Defend by offending

“We got pucks in deep, but they were very efficient breaking the puck out,” Scott Pellerin said. “They were able to hit their low center a lot. We weren’t able to make the adjustment to keep the puck in their zone.”

Well, that was easy. See you…


(We haven’t done that in a while, have we?)

I mean, really. It’s not like they played badly. Shots were lopsided in the first period, but a lot were outside shots, about three of them were on the power play, and hey, the Sound Tigers led 1-0. They got some more shots through the rest of the way, but their best chances came on the rush in overtime.

It had kind of started by then, but I think back to something I tweeted: Worcester failed on a breakout in the first, handed it over to Sundstrom around the red line. Sundstrom narrowly missed Halmo going the other way. It was called icing. The Sharks spent about the next three minutes in deep, put a shot or two on Reiter.

Wasn’t a turning point, not least because Bridgeport scored right after. But it was almost a template.


Power play didn’t score tonight. Power play also didn’t get a chance tonight. Sixth time for Bridgeport; first since 2011-12. (The PK, 3-for-3, stayed solid.) Bridgeport has meanwhile been outscored 4-0 this season at four-on-four (though that’s the first since Game 7). I’m thinking the youth plays a role in that, or it could partly be a blip.

Something to keep an eye on.

Second period on, Anders Lee took more faceoffs than usual, which just seemed interesting. Both Ryan Strome and Pellerin mentioned the lefty-righty thing, that Lee would take some left-circle draws for the safer angles. And they’ve done that along the way. But I didn’t remember Lee, who played plenty of center in college, taking neutral-zone draws with Strome on the ice before tonight — at the very least, he hadn’t to this degree.

“Just changing it up,” Strome said. “Last game, I took a lot, and it does wear on you.” Some big guys to battle against at the dot, he said. Pellerin mentioned that guys might switch it up if some matchups hadn’t worked.

Another something to keep an eye on, I guess.

The Johnson and Gallant fights, you could see coming a mile and a half away, but they were solid ones. (Video here as always.) Tough timing on Mayfield’s, with Kirill Kabanov just about gone. The lines switched up a bit late in the game, and I think Gallant picked up some extra minutes in the exchanges.

Meanwhile up top, Thomas Hickey is hurt, which has Arthur Staple talking trade.

Holy squalls on the way home. Right before the Charlton service area there was a sudden little burst of snow, with ice of some sort mixed in. Lightly covering the road. The wind was fierce at times all the way back. Darn it, winter, not ready for you yet.

Via Chris Roy: The Pirates could be willing to talk about talking with the CCCC.

And finally, prescout. Check-to-the-head* matches are no fun for anyone. But from the local angle, it’s more about a couple of former PTOs. Reuniting the gang Sunday, a little. (And the almost-gang, in one case.) More then.

*-Incidentally, Friday’s penalty to Mike Cornell that set off the second-period fun was changed from roughing to a check to the head minor, at some point between its announcement and the time I got upstairs from postgame. Just in case.

Michael Fornabaio