Thoughts here and there on the all-star game…
–To me the most interesting thing out of the State of the League presser this morning: Dave Andrews said the league is willing to work with the NHL’s west-coast teams on putting AHL teams out there, for travel savings and ease of call-up. They’re putting together a feasibility study, due within a couple of months.
He noted that the Connecticut Whale have had to at least consider other options for the future, not knowing who’ll be running the XL Center in a few months and not being able to negotiate a new lease with, thus, a nonexistent operator. They’d prefer to keep the team and the Rangers there.
Jason Iacona posted audio and further bullet points if you’d like to give ‘er a listen.
–As skills contests go, last night’s was a pretty good one. And today’s Hall of Fame ceremony was fantastic. Great speeches, including the last of the day by Ken Gernander. Tom McVie, honorary Western Conference captain, naturally brought the house down. Often. Mark Divver tweeted one of the best moments. I hope they’ll post those speeches on the Web site. They’ll be worth your time.
–I had to ask Victor Bartley: Why 64? “They gave it to me in camp. I kind of liked 64,” he said, and I gotta admit, it’s a cool number, though I also admit I kind of wish he’d have said “well, 64 is eight squared, you see.”*
–3:30 in. Two missed open nets. Zero goals. #competelevel The first chant was “Let’s go, Falcons.” The second was “Let’s go, East.”
–GOALIE ASSIST! I mean, goalie assist: Justin Peters comes way out to his right to clear a puck high off the glass, Shore to Zucker clean breakaway, 1-0 West. MVP, Peters.
–Always loved Radko Gudas in this video the Admials did for their scoreboard last year.
–Svedberg has given up two goals in 70 seconds. Pull ‘im.
–RT @CoopersLaw: We might need to call a timeout #AHLAllStarGame
–Three goals in less than two minutes. See, this is where you could use a Brett Gallant.
–It’s 4-1 West after one.
–Pretty sure that’s Nathan McIver doing the safety message on the board. BTW, think we tweeted but didn’t blog: The aggressor mess Saturday night gave McIver 1,005 AHL penalty minutes. (It drew tweets from the bus from @DeFabio24 and @Gally44.)
–Matt Donovan threw a hit on the first shift of the second. Setting a tone, perhaps. JAM and Tyler Johnson give-and-go cuts it to 4-2. (Jon Cooper had just snapped a photo of the backs of those two and tweeted that standing on top of each other they’re not as tall as Jamie Oleksiak. Start taking more photos, coach.)
–Niederreiter will get the secondary here, dropping a behind-the-back pass against Bartley; Bracken Kearns finishes it off. 4-3 at 6:31.
Donovan hit game changer! #AHLAllStar
— Jon Cooper (@CoopersLaw) January 29, 2013
–Brust with a couple of ridiculous and acrobatic saves to extend his shutout streak to 7:40.
–McElhinney answers at the other end a few minutes later. Stops a 3-on-0, a man all alone. Goalie fight is the only logical extension.
–Oops. McElhinney way out to right, gives it up, tied up with a westerner (come on, Ryan Fraser), Ryan Hamilton finally puts it in at the right post with an open net. Thought I heard Arcobello on an assist. But East comes back 28 seconds later. It’s 5-4 West. Niederreiter tries another behind-the-back pass on the way to the net this time; it’s broken up before it gets to Bobby Butler. Through two. Donovan for MVP.
–Shore makes a move to Robin Lehner’s net early in the third period. These guys get there with impunity when tough guys like Donovan aren’t out there to take care of things.
–Two-point night for Arcobello as Hamilton taps in his second goal 5:21 into the third. East comes back a couple of minutes later to make it a one-goal game again. #pleasenoshootout
Picked up a GPS for Miller and Niederreiter today just in case they are in the puck relay ever again. #AHLAllStar
— Jon Cooper (@CoopersLaw) January 29, 2013
(The man has made this night worthwhile.)
–No Sound Tigers on the power play.
–Think it was Niederreiter who had a chance, shoveling a loose puck toward the net, no go. On a change, the East ties it up, Barberio springing Trent Whitfield for a breakaway with 2:30 left.
–Arcobello to Hamilton, 11.2 seconds left, the hat trick and the win: West 7, East 6.
–Hamilton the MVP, naturally. Chip a little of that crystal off for the kid from Milford (and, if I heard correctly down the row, Oleksiak for tying up McElhinney EDIT: Arcobello says Agozzino. MVP).
–“It was cool to see some of the guys you play against, and some of the guys you don’t play against from the East,” Arcobello said. Ah, yeah, know that feeling. A bit more from him in the notes tomorrow.
–Also more from Donovan, mostly about the hit. ‘Cause he had a horde awaiting him. (Well, like, four of us.) “I just went out there and had fun with it,” Donovan said. Niederreiter did, too. “It was a great thing to be a part of,” Niederreiter said. He enjoyed the Hall of Fame induction, seeing them talk not about wins and losses but about the relationships they made in the game.
–Sound Tigers return to work Wednesday night. Unless warranted, more then.