If you’ll remember, Scott Pellerin said he doesn’t like commenting on the officiating. He had a little different tune tonight.
They were unhappy with the power-play disparity. They didn’t like the disallowed goal late in the game as Niklas Svedberg pushed off the post (in both senses of the phrase, I guess) to his left. They weren’t happy with the end, in which Brent Colby dropped the puck between Trent Whitfield and nobody. (Backman got 10 minutes for his response; Eric Boguniecki got a game misconduct for his, waiting for Trevor Hanson and the linesmen at the door well after the buzzer.)
“We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times in regards to turnovers, a couple of specific plays (penalties),” Pellerin said. “The power play moved it well. I think we had only two tries.”
Two, exactly. The first and the last. They thought they scored on the last, but the net was off the moorings, Hanson ruled, before Backman shot (were it after the shot or in the act of shooting, Hanson could, conceivably, award Backman the goal).
They had to kill a long five-on-three after three of the game’s seven power plays were called 78 seconds apart in the second. They got through the five-on-three but gave one up on the five-on-four after Kevin Poulin (36 saves and solid again) made a diving stop (and Aaron Ness almost got a piece of Jamie Tardif’s shot).
“A lot of (offensive)-zone time, a lot of possession, but not quite enough pucks to the net,” Matt Watkins said. “I don’t know, maybe not enough men to the net. Especially our line. I thought we were really good down low, but we didn’t get enough chances.”
Hey, Kirill Kabanov might’ve been their best player in the first period. He kind of got out of rhythm in the second with all the time on the penalty kill, but Watkins isn’t kidding; that line was pressuring pretty fiercely at times.
Total shots on goal for Persson, Watkins and Kabanov? Four.
The Sound Tigers were solid enough for about 12 minutes to start, and then Graham Mink tips in a shot at the end of a Ty Wishart penalty, then Wishart gives the puck away, and it’s 2-0 in a blink and Poulin’s got to hold the fort for a while. They get pinned deep for a long stretch early in the second and, you’ll want to remember with 22.9 seconds left, have to use their time out to give Ness and Nate McIver, on for I’m guessing close to two minutes, a moment to breathe.
They get one back. The power plays against happen. They tie it up. They give one up in the third. Without their time out, they work a goalie switch/pull and wind up away from the faceoff dot when Colby hunches over, appears to blow the whistle, gives it a couple of seconds and drops the puck.
Ballgame. Two losses in a row.
“I think we were obviously a lot better tonight than last night,” Backman said. “We worked hard. We had our chances. We’ll take the positives out of this one and get ready for tomorrow.”
Blair Riley, indeed, lower-body, getting a rest.
I’m apparently the only person in the building who didn’t see Svedberg’s malicious game-delaying intent. Ah well. But Pellerin did note that Anders Nilsson was called for delay of game on what he thought was a similar play in Manchester earlier this year. There’s a striped coincidence there, which I don’t think Pellerin recalled when he brought it up.
The assist in the third period was Graham Mink’s 500th AHL point in 701 games. (Hat tip: Cristina Mink, via Mark Divver.)
Prescout, an OTL in Hartford while Pat Maroon was off scoring his first in the NHL. The Whale had Chris Kreider for a day before the Rangers called him back up.
More on Mattias Tedenby.
A story from Red Deer about the Bentley Generals, the team that picked up Jeremy Colliton and Trent Hunter last week (hat tip: Elite Prospects). Interesting note within: Goalie Jase Weslosky, an Islanders draft pick (think he may technically still be on the reserve list), is an Edmonton paramedic.
A wild story about Carl Pavano.
And xkcd kinda nails it.