“Discipline was the factor in this hockey game,” Brent Thompson said. “”Nothing less.”
Well that was easy. See you tomorrow.
Oops, wait: Thompson continued, after five second-period penalties more or less did them in:
“Our guys competed. Their guys worked. We took seven penalties. You gonna win a hockey game taking seven penalties?” (We started to shake our head, but he continued) “It takes the rest of your team that’s not killers out of the game. It makes your penalty killers tired for five-on-five hockey. Then you’re chasing. You can’t give teams seven power plays. We did, and a five-on-three to boot. Simple. End of — there’s really nothing else to talk about, is there?”
I had two other questions, but not really. See you…
They were in it. They gave up some chances; Jeremy Smith was sharp. They had some chances; so was Dustin Tokarski.
“I thought we had a good first period,” Michael Dal Colle said. “I thought we competed. We won a lot of wall battles. We gave up maybe a little bit too much, some tough puck luck, but it’s the penalties, the momentum of the game, three straight penalties in, like, five minutes.”
It’s a frustrating weekend so far for them, having a lead Friday and not putting it away, being right there tonight and beating themselves in a way.
And, look, after this loss, they’re 7-1-1-1 in the past 10. (All three, obviously, are to Hartford.)
“It’s a team we think we can beat most nights. We didn’t give everything we have tonight,” Devon Toews said. “It wasn’t anything major, but it was not quite there.”
Bridgeport mixed the lines up a bit in the third, some somewhat familiarly, some not. They scored the goal with Otto Koivula playing with Dal Colle and Josh Ho-Sang. A little later, Connor Jones was in his usual spot for a defensive-zone faceoff, then changed for Koivula. Travis St. Denis was between Kieffer Bellows and Steve Bernier. Jones joined Jeff Kubiak and Ryan Bourque, which sometimes has followed a power play. Scott Eansor took St. Denis’ spot between Chris Bourque and Mike Sislo.
“There were some things I saw,” Thompson said of the new look. “I thought some energy was brought. A couple of guys showed they can fill in different situations, different roles. We’ll tinker with that a bit, see where it takes us.”
Speaking of where it takes us, prescout. Scored nine three games ago; scored none tonight. These things happen.
Dal Colle wasn’t happy with the penalty he took late in the second, neutral-zone hook to keep the Pack from going the other way short-handed. But he forced some turnovers, made some things happen, scored the goal. On his NHL time: “It was a good experience for me, to get my feet wet up there. I thought I played a pretty solid game against Dallas. It was really fun to play at Barclays Center. I thought it was a building block for me. My goal is to be a full-time NHL guy, and now that I’m down here, it’s the same thing. It’s about preparing every day. It’s a really tough league. I want to be part of a championship team, because we’re definitely a championship-caliber team. It’s going to be good for my development.”
Elsewhere, the legendary Nick Niedert played — and won, making 38 saves — for Reading tonight. (H/t: Darryl Hunt) The IHDB page keeps growing. (I know I link every time, but this is still one of my favorite stories. Ask the emergency backup what it’s been like, and wind up calling the desk and asking them to clear space.)
NYI/BST camper Ivan Kosorenkov is in for San Jose tonight, his AHL debut.
Five for Patrik Laine? Yeesh.