Kevin Schultz linked up a story from Sweden on Anders Nilsson. Nilsson’s quoted in the story as saying he doesn’t want to play another year in the AHL. Interesting tack after a year that admittedly had some ups and downs here. Granted, the first two years were marked by injuries and health issues at times, but with all that resolved, he posted a .901 save percentage in 29 games here and a 2.81 GAA. (Kevin Poulin, in comparison, had a 2.65 and a .910 in 15 games with a slightly experienced defense and a college team of forwards. Though, to split up Nilsson’s season, when he went up after Evgeni Nabokov was hurt the first time, he had a 3.57 GAA and .880 save percentage. After that, he had a 2.39 and a .914.)
Anyway, if this is it: Been swell. One pretty good season under Sudsie Maharaj, then an ankle injury, then last year’s dietary debacle, and then this year. We’ll see where he turns up. That said, reads like he’ll be playing the World Championship for Sweden. A few (former?) teammates could be waiting for him in late May.
In the Calder Cup playoffs, the conference champs are on the brink (and still on the road). Max Sauve scored after 74:51 of scoreless hockey, and Norfolk can eliminate Manchester on Friday night. The Monarchs outshot Norfolk 15-1 in the second, but John Gibson shut the door; the Admirals had a 14-4 edge in the third, but J.S. Berube stopped all 14.
Only one puck beat Keith Kinkaid tonight in Newfoundland, but Kael Mouillierat’s goal was enough to beat the Devils 1-0. The IceCaps are up 2-1 in their series, as are the WBS Penguins after Chuck Kobasew’s deflection won Game 3 at home over Binghamton. All three games in that series have needed extra time. (None of the three has needed more than 11:07 of extra time.)
Abbotsford stayed alive, literally, as a franchise, with a 2-1 win at Grand Rapids on a Markus Granlund goal with 62 seconds left. The Griffins still lead the series 2-1. A report that the Heat will resurface in Glens Falls was termed premature, Diana C. Nearhos reports.
Oklahoma City, also trying to stay alive, erased a two-goal deficit. But Texas scored on a five-on-three midway through the third to break the tie, and the Stars became the first team to move on with a 4-2 win.
Chris Lee and Magnitogorsk (and Mike Keenan) won the KHL’s Gagarin Cup over David Ullstrom and Lev Praha. Meanwhile, ERC Ingolstadt won the DEL with an obscure local angle: Defenseman Michel Periard, then Florida Panthers property, took part in the very first Sound Tigers training camp almost 13 years ago.
And RIP, Bob Hoskins.