Two nights in a row they had a chance to tie it late and couldn’t quite find twine; two mirror-image 5-4 losses this weekend.
Mirror-images, in fact, because they fell behind 3-1 and 5-2 both nights.
There’s lots of stuff in the gamer from a few different people about how they did that tonight (puck management, etc., you’ve read stuff like it before, actually). Two four-on-four goals-against tonight is a little unusual, but, you know, puck management, puck-staring, the like.
But they’ve managed two nights in a row to get something going. It was the remade fourth line last night; it was the end of a penalty kill and — cue the Hallelujah Chorus, or I was thinking of going with this on Twitter if it weren’t such a high-leverage spot — the power play.
These rallies would be a lot nicer for the Sound Tigers if, so to speak, they didn’t even need them in the first place.
“Even though we lost,” Brent Thompson said, “it’s something we can build off.”
Christopher Gibson left the game after two, ill.
Some penalties in the third period. Bracken Kearns slugging Marek Hrivik and getting just a minor out of it. (Nick Tarnasky extracted the pound of flesh later.) Loic Leduc getting a roughing minor and then, egging on Nicklas Jensen in his Hartford debut, a misconduct. (When I saw Leduc paired up with Jensen, I mumbled about wondering if Leduc knew who he was dealing with. When Jensen grabbed a hold and shoved a bit, I mumbled about wondering if Jensen knew who he was dealing with.) “I’d like to be a little more disciplined, but at the same time, I liked the fact the guys had a little bit of an edge to them,” Thompson said. Can’t argue.
That was Bridgeport’s first power-play goal since Nov. 11 on which Jesse Graham didn’t have an assist. Of course, it’s only the sixth power-play goal since then. Pulock has a point on the past three, which takes you to Dec. 12. The 0-for-31 ties for third with a streak early in 2006-07, trailing just the 0-for-41 from late in the last lockout year and an 0-for-33 late in 2003-04. In time (53:13), there are at least five longer streaks. It’s a monkey off their back, at least. “I thought there were a couple of power plays where we moved it around pretty well,” Pulock said. “It’s got to start somewhere. That’s a role that’s important for us. Like I’ve been saying, it’s a big part of the game. It can be the difference between wins and losses.”
Thompson said he liked the way Leduc played last night (and again tonight) and decided to give Carkner the full week’s rest. The team’s off Sunday, so more Monday unless things happen. (On assignment tomorrow anyway. I’ll say hi to Phil for you.)
Very dumb coincidence noted late last night: The last Sound Tiger to wear 25 before Colin Markison (two assists last night) was… Justin Hickman (first goal of the season last night).
Arthur Staple on Jack Capuano, Islanders coach for 400 games now.
Prescout. Portland’s only one of the hottest teams in the league right now. The Sound Tigers play there next Friday and Saturday before coming home for the Phantoms the next day.
West Haven’s Mike Pereira, who was on an AHL contract with Bridgeport last year but never got up here, signed a PTO with Utica today.
And good news from Grand Rapids: Alden Hirschfeld seems to be doing OK after suffering a seizure during Friday’s game against Milwaukee.