Additional Whale vs. Admirals Matchup Tidbits

One further quote from my conversation today with Norfolk head coach Jon Cooper, dealing with his two goaltenders, Dustin Tokarski and Jaroslav Janus: “Janie (Janus) did an outstanding job for us (in the first round against Manchester), and then Tik (Tokarski) comes in and shuts

Dustin Tokarski (Mitra Images)

the door in Games Three and Four.  We have a pretty good luxury here, going with two guys, as Connecticut has.  It’ll be a different look for us, I don’t know who for sure is starting, but I’m sure (Cam) Talbot’s probably going to get a little bit of a run.  And we saw limited action against him this year, so it will be a little different look for us, but again, you need to have goaltenders that are going to stop the puck for you, or you’re not going to go very far in the playoffs.”

Janus was 1-1 in the first two games of the Manchester series, with six goals-against on 58 shots, which is a 3.08 goals-against average and an 89.7% save percentage.  Tokarski then came on and won the last two games, allowing five goals on 52 shots, a 2.25 GAA and a 90.4% save rate.  During the regular season, Tokarski (2.23) and Janus (2.36) both had lower averages than Johnson (2.49) or Talbot (2.61), but all four had very similar save percentages: Tokarski 91.3, Janus 91.4, Talbot 91.3 and Johnson 91.9.

The power play was a huge factor for Norfolk during the regular year, as the Admirals’ 21.7% success rate trailed only Hershey’s 25.5 among AHL teams, but they were only 82.3% on the penalty kill, well below the Whale’s 84.3, which was fifth-best in the league.  In the first round of the postseason, however, the Admirals were only 4/24 on the power play (16.7%), but

Jaroslav Janus (perserch.com)

killed 24 out of 25 shorthanded situations.  According to the old saw that, “your best penalty-killer is your goaltender”, perhaps that indicates that, like the Whale’s Talbot, Tokarski and Janus are taking their game to a new level in the playoffs.

Some other notes:

  • Key veteran additions to the Admiral lineup since the last time they and the Whale met include big (6-6, 217) defenseman Keith Aulie, a trade-deadline acquisition by Tampa Bay from Toronto, and Brandon Segal, a well-traveled forward, and Calder Cup champion in 2004 with Milwaukee, who came over  from Chicago at the deadline.
  • Admirals defenseman Mark Barberio, the Eddie Shore Award-winner, and leading AHL scorer and top plus/minus player among defensemen in the regular season, had one goal in the first three games against Manchester, and was -5 in the Admirals’ 5-2 loss in Game Two.  In the clinching Game Four though, he had a goal and an assist on the overtime game-winner.
  • In addition to scoring the series-winning overtime goal, Alex Killorn had five assists in the last three games, after being shut out in the opener.
  • Among those who did not get in the lineup for the Admirals in the first round are tough guy Eric Neilson, Jonathon Kalinski and Alex Hutchings.
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