Sharp seemed to be the word of the day. More precisely, that’s what they weren’t.
They were going early, had chances early: three posts. They got back even in the second period, then gave up a weird one with 20 seconds left. A couple of goals off turnovers buried them.
Streak’s over. (Streaks, including Alan Quine’s scoring streak.)
“We were just a little casual in our defensive zone,” Brent Thompson said. “We created some chances. Our neutral zone was outstanding as far as positioning, gaps. Puck plays have got to be cleaned up.”
Turnovers were perpetual killers through the middle of the season; they’d been cut down but cropped up again tonight. The last three goals all came pretty much straight off them (though Bridgeport would love a better look at the blue line on the game-winner, which they thought was offside).
“Things happened in all three zones,” Quine said. “We just weren’t playing like we played the last 10 games. Just everything wasn’t as sharp throughout the whole game.”
Team’s off tomorrow. More Tuesday unless warranted. We’ll see if it is. There was no apparent immediate rush to get Ryan Pulock on the highway, not that there’d have to be. “It was nice to see him get a goal,” said Thompson, professing, like Pulock himself, not to know what was coming next. “We’ve got to work on his defensive part of his game. It’s a piece that needs to be emphasized in his game. If he defends harder, there’s no reason he doesn’t step into the NHL.”
On swapping Jared Gomes out for Tanner Fritz: “Just to get Fritz in,” Thompson said. “Gomes has been playing pretty good hockey. It was an opportunity to get (Fritz) in. I was really happy with his game. He’s a smart player. He played with poise.”
Fritz’s first shift was a pretty memorable one. He took a turnover the other way (“The guy kinda just passed it to me,” Fritz said), got a good shot off that Yann Danis gloved, then won the draw to set up Pulock’s shot. “There were a lot of nerves,” Fritz said. “They kind of settled down pretty quickly.”
Anders Lee in the house, a little later than he’d hoped because of some traffic. “Made the drive; a little familiar,” Lee said. “It’s always good to see some of the guys coming up through the system, see the ol’ coaches, Bogy, Tommer. Hopefully I’ll be able to see them, but I know they’ve got a game to worry about.” He hadn’t seen the bobblehead when we chatted. Was just hoping it looked a little like him.
The power play has dropped back to last with tonight’s 0-for-6. Hartford is 3-for-9 over the past two days to reach 11.05 percent; Bridgeport is at 10.95. Shortie tonight didn’t help, either. Not a lot of good possession time.
Prescout. Frankie Vatrano, 23-11-34 in 22 AHL games, is evidently some sort of sorcerer.
Let me be the 475th to recommend to you this Eric Duhatschek story on the 1967 NHL expansion.