I’m Baaack…

My keyboard has taken a little hiatus here, while our web gurus complete the cool new look of the site, but now the curtain has been swept aside again on my little corner, and we are back open for business.

Just in time to ruminate on the first big hiccup in what had been a nearly unimpeachable effort by the Whale through the season’s first 30-some games.

After a 5-2 win New Year’s Eve over Springfield, the Whale were nine games over .500, matching a high-water mark for the season, and were only two points off the Eastern Conference lead.

But since then…well, let’s not jump off the bridge just yet.

OK, the Whale are without a win in nine games since that calendar year-closing victory over the Falcons, matching the longest winless run in franchise history, but they do have points in nearly half of those games, with two overtime losses and two shootout defeats, and none of the losses have been by more than two goals.

And whereas in the first half the Whale pulled out more than one game that they trailed for much of, and maybe had no business winning, they have coughed up a couple during this drought that they definitely should have won.  The first game of the streak was a shining example of that, a 5-4 overtime loss in Portland in an afternoon game January 2.  The Whale were in complete control for most of that game, and led 3-0 as late as the 16:00 mark of the second period before the worm began to turn.  And even after the Pirates came all the way back, Connecticut still took a 4-3 advantage into the final minute of regulation, only to see Portland score a power-play goal with 30 seconds left to tie it (after the Whale had killed 59 seconds of five-on-three) and win the game on another man advantage with 33 seconds to go in overtime.

Also notable was a rematch with Springfield January 7 at the XL Center that saw the Whale score three goals in the third period to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead, against a Falcon club that was 0-5 against the Whale on the year.  The tables turned in that one in the final 3:25 of regulation, in which the Falcons scored twice, including the tying goal with 35 seconds left and Springfield goaltender Mark Dekanich on the bench for a sixth attacker.  That goal came after a Whale clearing attempt failed and a desperate Falcon pass squirted through Kelsey Tessier’s legs right to Martin St. Pierre between the hash marks.  That game ended up being a 5-4 shootout loss, and looking back, when something like that happens you think the fates might be going against you, and that has certainly been the case since.

And the Whale power play, which was on a torrid streak before Andre Deveaux’s (pictured) three-game suspension, is 1/19 in the five games since the first one Deveaux missed.  You have to figure that is going to turn around sooner than later, with the likes of Brendan Bell, Tim Erixon, Kris Newbury, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, not to mention Deveaux, having been among the top power-play guys in the league for much of the year.  And hopefully Mats Zuccarello is not too far from returning.

Finally, and this is textbook glass-is-half-full thinking, consider that the Whale, who are in the midst of a five-game homestand and have still played six more road games (24) than home games (18), are actually unbeaten in regulation in nine straight XL Center outings, 5-0-1-3 over that span.

McDonagh Reportedly OK, Sauer Back to Drydock

The latest out of New York seems to be that Ryan McDonagh did not suffer any serious injury as a result of the hit he took from Boston’s Andrew Ference in overtime of Saturday’s Ranger win, and should be able to go tonight when the parent club hosts Winnipeg in the Blueshirts’ last game before the NHL All-Star break.  That is certainly good news for the whole organization, but is tempered by Michael Sauer, in John Tortorella’s words, being “backed off” after suffering a recurrence of post-concussion symptoms.  There had been optimism about Sauer progressing toward a return, after he was able to participate in a couple of practices last week.

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3 Responses to “I’m Baaack…”

  1. chris Says:

    finaily your back on your blog. whale gota start winning soon. 9 losses in a row and 8 road losses in a row. and how many home wins do they have in that span like 3 at home?i find it a bit odd that the whale are still in first sorry to say.

  2. chris Says:

    so bob time for a little math try to follow me. I took a 1sq ft peice of papper and traced a puck within it as many times as possible with out overlapping. I got 16. by figureing this out you can eaisly figure out the % of an opeaning on the net needed to score a goal. the way you do this is take 16 and * it by 24 for 24 sq ft 6*4ft net. and 16*24 =384. then if you take 1 for one puck and divide it into 384 you get 0.26041%. with pucks being round there would be gaps which you could fill more pucks in. it would be hard to get an exact % but if you can find an opeaning of about 2.5/10ths or 1/4 of 1% of an opeaning within the perimiter of a net you can score a goal. what do you think of that. and feel free to share that with any one you want.

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