It’s over. After 10 starts and 11 decisions without a victory, Kenny Reiter finally has a win.
“He’s a huge competitor. He keeps us in games,” Scott Pellerin said. “I’m very happy he got his first win.”
Like two-thirds of the gamer is on him, so we’ll let that stand while pointing out that, if the old saw about your goalie being your best penalty killer is true, it helps explain that 9-for-9.
“We kept everything to the outside,” Reiter said. “When they put it through the middle, I either saw it or it was blocked. Marc Cantin probably had a dozen blocks in the last period.”
That’s 17-for-18 the past two games, 28-for-31 since the Conor Allen goal early in Reiter’s last start, at Hartford. That’s a nice performance. It’s also way too many penalties, which is funny because in their first nine games they had seven games in which they’d had more power plays than their opponents, one game in which chances were even, and one in which they had six chances to Norfolk’s seven.
The past two nights: 18-7. (Coincidentally, that was shots on goal after the VandeVelde goal, before they figured out how to get pucks deep against the Phantoms.)
“There was a lot of adversity we had to deal with tonight that was our fault,” Pellerin said, “being in the penalty box, too many penalties. It’s something we’re going to learn from.”
The ninth chance was in the final minute as Jon Sim was called for knocking a stick away from Tye McGinn. Killed off.
“Sometimes, with a young team, you have to learn how to win,” Pellerin said. “Tonight was a good example, a 3-2 lead, dealing with penalties, finding a way to win.”
Gallant: “Upper body, not 100 percent,” Pellerin said. Maybe more tomorrow. You guys may know better than I do, but it looked as if Scott Mayfield picked up the autograph session for him, too.
Some good minutes from the defense, and a bunch of blocked shots. Reiter was, as noted, complimentary of Marc Cantin; think Mike Keenan had a few as well, among others. Mayfield finished plus-3.
The Ben Holmstrom goal/no-goal at 1:19 of the second was fascinating. Holmstrom pretty clearly distinct-kicking-motioned it. Dave Lewis conferred with the linesmen, appeared to think about going to replay (with just the overhead angle allowed, don’t think it would’ve revealed much), talked to the Sound Tigers, talked some more to the linesmen and finally waved it off. Think it was the right call, though the Sound Tigers showed the play several times on the big board, which seemed to make their argument a bit more vociferous. Terry Murray certainly wasn’t happy after that.
(Bob Rotruck thought he saw a VandeVelde deflection with the stick after the kick, which would’ve made it a good goal, kick or no, by Rule 49.2; I only saw one replay after hearing him mention that, but I didn’t catch a redirection.)
Got to say hi at least to Bruno Gervais before I had to run down the hall; it’s wild to think back to the 20-year-old and realize he’s now 29. Had a son in the summer. He had played 72 games in this building, including three in the ’06 playoffs; this was the first in over six years (April 6, 2007, against Providence), and the first coming from the other runway. Weird. Hope he gets himself back to the Show soon.
Radio liveblog tomorrow for the holiday matinee. See you then.