Three in threes against non-three-in-three teams… They just ain’t easy. Toss in giving up a goal 70 seconds in, they get nearer to impossible. And give Bridgeport credit, like Brent Thompson said: Their conditioning was good. They kept coming. They hit like freight trains; my Italian’s rusty, but I didn’t think “Marcantuoni” meant “marked man.” They kept shooting. The whole weekend was, as Brent Thompson has been fond of saying, a step in the right direction.
Matt Murray was pretty darn good and has been pretty darn good; this was thatclose to being his third shutout in four starts.
“I thought we kind of got little bad bounces in the first,” David Leggio said. The first goal caromed to the top of the crease and he said he wasn’t sure where it was before Jayson Megna buried it. The second, he thought Tom Kuhnhackl had bumped him (Matt Lashoff was coming in with Kuhnhackl), and he hadn’t recovered when Carter Rowney found Megna’s blocked shot.
Things settled in — score effects and whatnot, maybe, but still — and Bridgeport kept coming. But the hole was dug.
Partly dug in August.
Speaking of digging, can we stick to mostly cloudy? (The Beanpot final, like school in Boston, is already off.)
Leggio said some of this weekend’s bounceback was confidence; he felt good both Friday and Sunday. Assorted things he mentioned will be in the gamer, but his last words make sense to sum it up: “Focus on what you can control.”
Murray on that Bridgeport five-on-three in the third was just ridiculous. I couldn’t keep up with how many he stopped, how many he got in the way of, how many missed, how many went wherever. “I think I celebrated once or twice before the puck went in,” Kael Mouillierat said. “He made some unbelievable saves.”
It took one shift to turn the Jesse-Graham-on-right-wing experience into the Kevin-Czuczman-on-left-wing experience. (They actually swapped spots on the bench when Graham got back after his shift, which I thought was kind of neat.) “I thought Grahamer didn’t look comfortable,” Thompson said. “We want to generate offense from our back end, and he’s one of the guys who can do it. With his size, Church actually skates very well. His size, his skating, his ability to get in on the forecheck, he fit that mold.”
With guys like John Persson and Brett Gallant expected back this week, Thompson wasn’t expecting to need to make any moves. Whether there are any, we’ll see. Team’s off Monday, so more Tuesday unless warranted.
Big Club’s in action as I type, but Colin McDonald had the Islanders’ first goal.
Prescout. If the world hasn’t frozen by then.
Anders Lee retweeted this story about Curt Giles, former NHL defenseman and high school coach in Minnesota.
And RIP, Dean Smith.