The implosion of youthful Lada Togliatti appears to be on in full force. Lada fell 4-1 today to Spartak Moscow as Vasily Koshechkin allowed 3 goals before Spartak added an empty net goal in the third. Koshechkin's record slides to 14-9-3 on the year.
It's been a tough transition to North American hockey for Marek Bartanus. Prior to his trip to the World Junior Championships he had a, frankly, miserable 4 points in 31 games for Owen Sound. We were afraid that perhaps Bartanus was going to shatter Aaron Lobb's record for being the worst 4th round Lightning draft pick in recent memory. He wasn't even originally on the final Slovakian team roster and, at first, was passed over for the team by a couple of guys in the NAHL.
However, there's a hint of Bartanumentum in the air. Bartanus did manage to score a goal in Slovakia's final game at the WJC's, a 3-3 tie with Switzerland. Thursday, in his first game back with Owen Sound, he assisted on a Scott Tregunna goal in a 5-3 loss to Windsor. Tonight, he assisted on Matthew Kang's game winning goal in a 3-2 victory over Saginaw. Rare have been the times this season when Bolt Prospects has been able to heap accolades on Marek, so from now until Wednesday when Owen Sound plays Guelph, we're declaring Bartanupalooza on the site, a hopefully not fleeting celebration of Bartanus' in progress scoring streak. Here's to you and the second half of this OHL season, Marek Bartanus.
Superleague club Dynamo trounced Czech Extraliga club Parbudice 5-1 today to advance to the final match of the 2006 European Champions Cup. Lightning prospect Albert Vishnyakov scored his second goal of the tournament in the game. Dynamo will play SM-liiga club Karpat tomorrow in the final. The 2006 European Champion's Cup included Dynamo, Parbudice, Karpat, Davos (Swiss NLA), Slovan (Slovakian Extraliga) and Frolunda (Swedish Elitserien). Shane Willis, who plays for Davos, was scoreless in the tournament as his club went 1-1 in their two games.
To complete the trifecta of Lightning organization teams giving away leads today...
This was the first of a key set of 4 straight game against Dayton for the Chiefs. Johnstown is hovering just below .500 in a pack with about 5 or 6 other teams vying for the bottom tier of playoff spots in the conference. Dayton is dead last in the division trailing the pack, so this is potentially a good springboard in the standings for the Chiefs. That's why tonight's result is so disappointing.
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
The Falcons dug deep and made sure they'd match the Lightning by wasting a 2 goal lead of their own.
At least they got the point. Still, the goaltending in Springfield continues to allow 4 goals or more a game. Tonight, Coleman allowed 4 on 33 shots faced before the shootout loss. On the positive side, the Falcons' offense is showing significant signs of life. Jim Campbell returned to town with 1G and 2A while Lightning exhile Chris Dingman chipped in a pair of goals. Doug O'Brien had 2 assists and Jay Rosehill got his first AHL point with a helper.
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
Time for Jay Feaster to make a move. This tail spin is not going to end without a change in the composition of this roster.
Special thanks to John Grahame and the Lightning defense for making Milan Jurcina look like Wayne Gretzky. And while we're at it, has anyone found Brad Richards yet? I realize as the chosen son he's immune to the criticism that most of the other players o the team face, but he hasn't had a point in six games. If Vinny Lecavalier goes pointless in six games this fan base starts looking for lumber to make a good crucifix. Its time for every single player on this team to take responsibility for what's happening on the ice right now. And the ones that won't or are dillusional enough to think what's happening right now will pass without some serious changes in approach need to be shown the door.
Evgeny Artyukhin, as a silver lining, had a goal and an assist in the game. In 11:20 he had 2 shots on goal, 3 hits and 2 blocked shots. Unfortunately he was on the ice for two Boston goals and finished even. Paul Ranger was also even in 12:34 of ice time with 1 shot, 2 hits and 3 blocked shots. Ryan Craig, in what may be a validation of my worst fears about his skating potentially making him a defensive liability, was -5 in 13:40 of ice time.
Details of the travesty on NHL.com.
He's getting his plaudits in while he can. Joe Pearce, who rejoined Boston College's ice hockey team this season largely for the purpose of spot starting while Cory Schneider was away with Team USA at the World Junior Championships, has been named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week for his performance at the Denver Cup tournament where he was named MVP. Don't expect to see too much more of Pearce now though as Schneider will be back in net for the Eagles after a disappointing 4th place finish for USA in Vancouver.
Mark Tobin is still a member of the Rimouski Oceanic, for now. However, the expectation is that he will be dealt by the Oceanic who are looking to get younger in a rebuilding year post-Crosby and looking to get a return for a player who could be signed by the Lightning and playing pro hockey next season. The QMJHL trade deadline is Sunday, so don't be surprised if Tobin, who leads the league in hits with 155 in 39 games to go with his 16 goals, is moved.
The Chiefs were game even without Rowe and Kelly, but Reading got the timely goal.
Jonathan Boutin allowed 4 goals on just 25 shots faced to take the loss. Point blank: he got outplayed by Fukufuji. It's imperative Jonathan keep his level of play consistent if he wants to challenge Eklund and/or Coleman for an AHL job. Gerard Dicaire and Brandon Elliot had assists for the Chiefs.
Game sheet from ECHL.com.
Alexei Glukhov, who has been in a slump since an influx of several players from Lada Togliatti joined Khimik MO and thus took his ice time, scored his first goal of the season today in a 2-1 overtime win against Molot Perm. Glukhov now has 11 points in 33 games this season.
Also, Togliatti's struggles continued as they fell 2-0 to Severstal Cherepovets. Vasily Koshechkin slipped to 14-8-3 on the season with the loss.