After two lackluster games against Bridgeport, the Whale found themselves dead last in the Eastern Conference. Last Wednesday the Whale lost to the Sound Tigers 5-2. The next night the Whale suffered their fifth shut out of the year, and their fourth at home. The Whale suffer through a shut out about every six games. It’s way past time to say it’s still early in the season. The lack of offense has been met with a lack luster defense throughout the season as well. It’s made the Whale a difficult watch at times. The most exciting thing about Thursday nights game was Dylan McIlrath’s mid ice show down with Sound Tiger left wing, Brent Gallant.
McIlrath dropped his gloves and struck a pose. The two began to spin around each other like gun fighters from the old west, staring each other down to see whom would make the first move.
The fight drew the attention of the crowd at the XL Center, which happened to be the second largest of the season, 6,073. I believe that everyone in the building thought this would fire up the Whale when they came back on the ice, but that was not the case.
The lack of offense is really not excusable. We know the other AHL teams may have more NHL capable players on their roster due to the lock out. We know that the Whale lost two crucial players to their roster from last season. This roster should have Jonathen Audy Marchessault and Tim Erixon on it. You can even say that losing Mats Zuccarello to play in Europe has hurt the Whale’s roster this season. We know that the Whale are young and there is a lack of veteran presence on this team, especially without Wade Redden on the roster this year. We also know that the Whale have been without a capable back up goalie all season, they have used three so far. All above may be true for the Whale but I still believe there is enough talent on this team that they shouldn’t be fourth in the Northeast Division. They should be giving the Falcons a run for their money down the stretch.
The Whale certainly showed they had the will and the talent tonight. The Whale would not be expected to beat Springfield judging from their previous play. The Falcons are in first place in the Northeast Division and they have defeated the Whale by scores of 10-2, 5-0, and 2-0, about as one sided as it gets. Erixon and J.A.M. have had their names on many Whale vs Falcons box scores.
Exiron has seven points against the Whale this season and J.A.M. has eight.
I guess it’s ironic that a former Falcon would get on the board first.
First, how about twice?
Chad Kolarik, who could be looked at as come back player of the season, scored the first two goals for the Whale a power play goal and a short handed goal, his 11th and 12th. The Whale added two more goals from Logan Pyett and Christian Thomas. They headed into the 3rd period with a 4-0 lead, the largest lead they have had on Springfield all year.
The game was being played in the middle of a snow storm but many were able to watch in through a link to BlueShirtsUnited.com.
In the third period the Whale relaxed a little as the Falcon’s cut the lead to 4-2 with a couple power play goals but they would hold on and improve to 2-3 against the Falcons. Their other win coming in a 2-0 victory back on November 9, 2012.
The Falcons had not lost two home games in a row until the Whale beat them tonight.
The win put the Whale nine points behind the Falcons and into fourth place just above the cellar. Which is now owned by the Phantoms of Adirondack.
The Whale will play the Pirates in Portland on New Years evening and then play the Phantoms at home on Friday night, on Saturday they play in Glen Falls against the Phantoms. The Whale will close out the weekend playing the Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins.