Game Night 2/23: Lock Monsters at Falcons

Stupid. Simply the stupidest I've seen the Falcons play this season. LOW-4 SPR-1 Game sheet from [url=http://ahl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1001792]TheAHL.com.[/url] There's more on the flip. Jonathan Boutin made 15 saves on 19 shots faced before being relieved at the intermission. He also allowed a 5th goal that was waived off, perhaps generously, for being deflected in with a high stick. Gerald Coleman stopped 12 of 12 the rest of the way. I got to watch the final two periods of the game on the B2 Network and was thoroughly disgusted at the Falcons' lack of discipline. The refs were calling pretty much everything tonight, but rather than reign it in the Falcons decided to be as petulent and ridiculous as they could be. Jason Jaspers took a 10 minute misconduct in the 2nd for shooting the puck after a goal allowed. Stupid. Timo Helbling took an extra 2 minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct in the 3rd for arguing with the referee. Stupid. Todd Rohloff tried to upstage the referee by waving him off after a call and also got an extra 2 for unsportsmanlike conduct. Stupid. And Dan Cavanaugh decided to get his money's worth late sluggling a Lock Monster in the mouth after taking an elbowing call. The whole debacle was crowned by a Mike Egener slash he was given after the game. Classy. You could make the argument that what the refs were calling tonight was borderline, but there's absolutely no excuse to melt down the way the Falcons did tonight. And they melted down when it came to moving the puck tonight too. Travis Brigley gift wrapped a Krys Kolanos goal on a pittiful clearing attempt in the 2nd period that allowed Kolanos to break in alone of Boutin and freeze Boutin with a 5-hole wrist shot. There were many other turnovers in the game that Boutin and Coleman were luckily able to erase like an Andrew Ladd shorthanded bid on a 3-on-1 that Boutin stopped in the second after Helbling turned the puck over at the Lowell blue line. Boutin on the whole didn't look bad and made three or four really quality saves in the 2nd period to hold the Falcons close at 2-0, in particular a very quick left toe save on a pinballing rebound about midway through the game. A couple of goals went in off deflections and the Kolanos goal, which admittedly Boutin looked terrible on being frozen as he tried to decide whether to go down into the butterfly, was more on Brigley's turnover than on Boutin. Coleman only faced a couple of quality chances in the third but was solid. I'm pleased to report Zdenek Blatny's skating is not nearly as awful as advertised. His burst isn't that great, but his top end speed is respectable. He set up the Falcons' lone goal by Doug O'Brien on a clean faceoff win with under 10 seconds left in the second period. Other than Blatny, kudos were sparse but I will hand them out to Andre Deveaux and Darren Reid. Every time I see a Falcons game it perplexes me why Andre Deveaux doesn't get more ice time. His skating isn't the greatest, but he's an absolute beast on the forecheck. He is to the Falcons what Chris Dingman was, er, nevermind. Sorry Dinger. And Darren Reid, in my opinion, was the Falcons' best player tonight. He's still rounding back into game shape but he was very active on the forecheck throwing hits and generating some chances around the net. I don't think he's nearly ready for the NHL next season, but I do think the Falcons should put a letter on his chest next year. It's kind of odd that the young Falcons defensemen, Egener, Dicaire and O'Brien looked much better than the more experienced players tonight. Ray Schultz was terrible and Todd Rohloff looks nothing like the player who started the season in Springfield. Dicaire was actually second in shots on goal tonight with 5 behind Blatny, although I think I saw the unthinkable tonight which was the first non-perfect breakout pass I've witnessed in Gerard's career. Still, he's coming along nicely. Up front is a different story. Ryan Vesce was invisible tonight. That's probably not his fault considering they've put him with Dingman and Brigley as his wingers. Kvapil overhandled the puck at times and seemed to have a hard time keeping his balance in the corners. His whole line's chemistry was thrown off with Jaspers being in the box for so much of the second and third periods. Fortunately there's help on the way next season in the form of Keller and Lascek. Right now there's just not enough scoring punch in the Falcons' lineup to make a legitimate late season push.