Offensive Depth from Grant, Tanski

The Whale outscored its opposition by a combined margin of 7-2 in the last two games, beating two pretty skilled teams in Hershey and Syracuse.

And while the Whale are probably as skilled right now as they have been in a couple of months, with Wojtek Wolski down from the Rangers and Casey Wellman on board, much of the big offense in the last couple of wins has come from two guys who skate most of the time on the fourth line.

First, in the Whale’s 4-1 win in Hershey on Saturday night, it was Tommy Grant scoring a pair of goals, for his first multiple-goal game at the pro level.

Grant is a guy who has flashed a real hard, accurate shot at times this year, and both of his goals against the Bears were legitimate snipes.

On the first, Grant broke down the wing, went wide on veteran defenseman Sean Collins and snapped a hard forehand past the catching glove of Sabourin.  Then, in a third period in which the Whale were outshot by a margin of 13-4, Grant got loose at the top of the circles

Scott Tanski (left) and Tommy Grant celebrate Tanski's goal Tuesday with Jeff Woywitka

and jumped on the puck after Kelsey Tessier won a draw, and beat Sabourin again with a quick release.

Grant was helped on that second goal by a screen set by linemate Scott Tanski, who assisted on Grant’s first goal.  It was then Tanski’s turn to play finisher on Tuesday night, as he scored a big third-period goal to give the Whale some breathing room in a tight 3-1 win over the Crunch.

Tanski had picked up some extra ice time earlier in the period, after fellow right-winger Andre Deveaux was assessed a fighting major at the end of the second frame as a result of a scrap with Mark Fraser, and Tanski was in a good rhythm when he battled his way to the front of the net and deflected a Jeff Woywitka point shot.  Syracuse goaltender Jeff Deslauriers fought that off but was unable to control the rebound, and Tanski stayed at the front and was able to put the loose biscuit home.

Tanski, who was the Whale’s biggest surprise as a major offensive force in the preseason, was strictly a grinder through his first 33 regular-season games, with only one goal and one assist, but has been making much more of an impact lately.  With his goal and an assist over the last two outings, the rookie out of the Ontario Hockey League now has four goals and an assist in the last eight contests.

No doubt the likes of Grant and Tanski have benefitted from opposing teams having to devote more energy to checking a top six that, thanks to the addition of Wolski and Wellman, now features Deveaux, Wellman and All-Star Jonathan Audy-Marchessault as second-liners.  Nonetheless, the Whale’s third and fourth-line guys, with players like Tessier and Jordan Owens notable as well, deserve major credit for forcing the coaching staff to play them more, and making the kind of simple plays that make all the difference in these mid-winter “dog days” of the season.

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8 Responses to “Offensive Depth from Grant, Tanski”

  1. chris Says:

    so ive hered that next season most of the upper bowl wont be used for whale games. if that is true then let me ask. if wse is trying to bring things back to what they were with really big attendence numbers.wont it be hard to do that if your olny using about 1/2 the total seating venue wich i estaimate to be in the 7.5-8k range. dossent make sense why they would do that. get what im saying?

    • Crawford's Corner Says:

      Chris,

      That is true, but only to condense the crowds and fill up the lower portion of the arena more fully. If ticket sales warrant for individual games, the Whale will sell every seat in the house, progressing upwards through the sections, all the way to 15,635.

  2. chris Says:

    ah ok that makes more sense. as long as the prices are around what they are now then im fine with that.

  3. chris Says:

    this is more like it 4 ws in a row. still gota gem more wins to get in the playoffs but I feel much better about the whale right now. hbu

  4. chris Says:

    so what will be seating in the upper bowl for next season. when they sell out the lower bowl and have to seat people up there. its not on the seating chart.

  5. chris Says:

    can we make it 6 this afternoon bobster

  6. chris Says:

    i guess im not 2 upseat bout the loss cause we got a point. but whats the deal with that long delay. if you figure it out mind telling me thanks.

  7. chris Says:

    BOB I SAW REPLAYS OF YESTERDAYS GAME. I SAW NOTHING TO SUGEST WHY THAT OT GOAL WAS REVIED SO LONG. ITS KINDA DRIVING ME CRAZY

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