Full weekend: Albany postgame

The Devils had moments where they were coming pretty hard — “Albany always comes hard, finishes checks,” Matt Donovan said; “you’ve kind of got to match it” — but Anders Nilsson made sure they weren’t really in this. Bridgeport scored goals less than a minute apart twice and finished with 12 goals in two games this weekend.

Nilsson, aside from Raman Hrabarenka’s kind of ugly first goal from above the right circle on Joe Whitney’s cross-ice pass — Nilsson said he let his focus slip for a split-second, all Hrabarenka needed — had a fine afternoon. Stopped shots in bunches on the power play. Mike Sislo and Whitney were among those stopped point-blank.

From when he returned a few weeks ago, Nilsson talked about the confidence he gained in the NHL. Donovan and Anders Lee both mentioned that today as well. This isn’t easy to isolate as his own numbers; the team has made progress in different areas at different paces as well. But thought it was worth dividing up:

First (through 11/16)    605:02   3.57   .880  
Second (12/14-1/4) 541:16 2.44 .910
Current (1/31-) 357:42 2.35 .913

The old immortal “so there’s that.”


First Bridgeport goal for Matthew Pistilli, found by Donovan on the rush, which helped update this little table:

Place  Name Years GP G A Pts
7 Trent Hunter 2001-03 150 60 76 136
8 Justin Mapletoft 2001-05 240 47 83 130
9 Matt Donovan 2010-14 174 31 86 117
10 Ben Walter 2007-09 133 40 76 116
11 Rhett Rakhshani   2009-12 120 44 69 113
12 Jesse Joensuu 2007-11 177 42 69 111
13 Mark Wotton 2006-11  368  22  88  110

Got a Moose sighting anyway, as it turned out, after Bridgeport got Scott Wedgewood five times on 11 shots. Johan Hedberg came in to stop 11 of 13. “I was a little stiff, but it was fun,” Johan Hedberg said. Hedberg, whose contract was bought out over the summer, had been working for the New Jersey Devils, doing some scouting, helping out in Albany. They asked him to help out this weekend by dressing. “I wasn’t really counting on getting into any games,” Hedberg said. “It happened to be like that. Whatever I can do to help out the team.”

Didn’t want to come off as the guy asking if all Swedish guys know each other, but I’m pretty sure I did when I asked if Hedberg was a guy that meant anything to Nilsson, if he grew up watching him or anything. Ah well. But Anders said he’d spoken to Hedberg a few times when they were both in the NHL, chatting across the red line in warmup.

Scott Campbell’s back up to Providence.

Holy cro, the last 30 seconds in Lewiston. At this writing, they’re at 299 combined penalty minutes overall, and by a quick and probably wrong add-and-subtract, 237 of those at either 19:38 of the third or 19:41 of the third. Two match penalties. Game misconducts for leaving the bench and leaving the penalty box. Abuse of officials. Zach FitzGerald has 40 PIM at the moment.

That actually vaults Bridgeport over Adirondack into 11th place in the conference. The Sound Tigers actually gained ground: They’re 11 points behind eighth-place St. John’s, which lost in a shootout to move a tiebreaker ahead of Albany. (So, yes, they’ve won seven out of nine since I did that stats-post a few weeks ago, and they’ve fallen a point further behind. Hell Is Other People, especially when they’ve got games in hand.)

If you didn’t see the Olympics post earlier (went up in-game), Julie Chu will reportedly play in the morning for the U.S. in the semifinals. And an interesting story from the Boston Globe that I didn’t finish but would recommend just for the map: on endangered languages in the area around Sochi.

Team’s off tomorrow and gets back at it Tuesday, next playing Friday. If I recall correctly the Islanders can begin reassembling on Wednesday. Bridgeport has a three-in-three on the weekend, at Hartford, in Philly, home. More Tuesday, unless warranted.

Michael Fornabaio