Norfolk has a date with history this weekend.
Jaroslav Janus allowed 1 goal on 13 shots (no, not a typo) for the win. Janus is now 16-8-2 on the season, which puts him at the door step of the top-20 in the league in wins. Dustin Tokarski still rules the roost with 27 wins despite being out of the league for the last week. Two good young goaltenders = good problem to have.
WBS Lerg, (23) (O'Reilly, Strait), 8:47
NOR Panik, (16) (Barberio, Johnson), 11:28 (PP)
NOR Gudas, (7) (Jackson, Hutchings), 11:59
NOR Johnson, (25) (Panik, Picard), 0:10 (PP)
NOR Oberg, (6) (Palat, Johnson), 2:37
Halfway through the month of March, Johnson's got to be the runaway favorite to win the league's Player of the Month award. He has 7 goals and 14 points in 6 games, which already matches what he put up in February. That's pretty amazing considering last month was no slouch for TJ, who put up 14 points in 13 games. He's now tied with Gustav Nyqvist at 55 points for 2nd among league rookies in points, and he's moved into a tie for 9th in the AHL in points, overall.
Johnson's linemate, Richard Panik, continues to quietly ramp up his play after a quiet first half of the year. He's within 1 point now of breaking into the top-20 in the league in rookie scoring himself, and the Panik attack shows no signs of letting up.
Mark Barberio is 5th in the AHL in assists. Discuss.
What I take away from tonight's game, given the Admirals outshot their nearest division rivals 33-13, is that they're going for it. And, I'm not talking about winning the division (now a 10 point lead over the Pens), or the conference (6 point lead over the IceCaps). This team wants the record, and they can tie the single-season win streak record of 17 on Friday in Charlotte. The Checkers are no slouches, mind you. They lead the Midwest Division and Norfolk will have to beat them on Friday and Sunday to set the record. And, despite the challenge, Norfolk's going for it. When a team holds another to 13 shots on goal, that's complete team buy-in at playoff level intensity. They just threw the keys to the tractor and the deed to the farm in the middle of the table. They're going for it, and it's going to take a team playing a playoff-level game to stop them.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Dustin Tokarski stopped 33 of 34 shots for his first NHL victory. The young fella got it done against two goaltenders tonight who averaged 36.5 years of age. And, it wasn't a circus act. He was very calm and very under control in net. If you're not out of position, you don't have to breakdance like Hasek in net. Got his first NHL assist, too. Nice night for a young man who has worked hard to get where he is.
TB Pyatt (8), (Malone, Connolly), 1:56
TB Thompson (9), (Hall, Wyman), 2:26
TB Shannon (4), (Hedman, Tokarski)(PP), 4:31
TB Hedman (4), (unassisted), 15:38
TB Stamkos (49), (Purcell, Lee), 3:06
BOS Caron (7), (Boychuk, Chara), 1:55
TB Stamkos (50), (St. Louis, Lee), 3:06
Keith Aulie had 1 shot and 3 hits in 11:16.
Tim Wallace had 1 hit in 10:10, and looked dazed and confused with the puck on a 2-on-1 late in the third period. I don't think he expected a chance that good in that situation.
J.T. Wyman had a helper and was +2 in 14:56.
This season Bolt Prospects introduced our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their on-ice contributions. There are no trophies or plaques, but itâ€™s possible a street may be named after him â€“ at least in SimCity.
We wanted to highlight prospects throughout the year to help fans get better acquainted with the next round of Lightning stars while recognizing the prospectâ€™s achievement on the ice.
This weekâ€™s BP Prospect of the Week award goes to â€¦ Tyler Johnson, C, Norfolk Admirals (AHL).
Jaroslav Janus started his third game in three nights and stopped 27 of 30 for his 7th consecutive victory.
NOR Smith, (22) , 15:00
BRI Frischmon, (8) , 1:17 (SH)
NOR Barberio, (10) (Conacher, Johnson), 17:16 (PP)
NOR Panik, (14) (Smith, Johnson), 19:28 (PP)
BRI Mouillierat, (7) (Riley, Oleksy), 7:50
BRI McNeely, (7) (Sinkewich, Rakhshani), 11:14
NOR Barberio, (11) (Johnson, Ouellet), 13:12 (PP)
NOR Panik, (15) (Labrie), 15:52
NOR Johnson, (24) (Panik, Ouellet), 17:32 (PP)
Barberio's 2 goals moved him to 11 on the season, which is 2 better than his rookie campaign last year. He holds an 11 point advantage on St. John's defenseman Paul Postma for the league lead in scorers amongst blueliners.
Tyler Johnson has moved into 3rd amongst all AHL rookies in scoring, 3 points back of Gustav Nyqvist of Grand Rapids and 16 points back of teammate Cory Conacher.
Panik is enjoying the month of March so far with 3 goals and 8 points in 5 games. Today's Panik attack was his first 3-point game of his career.
Wednesday night in Norfolk becomes a big game for two reasons now. It was always going to be a big game with the rival Pens in town lurking 8 points back with a game in hand. But, now, it becomes even bigger with the Admirals' ridiculous, video game-like winning streak hitting 15 with a chance to run to 16. If the Admirals pull of the win against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, they hop a bus to Charlotte on Friday with the opportunity to tie the all-time AHL record for consecutive victories at 17. If they pull that off, the rematch is in Charlotte at 3 pm on Sunday, with a chance to make history. It will not be easy. The Pens currently are the 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and the Checkers are the 3 seed in the West. But, at least its not another 3 games in 3 nights marathon like this weekend was.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Norfolk harpoons its 14th win in a row.
Jaroslav Janus stopped 26 of 27 shots for the win. Janus has now reeled off 6 straight wins and moved his save percentage to .905, just 1 point back of Dustin Tokarski's .906 save percentage before he Oberg'ed off to join the Lightning.
CT Grant, (8) (Tanski), 8:11
NOR Angelidis, (14) (Hutchings, Devos), 12:17
NOR Kostka, (9) (Johnson), 1:56
NOR Johnson, (23) (Conacher), 19:18
Janus and Tyler Johnson were the game's first and second stars, as TJ continues to progress toward becoming an AHL superstar.
Now, as the Admirals attempt to chase down history, they have a big challenge tomorrow afternoon in Bridgeport. We may well see the season debut of Pat Nagle with a shot at a page in the record books on the line. Bridgeport currently leads the Northeast Division, so they're no pushovers and the Admirals may well see them in the playoffs. Now it gets even more interesting.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Lucky number 13.
Jaroslav Janus allowed 1 goal on 24 shots for the victory. He picked up his 5th consecutive victory tonight, and don't look now but the save percentage has creeped up to .903.
NOR Johnson, (21) (Panik), 8:54
NOR Picard, (5) (Palat, Smith), 10:31 (PP)
NOR Johnson, (22) (Panik, Cote), 19:30
ADK Hamel, (17) (Kessel, Akeson), 13:19 (PP)
Tyler Johnson and Richard Panik were the game's first and second stars. Johnson's been on a hellacious tear the past dozen games, posting 7 goals and 18 points over that span. He's also had back-to-back 2 goal games, for that matter. The Panik attack has meshed well on TJ's line recently and on the power play with back-to-back multi point games of his own.
Does a baker's dozen wins during the stretch run of a season and becoming the first AHL team to hit 40 wins make you the frontrunner for AHL coach of the year? We think it does. Only one coach in the AHL can claim to have a winning streak that matches the number of donuts that Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau eats on an average morning, and only one coach runs big surpluses with a +57 goal differential. Only one man in the AHL builds a bridge to the future as he wins in the present, with 6 rookies in his lineup tonight. That man is Jon Cooper. A bold vision: less goals against, more goals for, more wins. The American Hockey League needs Jon Cooper. Now, more than ever.
(This message was paid for by the American Coaches Winning Tomorrow Today PAC.)
Box score from TheAHL.com.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled goaltender Dustin Tokarski from the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Tokarski, 6-foot, 197 pounds, has played in 40 games with the Admirals this season, posting a 27-11-0 record with a 2.34 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage. He also has four shutouts. Tokarski has won eight consecutive games for the Admirals (a franchise AHL record) with two shutouts in that time and has gone 13-2-0 in his previous 15 decisions. Tokarski also leads the AHL in wins.
A native of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Tokarski has played in two NHL games with Tampa Bay, both in relief during the 2009-10 season. He made his NHL debut on January 16, 2010 at the Florida Panthers.
Tokarski helped Canada to the Gold Medal at the 2009 World Junior Championships, posting a 4-0 record with a 2.65 GAA and a .906 save percentage. He turned aside 39 of 40 shots in the Gold Medal Game against Sweden as Canada won, 5-1. Tokarski also backstopped the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL to the Memorial Cup in 2008.
The 22-year-old was selected by the Lightning in the fifth round, 122nd overall, of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
It's a dozen, now.
Dustin Tokarski allowed 1 goal on 18 shots for his 27th win of the season. That ties his career high for wins set in his rookie season 2 years ago. He is also up to 8 victories in his last 8 starts.
NOR Conacher, (31) (Gudas, Devos), 7:04
NOR Ouellet, (14) (Angelidis, Picard), 8:28
NOR Johnson, (19) (Jackson, Angelidis), 14:32 (SH)
SPR Regner, (2) (Savard, MacLeod), 8:15
NOR Panik, (13) (Conacher, Barberio), 10:19 (PP)
NOR Johnson, (20) (Palat, Panik), 11:00
Tyler Johnson (pictured), Mike Angelidis, and Cory Conacher were the game's three stars. Johnson's now tied for 4th in the league in rookie scoring. He's got no shot of catching Conacher, but there's no denying how impressive of a debut campaign he's had. With 20 goals now, he's threatening to break into the top-20 in the AHL in that category, as well.
Just to reiterate my previous point about Jon Cooper deserving coach of the year, the Admirals rookies tonight had 4 goals and 8 points tonight, combined, between Conacher, Devos, Johnson, Panik, and Palat. That's a 12 game winning streak where your sled dogs are just puppies, which in my mind is indicative of excellent coaching.
Fortunately for the Admirals, there was no let down thanks to a little pre-game altercation that got their juices going and probably helped propel them out to the 3-0 first period lead. Springfield's got muscle in the physical department, but they probably are regretting getting the Admirals, who have much more muscle in the offensive department, ready to go right out of the gate tonight.
Panik attack, y'all!
The Admirals expanded their division lead to 10 points over the idle Pens and they maintained a 12 point buffer on Hershey, with the Bears winning tonight. Hershey has 2 games in hand on the Admirals and the Pens have 3, but things look very good right now in the division.
In the conference, Syracuse screamed past St. John's with 4 goals in the final frame to steal a 6-4 win. So, the Admirals now hold an 8 point lead in the conference with St. John's still holding 5 games in hand.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 21 shots for his 26th victory of the season. He's now 1 back of his career high of 27 wins. He remains locked in mortal combat with Ben Bishop of Binghamton, who also has 26 wins.
NOR Ouellet, (12) (Kostka, Devos), 12:13 (PP)
NOR Angelidis, (13) (Picard, Ouellet), 4:15
NOR Ouellet, (13) (Panik, Johnson), 12:48 (PP)
NOR Picard, (4) (Gudas, Jackson), 18:33
SPR Calvert, (12) (Joudrey), 12:26
SPR MacLeod, (6) (St. Pierre, Regner), 17:14 (PP)
NOR Devos, (5) (Neilson, Barberio), 18:52 (PP)
Mark Barberio hit 50 points for the season with a late power play assist. He holds a 9 point edge on Brian Connolly of Abbotsford for the league lead amongst blueliners. With 33 points, Mike Kostka lurks in a tie for 5th in points in that category.
Jon Cooper just broke TheAHL.com. Evidently, they only show 10 game winning streaks on the website, as the standings are currently not properly registering the Admirals unbelievable 11 game streak. They've opened up an 8 point lead in the division on the idle Penguins and a 12 point lead on the idle Bears. Resetting their sights higher, they've also opened up a 6 point lead on St. John's for the conference's top spot, although St. John's has 5 games in hand. Nonetheless, they need to give Cooper the hardware.
P.S. Panik attack, y'all!
Norfolk finishes their week against Springfield tomorrow night. The normal warning about beating the same team on back-to-back nights when you paste them pretty good on the first night applies.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Cory Conacher to a two-year, two-way contract today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Conacher, 5-foot-8, 180 pounds, has played in 57 games with the Norfolk Admirals this season, recording 30 goals, 13 power-play goals, 26 power-play points and 64 points. He leads the Admirals in goals, power-play goals, power-play points, points, and ranks second for assists with 34. Conacher is also tied for the AHL lead for PPGs, is second for goals and is tied for third in points. He was recently selected as a starter for the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic, where he had two goals and three points.
A native of Burlington, Ontario, Conacher has played in 64 career AHL games with Norfolk, the Milwaukee Admirals and the Rochester Americans, notching 34 goals and 70 points. He has played in seven career Calder Cup Playoff Games.
Conacher, an undrafted free agent, played four years at Canisus College prior to joining the professional ranks. He is the schoolâ€™s all-time leader in goals with 62, game-winning goals with 12 and points with 147. He signed a one-year, AHL contract with the Admirals on July 5, 2011.