Well, yeah, from the Bridgeport perspective… that was a pretty lost night.
Brent Thompson dropped a “lackluster.” Mark Katic used “flat” to describe how they played. About right. It’d be easier to laugh it off if not for the injuries.
They lost Jon Landry to a high hit from Bobby Robins — well, lost him a few shifts later. They lost David Ullstrom to a collision with Lane MacDermid. They may lose Justin DiBenedetto on Friday to a last-five-minutes instigator penalty*; he’d miss the rematch. (No prescout: this is an incredibly spread-out home-and-home.)
Thompson wasn’t spilling details and wasn’t confirming or denying anything about them. He called them day-to-day, but he pretty much calls everybody day-to-day. He did say they don’t appear to be major injuries, though they’ll be evaluated Monday.
The team was behind the 8-ball by the time Landry got hurt, and it was again by the time Ullstrom got hurt. “We haven’t played like that — maybe Worcester, for one period — as long as I can remember,” Katic said.
It’s not typical, Thompson stressed. That’s fair. They’ve got a week before they have to put themselves together again.
And a few players might be back by then.
Brock Nelson got tossed in a little earlier than expected but did OK; shook off some rust and got into it. “I actually really thought Nelson showed a lot of positives things,” Thompson said. “We’ve got to get him adjusted to the pro speed. His sense for the game, his defensive positioning, it’s a good start. Good habits. I’m very, very happy with his introduction to the pro game. I’d like to see him shoot the puck a little bit more.” Nelson felt OK despite not playing in two weeks. “It’s a little faster,” he said. “I thought I felt pretty good out there.”
The Whale were shut out at Wilkes-Barre, so Bridgeport stays five points ahead and sees its magic number shrink to three. The Whale play Sunday at Hershey and Wednesday. If it loses both, at least one of them in regulation, that’d secure the division for Bridgeport.
Things have tightened up again. Providence is only two points back but is still 11th. Gong show in Portland — eagerly awaiting the stories, but here’s Chris Roy’s tweet for starters — but the Pirates are just a tiebreaker behind Manchester for the eighth spot, though the Monarchs have a game in hand. Adirondack is just a point behind them, even in games with the Monarchs (and the Phantoms would likely have the tiebreaker). I think the Devils are only alive because they beat Manchester in the season series; they’d need everything else to break their way**.
Syracuse gave itself some breathing room in seventh, just two points behind sixth.
Norfolk played. That’s 25 in a row, 19 in regulation.
The Big Club has wrapped it up. Haley, Cizikas and Donovan are eligible to return to Bridgeport at their convenience.
Down in the Coast, Pat Bingham and Elmira and its assortment of former Sound Tigers beat Reading and its assortment of former and/or future Sound Tigers to force a deciding fifth game Monday. And South Carolina and Greenville played into a fourth overtime last night.
I’m forgetting something. Will update if it strikes me. Have a good holiday, if you’re celebrating something.
*-And no, I don’t know how Michael Hutchinson doesn’t at least get a penalty for throwing punches back. Not that it makes a bit of difference: You wouldn’t throw him out; it’d just be a major. Anyway, I’d have to check, and I may at some point, but I think that’s the first Bridgeport skater vs. goalie fighting major. Obviously Joey MacDonald had a couple in the other direction.
**-Something like 19 games: three regulation/overtime wins for them; seven regulation losses for Manchester and Portland; four regulation losses for Adirondack; two losses out of three games for Providence; at least one loss for Worcester, but not against Manchester or Adirondack; two losses for Springfield against St. John’s but not Adirondack… did I miss anything in this exercise in/on futility? And why do I find this fun? Edit: Bill Cain came up with basically the same thing, and he has much more of a reason to figure it out. Though I think they’re OK with one Springfield loss in overtime to St. John’s.
original placeholder follows
Fighting the computer, so will blog from home. Just quickly noting that Brent Thompson, without specifics as usual, said he didn’t think the injuries to Jon Landry (who took a high hit from Bobby Robins in the first) and David Ullstrom (who took a hit from Lane MacDermid in the second) were major. They’ll be evaluated Monday, though. Similar with Trevor Frischmon. Frischmon does appear to be an aftereffect of the hit he took from Patrick Maroon last night.