This is a bad time to be the knee of a New York Islanders goalie. First Chris Madden. Then Ricky DiPietro. And now Garth Snow.
So what happens now? Guess we find out tomorrow. Madden is the only other guy on an NHL deal, and he’s a doctor’s appointment away from surgery, the poor guy. If DiPietro isn’t ready for Friday, wow. This’ll be interesting.
But heck, if they have to sign a guy, Frederic Cloutier looked good Wednesday.
Cloutier made 30 saves for his first AHL shutout — Bruno Gervais almost chased the puck down the Philadelphia runway to recover it — while his crease was assaulted by various scrums and his rhythm was assaulted by various Terry Koharski calls. Interesting set of calls, to say the least. (There’s another “where’s Jim Schoenfeld” joke in there, but I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader.)
Apparently the game misconduct to Randy Jones in the first period came when Jones tapped the end of his stick on the glass; if it was meant to be demonstrative and show Koharski up, it didn’t do the job. But Koharski tossed him anyway. Then later, after Koharski sent four guys off with misconducts, Wade Skolney skated toward him — a linesman was holding him back, but I don’t think Skolney was exactly gonna bowl him over — and shouted in his face. Game misconduct No. 2.
So with Skolney and Jones in the room and
Freddy* David Printz in the box with one of those misconducts, Ryan Ready played defense to fill out a second pair; otherwise, Philly would have looked like a Division II high school team, rotating their three defensemen.
There hasn’t been a game this testy in this barn since, probably, that Wilkes-Barre game that almost degenerated into a brawlfest last December. Had things not cooled down in the third period, the numbers might have approached that night (114 BPT, 108 WBS); tonight’s were 86 for Philly and 50 for Bridgeport. (Yes, I had those Feb. 1, 2002, Springfield numbers handy, just in case. The goalie fight would have been a bad idea tonight, though.)
I asked Cloutier what the scrums did to his rhythm. “I tried to stop the puck and get out of the net whenever I froze it,” he said. “If they want to do that, good for them. I don’t really care.”
One of those scraps cost Bridgeport Wyatt Smith for the third; he took a punch in the eye. He’s seeing the doctor in the morning, but it didn’t look serious, preliminarily. “Optic nerve contusion,” is the specific I heard.
Wacky to hear Joel Bouchard was ready to go. A little more to come in Friday’s paper, but apparently he felt so good this week that he figured, why wait? He was active from the start, the only Sound Tiger to put two shots on goal in the first period; he jumped into the rush a few times and looked comfortable in his own zone, though not tested often back there. He got hit a few times and looked OK.
Shame more people weren’t there to see it.
Rourke (A)-Karpa (A)
F: Ready (A)-Voce-Ellison
D: Jones (A)-Skolney
As you saw if you stopped by earlier, my day was made early. “Interesting, if true.” And as also noted earlier, if you didn’t see Arrested Development on Monday, A) for shame, 2) find it.
This here’s a freaky story about Providence defenseman Chris Dyment, assaulted after a game New Year’s Eve. (Free registration required)
Jonathan Bombulie makes a bold prediction over at his Penguins Insider. I’ll only note the obvious: Sunday’s will not be the least-interesting game of Bridgeport’s season….
*-While “Freddy Printz” is a ready-made joke, I pretty much want to call every non-Slaney Philly defenseman “Freddy.” It’s a leftover of memories of Freddy Meyer. Weird how that happens. Like, every time Super Bowl XXV comes up, I have to be careful not to call the kicker “Lee Norwood.”