Blogging is so much more enjoyable of an experience when you have as much good news as has come down the pike the last couple of days.
Pretty darn good third period for a team that has struggled in the final frame all season. How good a season is Stormin' Norman Milley having? The man has been a demon on the power play all season, and the thing about him is that he's one of those sneaky players, one of those smart vets who lays in the weeds and then capitalizes on the one or two chances that come their way. Also, what's not to love about Marek Kvapil's first professional goal? Somewhere Chad Schnarr is lifting a cold imported Canadian brew to you Special K. Gerald Coleman with the victory as Jake Goertzen hinted in Tampa last night that Coach Graham may give the keys to young Gerald for a while after Brian Eklund has struggled in his last couple of starts.
And Zbynek Hrdel, who as of post time is being credited with a goal and an assist. Here is a guy who had adapted surprisingly well to the more physical AHL style. Coming out of last season we here at Bolt Prospects were concerned that Hrdel might be a little soft to take to the pro level quickly coming out of the finesse style of the Rimouski Flying Circus in the QMJHL. His poor showing at the Memorial Cup and a mediocre viewing I had of him at a Johnstown game did nothing to dissuade this notion. However, seeing him a few days ago, I can honestly say I think he is beginning to understand that at 6'4" and about 200 pounds he doesn't have to be a perimeter player. Now if someone would tell Henrich, we'd be in great shape.
Another great game by Ryan Vesce as well. Eric who? Enjoy Switzerland Monsieur Perrin.
Was it dirty pool that the Chiefs' parent club stole Spina from the Stingrays just days before this game? Sure. Given the month the Chiefs had prior to this does anyone feel bad about it? Nope.
Lots of positive signs for Lightning prospects in this game. Much maligned Adam Henrich chipped in a goal and an assist while Mike Egener got his first goal of the season on the power play. Grinders John Toffey and Brandon Elliot even teamed up to provide an insurance marker for the Chiefs to boot. Speaking of Boots, he stopped 29 of 30 for the victory staying red hot as he was in Springfield. The best night of all though was by Justin Kelly who provided a goal and two assists as one third of a massive power line with Henrich.
You have to feel great for Coach Anzalone. He managed to stay positive over the last month (I couldn't have done it) while misery dragged on week after week. He could very well be rewarded for it too. With the callup and injury situation organization wide settling down, Anzalone finds himself with a very talented roster. Henrich, Dicaire, Egener, Boutin and Cey are down from Springfield. Kelly is finally healthy. Greco and Elliot add even more depth on top of that. With so many AHL caliber players, they could very well go on a tear in the next month.
Game sheet from ECHL.com, home of "J.F." Boutin. It stands for Fitzgerald, I'm sure.
The legend continues to grow. Vasily Koshechkin pitched his seventh shutout in his last eleven starts today defeating Novokuznetsk 2-0. Koshechkin improved his record to 8-3-1 on the season. This shutout was in many ways more impressive than his previous six because Koshechkin now plays behind a gutted Lada team that dumped 3/4 of its payroll at the November trade period.
For the Lokomotiv, Anton But scored his 8th goal of the season as Yaroslavl pummelled Chekhov 8-1.
Dimitry Kazionov went scoreless in his first game for Moscow Dynamo as they defeated Molot Perm 2-0.
In yesterday's lone Superleague game, Alexander Polushin scored a first period game winning goal as Cherepovets topped SKA St. Petersburg 2-1. The goal was Polushin's 7th of the season.