In a wacky game full of seismic momentum shifts, Devon Toews was bedrock for Bridgeport.
“He was outstanding the whole game,” Brent Thompson said. “Put the points aside, the way he played away from the puck, distributing the puck, coming out of his own end, his gaps … the penalty kill, rush reads, he was outstanding.”
Toews has had to be the No. 1 defenseman for Bridgeport, with three guys up. Tonight he tied the team record with four assists, and he had four shots, his fourth such game in November.
“I think I’m getting more comfortable,” Toews said. Familiarity with the league, familiarity with other teams — “and we’re starting to play teams again,” he said — has helped a lot.
Thompson wants to see Toews’ assertiveness — we’ve heard that word before — kept up; that’s how he’s going to have to play at the next level.
It helped tonight.
On Ryan Pulock’s not playing tonight: “He needed to get skated. He hadn’t skated enough,” Thompson said. “We needed to have him skate, and obviously I talked to our general manager, if he wasn’t ready, prepare him for the weekend. … For us, it was preparing him for the weekend and make sure he’s ready to go at that point.”
The lines got to be a bit all over the place at times, at first off a switch on the power play, then disrupted by penalties, then just seemingly because. “I thought we were a little stagnant after the first,” Thompson said. “Winquist’s chemistry with Kerno (Bracken Kearns) and (Steve) Bernier, I think you saw it on the power play.” The St. Denis-Holmstroms line stayed fairly constant; Thompson really liked Ben’s game tonight, and the other two drew three of the five power plays. See how they look Thursday.
Only the second time* they’ve had 13 wins in the first 19 games (season’s one-quarter over): They were 13-5-1-0 last year. They’ve never won 14 of the first 20.
Brian Lockhart on the city’s new admissions tax that, come New Year’s, will hit Sound Tigers tickets.
The new coach of the Norfolk Admirals is familiar to New Haven fans. (Albany fans, for that matter.)
And a terrible story from South America, where a plane taking Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense to Colombia for a tournament game crashed and left 71 dead. RIP.
*-Haven’t pointed out yet that there’s some apples-to-oranges in here; they had three or four ties through 19 games in each of their first three seasons, which would go to shootouts under today’s rules**, and which if they won them all like this team has, through 19 games in those seasons, they would’ve had 16, 13 and 15 wins***.
**-Of course under today’s rules teams might have played those games differently, thus never getting through 65 tied at all.
***-It’s really remarkable that I haven’t pointed that out. Pointing out stuff like that is like one of the joys of my existence, to read the footnotes**** on the blog over the past 11 years.
****-I don’t footnote like I used to, either. Or drop Simpsons quotes. Sad*****.
*****-Pardon me: Sad!