“Don’t discount the guys that didn’t play tonight,” Brent Thompson said after Hershey’s streak ended at 17 and Bridgeport’s kept going, with points in the last eight games of February. “We don’t get (this weekend’s) six points without all 26 guys in that locker room competing.”
They kept guys fresh, kept things rolling, got an early power play to get a break quickly and took charge. (And Tanner Fritz mentioned Hershey’s travel, which could not be easy, but every AHL team has been there.)
“I thought we played well today, especially for a three-in-three on a Sunday,” Travis St. Denis said. “Hershey’s been hot of late. We knew it was a test for us. We came out well, got the first couple of goals. We kind of talked in the intermission about playing with a lead.”
I seized on that for the gamer, which worked, but it could’ve been on Christopher Gibson, a rebound away from a shutout, or on the rotation of the past few weekends (as noted last night, and it didn’t change, only six guys played all nine games).
“I think our guys we rested yesterday gave us the energy we needed,” Thompson said.
They’ll get five days’ rest before the next go-round.
Christopher Gibson’s 118th game as a Sound Tiger, passing Rick DiPietro into third all-time (Wade Dubielewicz 164, Kevin Poulin 156). His eighth shutout would’ve tied Poulin and DiPietro for third behind Dubielewicz’s 15. He was out signing bobbleheads for a good crowd, so asked Thompson about getting a game like that after he had to leave Friday’s game: “Our goaltending’s outstanding. I’ve been very happy with how hard the guys worked. Missing the final two periods in Providence, it concerns you, but we trust the trainers, trust the medical staff. Everybody says he’s fine. He did it.”
Thought Sebastian Aho made a lot of subtle, little plays the past couple of nights, so asked Thompson about his weekend generally: “He moved the puck extremely well. I thought he did a great job defending with his stick and his feet. He created offense. I thought it was a solid weekend. He capped it off: It looked like it was his first game of the weekend. He executed.”
Stephen Gionta took an awkward hit late in overtime yesterday into an open door at the Bridgeport bench, and he looked uncomfortable. Thompson first said he was OK, then sort of hedged that. It wouldn’t have been surprising had he rotated out one way or the other, but that might’ve sealed it. See how he’s doing during the week. (At some point. We might miss them for a few days.)
The Islanders added a little veteran defensive depth with Dennis Seidenberg tonight. (It is, frankly, remarkable how lucky both teams have been with injuries on defense. Seidenberg practiced with them all year and only gets a contract at the deadline.) Believe, not counting Dobson or Wilde in junior or Jakub Skarek in Finland, that this is 47 contracts for the Big Club, so plenty of flexibility in the last 20 hours before the deadline.
Worcester blew two leads and lost in a shootout in Portland.
And Mats Zuccarello got to Dallas, had two points… and got hurt. Yipes. Happy deadline, everybody! Remember, everything sold as-is. More as it comes.