Do the Whale Switch Goalies?

So if you’re Ken Gernander and you need to win one game to save your season, do switch up your goaltender and hope it puts a charge into the team?

Gernander’s counterpart, Norfolk Admirals head man Jon Cooper, pulled a surprise switch for Game Five in Bridgeport and came out smelling like a rose, with Jaroslav Janus pitching a shutout after watching Dustin Tokarski see all the action in the first four games of the series.

The play of Cam Talbot has certainly been a huge part of the Whale’s playoff success this spring, but Tokarski had been pretty darned good for

Cam Talbot

the Admirals as well.  And the puck didn’t seem to be cooperating with Talbot Wednesday night, especially on Norfolk’s second goal, on which Scott Jackson’s shot hit a sliding Talbot and went out into the slot, and the third, which saw an Ondrej Palat try hit Talbot and go in.

If the postseason pattern, as established so far, holds, though, Talbot is due to come out with a big effort in the do-or-die Game Six Friday.  Also, it would be a tough situation to throw Chad Johnson into, as he now has not played a game in almost a month, since the Whale’s 5-4 shootout loss to Manchester April 13th in their last home game of the season.

Chad Johnson

So I would think no, the Whale won’t change, and Talbot will get a chance to see if he can help the team pull up its bootstraps and win back-to-back games on the road to pull off the big upset.  Admittedly, however, I didn’t see the Janus for Tokarski change coming at all, so you never know.

Rare Home Shutout-against

The blanking by Janus was only the fifth against the Whale/Wolf Pack in the franchise’s 129 all-time playoff games, and only the second all-time in 71 home postseason contests.  The only other opposing goaltender ever to put up a zero in a Whale/Wolf Pack home game was the Manchester Monarchs’ Barry Brust, who made 39 saves April 18, 2006, to outduel Al Montoya in a 1-0 Monarch win in both teams’ playoff opener.  That remains the only opposition shutout ever in an AHL playoff game at the XL Center.

That was a wild series too, especially goaltending-wise.  After standing on his head in Game One, Brust was on the bench by the end of the series, replaced by Adam Hauser, Montoya got hurt in a crazy Game Five in Hartford, won 8-6 by Manchester, and Chris Holt left my side in the broadcast booth and won Games Six and Seven, after Rob Gherson gave up seven in relief of Montoya in Game Five.

A casualty of the Game Five zero was the six-game point-scoring streak of Marek Hrivik (5-3-8), and Norfolk has now won 17 of its last 18 road games.

Looking ahead to Game Six, the franchise is 12-12 all-time in its playoff history when facing elimination.  Norfolk, meanwhile, is trying for its first-ever playoff triumph in a best-of-seven series.

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2 Responses to “Do the Whale Switch Goalies?”

  1. chris Says:

    bob i will miss your broadcast during the off season. although nothing is better then going to a game live not even a radio broadcast i would argue to any one your up there with the best of them at what u do in this league. oh and wccc under contract to be our radio station next year

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