Liveblogging dumb thoughts

Y’know, ’cause it’s the Skills Contest, and I should be writing the Aucoin feature…

We need an AHL counterpart to the NHL’s Young Stars competition. Get a pool of the AHL veterans and pick two teams out of those. Obviously there’d have to be an exemption to get a Rochester representative.

This kid Jerry D’Amigo on the puck-control relay: ringer. Actually Greg Mauldin or something.

No surprises at the introductions, except maybe how many Phantoms fans there were. Picard got booed even harder for that. Boos for Goligoski. Ebbett naturally got applause. A little more for Lee. A lot more for Nycholat. They heard them in Johnson City for Hamel. Tambellini, standing next to Krog, got polite applause.

Little stumble on the last turn for Tambellini, maybe, costing him. He’s the fourth-fastest of these six. PU is on a roll. Must be the fancy digs in the home dressing room, as opposed to the Canadian team’s gulag.

“I don’t have great aim,” did Mark Mancari just say? Well then get the heck out of his way. 102.8 on the gun. It’s all about Rochester. Hey, is there a cash bonus to the team for these events?

NEW HAVEN REFERENCE from Emile Francis. Old-time hockey, baby.

Only player before tonight to go 4-for-4 at the AHL All-Star accuracy shooting game: current Islander (then Bruin) Andy Hilbert, 2005, at Manchester. Trent Hunter won it with a 4-for-6 in 2003 at Portland.

Some neat stuff from Brett Sterling, Erik Reitz and Toby Petersen. Pass through the slot, one guy fakes a shot to let it go to the third: Fun stuff. Pretty fancy.

Storm just scored on the breakaway relay. I don’t know who gets a point for that.

Houston’s mascot is “Chilly.” The Aeros also had a bunch of kids doing game-night things, shooting the T-shirts and all, called the “Aerodynamics.” When we were in Texas, my brother pointed out that “Chilly and the Aerodynamics” would be a great name for a band.

OK, that was kind of sick: Martin St. Pierre threw his gloves at Pekka Rinne as he was coming in, then fanned on the shot anyway.

Still, if Rob Schremp doesn’t show off on the breakaway relay, it’s just not a good night.

So Tambellini tried the long shot again, and Rask made a nifty glove save. And then Hamel scored, and the crowd cheered wildly! It thinks he’s terrific. (If you get that last reference, you’re a geek, nothing more to it.)

(more to come, maybe)

Michael Fornabaio