Three-Quarters of the Way Home

Believe it or not, Tuesday’s home game against Portland starts the last quarter of the Whale’s 76-game regular season, and they are coming off of a third quarter that saw them change their status from pretenders to contenders in the Eastern Conference.

The Whale were 16-18-3-1 at the halfway point of the year, and were three games below the .500 mark, 7-10-1-1, in the second quarter.  Over the next 19 games, though, the club went 11-5-2-1 and had matched its high-water mark of four games above .500 (27-23-5-2) going into Tuesday’s game.

No room to relax, however, as the Whale’s recent run of 7-2-1-1 in its last 11 games and 10-3-2-1 in its last 16 has only lifted Ken Gernander’s boys as high as the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, right on the playoff bubble.  Not much help on the scoreboard this past week, either, with Hershey sweeping three games over the weekend, Albany getting five out of a possible six points and Manchester sweeping a pair of contests up in St. John’s.

The Whale certainly took care of its business in the two games this past weekend against Bridgeport, even though they did cough up a two-goal lead in Sunday’s road game with a tentative third period, allowing the Sound Tigers to wring a point out of that game.  The five-goal first period against Rick DiPietro Friday set the tone, and the Whale’s finishing touch was as good as it has been all year.Action Shot for Blog - 03-04-13

At the other end of the ice, Cam Talbot was Second Star in both games, and that’s a pretty good indication that the Whale gave up more scoring chances than is ideal, and they were outshot in both games, 38-30 on Friday and 33-27 on Sunday.  I’m sure that will be a topic of conversation as the Whale prepare for the Pirates, who will be smarting from a 7-1 smoking they absorbed Sunday at the hands of the red-hot Providence Bruins, whom the Whale will visit this Sunday.

The Rangers have to be ecstatic about the strides that Christian Thomas has made, and he had two goals and an assist in his return to the AHL Friday, before making a fine, hustling defensive play that turned the puck over and started the winning rush in Sunday’s overtime.  And reports of Chris Kreider’s two goals in two games, both from right around the front of the net, also no doubt elicited a fist pump or two in the Ranger hockey offices.

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4 Responses to “Three-Quarters of the Way Home”

  1. chirs Says:

    no room to relax is right. however their are clear signs that the team has gotten better as the season has gone up. and i believe its not how you start but how you finish. as long as what we do gets us in even if we are a last seed i can see us as a real tough contender. also terrible accident that happened to stall i take it you hered about that. when is the NHL gonna make rules about visors stricter.

  2. chirs Says:

    bob for a while now i have had a hockey theory that i thought id run by you. now this may sound unusuall because you normally do not see female coaches coaching boys hockey teams. or at least i don’t. but if i were a head hockey coach of a boys team i would want a lady assistant coach who would have a specific job the other coaches wouldn’t have that in my theory would be an advantage in certain situations.

    let me explain. a big part of men hockey defense is check the other guy and take the puck away. in girls hockey they do not check so they would probably be better at defense without this aspect. as you know in some instances lets say a long 5-3 for example it may be hard to play d and Finnish a check because its easyier for the other team to hold onto the puck in your zone.

    in these cases sometimes it creates a long shift where the longer a shift the harder it is to make your check and take the puck away. i know typical shifts are 30-40 seconds but if you cant clear the zone you cant make a line change that quickly. making defense hard

    so my theory is if you were to have a lady assistant coach on a men’s team teach the team how to play defense without checking for when you run into situations where you had a long shift and cant change it could possibly be an advantage.

    you may call me crazy and maybe it makes no sense what so ever because i know body checking is a huge part of men’s hockey. but the way i see it its not a bad idea to know defense without checking as a last resort.

  3. chris Says:

    know you what bob. even when in other games teams ahead of the whale in the standings beat a team under the whale in the standings even though it means we dont get closer to them. it also means the magic number to get in to the post season is less.

  4. chris Says:

    bob 6 game home stand 8 out next 10 at home with very short trips to springy and b port. sounds like a very easy tavel schedule over the next possible 20 points. this could b a huge advantage

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