From a Bridgeport perspective, you could call this an evening ruined by one moment.
Bad clear, thrown back down low, deflected, rebound deflects back out to the slot, Wade Dubielewicz is helpless as Dwight Helminen tosses it upstairs. That cost Bridgeport a point.
The Abomination ends up 4-3, and the game ends up 3-2.
Great game for Masi Marjamaki (more in the days to come, I hope)… For two and a half periods, I had him first star. And I kind of wish I had put him as one of the stars (he was on my ballot, but not in print). Dubielewicz got better after a somewhat shaky start, though that shaky start didn’t include a goal against; they weren’t bad. He kept creeping up my three-stars ballot.
The weekly topic, as I mentioned last night, is sadly appropriate. It was a fantastic night on the ice, with the best team in the league in the house, and it was witnessed by friends and family. It’s just a shame. Heaven knows I can’t tell people how to spend their money, but 1,660 announced, and certainly no more than two-thirds that in the house…
Comparisons to past years are tough. Everybody says everybody else is papering the house. Drop counts — those who actually showed up — aren’t readily available. Sorting out paid from freebies is even tougher. But there’s a little chart in the paper today that includes data from the past four seasons through 14 home games and through Dec. 18. Here’s an expanded version, with some added numbers that hopefully add some context:
*-only crowd over 4112 is Hartford
#-first number includes two crowds at Nassau Coliseum totalling 27,166. Second number is 38 Bridgeport dates.
Key: 14 HGP: Average attendance through 14 home games; 12/18: Number of home dates-average attendance through Dec. 18; 4K+: Crowds of 4,000 or better; 5K+: Crowds of 5,000 or better; -3K: Crowds under 3,000; Midweeks: Number of dates on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday; Final: End-season average; HFD: Number of Hartford games-average for those. Slashes differentiate between data for the first 14 home games and data for games before Dec. 18.
Announced attendance is tickets distributed. This includes sales, barters and complimentary tickets.
I don’t know, maybe this question was better asked before this week, but here it is anyway: Why? If you aren’t you coming to games, why? If you are, why aren’t your friends? Do people not get what this product is? Do people not care? What’s holding this team back? We’ve spent five years speculating, and maybe it’s time we figured it out.
Meanwhile, Jeff Hamilton and Rob Collins were here for practice this morning. It’s likely that one, maybe both, of them will return to the Islanders for tomorrow night’s game against mighty Ottawa. And on an absolutely, positively, 100-percent unrelated note, isn’t the salary cap great?
Well, maybe I oughta stop making excuses for this team.
The defensive effort was stellar Wednesday night. Almost perfect. Bruno Gervais was tough back there. Newbie Scott Ford played physically. Chris Thompson? Hitting again, along with Travis Brigley and Steve Regier.
Jeremy Colliton, back from the NHL, was outstanding, maybe the best player on the ice in every zone. Wade Dubielewicz stopped everything he had a chance to stop.
The result? Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 14-1-0-1 on the road.
Jeff Hamilton seems to be just a paper transaction; he’s still up.
Rob Collins was not just a paper transaction. In mind, body and spirit, he was here for the morning skate, long enough to do a couple of interviews, too… and then was called back up.
In addition, defenseman Scott Ford came up from Trenton on a pro tryout as the Sound Tigers attempt to corner the market on former Brown defensemen.
–Jeff Hamilton, Jeremy Colliton and Rob Collins will (apparently for real this time) return to the Bridgeport lineup Wednesday night. I’d love to have a copy of the CBA available to cite you chapter and verse on the emergency-recall rules at the holiday roster freeze, but just in case they’re not the same as they used to be, let’s just go on to…
–Also set to return: Chris Madden, albeit as a backup.
–And also returning to practice this morning: Joel Bouchard. Story in the morning.
Early rumblings are that the rule does apply: Sounds like Coach Nas can’t also be Captain Nas. We’ll get the story tomorrow…
Hot rumor: Remember Joel Bouchard? He might be back in the lineup sooner than later. (Not this week, but soon.)
What was that score? It was 9-6? Did Aki Berg kick a field goal? But hey, Eric Godard and Rob Collins with their first NHL goals, that’s neat.
Just had one of those dumb moments watching the rerun here on TV… Do you get these? They panned the bench, following as Garth Snow skated out to the net after Stajan’s short-hander, and I looked up and thought for an instant to myself, “gee, that looks like Rob Collins.” Well, duh.
Player-coach Alain Nasreddine? Not bad. (Gotta check something — there’s a rule that says a player-coach can’t serve as captain.)
More fun: DiPietro and Drury on the Olympic team.
Good luck to Larry Robinson; stress stinks. And godspeed to the retiring Vlady Malakhov, one of the four to complete the trifecta. Know who has the best chance to be No. 5? Joel Bouchard. See, it’s all a circle.
I’m thinking this might be my Wednesday story, but just some raw numbers (with a tip of the hat to Peter Zellen of the, y’know, other paper, who asked in postgame about something similar…)
Bridgeport has played 31 games now, 11-18-2-0. They lost one in overtime after not trailing during regulation, so let’s set that aside for the moment as a special case.
In the other 30, Bridgeport has trailed at some point in 21 of them. That’s 42 conceivable points. How many have the Sound Tigers picked up?
I’d do the litany, but you know what? My brother’s in town, it’s late, it’s ugly. Let’s do it semi-short-form, noting first that Cole Jarrett hit the post twice….
Craig Weller tries this interesting rim-around and puts it right on Sean Bergenheim’s stick. A give-n-go with Robert Nilsson later, and it’s 1-0. And then… And then…
And then along came Pock.