AHL Game Night 2/24: Bruins at Falcons

Total third period implosion.


Karri Ramo allowed 4 goals on 19 shots before giving way to Jonathan Boutin who fared even worse allowing 2 goals on 5 shots. Justin Keller and Norm Milley had Springfield's goals with assists belonging to Marek Kvapil, Jay Rosehill and Daniel Corso. Unfortunately, after hanging around for the first 40 minutes of the game, Springfield self destructed and allowed 4 goals in the final frame. The Falcons also had an opportunity to take a 2-0 lead early in the game on a David Spina penalty shot, but Spina failed to score and a Bruins goal in the final minutes of the first evened the game up.

Positives: with Kyle Wanvig up in Tampa on recall, Kvapil was moved back up to the second line with Keller and Spina and the three responded. Kvapil had the assist and 2 shots on goal, Spina had 4 shots and Keller had a team high 5 shots on goal. Hopefully the youngsters can keep it up. Remember, a couple of years ago Paul Ranger and Evgeny Artyukhin really came on at the end of the year (especially Ranger in the last dozen games) and it catapulted them into the NHL early the next year. Even though Springfield's playoff chances are slim and none, these young players still have a lot of developmental time left to capitalize on and once the college and junior team seasons start to end there will be an opportunity for the Lightning to identify some players to sign to ATO contracts with a view toward shaping next year's roster. There's still a lot to play for here.

First Period
SPR Keller, (10) (Kvapil, Rosehill), 2:10
PRO Rosa, (2) (Karsums, Lashoff), 19:21

Second Period
PRO Trevelyan, (19) (Hoggan, Zinger), 6:16

Third Period
PRO Trevelyan, (20) (Walter), 2:23
PRO Rosa, (3) (Talbot, Zinger), 7:07
SPR Milley, (19) (Corso), 7:30
PRO Karsums, (13) (Glenn, Lashoff), 14:32 (PP)
PRO Curry, (4) (Pelletier), 15:12 (PP)

Game sheet from TheAHL.com.

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Beat writer's weekly column

Interesting stuff starting with the paragraph beginning with Blair Jones.



Not a kind review...

Sypek is Not Exactly a Prophet

Sypek also once wrote that Nikita Alexeev would never be more than an ECHLer and made some other disparaging remarks about Dimitry Afanasenkov.

I think we have some players (Henrich and Lascek for example) that have bounced between the AHL and ECHL this year that definitely need to improve their skating, but I think it's oversimplistic to blame the team's woes solely on that. To me, the thing that makes Springfield look "slower" than they actually are is that the young defensemen on the team really struggle to make a good first pass out of the zone. If guys like Egener really improved that aspect of their game I think the Falcons' "speed" would magically improve. I remember one game I watched earlier this season against Hartford where they actually were passing the puck well and that's exactly what happened.

It's the total truth, on

It's the total truth, on what Fran is saying. 7 terrible years in a row with these organizations in Phoenix and your beloved Tampa.

We're not trying to dissapoint you guys

There are several factors going on with the Lightning that hurt the product you see there. But, I keep reading about how Springfield is one of the storied AHL franchises. Why the hell have you guys been affiliated with Phoenix and Tampa Bay and not a storied NHL franchise? That indicates some dysfunction up there at some point in time. On the Lightning's behalf, I have no doubt that Feaster would like to form winning cultures at Springfield and Johnstown. However, there is one hockey budget for PS&E and it applies to all three locations. What does that mean:

1) The Lightning don't have money for top AHL level players to fill in gaps inwhat we're missing right now. The guys your getting as FA's are NHL calibre injury filler and not AHL stars. There are no highly paid AHL guys there who surpass the $ treshold for being called up. Hell, the Lightning player budget is pretty certain to be cut next year by $4 million. You won't be getting any highly paid NHL guys next year either.

2) The Lightning has spent $ on coaching versus pricier players. I doubt Stirling or Anzalone are anywhere near the bottom of the coaching pay scale in their respective leagues. Also, the Lightning employ 2 goalie coaches. Not every organization does that.

3) The player procurement philosophy is likely in a transition period and probably is just on the verge of reaching the status of a mature franchise. Ranger, Craig, Tarnasky, Artukhin and Cory Cross are the only significant players the franchise has had that were allowed to mature in the minors. Alexeev was rushed before he was sent back through. Hamrlik, Gratton, Langkow, Weimer all are approaching 1,000 games and all started there pro careers with little or no minor seasoning. LeCavalier, Richards & Kubina all were rushed. And now as your repoter correctly out is Jones. This is the first group of players that for the most part are going to be left there until they develop properly. This is the first time this franchise is truly looking at long term development and I'm sure they've stumbled in some ways.

In drafting and rushing those aforementioned guys (mostly wingers) the organization failed to develop a single goalie (I believe Norrena in his 1st year is now statistically the best NHL goalie we've ever drafted) and left ourselves perilously thin in defense prospects prior to Feaster's arrival. The organization has obviously recognized that through bulding the goalie stockpile to the point we not only have excellent future prospects (Ramo, Helenius, Koshekin, Boutin), but tradeable assets as well (Norrena, Coleman). Also, they recognized that NHL calibre 2nd and 3rd pair Dmen are more costly to procure than 3rd and 4th line forwards. Again the organization has stockpiled those, 1st in the old NHL mold and now looking toward the new NHL.

You have 3 highly touted D'men now and a 4th with a chance. If they were providing excellent offense and capable defense, they wouldn't still be there. They are developing and living 1 mile from a minor league baseball park, I can say talking the major leaguers you saw play there is a much bigger topic of conversation than talking about the no names that won the last championship. One of Ramo and Boutin and 2 D'men are likely to be qualty NHL players.

I believe the organization recognizes its' offensive prospect deficiencies and that's why you let Khabby go and seemingly in the rest of the worlds eyes overpay to give long term contracts to the big three. Khabby's replacement is in Springfield. There's 6 or more quality young d'men in the organization. There's several players at the level that could potentially replace the Fedotenko's, Prospal's, and Perrin's. There's not a sniff of anybody who could replace our big three. Now that the organization's built prospect depth from the goal through the defense to even 3rd/4th line wingers and tough guy prospects, there's only one thing left. High end scoring prospects who are going to stay in the minors until the learn to play defense or become trade bait. Since hopefully we'll never have an early 1st draft pick again for quite some time, I expect to see us spend more picks in the 1st 4 rounds on flashier players. And you can expect them to spend more time in Springfield or whatever city our AHL franchise is in.

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