro season, he opened a lot of eyes in Islanders training camp. And in his first AHL start, he walks into the Calder Cup celebration and steals the spotlight.

Tomorrow, maybe he starts in Reading. But he's got tonight.

F: Comeau-Colliton (A)-Regier
D: Fata-Berry
Mitchell-Wotton (C)
Halvardsson-Rourke (A)
F: Fleischmann-Tenute-Giroux (A)
D: Sloan-Arsene (A)
Hunt-Nycholat (C)

Sergei Ogorodnikov scored for the second night in a row in the shootout. "I'm trying to score in the game," Ogorodnikov said. "I give thanks to the coach that he gives me a chance in the shootout." Mole got help when Eric Fehr hit the crossbar and Timo Helbling lost the puck on their attempts, but Ferraro and Aquino iced the game around a really nice Mole stick save on Fleischmann.

Had the game gone the other way, we might be talking power plays. Bridgeport is on an 0-for-21 drought after a 6-for-18 start. But tonight wasn't the time nor the place to do more than drop the reference into first edition.

Didn't ask if Mark Wotton went to the home penalty box by accident or for showmanship. The little spin made me think the latter, but I guess you never know. Pretty good, either way.

The Bears wearing the chocolate made for the "right" team in darks. (But that's a rant from another time.) Wasn't listening too closely to the postgame auction, but I think Cassivi's went for $3,500 or so, and Tomas Fleischmann's, with I think the man himself playing to the crowd, topped 4K.

The evening began with a video of highlights from the Bears' playoff run, including the full calls from what sounded like most of the goals in the last two rounds. They lingered, justifiably, over the third period of Game 7 against Portland, when Colin Forbes hit the post on a penalty shot at 1:12, Graham Mink tied it with 2:09 to play, and Eric Fehr won it 9:07 into overtime.

President Doug Yingst introduced the coaches and the trainers, and they threw it upstairs to broadcaster John Walton. John introduced this year's players, and you could almost make him out when Frederic Cassivi hit the ice.

The invited guests came out -- Pat Mathers (wife of the late Frank Mathers, Hershey legend), Willie Marshall, Steve Andrascik, Dave Parro, Mitch Lamoreux, and then Dave Fenyves with the Calder Cup. They helped hand out the rings; Wotton was first to receive his, beginning a grouping in the corner to the right of the Zamboni entrance. Almost to a man, the other players came over with a handshake or a hug for Wotton. In order, the rings went to Jeff Schultz, Joey Tenute, Eric Fehr, captain Boyd Kane (in from Philadelphia in a suit), Tomas Fleischmann, Chris Bourque, Dave Steckel, Stephen Werner, Jonas Johansson, Louis Robitaille, Lawrence Nycholat (with a bear hug for both Kane and Wotton), Dean Arsene, Maxime Daigneault, Derek Engelland, Frederic Cassivi, trainer Dan "Beaker" Stuck, equipment man Justin Kullman, assistant coach Bob Woods, head coach Bruce Boudreau and president Yingst.

Then they dropped the banner. Then Mole stole the show.


Made a stop on the way out to visit my great-grandparents for the first time, out in Queens**. Didn't know I'd be visiting my great-great-grandparents as well, though I knew two great-uncles would be there. Kinda touching.

On the way home tonight, I'll be blasting a little bit of the Bobby Fuller Four. Once midnight comes, it'll be Bobby's 64th birthday, though he wasn't around to celebrate more than 23 of them. And since I blew past it, let's just pause to point out that Dave Guard would have been 72 Thursday...

*-Probably stuck in the same typical I-78 delays I was.
**-By ridiculous coincidence, my other three sets of great-grandparents rest within 100 yards of each other in St. Raymond's Cemetery... It's eerie.

What? The park's still open?

Well to heck with this. I'm goin' on the Comet.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Number 17, Jason...

I was all set to tell you all about how much better the intros were than last year. And really, even with everything that happened, this year's was already better once the video started....

The good omen? When the lights go out or the fire alarm goes off at the Arena at Harbor Yard, the Sound Tigers are much more likely to reach the Calder Cup Final.

The bad news is Adam Goodman got cut off in the exact middle of Jason Pitton's name, tried to get through the rest, and got cut off again after Ryan Caldwell. So out came the rest of the team.

Feel bad tonight for Kimber Auerbach, whose show got blasted by those flashes of light all around the arena. Know what, though? Introducing half of the team is a half-team more than was introduced last year.

F: Comeau-Colliton (A)-Nilsson
D: Fata-Berry
Mitchell-Wotton (C)
Rourke (A)-Goulet

F: Korpikoski-Helminen-Weller (C)
Purinton (A)/Falardeau
D: Liffiton-Girardi
Lampman (A)-Richter

Got so much into the penalties and the PK that I forgot to ask the obvious question: Shoot first in the shootout? Dan Marshall went second, and Immonen got the Pack out front right away. Who knows if it would have mattered, but it's one of those discussion things. Marshall was much more interested in talking about discipline, and lack thereof by his team.

Four out of Bridgeport's 12 shootouts have come in 21 games against Hartford in the past three seasons. Dubielewicz is 0-3 against the Wolf Pack, one loss each season, and he knew it. He's 1-4 all-time in the bonus round here.

Bruno Gervais sighting in the dressing room tonight.

Newtown's own Peter Zingoni played for Philly tonight in a 6-5 overtime loss at Norfolk; no points, minus-2, three minors. Petr Nedved also played (goal, short-handed assist) for Philly, which scored five in a row to take a 5-2 lead, then gave up the lead in the final 15:07.

Hershey tomorrow. Should be fun. If you're making the trek, they're starting things up with a video presentation at 6:30, with the big show to follow.

"Get to the 'working overtime' part!"*



This looks awesome. (Hat tip: James Mirtle.)

Former Tigers caught listed on the ECHL opening-day rosters (BST tryouts in parentheses):

Alaska: Barrett Heisten, F. Charlotte: (Alex Westlund, G); Blake Bellefeuille, F; Mark Lee, F. Cincinnati: (Sam Ftorek, F); (Aaron Foster, F). Columbia: Jeff Miles, C; Mike Jarmuth, D; Chris Barr, D; Chris Thompson, RW. Florida: Chris Lee, F/D. Fresno: Vince Macri, D; John Morlang, F; Luke Curtin, F; Scott Stirling. Gwinnett: Paul Flache, F. Johnstown: Jean Desrochers, C. Las Vegas: Derek Edwardson, C; Aaron Power, D; Joe Tallari, F. Long Beach: Adam Edinger, F. Pensacola: (Tyler Liebel, F); (Dan Sullivan, F); (Jeff Pietrasiak, G); Mike Mole, G. Phoenix: Joe Dusbabek, F; Cody Rudkowsky, G. Reading: (Jeff State, D); (Dave Borrelli, LW). South Carolina: Cail MacLean, RW. Stockton: (Mike Lalonde, LW). Texas: Jean-Francois David, D; Mike Bayrack, F. Toledo: (Ken Magowan, LW). Utah: Ed Campbell, D. Victoria: Wes Goldie, F.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Immigration debate

New signs on the BST dressing room doors this year, with a blue background, and the new logo above these words:

No admittance
Players & Staff Only

Meantime, Wade Dubielewicz was still here this morning; Ryan Caldwell (shoulder) and Brandon Cullen (concussion) practiced but remain distinctly day-to-day; and Steve Regier sat out again sick, and geez, if he can't go, how will they fill out a lineup? (Sorry, force of habit.)

Elsewhere, Nedved and Dimitrakos are Phantoms. And it doesn't seem to be on their site yet, but a press release from Lowell says the non-Lock Monsters have signed Scott Lachance to an AHL deal.

Unrelatedly, I cracked up at least three times at "30 Rock" last night. Beautiful.

A couple of interesting things out of the New York Sun today. Apparently my hometown's City Council is talking about requiring wood bats in high school games. "Safety," they scream, which will last until a broken bat skulls someone, and then they'll doubtless ban high school baseball. And John McWhorter combines language with politics and comes up with an interesting column.

Probably more later...

...who try to look pretty

The home whites-n-oranges are in the house, glimpsed from afar this morning. Less than 45 hours to the home opener, and the arrival of Section 14.

Two other uniform things: Paul Lukas' Uni Watch column notes a scary double-curse photo from 19 years, 51 weeks ago. And in Buffalo, two games without the Buffaslug, 16 goals. Coincidence? You be the judge, but the non-slug fallout includes a massacre on Broad Street as the Flyers waive Petr Nedved, Nolan Baumgartner and Niko Dimitrakos.

Dave Baseggio's Rivermen began their only eastern swing tonight with a shootout loss in Albany. (The Rats evidently shot first.) Ben Guite plus-2, Peter Tsimikalis a tally in the Bonus Round, and Jason Bacashihua takes the shootout loss...

I might have gone, but I was otherwise occupied tonight.

Read with sadness of the passing of CBS newsman Christopher Glenn. Neat to know that even some of his colleagues got to know him in their living rooms on Saturday mornings....

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Just some practice notes

--Wade Dubielewicz was back. All three goalies practiced, and it sounds like Dubielewicz's status is a day-to-day thing, based on Rick DiPietro.
--Johan Halvardsson is back in action after missing Saturday with back spasms.
--Ryan Caldwell practiced in a light-blue sweater, which I surmise will be the no-contact shirt of choice this season. Brandon Cullen skated after practice, and his return is less certain.
--There's a buzz around the Danbury/New Haven guys coming to opening night. A little anxiety in some corners, and a little curiosity in others. Going to be interesting.

Monday, October 16, 2006

All wet

Seen on Uni Watch: Buffalo's throwback sweaters aren't all that throwbacky if they've got numbers on the front, are they? (And is it me, or does the stick behind Jagr make it look like he's skiing?)

Buncha ex-BST moves. Jason Guerriero got called back up to Milwaukee. The Wolves released Dieter Kochan so he could sign in Houston. And Hartford assigned Mark Lee to Charlotte.

I love to work at nothing all day

About a third of the e-mail to my work account today has been along the lines of "Work is closed," "no work tomorrow" or "office closed." What's with that? Spam that offers you a second day off in a row...

Edit: Oh, right.

Top Five Reasons I'm Looking Forward to Friday:

5) Shorter commute.
4) See if All That Orange works when draped around actual people in pads.
3) See if these rumors are true about the ol' New Haven/Danbury folks coming...
2) ...and since I'm pretty sure they are, see how that goes. (Will they chant "sieve" at both goalies?)
1) Actually get to watch the Bridgeport bench in action, since the first three games were spent behind, obliquely behind and in a different area code from the Sound Tigers' bench.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Two minutes for inconceivable

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." --Inigo Montoya, "The Princess Bride"

Welcome to anyone who heard me plug This Space on the Sound Tigers' Webcast tonight with Phil Giubileo (and thanks to Phil for the plug) and were able to decipher the URL through my messy rambling. You may quickly find I am a sucker for a dumb stat, particularly if I can do a little dumb amateur analysis with it. (Fake math is fun.)

In that spirit:

Referee Joe Ernst arrived on the Sound Tigers' scene tonight -- he's evidently been around the block, just not Main Street -- and promptly called six interference minors leading to power plays out of 16 total in the game. There was actually a seventh negated by another penalty after the play. Some were quite interesting. Some looked quite a bit like something else.* But all made this game proportionally weird.

None of the first 31 power plays called in a Bridgeport game this year were for interference. Last year, only 11.6 percent of all power plays in Bridgeport games came from interference minors (10.9 percent for, 12.1 percent against). So in this game, 37.5 percent of all power plays -- 38.9 percent of all penalties -- came from interference minors.***

What does that mean? Nothing. How many ways could a good mathematician caution me? Lots.

That's just the kind of place this is. Sorry.

The lead tomorrow will say something like how Bridgeport played the big boys tonight after two games against teams that had something working against them. That's not to discount those wins, but to credit this Wilkes-Barre/Scranton team, which really looks pretty good. You give Robbie Schremp and Erik Christensen and Jonathan Filewich and Ryan Stone and Micki DuPont and guys like that a five-on-three, and they're gonna make you pay -- as Phil pointed out, a lot like Bridgeport can do.

Both teams capitalized on one power play. The Pens capitalized after one of theirs, capitalized at four-on-four (after a weird play involving Drew Fata, who took a slash across the right hand), put the game away and didn't let Bridgeport get going. Compound that with guys getting left alone in scoring areas...

There's plenty of growing time left for Bridgeport, but at least now they've seen what they're up against.


F: Comeau-Colliton (A)-Regier
D: Fata-Berry
Mitchell-Wotton (C)
Rourke (A)-Goulet

F: Sestito-Christensen-Filewich
Dixon-Talbot (A)-Kennedy
D: Nasreddine (C)-Skolney**
Welch-DuPont (A)

Bridgeport lines again shuffled quite a bit.

In each half of the ice, the Penguins have two ads in the neutral zone, three across the inside of the blue line and two more in the goalie no-fly-zones in the corners. Impressive. (Guess advertisers want to reach 8,000 people. Or 7,787, even.)

*-Of course, he's a little closer than I am.
**-That's 32-28. Familiar but backwards.
***-Restored the original fake math, which wasn't faulty after all. Double minor for counting error at 4:00.

Up and up

Wade Dubielewicz was recalled, apparently to back up Mike Dunham. Michael Mole is back here to back up Billy Thompson; Mole is wearing No. 30, and the last man to wear that for Bridgeport was...
...his general manager.


Alternate captain Jeremy Colliton, like a good leader should, sums it all up in one line. You'll see it in the paper. (Of course, as late as I'm posting, it's on the Web already.)

No one in this franchise's long and storied history had set up four goals in one game, until Blake Comeau did it Sunday.

No one in this franchise's long and storied history had recorded five points in one game, until Blake Comeau did it tonight.

The mathematical trend says bet on him for five goals Saturday in Wilkes-Barre.

Obviously, no one had nine points in two games before. Were I crazy enough to look it up (did enough of that last week looking for three-assist and four-point games), I doubt anyone even had seven in back-to-back games.

Aided by empty-net goals in both games -- both short-handed, too, BTW -- Comeau is on the scariest offensive streak in the franchise's long and storied (402-game) history.

F: Comeau-Colliton (A)-Regier
D: Fata-Berry
Mitchell-Wotton (C)
Halvardsson-Rourke (A)

Falardeau-Helminen (A)-Weller (C)
D: Liffiton-Girardi
Purinton (A)-Degon

You look around in warmup and don't see Peter Ferraro and Luch Aquino, and you just go, wow. There's 13 legit AHL forwards here now.

But you also see the youth. Particularly early, there were some shaky mistakes, failures to clear the zone, things like that. Then Fata fought Weller, and things settled down, just like the preseason.

And after Colliton's goal, there was no coming back for Hartford.

Dan Marshall said they're still looking at some guys, getting some guys some extra game time, which is why Ferraro and Aquino were scratches. Tambellini was one guy he wanted to give some extra time; he took the two penalties early, then got some shifts going and played better.

About the worst traffic I've ever seen going into Hartford this afternoon, BTW. No idea why. I had stopped at Tim Hortons, so I didn't mind much.

Whether it's an Internet-traffic thing or a coincidence, stuff from Norfolk and Milwaukee tends to arrive in my inbox around the same time. That leads to fun juxtapositions like tonight's: "Admirals Can't Complete Comeback" above "Admirals Power Past Springfield."

Said hi briefly to Mark Lee after the game. He's doing OK, hoping to get into the lineup when he can. Same ol' smile on his face.

Interesting idea on the Uni Watch blog this morning: Teams that have rounded or symmetrical logos on their sweaters may tend toward higher save percentages. (Or, given the proportions, teams that don't have rounded or symmetrical logos may tend toward lower save percentages.) It'd be interesting to run a lot of numbers and see what they look like.

Seems JB's had some blognical difficulties, too. He returned Friday night with an outstanding reference. It's something in the virtual water, folks... or else someone's just got it in for AHL blogs. Do they go after Sharp next, or cut straight through to Kramer? Stay tuned.

And so we come to Wilkes-Barre, which for me will be like "Game 7 - Observed," with a lot less on the line on the ice, of course. Try to do at least some of the things I wanted to do on April 29. Tonight Caldwell grabbed the notebook out of my hands and said he was going to interview me. The last time he had done that? April 26, after Game 5, a little less than three hours before I ended up in a ditch. Yeah, I'm not that superstitious, but you know what? I took the notebook back from him....

*-The 'F' probably doesn't stand for what you think it stands for. And has nothing to do with the BST game tonight**.
**-(Ahem) So Taguchi?!?!

Friday, October 13, 2006

People see you havin' fun

So in case there were any doubts about Peter Ferraro's number change, the No. 42 sweater was spotted today. (Not that you had any doubts.)

There may be some player moves sometime this weekend, with 13 healthy forwards and seven healthy defensemen, and with another one of each getting closer to returning. Nothing immediate, though; it sounds like it would come no earlier than after the Hartford game.

Hadda love Joe Buck's reference to the "Baseball Bunch" tonight...

The Bridgeport dressing room underwent a summer renovation. New paint job in the new team colors, for one thing. Major A/V work -- there's now a couple of big ol' flat-screen TVs and such. It's way nicer than my room.

One neat thing is big pictures from team and organization history. In the hallway where I usually hang out and wait are the "official" BST team pictures from all five seasons. Across from last year's, across from Paul Camelio's office, is a team celebration shot from the first regular-season finale, gathered around the Mac Kilpatrick Trophy. (And hey, a Mat Snesrud sighting!) Next to that, above the stick rack, is a sequence of (I think it's eight) photos of that Kevin Colley breakaway goal against Philly last November.

The neatest thing I've seen from these photos, though: Above Allan Rourke's stall is a montage of Season 1 pix, including one of Rick DiPietro. What's really impressive: He's wearing No. 1. That limits it to the first three home games in franchise history...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Play a song for me

Jeff Tambellini has been assigned to Bridgeport.

What a day

Back in 1997, there was a bullpen in shambles. The names might frighten you. In May, they called up a kid long man who was impressive in his consistency. No. 11 would come in, and for once, you wouldn't panic.

That team didn't get that far, but it was the beginning of something, a turnaround that led to one pennant, and the turnaround in the bullpen helped spark it all. But when they won, that long man was gone, lost in the expansion draft at the end of 1997.

Wednesday, he was lost to us all. May his family find comfort, and may Cory Lidle rest in peace.

More sadness, as Tim Leone reports the death of Barry Boudreau, brother of Hershey coach Bruce Boudreau. Condolences down there.

Been meaning to update the writers' blogroll a bit, but I was waiting for our triumphant homecoming. Well, since it's been a month and change...

Press and Sun-Bulletin writer Michael Sharp has a new blog on the Binghamton Senators.

Dave Eminian of the Peoria Journal-Star is bloggin' on site.

And stringer extraordinaire Dan Hickling has a blog at Minor League News.

Hey, a win!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Caught in the Web

The promised Web-only stuff:

Player capsules for this year's Sound Tigers club, and team capsules for the rest of the league.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Jampacked opening-night edition

For tonight, anyway, cue the Who.

You know the one, about the other guys dancing with my girl, and the bells chime and all that. And the kids being alright (sic).*

But actually, why bury the lead? We have a new champion, folks.

Billy Thompson is now the franchise's all-time leader in goals-against average (0.00) and save percentage (1.000), among all goalies with 35 or more seconds played. Move over, Dusan!

Couldn't figure that one out, but it's apparently one of those cases where ref Frederic L'Ecuyer wouldn't give Wade Dubielewicz a minute for some kind of equipment adjustment (the bench is right below us in Bingo, but it didn't look like there was any anxious equipmenting...). So, they took a bunch of time to get Billy Thompson out of the runway, and Thompson came in, got serenaded by his old home crowd, stopped Ryan Vesce, and came out on the next whistle.

This would be the first of two things you don't see every day. No. 2: A delayed penalty being assessed at even strength when a goal was scored. Masi Marjamaki takes a penalty at the end of a Ogorodnikov penalty (14:02), and the puck goes in (16:02), and Marjamaki goes in. Of course the relatively recent addition to the rules says that, if a power-play goal is scored with a delayed penalty, take the minor off the clock and assess the penalty. I'd never seen it happens where the puck went in after the power play had expired. L'Ecuyer assessed the penalty.

So not a beautiful game, but hey, it's Game 1 (or 2 for the other side), so you cut 'em slack. Some shaky turnovers, but Dubielewicz comes up big. Some shaky shots, but enough worked (like Ferraro's, a thing of beauty). Some weak pokechecks, but some brilliant forced-turnovers leading to offense.

And then there's Comeau, who had four assists, which now that I look at it is a team record all its own; the night could have been even better if he'd converted a couple of scoring chances. But that doesn't matter. Good night for them.

Colliton getting the second 'A' surprised me -- a nice surprise, because I think the kid deserves it and will handle it well; I just didn't expect it. "Colliton, you look at him all last season, the way he handles himself, he's a leader on and off the ice," Marshall said. "He's a good leader with the young guys. ... He really knows what to say and when to say it. He's got a promising future as a leader, not just as a hockey player." Well put.

Here we go again:

Comeau-Colliton (A)-Pitton
D: Fata-Berry
Mitchell-Wotton (C)
Halvardsson-Rourke (A)

F: Pecker-Hennessy-Fitzpatrick
Luttinen-Vesce-Heerema (A)
D: Allison (A)-Hedlund (A)

Ultimately, those Bridgeport lines meant little. All broke up on the second shift and were only sporadically together again. Marshall said they wanted to get some kids as much time as possible. And speaking of time: the first BST Time On Ice report ever.

Not that it took too much of a guess, but the three veteran defensemen are all playing the right, since all six defensemen -- wait for it -- are left-handed shots. Those pairs stayed together fairly religiously except for special teams and their follow-up. Halvardsson played little if any special teams; Mitchell didn't play much penalty kill unless another defenseman was in the box, but he did play the power play.

Backhandedly related: One thing that jumped out at me in practice, and again now that they're together for real, is that a lot of guys are on their off wings at any given time. Of the basic combinations, it's five of eight, or four of seven (Comeau, Pitton, Nokelainen, Nilsson, and whichever of Regier or Aquino, unless one's playing center and the other's on the left). Might just ask and/or write about that this week.

Just as a sampler -- 'cause seriously, not one was identical to another -- first-period power-play units: (five-on-three) Comeau-Nielsen-Regier/Ferraro-Rourke; (five-on-four) Ogorodnikov-Colliton-Nilsson/Rourke-Fata; Marjamaki-Nielsen-Aquino/Rourke (still on)-Mitchell; Ferraro-Nielsen-Aquino/Rourke-Fata; (four-on-three) Ogorodnikov-Nilsson-Comeau-Fata; (four-on-three) Nilsson-Aquino-Comeau-Ferraro.

PK units through two periods, might've missed a couple of changes: Comeau-Pitton-Fata-Berry; Marjamaki-Regier-Rourke-Wotton; Colliton-Comeau-Fata-Berry (F's change Regier-Pitton); Marjamaki-Aquino-Rourke (change Berry)-Wotton; Colliton-Comeau-Fata-Berry; (five-on-three) Regier-Rourke-Wotton; (five-on-four) Aquino-Pitton-Fata-Berry.

And yes, Ogorodnikov is the first Sound Tiger to wear No. 71. And yes, Peter Ferraro will eventually be the first Sound Tiger to wear 42.

*-The reason this is late? Sometimes I feel I gotta get away.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Non-scarlet letters

Mark Wotton just wore the 'C' for the first time in warmup, and that's been the assumption since he signed. Allan Rourke keeps his 'A' this year, and the other was attached to Jeremy Colliton.

Because there were comments, this post did not self-destruct. As a bonus for the lie:

1) Alan Letang, 10/6/03-7/15/04
2) Keith Aldridge, 10/13/04-11/6/04
3) Richard Seeley, 11/6/04-3/15/05
4) Ed Campbell, 3/15/05-4/17/05
5) Kevin Colley, 10/4/05-2/24/06 (retired)
6) Mark Wotton, 10/8/06-

Bullet history, Round 2

Updating the bullet history, for those just joining us...

(The bullet events of 2000-2005 are re-stated and incorporated as if fully set forth herein)

2005 continued: Two-a-days. Papineau hurt. Robinson hurt. Team Streak: five losses; six wins; six losses. Jeff Hamilton, The Prodigal Sniper. Dave Karpa Era. Colley called. Madden's out; Dubie takes over. Five losses, seven out of eight, Wilkes-Barre coming in... they did WHAT to Wilkes-Barre? 4-0-0-1 till a callup for Dubielewicz. Happy New Year.

2006: Freddy Cloutier, Cody Rudkowsky, and poor Chris Madden. Bouchard comes back. At Wilkes-Barre: 7-0? Robert Nilsson, lacrosse (and media) star. Dave Karpa Era ends; Pratt for Brigley as the Providence jinx continues. Francois St. Laurent and five-on-threes in overtime. Captain's out. Bruno the All-Star. Five in a row, with a blizzard, and then five PPGs. Callups begin, 17-4-1-2. Chris Thompson. Where's Vinny? Four goals for Bergenheim. Tomi's back. Sweep Lowell... Then Binghamton Debacle, then Albany Debacle. Deadline: No more Smith, Bouchard, but Tambellini and Grebeshkov. Road trip. Just 15 skaters at Providence... and a win! SOL at Manchester, and Hamilton's concussed. Tsimikalis. O'Marra. Kohn. Comeau. There's 10 guys up. OTL. OTL. Straight-up L. Win over Hartford in the home finale. L-L-L, but it doesn't matter. It's Wilkes-Barre. Comeau arrives. Bergenheim hits everything (for one night). Dubie stops everything. Two wins there. OTL on the two-on-one. Bad bounce. Two losses here. Marjamaki in OT, win there. Stone PPG in OT, loss here. And then the back-and-forth out there; empty-net, extra-attacker, and they just run out of time. One-goal game (7x). One home win, not here. Happy summer. Bill's gone (?). So are the coaches (?!). So's the new GM (?!?!) The Marshall Plan. Joe Ferras. Jack Capuano. Bernie Cassell, for real at last. Bergie's Russian off. Berry, Wotton, Billy Thompson, Nielsen, Mitchell's back, Pitton, Ferraro, Nokelainen, Goulet, Halvardsson, Fata, Ogorodnikov, Cullen.

And that's where it stands.

Every day... Every way

First-game opponent Binghamton opened up with a 4-1 win; 25 saves for Kelly Guard and four different goal-scorers. Closer to home, Steve Stirling and the Falcons win their first game, 3-2 at Hartford after taking a 3-0 lead.

I read this post from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's blog with some interest. It's about basketball, obviously, and a lot of it is about marketing, but you can draw some inexact corollaries to hockey...

Particularly obsessive/observant readers of This Space (or more accurately the original, pre-blowup This Space) may even get the reason I said hoot! hoot! at one point tonight.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

It won't be long, yeah

Sounds like they're going to announce the captains and the first-night lineup the old-fashioned way: We show up and see who's got the sweaters, and who's got what on the sweaters. (Those brand-spankin'-new sweaters.)

Lines remained the same. There's some balance there. And even though that's the order they went in one drill Friday, I don't know that you can really number them 1-4*. I can't wait to see how the staff uses them -- assuming there's enough even-strength play to use them in a regular manner, which is no guarantee early in the season.

A correspondent notes that last night's game in Peoria pitted Dave Baseggio against Ryan McGill, old teammates, in a Western-style Bridgeport-Hartford showdown. (Baseggio's Rivermen won in OT on a Jon DiSalvatore goal.)

And Jody Robinson's retirement is confirmed by someone close to him. I'll try to catch up to him in the next couple of days and write something about it, whether here or in print...

Speaking of print, you might have noticed we don't have as much of it as we used to. Some stuff may be Web-exclusive this year, and I'll try to link to it when I can. In that spirit, a word of warning: Look for a lot of Web stuff come the morning...

*-Or letter them A-D, which is my bad note-taking habit; defense pairs get numbered.

Update note: Jason Guerriero signed an AHL deal Friday with Milwaukee.

Last train for the Coast

Former Sound Tigers on ECHL training camp rosters (camp invites in parentheses, and I hope I caught everyone):

Alaska: Barrett Heisten. Augusta: (Will Bodine). Charlotte: (Alex Westlund). Cincinnati: (Sam Ftorek), (Aaron Foster). Columbia: Chris Thompson, Chris Barr, Jeff Miles. Fresno: Vince Macri, Luke Curtin, John Morlang, Scott Stirling. Gwinnett: Paul Flache. Johnstown: Jean Desrochers, (Ben Wallace). Las Vegas: Derek Edwardson, Aaron Power, Joe Tallari. Long Beach: Adam Edinger. Pensacola: (Tyler Liebel), (Colin Hemingway), (Jeff Pietrasiak). Phoenix: Joe Dusbabek, Cody Rudkowsky. Reading: Jeff State, D, T.J. Kemp, (Dave Borreli), Doug Christiansen. South Carolina: Cail MacLean. Stockton: (Mike Lalonde). Texas: Jean-Francois David, Mike Bayrack. Trenton: Peter Tormey, (Brian Yandle). Utah: Ed Campbell. Victoria: Wes Goldie, Dave Morisset.

In looking for an obvious missing name, I found this, saying Jody Robinson has retired. Will ask around on that tomorrow.

For those of a certain age: Dwayne Hay is in Pensacola's camp. For those from a certain area: Peter Zingoni is back in Trenton's, and Peter Giatrelis is in Victoria's.

Meanwhile, here's an mlb.com report from Marty Noble on how hilariously close Tom Glavine came to being the third Mets pitcher to go down with a leg injury this week.

Friday, October 06, 2006

T-minus 50 hours

Bridgeport announced it signed Mike Mole, then sent him to Pensacola. That should pretty well set the opening-night lineup.

The lines have stayed steady for two days, so here they are:

Newbie Brandon Cullen gets a pop in the NHL.com ECHL report. Cullen is still off the ice here, possible for next weekend.

If you get in with the right bunch of fellows

Heard from, of all people, Sean Bergenheim today. He led the main part of the e-mail with, of all things: "Anyway, Russia was good." That's positive thinking.

Anyway, Bergenheim said he liked Russia and liked the game there, but he says a coaching change in Yaroslavl was the big factor in his decision to leave: The new coach was barely playing him -- "I mean nine shifts a game, maybe," he wrote -- "so it was hard to do anything."

He doubts the Islanders want to sign him now, which meshes with what I've heard from within. So he's waiting for now, and if nothing happens, he'll look to play in Finland or Sweden.

Meanwhile, the free Center Ice preview is back. If I didn't have something else monopolizing my obsessions...

Coupla links: Here's Dave Eminian's Dave Baseggio story from the Journal Star. And speaking of obsessions, Mike Vaccaro testifies in the NYPost's newish blog. And Jeff Hamilton makes his Blackhawks debut (6:20, minus-1 but on for a Chicago PPG) in a routine pitchers' duel of an 8-6 victory at Nashville.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

5YA: Day 1 (and today)

Bridgeport 0 1 2--3
Rochester 0 0 0--0

First Period -- None. Penalties -- Pyatt, Roc (interference), 3:13; Schultz, Bpt, triple-minor (roughing, double attempted spearing), 6:06; Peters, Roc, double-minor (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct), 12:33; Peters, Roc (roughing), 17:00; Roche, Bpt, double-minor (boarding, roughing), 18:41; Van Oene, Roc (roughing), 18:41; Houda, Roc (boarding), 18:41.
Second Period -- 1, Bridgeport, Morisset 1 (Podollan, Smith), 5:58. Penalties -- Taylor, Roc (slashing), 3:05; Mezei, Bpt (holding stick), 8:28; Schultz, Bpt (roughing), 13:43; Kolnik, Bpt (slashing), 15:59.
Third Period -- 2, Bridgeport, Hunter 1 (Smith, Kolnik), 11:19. 3, Bridgeport, Hunter 2, 19:21 (empty net). Penalties -- Schultz, Bpt (tripping), 5:45.

Shots on goal -- Bridgeport 4-6-9-19. Rochester 10-10-9--29.
Power play opportunities -- Bridgeport 0 of 5, Rochester 0 of 7.
Goaltenders: Bridgeport, Rick DiPietro, 1-0-0 (29 shots-29 saves). Rochester, Mika Noronen, 0-1-0 (19-17).
Attendance -- 9,887. Referee -- Rooney. Linesmen -- Brisebois, Murphy.

My three stars: 1) DiPietro; 2) Smith; 3) Morisset.

The List of Firsts that ran the next day:
Starting lineup: Goal: Rick DiPietro. Defense: Branislav Mezei-Chris Armstrong.
Forwards: Raffi Torres-Justin Mapletoft-Marko Tuomainen.
Alternate captains: Chris Armstrong, Dave Roche, Ray Schultz
Boos: 7:42 p.m., before player introductions. During player introductions, both Amerks and Sound Tigers got applause.
Faceoff: 8:01 p.m., Mapletoft defeated Chris Taylor.
Shot: Trent Hunter from the right-wing boards, 1:20 first.
Save: DiPietro, :58 first, off a deflection. Christian Matte's shot from the left-wing boards at 5:35 was the first clean Rochester shot.
Goal: David Morisset from Jason Podollan and Nick Smith, 5:58 second.
Penalty: Ray Schultz, roughing and a double-minor for attempted spearing, 6:06 first.
Power play: 3:13 first, after Taylor Pyatt interfered with Mapletoft. No goal, no shots.
Penalty kill: 6:06 first, the roughing segment of Schultz's triple-minor. No goal, two shots.
Empty-net goal: Trent Hunter, unassisted, 19:21 third.
Goal against: None yet.
Special-teams goal: None yet.

Some days, that feels like yesterday. Others, it seems like a lifetime ago.

Points to anyone who can name the whole 19-man first-night lineup. (I had one wrong forward and one wrong defenseman in there, and I can't believe the forward I left out.) One name is either tricky, or is so tricky that you know it immediately...

I'm toying with the idea of doing some fifth-anniversary stories, and if I do, Morisset will be a good symbolic first.

Meanwhile, back in the present...

Five cuts today -- Magowan, Johnson, Henley, Rodney, Platt -- so they are down to 13 forwards, eight defensemen and three goalies, which is pretty close to where they'll be Sunday. Cullen's out with a mild concussion, and Caldwell remains out with the shoulder, so they basically have one healthy extra in each class.

Start your slavin' job...*

JB has a neat line from Alain Nasreddine after he scored in the opener...

I already miss the full-month schedule you could get on leaguestat last year. Maybe it's still there somewhere and I haven't found it...

While reading the Chelios lawsuit, it struck me to ask any law-talkin' types who might surf by: What do you call the little curly 'S' with the circle in it (§)? (The symbol itself, I mean; I more or less know what it means... I think, anyway.)

Back a few posts in the comments, JB makes a good point:

I don't think this applies to the Sound Tigers, but this topic made me think of something that's been bouncing around in my head for a few days. The easiest way to ruin an AHL team's season is to send it a bunch of middling prospects on NHL contracts.

Makes a lot of sense if you think about it.

Mark Lee won himself an AHL job, and good for him... Stephen Valiquette also has arrived, with Kevin Weekes apparently ready for Thursday's opener. (Hartford, incidentally, is bringing back P.J. Stock and E.J. McGuire for Saturday's opener, which would be cool enough to get me up there if something else wasn't happening.

Blake Sebring in Fort Wayne passes on some of Pat Bingham's philosophy, much of which sounds familiar...

And me, I'm exhausted. Gotta learn to pace myself. (Not work-related in the slightest, in case you can't tell.)

*-Quotes from or pertaining to a certain song, 1-11 times this month as needed.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Namath vs. Ewing

--Bridgeport has brought Jason Platt in on a tryout, for a look. He had been in camp with Providence.
--Dieter Kochan signed today with the Chicago Wolves.
--Twins fan Ryan Caldwell (who remains out with the shoulder, recovering slowly) has guaranteed a Minnesota win in today's Game 2. My only guarantee? I'll have screamed at least once by 7 tonight...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

One step closer

Some interesting cuts; some interesting keeps.

Assigned to Pensacola: Colin Hemingway. Released: Jason Guerriero, Chris Ferraro, Will Bodine, P.J. Martin, Brian Yandle, Mike Lalonde.

They hope Guerriero will go to Pensacola, but it's supposedly up to him.

A commenter mentioned hearing that Sean Bergenheim has left Yaroslavl, and I've heard the same thing from a couple of sources. No word on a destination, but Charles Wang has decreed in the past that a holdout who hasn't signed by training camp won't be signed during the year. That would seem to preclude his coming here this year, though he should have no shortage of options around the globe.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Windsor locked

Berry, PFerraro and Cullen became official earlier today -- no word on any moves down here today.

Meanwhile, the AHL gave conditional approval to the sale of the old Cincinnati Mighty Ducks to a company in Windsor, Ontario. They're building an arena that's supposed to be open for 2008-09.

Late-night update -- missed it on the initial glance, but in addition to sending David Masse back to Tulsa, Manitoba released Justin Mapletoft from his tryout.

Pack it in

Preseason's over. Now comes the leadup, a week-long celebration of tough cuts. Good luck, Dan Marshall.

There are probably at least 16 forwards, including two presumptive send-downs from the Islanders (no official word that I've heard), who could make a case for this team. Figure on getting one defenseman from above immediately and maybe another one eventually, and that's at least 11 defensemen you could say, sure, he could have a role on this team.

Depth, as this organization knows all too well, is good.

Sunday -- and it sounds like Saturday, too -- was in part a matter of sending some of the tryouts out again and seeing a near-full-strength team on the other side. The shots have reflected that. At the risk of sounding like Art Howe, they battled. Wasn't enough Sunday, but they battled.

Day off Monday, though there might be some movement.

Good, competitive camp. Now we'll see how that pays off.

(BTW, I'm told Saturday's goal was actually scored by Brent Henley on the power play, not Kevin Mitchell.)

Update: Newsday says Peter Ferraro, Brandon Cullen and Rick Berry are most likely coming now, with Bruno Gervais and Joel Bouchard up for the 7 spot. The biggest news in there, given the signings of the past month or so, is probably that Gervais has made the decision so tough. As recently as the start of camp, Gervais seemed pegged for here without many second thoughts. Can't say I'm surprised, though, that he's given the braintrust something to think about...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Must be the dark sweaters

Sound Tigers fell from the (ahem) ranks of the unbeaten, 4-1 in Glens Falls tonight. Box and some details, courtesy of Ellery Award-winning Phil Janack of the Schenectady Gazette:

Bridgeport 1 0 0--1
Albany 1 2 1--4
First period -- 1, Albany, DaSilva (Tsimikalis, Cumiskey), 2:12 (pp). 2, Bridgeport, Mitchell, 9:16 (pp). Penalties -- Rodney, Bpt (roughing), 1:18; Henley, Bpt (roughing), 1:18; McLeod, Alb (roughing), 1:18; Halvardsson, Bpt (tripping), 3:56; Bodine, Bpt major (fighting), 5:57; Svagrovsky, Alb major (fighting), 5:57; Dyment, Alb (cross-checking), 6:04; Colliton, Bpt (holding), 6:09; Dyment, Alb (interference), 9:11; Aucoin, Alb (cross-checking), 9:47; Halvardsson, Bpt (tripping), 12:41; Forrest, Alb (hooking), 16:25.
Second period -- 3, Albany, Cumiskey (Aucoin, McLeod), 2:41 (pp). 4, Albany, Aucoin (Guite, McLeod), 3:34 (pp). Penalties -- Fata, Bpt (roughing), :56; Henley, Bpt major-misconduct (fighting), 2:46; Kinkel, Alb major (fighting), 2:46; Ferraro, Bpt (hooking), 3:15; Nilsson, Bpt (hooking), 10:14; Colliton, Bpt (unsportsmanlike conduct), 11:47; Lee, Alb (hooking), 11:47; Goulet, Bpt major (fighting), 17:04; McLeod, Alb major (fighting), 17:06.
Third period -- 5, Albany, Laliberte (Zancanaro, Guite), 7:18. Penalties -- Thompson, Bpt (delay of game, served by Henley), 10:09; Fata, Bpt (roughing), 11:56; Halvardsson, Bpt (holding), 13:38; Fata, Bpt (roughing), 16:07.
Shots on goal -- Bridgeport 7-7-5--21. Albany 17-17-16--50.
Goalies -- Bridgeport, Thompson L (50 shots-46 saves). Albany, Peters (10-9), Kowalski (10:14 second, 11-11).
Power-play opportunities -- Bridgeport 1 of 5. Albany 3 of 11.
Attendance -- 5,026. Time -- 2:07.
Referee -- Chris Brown. Linesmen -- Mike Emanatian, Jim Harper.


So Lowell finally beats the Sound Tigers, snapping a nine-game losing str... what?

Yep, 50-21. Sounds like the Albany lineup was pretty solid compared to Bridgeport's, more AHLers, more regulars. A second straight BST fight against Kinkel, this time by Henley, and he did well, by all accounts. Rourke and Regier were among the scratches. Phil also reports that Nathan Gillies, ex-Tiger, was sent down to South Carolina (ECHL).

Maybe the most interesting number in that whole box score? Attendance.

Apples to oranges, but still: 5,026 in Glens Falls, 4,714 in Bridgeport.

Good game at Harbor Yard. Very impressed with Gervais. I could have sworn he had gotten bigger, and another person agreed with me enough that I mentioned it for first edition. Bruno afterward said actually he had lost 10 pounds over the summer, gotten stronger, tried to be more explosive with his skating. I'll buy it. I also liked Berry, seeing him for the first time. Stay at home, nothing fancy, do his job with some smarts. No PFerraro or Cullen, though both made the trip. Good work by Yashin on the first two goals; nice shot by Hunter on the third, though who hasn't seen that before.*

Finished up second edition, walked up to the press lounge, opened the curtain and looked out onto this: Runner on second, bottom of the 12th, two out, 0-1 count. Foul ball, ball inside, strike three. Good luck to the Fish, who now have a long climb ahead...

*-Wrote "G3) B21" in my notes. Not quite force of habit, but...