We’ve reached that two-groups time of year. Out there as a “game group” this morning was this lineup:
Dal Colle – St. Denis – Ho-Sang
“With the numbers we have, we want to make sure the guys who’ll be playing get the reps they need,” Brent Thompson said.
The others skated earlier. Christopher Gibson, working back from his November lower-body injury and January surgery, came on afterward for a light skate. He’s reportedly been on skates for a couple of days.
Bridgeport signed Cornell’s Jeff Kubiak to an ATO and a contract for next season. The centerman is assigned Chris Langkow’s No. 54. (I’m sure Langkow’s thrilled to read that, on the off chance he ever does, but he’s the only one who’s worn it here.) Kubiak, from Tinley Park, Ill. (been there), was at Islanders summer development camp last year. “Big body, good stick, good hockey mind, a solid defensive mind,” Thompson said. The Big Red listed him at 6-foot-3, 214 pounds.
(Since Kubiak’s the 36th guy on the roster right now, it only makes sense he has a linebacker’s number.)
Did a little breakdown last night of things that are going to have to happen Friday into Saturday for Bridgeport to get this done, and the many ways Hershey can make it easy on itself instead. If heading home Sunday felt unusual, it was: That was only the second time Bridgeport has played its home finale with its playoff fate undetermined. The first was 2005-06, which was a lot more foregone-conclusiony, wrapping up the home slate with three road games left and a magic number of 2. (Those Sound Tigers lost all three games but clinched with a Binghamton loss between the first and second.)
All three remaining Islanders draft picks in junior are into the second round, and they all play a Game 3 tonight. Mathew Barzal is back for Seattle, which is up 2-0. David Quenneville and Mitch Vande Sompel’s teams are both 1-1. None could be done before Friday, so it’d likely take a playoff appearance for them to get here.
Hey, it’s that time of the year again: Fake Team Awards time. Vote if you wanna. Vote early, vote once.
Was just going to mention this the other day in the “aw” section, but the team came through with a photo on Twitter yesterday, so: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. (They’re back out there today, along with a bunch of other BST-related youngsters.)
Missed it yesterday, but Mora announced that Jeremy Colliton is heading back to this side of the Atlantic after taking the team back to the SHL.
Thompson’s known Charlie McAvoy for a couple of years, since Tage Thompson and McAvoy played together in the U.S. NTDP, but he mentioned that Doug Holewa, former Bridgeport assistant, coached him with the New Jersey Rockets. McAvoy joined the Boston Bruins after a short ATO with Providence that included a couple of games against Bridgeport over the weekend. “He comes from a good family. He’s a good kid,” Thompson said. “He made some good reads. I don’t think we saw his dynamic offensive ability.” (“Thank goodness,” Thompson added.) “He has a huge upside.”
And holy cro is this fantastic. (Best. Episode. Ever.)