With the NHL and NHLPA meeting late into the night yesterday on New Year’s, there’s some hope that a deal could get done and a season started by the end of January. But, like any good hockey fan, you shouldn’t get those hopes up too much. They’ve disappointed us all quite a bit already. Anyway, if in fact we do have hockey soon, the Islanders are going to be at a bit of a disadvantage with a number of injured players. Not on this list are David Ullstrom and Casey Cizikas who have both missed time this year to injury but are currently playing. Here’s what we’ve been able to compile:
Sound Tigers Hit Rough Patch, Drop Three This Week
After getting off to a solid 10-4 start to the year, the Sound Tigers hit a snag this past weekend as they lost all three of their games in regulation. It’s not good but it’s nothing to indicate the sky is falling either. They’re still 10-7 and in second place in the division with a whole lot of hockey ahead of them (imagine that, lots of hockey left to be played).
One of the things the Sound Tigers have really seemed to have trouble with this year is road games. Of course most teams won’t play as well away from home, but the Sound Tigers seem to have some extra issues. They’re 5-5 on the road this year, compared to 5-2 at home, and have now had a bunch of blowout losses on the road. Four of those five road losses were by three goals or more and the one that wasn’t was controlled by the opposition for the first two periods.
Young teams have kinks to work out, and one of this team’s kinks sure seems to be getting up to play on the road. After a five-day layoff, the Sound Tigers head to Hershey on Friday. Let’s see if they can come up with a better effort on the road this weekend.
On Sunday afternoon, the Sound Tigers had a fight-filled game in Providence against the Bruins that included 10 fighting majors (even one from Ty Wishart) and 98 total penalty minutes between the two teams. The best fight in my opinion was Bridgeport’s Brett Gallant against Lane McDermid in the second period.
You can check out all the fights from the weekend here.
Last week the Sound Tigers reeled off three wins with a combined score of 13-7. They beat Norfolk last Wednesday in an 11am game, which is the annual school field trip game attended by many area schools. Over the weekend, they beat Manchester on the road and won a Sunday matinee against the rival CT Whale. All of that makes this weekend’s three games in three nights (tonight @ Wilkes-Barre, Sat vs. Manchester, Sun @ Providence) a real shot at ending up atop the division by Monday morning.
The Sound Tigers currently sit in second, two behind Springfield and four ahead of Adirondack, with an 8-3 record. It’s happened for a lot of reasons; there’s not really one part of the team that’s carrying them. They’re getting solid goaltending from both Kevin Poulin and Anders Nillson, the defense is playing well, and there are the two first round picks in Brock Nelson and Nino Niederreiter, who each have a 7-6-13 line and lead the team in scoring. To read more of this story, click here
AUDIO — Travis Hamonic on Sirius/XM, 11/13
The Sound Tigers Sold Out the Weekend
As a gesture of goodwill after Hurricane Sandy, the Sound Tigers announced late last week that tickets for both of their home games this past weekend would be free. That’s right, 100% no cost, nothing, on the house. On Saturday night, Webster Bank Arena sold out with a record 8,525 in attendance and they did it again on Sunday afternoon with another 8,525. For comparison, their home opener was attended by over 7,600 fans. To read more of this story, click here
Sound Tigers 3, Springfield 2 (SO) — Ullstrom’s Backhander (of Judgement?) Wins It in Shootout
On Saturday night in Massachusetts, David Ullstrom finished off a seven round shootout with what can only be described as the Swedish Backhand of Judgement (with all due respect to LHH and Frans Nielsen). This came after a sprawling, awkward, falling backwards save from Kevin Poulin in the sixth round. To read more of this story, click here