Mihalik, Vladimir

AHL Game Night 1/2: Admirals at Sharks

The Lightning injury problems trickle down to the farm.

NOR-1
WOR-5

Mike McKenna allowed 4 goals on 19 shots before giving way to Riku Helenius who made his AHL debut allowing just 1 goal on 12 shots in the third period.

First Period
NOR Lundin, (1) (Gratton, Henley), 13:25
WOR Armstrong, (11) (Wilson, Kaspar), 18:58 (PP)

Second Period
WOR Armstrong, (12) (Desjardins, Westgarth), 2:47
WOR Fornataro, (2) (Vesce, Traverse), 14:37
WOR Vesce, (11) (Desjardins, Greiss), 19:26 (SH)

Third Period
WOR Armstrong, (13) (Desjardins, Lemieux), 16:40 (PP)

The Admirals were in a very tough spot with Vladimir Mihalik and Matt Smaby up in Tampa and Andy Rogers still hurt. Outside of Mike Lundin they had rookie Darryl Boyle, rookie Scott Jackson, virtual rookie Kevin Quick, and two converted ex-defensemen in Brent Henley and Jay Rosehill. Between that and some flukey goals by the Sharks and the Admirals were in a really tough position.

Why not Ty Wishart, you ask? Erik Erlendsson reports with Lukas Krajicek and Paul Ranger still hurt and Jamie Heward having had his clock cleaned in Washington, Wishart will make his NHL debut Saturday night against Carolina. Andrej Meszaros may have to play 30-35 minutes tomorrow night.

1/3 Update: Wishart has been recalled by Tampa Bay.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night 1/1: Lightning at Capitals

Thin Lightning defensive corps gets thinned out even more.

TB-4
WSH-7

Mike Smith allowed 7 goals on 35 shots in the loss.

First Period
03:58 WSH Collins (1), (Ovechkin, Morrisonn)
08:02 WSH Steckel (5), (Bradley, Jurcina)
18:29 WSH Green (9), (Ovechkin, Backstrom)

Second Period
00:58 TB Lecavalier (15), (Prospal, St. Louis)
02:37 TB Malone (9), (Halpern)
02:48 WSH Bradley (4), (Gordon)
19:44 TB Lecavalier (16), (Prospal, St. Louis)

Third Period
08:07 WSH Gordon (5), (unassisted)
12:22 TB Recchi (9), (St. Louis, Meszaros)
12:47 WSH Clark (1), (Nylander, Green)
18:14 WSH Ovechkin (26), (Backstrom)

Paul Ranger and Lukas Krajicek were already scratches when Jamie Heward got sent to the hospital in the third period with a concussion. It left the Lightning with an incredibly short bench at the end of the game, with the coaching staff not having much confidence in recall Vladimir Mihalik.

Matt Smaby was -2 with 1 shot, 6 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 21:22. He has 13 hits in his last two games. That's something, although he was also on the ice for five Capitals goals (albeit, he was saddled with Eminger as a pairing partner).

Paul Szczechura was -1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 3 blocked shots in 15:13.

Vladimir Mihalik had 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 13:22. He saw precious little ice though after Heward went down, which is telling.

Steven Stamkos was -1 with 3 shots and 1 hit and he was 50% on draws in 12:20.

I think you ball this one up and forget about it, considering all the injuries and other odd circumstances. The good news is: Lecavalier and St. Louis woke up.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Mihalik on Emergency Recall

Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune is reporting Lightning defenseman Paul Ranger will miss tonight's game against Washington with an injury. Damian Cristodero of the St. Pete Times reports prospect defenseman Vladimir Mihalik has been recalled on an emergency basis from Norfolk to take his place. Lucas Krajicek is expected to sit due to injury as well.

AHL Game Night 12/19: River Rats at Admirals

Fun game to watch if you're an Ads fan.

ALB-0
NOR-5

Mike McKenna stopped all 24 shots he faced for the shutout victory.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NOR Smolenak, (10) (Konopka, Jones), 13:50 (PP)
NOR Wishart, (1) , 16:54

Third Period
NOR Smolenak, (11) (Gratton, Lawrence), 2:44
NOR Downie, (3) , 3:26
NOR Mihalik, (2) (Downie, Gratton), 8:56 (PP)

McKenna, Radek Smolenak, and Ty Wishart were the game's three stars.

I thought the Admirals best two players were probably Steve Downie and Chris Gratton in the game. Gratton looks like a man among boys at this level. Smolenak was in the right place at the right time for a power play goal after a puck bounced off an Albany defender and then on a nice setup by Gratton with Smolenak crossing the top of the crease. I didn't see Gratton out the second half of the third period. Hopefully that was to let the old man kick back and relax as opposed to an injury.

Downie's goal came after he pickpocketed a River Rats defender and then blistered a shot off the wing high glove side. If I have a criticism of Downie's game, it's that he doesn't shoot enough. That said, he's too good for the AHL level. He needs to be in the NHL soon.

Wishart got his first pro goal on a little harmless looking snap shot that skimmed off an Albany defender on the way in and found the back of the net. Not the most artistic goal, but he'll take it. Vladimir Mihalik found a rebound in the high slot and pounded a slap shot five hole on Justin Peters for his tally. Soft goal by Peters, in my opinion. In both defensemen's cases, beggars can't be choosers and I'm sure they're glad just to light the lamp.

Kevin Quick is starting to get back on schedule developmentally. He still makes mistakes (darned near cost McKenna his shutout on one shift in the third) but he's starting to look like a real AHLer, and when he gets it cranked up on the rush you can squint and see a bit of the puck carrying d-man the Lightning organization always thought he could become.

Jay Rosehill is becoming a Grade A badass. I remember when he was a lost little lamb playing for Johnstown in the Coast. He was a manimal dropping the gloves tonight. He beat Mike Angelidis like Angelidis owed him money tonight.

Don't read too much into this game, mind you. Albany is a thin team that was playing without one of their best players and all of a sudden the Admirals are laiden with NHLers and prospects who were recently up and proved their close to being NHLers. This was not a fair fight. Tomorrow night against Philly will be a truer test on just how far this configuration of the Ads can go. Still too many neutral zone turnovers by the forwards and the young d wasn't really tested under fire much considering how non-existent Albany's forecheck was tonight.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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