Considering the offensive gifts of this team the past few years, this might not be the most surprising fact: Today’s win was the Sound Tigers’ fifth 1-0 game this season (they’re 3-2). They played three last season (2-1). In the 10 previous seasons combined? They played 10. (And they played 18 in the first five seasons. But that was kind of a different world.)
They needed some luck; more posts and denied open chances for the Checkers. They needed some goaltending; Kristers Gudlevskis was huge when called on.
“Goody was unbelievable,” Connor Jones said. “He was certainly one of the biggest reasons we won.”
And they only needed one today, and they got it off a Roland McKeown turnover that Kellen Jones buried.
Brent Thompson thought the intensity picked up as they game went on.
“I thought we took steps in the right direction,” Thompson said. “They’re a good hockey team over there. They’re fast. They’re offensively dynamic. To keep them to zero goals, that’s great goaltending, and we defended hard.”
Season ain’t over yet.
Deadline tomorrow. Practice Tuesday before they embark on a Rochester-Laval-Belleville swing. More as it comes.
Parker Wotherspoon took a follow-through to the face in the third period, was cut up and didn’t return. He said afterward he’s been better. Understandable.
The power play’s drought is up to 0-for-24, the longest in a couple of years, but Thompson thought they generated some chances today.
Got the Jones brothers together. (I said I’d only do it if they finished each other’s sentences, but, well, we all say things.) When they went back in the back, could hear someone (sounded like a Holmstrom) asking how the interview went: “Have you guys played on a line together before?”
Good to see Brock Nelson again. “It was weird driving in,” he said. “This was the first stop for me, coming here. I remember hanging out with Nesser, Dono (Aaron Ness, Matt Donovan). Stromey (Ryan Strome), when he came here, I remember I had to go pick him up the first day.
“Some good memories here. It was the lockout year. There were a lot of veterans. … Guys like Colin McDonald, (David) Ullstrom, I learned a lot from those guys.”
(He also remembered breaking his jaw in December, which was, yeah, not a lot of fun.)
Elsewhere, Brian Gionta signed with Boston.
Sorry I forgot to tape Patrik Elias’ retirement ceremony last night, but looking forward to watching the Rangers’ ceremony for Jean Ratelle tonight. It’s not exactly pressing — the poor man has only been dead 30 years — but every banner that goes up at the Garden only makes Bill Cook’s absence from the rafters more glaring.
And RIP, heartbreakingly, Hannah Staal.