I'll take a point against these guys as opposed to the 4-5 goal shellackings they've been handing Springfield all season.
More on the flip. I don't want to steal too much page space from the rest of the night's stories.
From the looks of the Lightning's current implosion at the NHL level, Jay Feaster's going to have bigger things to lose sleep over this summer, but I'm absolutely convinced the recall of Norm Milley and his switching between 2-4 minutes of ice time and the press box in Tampa is what killed any hope the Falcons had of making the playoffs. It was, undoubtedly, the straw that broke the camel's back.
He'd probably tell you the reality of minor league hockey: the affiliate exists to serve to help the big league club. I would argue in kind that an undersized 4th line grinder a step too slow for the NHL getting two and a half minutes of ice time every night did nothing to help the Tampa Bay Lightning and that the risk of losing him on waivers was slim to none. He should've been back in Springfield a month ago.
I think it's generally a good thing that Jay Feaster is judicious in his decision making process, especially in the wake of Dudley's stewardship of the team when transactions were made at the drop of the hat and on the slightest whim. Feaster has added stability to the franchise in his more, and I mean this in a positive way actually, tortoise-like approach. But at some point Feaster is going to have to learn to embrace change rather than fear it when circumstances on the ice clearly warrant it. If a player isn't good enough to get more than 4 minutes a night for you, he doesn't belong at the NHL level. If your team is allowing 5 goals a night almost every night since the Olympic break, it's time to make changes between the pipes or on the blueline.
I'm not throwing a tantrum or calling the man a fool. I'm just pointing out this season is an experience that needs to be learned from for the good of the franchise moving forward. The Lightning need not dread this offseason when Brad Richards
will be an RFA and John Grahame and Pavel Kubina
may leave via free agency. There is an opportunity for this club to rebuild itself from the net out meshing some new blood with the core of Lecavalier and Richards. And when the time comes next season and a player like Norm Milley is doing nothing but serving popcorn in Tampa, he will know better than to sit on the guy for three weeks while the farm team circles the drain.
stopped 25 of 28 shots faced in the game. Ryan Vesce and Zdenek Blatny had the Falcons goals. Norm Milley and Marek Kvapil
had helpers in the contest. Mike Egener
was benched the entire third period for a poor turnover in the second period and Mitch Fritz
actually saw shifts on the Springfield blueline during the team's two goal rally in the final frame.
Game sheet from [url=http://ahl.leaguestat.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1001898]TheAHL.com.[/url]