Frustrating Weekend for Whale

All is not lost, but boy, this last weekend sure could have gone a lot better for the Whale.

The team is still tied for seventh place in the Eastern Conference, so if the season ended today they would be in, but the 0-2-1 weekend has cost the Whale control of their own playoff destiny.

The Whale are tied with Norfolk at 79 points, and are two ahead of Manchester and Hershey, both of which have 77.  The tough thing for the Whale is, all of those teams have a game in hand on Connecticut.  So, even if the Whale win both of their last two games in regulation, they would finish behind both Norfolk and Manchester if those teams also win out in regulation.

That’s a lot of ifs, of course, and both the Admirals and Monarchs finish with tough games.  Norfolk plays in Syracuse on Friday and finishes at league-leading Providence Sunday, and Manchester has road games at Binghamton, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Hershey.

If the Whale end up on the outside looking in, they will have plenty to look back on and regret from this weekend.

They were outshot 45-20 Friday at Manchester, a team they had beaten four straight times, wasting a fine goaltending performance by Cam Talbot, and did precious little in the physical department to even begin to make life tough on the Monarchs.  In Saturday’s game at Adirondack the Whale took four minor penalties in the third period and then, after surviving all of that, committed a complete defensive breakdown on the overtime game-winner, allowing Whale-killer Jason Akeson to walk unmolested up the slot before he blew a slapshot past Talbot.

The most bitter pill to swallow was the ending of Sunday’s game in Springfield, in which it looked like, at worst, the Whale were at least going to get a point for getting the game to overtime.  They got hemmed in their own zone in the last minute of regulation, though, and after failing a couple of times to get the puck out, saw 19-year-old Boone Jenner, in only his second game since coming out of the OHL, find a loose puck in the goalmouth and whack it in for the winner with only 28.8 seconds left.  Yikes.

Stu Bickel

Stu Bickel

The ironic thing is, the Whale seemed to have as strong a roster coming into the weekend as they have had all year, with J.T. Miller back down from the Rangers, Marek Hrivik back from injury and Stu Bickel playing regularly, although he was a late injury scratch for Sunday’s game.  Hopefully it’s just a matter of reestablishing chemistry and the team will start hitting on all cylinders, but unfortunately the Whale have left themselves almost no breathing room.

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One Response to “Frustrating Weekend for Whale”

  1. chris Says:

    bob boston marathon a bomb. when are people gona get it this kinda shit aint ok man. and to think im only a cupple miles away.

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