Tough Road for Whale

At least the Whale got quite a few miles off their travelogue this weekend.

The longest bus trip of the season is history, which is definitely a good thing, but the Whale’s two-game journey down to Norfolk did not yield any wins, and the team came back with only one point in the standings.

They earned that point, in a 5-4 overtime loss Friday, through a good show of character, wiping out a 4-2 deficit in the third period.  After battling all the way back to get the game to OT, though, the Whale succumbed to what was a continuing problem all weekend, difficulty getting cleanly out of their own end, and Norfolk’s Corey Elkins converted a nifty three-way passing play for his third goal of the game and the winner.

Throughout the two games, it seemed as though once the Whale got out of their own zone they were fine, and they actually outshot the Admirals both nights, but getting crisp breakouts going was a consistent issue.  In fact, on four of Norfolk’s five goals in the first game, I would say the puck should have gotten out of the Whale zone and didn’t.

Hopefully that is not too difficult a fix, and the Whale certainly showed some glimpses of being a team to be reckoned with.  Kris Newbury continued his fine start with four assists in the two games; Kyle Jean had three more points over the weekend and has chipped in at least a point

Kris Newbury (Chris Rutsch)

in all four games; and there were some indications of balanced scoring as well.

Brandon Segal celebrated his return to the scene of his Calder Cup triumph last spring with two goals in Friday’s third period, getting the Whale to OT, after Matt Gilroy had popped two in from the blueline earlier in the game; Chad Kolarik found the net for the first time on the season with a hard, well-placed power-play shot in Saturday’s third period; and Christian Thomas combined with Newbury on a nice finish of a two-on-one Saturday.

Things don’t get any easier this week, either, as the Whale face a trip to Albany Wednesday before home games on the weekend against Hershey and Providence.

The Albany lineup includes three lockout-induced additions from New Jersey who spent most, if not all, of last season in the NHL, those being Calder Trophy finalist Adam Henrique, along with Jacob Josefson and Adam Larsson.  Hershey has lost some of its signature names from their recent Calder Cup teams, like Keith Aucoin and Chris Bourque, but the Bears still have some serious firepower.

Don’t know if you saw it, but Hershey lost 8-7 to Rochester in the Bears’ home opener Saturday, so clearly they like to play it wide-open, and ex-Wolf Pack Jeff Taffe (2-5-7, with a goal and three assists Saturday), South Windsor’s own Jon DiSalvatore (2-4-6) and defenseman Garrett Stafford (1-5-6 for the season and four assists Saturday) are all off to hot starts.  And speaking of Ryan Bourque’s older brother, Chris has moved on to the Bruin organization, and although he has been held to two assists in four games, his Providence club has won back-to-back road games after dropping its first two starts of the season.


2 Responses to “Tough Road for Whale”

  1. chris Says:

    gmae tonight lets fix what was bad and get er done

  2. chris Says:

    3 wins in a row and a point in 4 out of the last 5. even though its still early its a good sign comming from losing the first 4 games one of which a point. and losing the first 2 at home with no point.

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