Mihalik, Vladimir

AHL Game Night: 12-4-09 Admirals at Phantoms

Love that headline on the press release from the Admirals. Move over Iverson.

NOR-2
ADK-1 (OT)

Dustin Tokarski stopped 22 of 23 to get a win the Admirals absolutely needed to have.

First Period
ADK Kolanos, (4) (Dingle, Bellamy), 3:42

Second Period
NOR Smolenak, (3) (Lundin, Mihalik), 17:47

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
NOR Craig, (9) (Smolenak, Jackson), 1:32

Ryan Craig (aka The Answer) and Radek Smolenak were the game's first and second stars. That's what you have to love about this year's version of the Admirals: sweet, sweet depth up front. Blair Jones has been hot as a firecracker and earned his callup. Last season that would've crushed the Ads. This season you've got a 20 goal, 50 point capable guy like Smolenak just waiting to pick up where Jones left off.

Vladimir Mihalik snapped a five-game pointless streak with a helper and pulled himself back to even in plus-minus for the season. Kudos to Scott Jackson for keying Craig and Smolenak's winning 2-on-1 in overtime. Jackson's posted a very respectable +8 rating so far this year.

Norfolk outshot Adirondack 36-23 in the game. I'm still waiting for when these shot imbalances are going to turn into some nice blowouts in the Admirals' favor rather than these nail biters. Norfolk's played so many close games this year. Norfolk can get back to .500 tomorrow night, but they'll have to do it in Hershey, which may be the toughest place in the AHL to go win a hockey game as a visitor.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-11 Senators at Admirals

Norfolk came out ready to kick butt tonight.

BNG-2
NOR-5

Riku Helenius allowed 2 goals on 31 shots for the win. Slick Rik is now 3-1-0 on the season with a 1.51 GAA and .937 sv%. That's stylish. I wish the Lightning brass gave him a little more love publicly.

First Period
NOR Bochenski, (9) (Simek, Jones), 2:06
NOR Wishart, (1) (Bochenski, Simek), 3:20 (PP)
NOR Lundin, (2) (Karsums, Hall), 19:14

Second Period
NOR Jones, (3) (Bochenski, Jackson), 5:26

Third Period
BNG Hamel, (3) (Keller, Karlsson), 7:38
NOR Bochenski, (10) (Jones, Mihalik), 8:05
BNG Daugavins, (3) (Hennessy, Condra), 8:47

Brandon Bochenski, Blair Jones, and Ty Wishart were the game's three stars. Bochenski's 4 point night moves him over a point a game for the season with 16 in 15 games. He's currently 9th in the league in scoring. Jones has had two three point games in his last three contests, helping fill the void left when Ryan Craig was called up.

Don't look now, but Vladimir Mihalik has a three game point streak with four helpers in that span, helping the Admirals out offensively on the blueline in Matt Lashoff's absence due to injury.

Mike Lundin is on pace for a 48 point season. He's tied for 11th in the league in scoring for defensemen, as of this writing. I would consider he and Bochenski to be very strong candidates to be AHL All-Stars if they stay on schedule.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10/23 Pirates at Admirals

Finally, the Admirals start to put it all together.

POR-2
NOR-4

Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 16 shots for the win.

First Period
NOR Bochenski, (5) (Smolenak, Lundin), 2:44 (PP)
NOR Bochenski, (6) (Szczechura, Jackson), 5:48

Second Period
NOR Szczechura, (2) (Bochenski, Smolenak), 3:39
NOR Craig, (5) (Mihalik, Lundin), 7:59
POR Byron, (2) (Mancari, Generous), 9:02
POR Ennis, (5) , 11:52

Third Period
NO SCORING

Brandon Bochenski, Paul Szczechura, and Mike Lundin were the game's three stars.

There was a lot of talk about learning how to finish games coming off a road trip where Norfolk squandered leads in two of three games. Although the Admirals allowed the Pirates to cut a 4-0 lead in half in the second period, they shut the door completely in the third, allowing the Pirates just 6 shots in the final frame.

Who are you and what have you done with Vladimir Mihalik? Mihalik protected one of his teammates in the first period after a big hit by dropping the mitts, earning an instigator misconduct in the process. He then returned to the game and added a helper on Ryan Craig's goal to go with his 17 penalty minutes. New season, new Vladdy.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night 4/11: Lightning at Thrashers

All bad things must come to an end.

TB-2
ATL-6

Mike McKenna allowed 4 goals on 15 shots for the loss before giving way to Karri Ramo, who allowed 2 goals on 11 shots the rest of the way. The Lightning have a signing decision with McKenna coming up this offseason, and I doubt allowing a goal to go through him and then being pulled was the final impression "Mack" wanted to make on management. Just my opinion, but we've probably seen the last of McKenna with the development of Riku Helenius in the AHL and the arrival of Dustin Tokarski to the pro ranks next season.

First Period
07:10 ATL Armstrong (21), (Bogosian, Enstrom)(PP)
16:30 ATL Perrin (7), (Reasoner, Exelby)(SH)
17:17 TB Pettinger (8), (Halpern, Quick)(PP)

Second Period
09:15 ATL Kovalchuk (43), (White, Hainsey)
14:09 ATL Hainsey (6), (Peverley)(PP)
16:32 ATL Armstrong (22), (Kozlov, Peverley)

Third Period
00:46 TB Stamkos (23), (unassisted)
06:20 ATL Stuart (5), (Reasoner)

The Lightning end up dropping from 31 wins and 71 points a year ago to 24 wins and 66 points this season. You know, for the amount of crap OK Hockey and their GM Brian Lawton talked garbage about the former GM, coaches, and scouts, I sure hope they man up and take accountability for the fact they did even worse this season, and then learn some valuable lessons (like defense and coaching are important, for instance). Post mortem to follow in the coming days. Draft lottery Tuesday night.

Noah Welch was -1 with 3 shots and 1 hit in 14:58. He came on toward the end after an awful start to his stint with the Lightning. My preference would be to have Welch as a depth player in the organization offering veteran presence to the Norfolk Admirals next season. I'd love to see he and Richard Petiot wear the battleship next year.

Zenon Konopka was -1 with 7 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 9:05. He was also 57% on draws. He does offer energy to the fourth line in the form of being an agitator and fighter, but I wanted to see more on the forecheck from Konopka. I like a fourth line that chews the ends off the boards, personally.

David Koci was -1 in 6:01. Long term, I think the Lightning need to draft and cultivate somebody who can play 8-10 minutes a night and fight the other team's heavies. I'm not sure Koci is that guy.

Paul Szczechura was -1 with 4 shots, and 3 hits in 17:05. He was also 36% on draws. In the last week or two, I don't think there's another bubble guy who helped his stock more to make the team next season than Szczechura.

Martins Karsums was -1 with 1 shot in 11:26. I didn't see enough from Karsums to make me believe he shouldn't be ticketed for Norfolk next season, if he stays in North America.

Kevin Quick got his first NHL point, and assist, and was -1 with 1 shot in 14:57. There were shifts he looked overmatched tonight defensively and he reminded you that he's still got a couple of years in the making.

Matt Lashoff was -3 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot in 23:02. He'll want to burn the tape of this game, methinks.

Vladimir Mihalik was -1 with 2 blocked shots in 15:59. In his final callup of the year, his positioning and poise seemed to improve. However, you'd still like to see the assertiveness and aggression level go way up. He is just way too soft for a man his size right now. There's no excuse for anybody to ever physically beat him coming out from behind the net or the corners.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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