In “real” terms — you know, no bonus points, no OTL/SOW freebies, actual hockey — Springfield is 14-5-9. The Falcons are 20-4-1-3, but 6-3 in the shootout, so there’s your nine ties. Take the six wins away, and you’ve got a record that looks less like the AHL’s best and more like that of a team atop the Premiership.
(Bridgeport’s 10-16-5, if you’re curious.)
Actually, something has to give tonight. While the Falcons have played three shootout games in a row and four of the past five, Bridgeport hasn’t been to overtime since those back-to-back road shootout games the weekend before Thanksgiving. That’s 15 games in a row without a 61st minute. The team record is 16, Oct. 15-Nov. 25, 2005. Game 16 was in Syracuse the night after Thanksgiving (Chris Madden’s homecoming; Greg Mauldin scored a goal); it ended the next night at Philadelphia, the Whatever-Bank-It-Was-At-The-Time Center, blowing a 3-1 lead and losing on a Freddy Meyer goal.
Which streak rolls on? Let’s hope it doesn’t go to penalties, let’s put it that way.
(Or, you know, if it does, go Italia.)
Philip-Michael Devos makes his Bridgeport debut (on the second line, no less), with assorted players shifting around in the meantime. We saw a little of Lee and Quine together Thursday night, albeit with different wingers at different times (or on their own on the game-ending PK/push for a goal); they’ll have Halmo with them to start.
The Falcons have seven defensemen and 11 forwards. Neither side dressed a 19th for warmup, so here you go.
D: Donovan (A)-Cornell
D: St. Denis-Goloubef
R: R.Murphy. L: Galvin, Redding
Meanwhile, if my math is right, Matt Donovan hits an oddball milestone tonight. The transition rules under the new CBA — they’re Exhibit 16, buried in the back — say that a guy with Donovan’s vitals is now exempt from waivers for three years (this is Donovan’s third) or 69 NHL games played. (See CapGeek to play with the waivers calculator.)
Donovan came into the year with three games; he played 22 this year before the Islanders sent him out. Had he played another 44 this year, he would reach 69 and couldn’t be sent down at the end of the NHL year without waivers.
But after tonight’s Islanders game ends in Detroit, they’ll have just 43 left, so they’d have no worries the rest of the NHL regular season about Donovan tripping his waiver-eligibility mark. (The AHL season ends a week later than the NHL season, so an Islanders playoff appearance could affect that math.)
For what it’s worth. We love our oddball milestones.