Nope, THAT was probably rock bottom.
Dwayne Roloson allowed 6 goals on 21 shots for the loss before Mathieu Garon allowed 1 on 5 shots the rest of the way. 7 goals on 26 shots is pitiful. Was goaltending the reason for the loss? No. But you can't win with a save percentage that's an eyelash above .750. Can't do it.
I'm tired of puckhandling mistakes ending up in the back of the net. I'm tired of play acting leading to pucks ending up in the back of the net. These guys need to be playing a very stripped down very focused style right now, and not circus hockey. It's a zoo between the pipes every other game right now.
TOR Macarthur (7), (Gardiner, Connolly), 00:41
TB Lecavalier (9), (Stamkos, Malone)(PP), 8:38
TOR Connolly (3), (Kulemin, Franson)(PP), 17:56
TOR Bozak (3), (Kessel, Connolly)(PP), 19:22
TOR Colborne (1), (Frattin, Liles), 17:45
TOR Bozak (4), (unassisted), 3:07
TOR Lupul (11), (Bozek, Phaneuf), 4:28
TOR Crabb (3), (Frattin, Gardiner), 14:28
It was pretty pitiful to allow a goal right off the bat. Then the team responded and looked as good on the forecheck and on the power play as I think I've seen them this season up until Victor Hedman whiffed on what probably should've been a goal off a Marty St. Louis feed, and then took an unlucky 4 minute minor, and the wheels came off. And then the wheels came off again when Roloson once again showed why he should never stray from his net. It's embarrassing. I felt like I was watching a Brian Lawton/Rick Tocchet team, not a Steve Yzerman/Guy Boucher team.
The situation is not improving to any extent I feel comfortable with. I don't think huge changes have to be made, but I don't think the old, "The answers are in the room," is working. You can't tell me the guys in Norfolk are so bad that they aren't at least worth a look to see if they can inject some fresh blood and enthusiasm into the lineup. This team just looks flat at the start of every game and I honestly wonder how anyone could argue that things would be worse with Carter Ashton or Radko Gudas or Mark Barberio getting an opportunity. You can't tell me that Blair Jones and Bruno Gervais are so much better than those players that it isn't worth even considering, and I don't give a damn how far away the organization thinks Gudas and Barberio are. If you believe they'll bite as dogs they'll bite as puppies. What's the worse that could happen? They'd give up 7 goals to the Maple Leafs?
Brett Connolly had 1 blocked shot in 11:28.
TJ back to early season form.
Jaroslav Janus made 26 saves on 28 shots for the win.
NOR Ashton, (12) (Fornataro, Johnson), 5:27
STJ Postma, (3) (Machacek, Klingberg), 16:44 (PP)
NOR Smith, (7) (Conacher, Dimmen), 1:22
NOR Smith, (8) (Conacher, Landry), 4:32
NOR Angelidis, (3) (Wyman), 11:11
STJ Klingberg, (9) (DeSantis), 2:58 (SH)
NOR Johnson, (5) (Ashton, Conacher), 8:14
NOR Johnson, (6) (Barberio, Vernace), 15:35 (PP)
Remember Tyler Johnson (pictured)? He had 6 points in the first 4 games of the season before cooling off with 3 points in the subsequent 11. And then, boom, 3 point night. There's so much depth on the Admirals and it's truly under-appreciated. Trevor Smith has 20 points in the first 17 games this season, and he's barely figured in the three stars discussions in each game. Heck, he's not even the team's leading scorer, because Cory Conacher has 21 points, and he doesn't even have a contract with the Lightning, yet. There's 4 players on the Ads (Conacher, Smith, Ashton, and Mark Barberio) that are currently over a point-a-game. It's impressive.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Norfolk re-finds its offense.
Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 26 shots for the victory.
WBS Williams, (3) (McDonald, Lerg), 1:13
NOR Gudas, (3) (Tyrell, Wyman), 15:01 (SH)
WBS Street, (2) (Bortuzzo, Sneep), 0:56 (PP)
WBS Dimitrakos, (4) (Gibbons), 1:52
NOR Conacher, (7) (Fornataro, Barberio), 1:56 (PP)
NOR Barberio, (3) (Dimmen, Smith), 8:26 (PP)
NOR Tyrell, (4) (Barberio, Angelidis), 11:23
NOR Conacher, (8) (Dimmen), 19:58 (EN/PP)
It took 40 minutes, but the Admirals re-found their offense and their power play, based partly on Barberio's 3-point period. His effort moved him back into the top slot amongst all AHL defensemen in scoring. What's more exceptional, to me, is that he's at 15 points in 14 games. A point-a-game pace is so difficult to maintain at the AHL level, and especially by a defenseman. He had 31 points all of last season, in 68 games. He's pretty much halfway to that mark already.
Tyrell snapped a 5 game scoreless streak with his 3rd multi-point game of the season.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Bolt Prospects would like to acknowledge one monster who has been mashing his way all through October. Some Bolt Prospects readers felt tricked this past week when we didn't name this prospect the Player of the Week, but we were holding a treat in reserve. True, there were several worthy honorable mentions who scared up some excitement along the way. There was the wolf man, Brett Connolly, who came out of nowhere to crack the Lightning's NHL roster. There was the evil genius, Mark Barberio, and his stylish 2 goals and 11 points in 10 games. And, there was the leprechaun, Matthew Peca, who got his own pot o' gold today when he was named the ECAC's Rookie of the Month.
But the nail in the coffin came when the AHL gave a certain power forward (sort of a pale Incredible Hulk) a minor award (hardly worth mention in the same breath as Bolt Prospects' Prospect of the Month).
Norfolk smacks a good team square across the mouth.
Jaroslav Janus (pictured) allowed 2 goals on 31 shots for the win.
NOR Ashton, (9) (Landry, Conacher), 13:13
NOR Tyrell, (3) , 18:01
NOR Smith, (5) (Vernace, Palat), 19:27
NOR Panik, (2) (Smith, Vernace), 1:58 (PP)
SYR Smith, (1) (Schaus, O'Hanley), 6:34 (PP)
SYR Bell, (3) (Carle, O'Hanley), 6:58
NOR Wyman, (3) (Tyrell, Dimmen), 7:24
NOR Barberio, (2) (Picard, Vernace), 10:54 (PP)
This was a Syracuse team that had only lost once in regulation coming into the weekend and Norfolk owned them from the drop of the puck. And, what really is exciting is that, although there are guys like Ashton, Conacher, and Barberio that are riding high amongst the league leaders, everyone on the team is chipping in. That's what makes you believe this team is going to be a force wire-to-wire this season.
Norfolk rolls into Albany on Friday.
Box score from TheAHL.com.