Bears pull away to halt Crunch point streak.
Adam Wilcox allowed 4 goals on 25 shots for the loss.
SYR Richard, (6) (Blunden, Gourde), 1:01
SYR Erne, (8) (Blunden, Richard), 5:55 (PP)
HER Boyd, (10) (Carey, Gomez), 6:26 (PP)
HER O'Brien, (3) , 1:01
HER Mitchell, (8) (Carrick), 5:08
SYR Gourde, (7) (Martindale, Witkowski), 8:48 (SH)
HER Gazley, (10) (Djoos, Camper), 11:10
HER Collins, (10) , 18:55 (EN/SH)
Yanni Gourde and Tanner Richard were the game's second and third stars. Richard's multi-point night puts him at 5 goals and 13 points in 13 games for the month of January. Richard had just 1 goal and 15 points this season prior to the new year.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Allan Walsh publicity stunt postponed for a short time for a hockey game.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 5 goals on 44 shots for the OT loss.
SYR Blunden, (9) (Erne, Taormina), 12:25 (PP)
TOR Loov, (1) (Brennan, Arcobello), 18:29
SYR Darcy, (3) (Paradis, Witkowski), 19:13
TOR Arcobello, (13) (Leipsic, Kapanen), 5:22
SYR Richard, (5) (Gourde, Blunden), 5:59
SYR DeAngelo, (4) (Gourde, Richard), 6:39
TOR Hyman, (8) (Baier, Soshnikov), 10:47
TOR Arcobello, (14) (Morin), 18:33
TOR Leipsic, (12) (R. Rupert), 1:22
Tanner Richard was the game's third star.
Prior to the game the Tampa Bay Lightning suspended Jonathan Drouin for failure to join the Crunch for tonight's game. Drouin's agent issued a statement claiming that the Lightning had told his client that a trade was imminent and that the agent and the player had made the decision to forego further games in the AHL to avoid the risk of injury prior to any trade. The tell in this situation is that the Crunch are playing Toronto tonight, which makes the decision by Drouin and his agent look like a very transparent attempt to create a media feeding frenzy in one of the two biggest media markets in Canada in order to force Steve Yzerman's hand.
If a trade were close at hand, though, Drouin and Walsh have almost certainly jeopardized it with this stunt. The move is clearly an orchestrated effort to hurt the organization while Drouin also, point blank, gave up on his teammates in both Tampa Bay and Syracuse in the process. Any GM worth their salt will now view Drouin and his baggage (Walsh) with an even more jaundiced eye, harming his value and putting Yzerman in a difficult position. Drouin's trade value may be depressed in the short term by this stunt, perhaps making the prudent course for the Lightning to stand pat and force Drouin to report back to Syracuse, which would also send the correct message in terms of organizational discipline. But, do the Lightning really want a player who has put self interest above the good of his team and organization in such a public display in the locker room in Syracuse, even if Drouin could be forced to show up?
Rock, meet hard place.
Fortunately, there is some short term pressure relief in Tampa Bay due to the team's current rise in the standings. Given the team looks resurgent without Drouin, there is less urgency to leverage the player as an asset to help the club up top. So perhaps an extended hiatus for Drouin might not be the worst thing in the world at this moment. In the end, Drouin and Walsh's tantrums aside, the Lightning still hold all the cards in this situation, and they can certainly wait this situation out as long as they please.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Road point for Syracuse.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 35 shots for the OT loss.
SYR Angelidis, (4) (Taormina, DeAngelo), 6:46
BNG Puempel, (13) (Dzingel), 17:08
SYR Richard, (3) (Angelidis, Dotchin), 2:04
BNG Paul, (4) (Lindberg, Mullen), 8:43 (PP)
BNG Robinson, (8) (O'Dell), 12:16
SYR Paradis, (5) (Taormina, Richard), 15:02
BNG Dzingel, (9) (O'Dell, Kostka), 1:36
Mike Angelidis was the game's third star.
That's three consecutive nights of Drouinsanity where its namesake has failed to find the scoresheet. Tanner Richard, however, has 2 goals and 5 points in the last 3 games.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Tanner Richard is still adding more facets to his game.
A playmaker in junior, the Syracuse Crunch center spent the past two years developing a more physical presence fit for a grinding line. In his third full pro season, Richard has become the team’s most reliable player for faceoffs and is refining his ability to be an agitator that takes the opposition off their game.
Richard’s versatility has earned him more playing time in all situations.
“He’s matured as a player, because he’s more well-rounded,” said Crunch head coach Rob Zettler. “I can use him in a number of different situations. I trust him out there and he works hard to get back as well. He’s earned his ice time and he’s certainly been a valuable player for us all year.”
Richard, Crunch vets steal the show on night number two of Drouinsanity.
Adam Wilcox allowed 2 goals on 30 shots for the victory.
HER Bourque, (14) (Collins, Boyd), 4:04
SYR Tambellini, (15) (Taormina, Richard), 17:46 (PP)
HER Djoos, (4) (Walker, Mitchell), 7:19
SYR Angelidis, (3) (Richard, Walcott), 9:01
SYR McGinn, (13) (Peca, Tambellini), 6:45
SYR Richard, (2) , 19:36 (EN)
And just in case you weren't getting enough controversy in your life as a hockey fan... Anthony DeAngelo was a healthy scratch again tonight for undisclosed reasons.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Baby Triplets and Wilcox steal the show.
Adam Wilcox sparkled, allowing just 1 goal on 26 shots for his first pro victory. The pendulum has swung a little bit, with Gudlevskis looking a little subpar in his first game back from Tampa Bay, and maybe Wilcox move to the top spot next weekend.
SYR Marchessault, (5) (Richard, Koekkoek), 10:02
SYR Marchessault, (6) (Gourde, Richard), 14:42
LV MacDonald, (1) (Gostisbehere, Brent), 19:42 (PP)
Coach Zettler may have found a gem with the assembling of the line with Marchessault, Gourde, and Tanner Richard this weekend. The line generated 4 goals in 2 games this weekend, and look like they'll have some longevity if they can stay in Syracuse together. Unfortunately, with Palat injured tonight up top, one of these forwards (Marchessault) may have to be earmarked for a trip to the big club.
Looks like Nikita Nesterov will also be recalled after a 2 game confidence/conditioning stint this weekend with the Crunch.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Emery opens the door in the Third Period. Will Gudlevskis step through it.
Ray Emery allowed 6 goals on 26 shots for the loss in his first full game of action in the preseason. The stat line is ugly, especially in the Third Period where he allowed 3 goals on 9 shots. My theory remains the same: I think the Lightning would be thrilled for Kristers Gudlevskis to take the backup job in October and November until Vasilevskiy returns, but they're not going to hand it to him. He has to win it from Emery and right now Emery opened the door to Kristers.
0:42 TB Namestnikov (1), (Nesterov, Drouin)(PP)
4:17 DAL Lindell (1), (Honka, Shore)(PP)
11:09 DAL Seguin (1), (Klingberg, Sharp)
13:24 TB Drouin (1), (Blujus, Marchessault)(PP)
18:21 DAL Sharp (1), (Seguin, Smith)
2:01 TB Koekkoek (1), (Gourde, McGinn)
4:59 DAL Ully (1), (Smith, Goligoski)
6:47 DAL Seguin (2), (Ranford, Johns)
7:18 DAL Ranford (1), (Shore, Lindell)
The result tonight wasn't terribly surprising. This was another case of Dallas playing most of their NHLers against a depleted Lightning lineup that was sitting out its top two lines and best defensemen. Still, it's disappointing to have a game tied 3-3 early in the Third Period and then surrender 3 goals in less that 2 and a half minutes to spoil it. You'll no doubt see cuts en masse now as Syracuse Crunch camp is about to start overseas.
Matt Taormina was -1 with 2 blocked shots in 21:34. He'll likely be packing for Crunch camp now. I don't anticipate a lot of danger that he'll be plucked off waivers.
Slater Koekkoek had a goal and was -1 with 2 shots in 18:37. He's played well. I wouldn't be shocked to see him get an extended look, but I'd guess the nature of Syracuse's overseas camp probably makes it harder to keep him with Tampa Bay.
Brayden Point was -1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 15:19. He was also 23% on 13 draws. He's just a puppy, age-wise, and I'd expect the Lightning to pull the trigger here soon to send him back for his final season of junior hockey.
Tanner Richard was -1 with 2 shots and 3 hits in 13:55. He was also 36% on 11 draws. Suspect he'll have some family and friends make the trip over from Switzerland to watch him during Crunch camp.
Jonathan Marchessault had a helper and was -1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 15:30. Maybe a slight chance he'll get plucked off of waivers if the Lightning do indeed choose to make the move right now.
Philippe Paradis was -1 with 5 hits in 11:41. Crunch camp, no doubt.
Luke Witkowski was -1 with 3 blocked shots in 17:16. I believe he's waiver eligible, too, but suspect he'll make it through.
Henri Ikonen was -1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 4 blocked shots in 13:54. Another likely Crunch camper.
Yanni Gourde had a helper and was -1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 16:09. Another likely Crunch camper.
Dylan Blujus had a helper and was -2 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 3 blocked shots in 20:21. Third on the team in ice time tonight. I've been pretty pleased how he and Dotchin have played along side the more obvious suspects like Koekkoek and DeAngelo. He's another likely Crunch camper, but the Lightning should feel a lot better about their future at that position than they did at this time even a year ago.
Nikita Nesterov had a helper and was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 21:19. Just 1 shot on goal? Does Nikki have a cold?
Overmatched Lightning B squad falls on the road.
7:47 NSH Neal (1), (Josi, Fiala)
8:40 NSH Weber (1), (Ribeiro, Wilson)(PP)
16:14 NSH Smith (1), (Josi, Bartley)
4:31 NSH Smith (2), (Wilson, Ribeiro)
6:39 TB Namestnikov (1), (Blunden, Peca)(PP)
10:14 TB Brown (1), (Tambellini)
17:47 NSH Sissons (1), (Arvidsson, Moses)(PP)
I don't want to call this a throw away game, but this was essentially sticking the Palat/Johnson/Kucherov line on a depleted Syracuse Crunch roster and putting them up against darned near all of the Nashville Predators opening night roster. The Preds had about a 4 to 1 experience advantage in the lineup tonight, and it showed in the final score. The good news is the Lightning managed to staunch the bleeding pretty well after it got to 4-0 and got some production from lower line guys like Namestnikov and Brown (good for Tampa Bay) and Blunden, Peca, and Tambellini (good for Syracuse). The only thing that gives me any real pause is Andrej Sustr getting a -3 hung on him, which continues the bleeding from his playoff run of last year.
Tanner Richard had 4 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 2 hits in 14:56. He was also 60% on draws.
Jonathan Marchessault was -1 with 3 shots and was 50% on draws in 15:07.
Philippe Paradis was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 10:12.
Luke Witkowski stayed clean in 19:48 of ice time.
Jake Dotchin fought a Predator and had 3 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 18:33.
Matthew Peca had a helper and was -1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 15:02. He only took 2 draws and was 0-for-2.
Dominik Masin was -2 with 1 shot, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 17:45. I'd imagine he's ticketed for Peterborough come tomorrow, but we'll see.
Daniel Walcott had 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 18:23. He's becoming a favorite on the website.
Nikita Nesterov had 2 penalty minutes and 5 shots in 21:05. You never have to ask Nesterov to put pucks on net. He starts shooting from the parking lot.
Crunch lose a tight one with reinforcements on the way.
Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 32 shots for the OT loss. He made several key stops to allow the Crunch to secure 1 point in the contest.
BNG Prince, (24) (Camper), 4:05
SYR Angelidis, (20) (Courtnall, Vermin), 12:32
BNG Camper, (14) (Schneider, A. Grant), 17:53 (PP)
SYR Martindale, (13) (Marchessault), 1:23
BNG Wideman, (17) (Dzingel), 3:06
Gudlevskis was the game's third star.
Syracuse has already lost Namestnikov and three regular defensemen to recall because of various injuries up top in Tampa Bay. They've gotten a little help with the signing of Brayden Point to an ATO and bringing the likes of Jared Nightingale back into the fold for a spell. They're about to get even more reinforcements, though, with today's signing of forward Matthew Peca and the word that goaltender Adam Wilcox is also likely to sign with the Lightning and may be assigned to Syracuse, as well. If they can get Koekkoek and Witkowski, at least, back from Tampa Bay and the likes of Tanner Richard back from injury, this could take a decent Syracuse roster to the level of a reasonable title contender in the playoffs. If one or two other active junior players can also join in the fun, all the better.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Tanner Richard is at his best when he is playing his game and taking his opponents off theirs.
The Crunch center has registered a point in nine out of his last 13 games to cement himself among Syracuse’s top scorers. But Crunch Head Coach Rob Zettler believes a big part of Richard’s success comes down to being tough to play against.
“He’s getting back to being a bit of a pain in the butt out there, which is when he’s good,” Zettler said. “He just seems more engaged physically, and more engaged in moving his feet down low and on the cycle plays offensively.”