The parade came, as expected. Terry Koharski had two slashing minors in the books in 183 seconds. They wound up with 13 power plays in all, including four five-on-threes (Hartford three of them for 4:25).
You know it’s coming. What do you do?
“I think you have to be patient,” Pat Cullity said.
“A guy like me, I’m a penalty-kill specialist but I’m not a PP specialist. I’ve got to keep my legs loose on the bench.”
The story for tomorrow’s paper leads with his reply to my “you know this was a preseason game, right?” question about his blocked shots on the two-man kill, but it was asked with tongue mostly in cheek: That’s pretty much just how he plays. And the other 18 who played Thursday mostly did it that way, too. The way Brent Thompson put it: They want to do the right things.
“There were a lot of positives,” Thompson said. “That’s going to make our job a lot harder. I was pretty impressed with all the guys. (Yanick) Turcotte, with his energy, his physicality. Look at Matt Gaudreau, stepping in, making little plays. He was strong on the wall. On defense, (Kyle) McKenzie blocked shots, was great on the penalty kill. (Patrick) McNally got up-ice.”
“Every guy today took what we were teaching during the week.” Thompson said. “I was really happy. (Kellen) Jonesy, (Josh) Holmstrom, they’re regulars for us, and they went out and worked hard.”
Bridgeport 1 1 0—2
Hartford 0 0 0—0
First Period — 1, Bridgeport, Gaudreau 1, 12:16. Penalties — Nevins, Hfd (slashing), 1:21; Herbert, Hfd (slashing), 3:03; McNally, Bpt (interference), 6:26; Cornell, Bpt (slashing), 7:14; Cullity, Bpt (cross-checking), 9:59.
Second Period — 2, Bridgeport, Langkow 1 (DiChiara, Kubiak), 13:05 (pp). Penalties — Turcotte, Bpt, minor-major (interference, fighting), 4:30; Nevins, Hfd, major (fighting), 4:30; Langkow, Bpt (slashing), 5:01; Kotyk, Hfd (delay of game), 11:48; Cornell, Bpt, minor-major (elbowing, fighting), 15:07; Samuelsson, Hfd, minor-major (roughing, fighting), 15:07; Herbert, Hfd (slashing), 19:13.
Third Period — No scoring. Penalties — Samuelsson, Hfd (tripping), 4:21; Cullity, Bpt (hooking), 9:53; K.Jones, Bpt (hooking), 10:09; Kovacs, Hfd (holding), 12:19.
Shots on goal — Bridgeport 12-7-5—24. Hartford 5-6-5—16.
Power play opportunities — Bridgeport 1 of 6, Hartford 0 of 7.
Goaltenders — Bridgeport, Gudlevskis 1-0-0 (16 shots-16 saves). Hartford, Nell 0-1-0 (13-12), Georgiev (10:33 second, 11-10).
Attendance — N/A (not open). Referees — T.Koharski, Tufts. Linesmen — K.Briganti, N.Briganti.
We were wrong about that expected split in net; Thompson said he planned a full 60 for Gudlevskis today (and plans the same Saturday for Christopher Gibson in the rematch at Worcester). “I wanted to get (Gudlevskis) a full game going into the season. He’s going to be a big part for us,” Thompson said. “He played great, controlled, moved the puck well.”
It wasn’t clear immediately from upstairs if Chris Langkow had tipped in Frank DiChiara’s point shot on the second-period power play; it looked like it, just from how quickly he reacted and from the noise. He said he did, indeed, turning to his left to get the deflection. He also said, which was kind of interesting, that it was a bit of an adjustment today getting back to game situations on the smaller ice, even though he’d only been away in Slovenia and Sweden for a year. “It’s having that extra second, even that extra half-second,” he said.
Worcester’s coaches have been in Bridgeport all week and were in the house today, too, with the likes of Eric Cairns, Doug Holewa and Chris Lamoriello. And Joe Whitney had many visitors in the hallways afterward.
Elsewhere, Dave Andrews called upon the youth of the league to return to Utica in January. It’ll be the second All-Star Game in four seasons in that building, which has undergone a big renovation.
It’s Belmont RFP Day. Newsday’s report: The Big Club is in. No amphitheater submissions yet, as far as we’ve heard.
The Rangers’ cuts included Neal Pionk, Boo Nieves, Ryan Graves and Vinni Lettieri to Hartford, Lias Andersson to Sweden and Bobby Farnham to parts unknown. Farnham is, truly, fun to watch when (I assume) you don’t have to play against him. Hope he finds a spot.