Hard to bear

Hard to bear

Look, this is a beat-up Hershey team. This Hershey team may be even more beat up than the Sound Tigers. They scratched 11 men today, including their top two goalies, an all-star defensemen and an AHL-elite right winger. (Although one of the 11 is a pretty good player that Washington sent down with instructions not to play.)

And they still had Aucoin, Kane, Pinizzotto, Willsie, Bouchard, Joudrey, Greentree… on and on.

And Bridgeport could have beat them. Maybe should have beat them. Drew some penalties. Pat Bingham was talking about how aggressive the Bears’ penalty kill is, “they almost dare the referee to put them down five-on-three, and the refs did put them down five-on-three.” They took advantage. Ullstrom was excellent on faceoffs, Bingham noted, and moving the puck up-ice. They held the Bears to 14 shots, which I’ve got to double-check but appears to be a Bridgeport record. Edit: Yup, certainly looks like it. They’d had 15 three times, but not since October 2004. They scored two. Ullstrom and Pitton hit crossbars, and Hisey hit a post.

And the result? It’s an old story. Bingham even invoked “Groundhog Day.” They’ve lost 18 games in regulation since Jan. 1. Seven were one-goal losses. Five were two-goal losses. (Four threes, a four and a five.) They’ve found ways to lose.

And how many ways? Remember the chart here at the end of January? (On that page, it’s missing the last game of January, which was a loss.) Well, just as the past two months have included the second-longest winless streak followed by the winless streak, and just as the two longest losing streaks for goaltenders in team history now overlap, well, there’s this:

Month Record Pts Pct.
January 2011 1-9-2-1  .192
February 2011 2-9-0-1 .208
December 2006  4-9-0-0 .308
January 2005 3-7-0-1 .318
January 2010 3-7-1-4 .366

On to March.

The team plans to take the next two days off. I’ll ask the bosses, but any strong feelings one way or the other if we do the chat Wednesday instead of Tuesday? I’ll keep you posted. Edit: Yeah, let’s do that. Wednesday at 1:30. Be here.

Bingham thought Jeremy Colliton and perhaps Dylan Reese would be good to go during the week. (They don’t play until Saturday.)

Last year’s deadline was spent here in the dark. This year’s will be spent at home, probably. We’ll see what goes down.

Would imagine we’ll hear, too, if Brett Gallant gets anything more than time served.

What did everybody think of the special sweaters? Tried to put together some sort of list of differences between these and the original whites: Orange instead of yellow/gold, obviously. The back numerals looked to be a darker blue, more Islanders’ royal blue. Didn’t get a close-up look at the nameplates; is that what ’05-06 looked like? Can’t remember. The neck on this one had laces; the old ones didn’t. And the patches were different, with an Islanders patch on the left sleeve and the 10th-Anniversary patch on the right. And then the various branding and “Edge” differences. Anything else?

Darien’s Hugh Jessiman finally got to the Show. He played almost 10 minutes for the Panthers today.

My grammar school’s archrival, my high school’s archrival and my DAD’s high school’s archrival all had groups here today. Felt very threatened.

And RIP, Greg Goossen and Duke Snider.

Michael Fornabaio