Gudlevskis, Kristers

AHL Game Night: 1-16-15 Crunch at Senators

Shorthanded Syracuse crushed by Bingo.


Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 5 goals on 19 shots for the loss before giving way to Kristers Gudlevskis, who stopped all 21 he faced the rest of the way. Syracuse's defense, losing Witkowski and Nesterov to the big club, was... poor tonight.

First Period
BNG Kramer, (2) (Wideman), 5:20
BNG Puempel, (10) (Wideman, New), 12:19
BNG Robinson, (4) (Dzingel), 13:55
BNG Prince, (12) (Camper, Johnson), 19:27 (PP)

Second Period
BNG McCormick, (6) (Dzingel), 2:53

Third Period

This thing was shaping up to be a train wreck all week, as the Crunch scrambled to find warm bodies to put in the lineup. And, in the end, it didn't disappoint. The team was outshot 40-18 and the Sens jumped all over them in the First Period. Such is life in the AHL sometimes.

Box score from

NHL Game Night: 1-12-15 Lightning at Flyers

So ends Evgeny Nabokov's NHL career?


Evgeny Nabokov allowed 4 goals on 13 shots for the loss before giving way to Ben Bishop, who allowed 3 on 12 shots the rest of the way. The fact Cooper didn't put Nabokov back in for the Third Period seems a bit telling, like perhaps this is the end of the road. Nabokov appeared to earn the start after playing reasonably well in his last outing, but he once again proved the Lightning just can't rely on him for even a mediocre start in back-to-back situations. Were it me, I'd highly consider calling up Kristers Gudlevskis to assume day-to-day practice duties as a waiver-exempt placeholder and then swap him with Andrei Vasilevskiy for planned starts, such as in upcoming back-to-backs. It could be a sad ending for Nabokov, who is probably one of the 4 or 5 best Russian goaltenders ever. The bottom dropped out quickly for him, though, a la Dwayne Roloson several years back.

First Period
6:12 PHI VandeVelde (3), (Schenn, Giroux)
10:26 TB Stamkos (23), (Johnson, Stralman)(PP)
16:15 PHI Umberger (7), (Read, Coburn)

Second Period
1:45 PHI Voracek (17), (Streit, Giroux)(PP)
2:36 PHI Bellemare (4), (VandeVelde, Del Zotto)
7:02 PHI Streit (5), (Schenn, Simmonds)(PP)
8:37 PHI Schenn (10), (Streit, Voracek)(PP)
15:01 PHI Raffl (11), (Laughton, Simmonds)
15:23 TB Boyle (8), (Paquette, Stralman)

Third Period
1:20 TB Callahan (13), (Drouin, Filppula)(PP)

Adding injury to insult, Victor Hedman and Tyler Johnson left the game with lower body injuries, the former of which meant that Brian Boyle ended up having to take shifts on defense. Johnson's injury, which looked like a potential twisted knee, is particularly troubling. So, in addition to whatever happens (if anything) with the goaltending situation, you could see Vladislav Namestnikov called up to fill for Johnson and on defense, I'll guess Luke Witkowski would get the call and the coaching staff might try to slide one of their lefties playing the right side over to the left side.

This was a case where the Lightning got caught peeking ahead to Boston, didn't come out with their best effort, saw some soft goaltending, and allowed it to snowball out of control. Now they'll go into a place they seemingly never win with a depleted lineup after Bishop had to nearly play 2 periods of hockey in the back-to-back situation. So, a minor lapse of mental focus may snowball beyond a single hockey game, which is a lesson Cooper should stress to his team.

Cedric Paquette had a helper with 2 shots, 4 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 17:32, as he got to fill some of Johnson's minutes. He was also 40% on draws. To his credit, he was still throwing checks and playing hard in garbage time on the Third Period, which isn't unexpected given his well-respected effort level.

Jonathan Drouin had a helper and was -1 with 1 hit in 15:56. Zero shot attempts. None. The kid sneezes out assists, which is amazing for a guy who rarely even attempts to shoot the puck, and tells you how big a point producer he could be if he actually did.

Box score and extended statistics from

AHL Game Night: 1-10-15 Penguins at Crunch

Crunch outlast Penguins... barely.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 9 shots. They were soft enough that he was lifted at the First Intermission for Andrei Vasilevskiy, who allowed 1 goal on 11 shots the rest of the way to eventually collect the come-from-behind win.

First Period
SYR Paradis, (8) (Mormina, Corrente), 4:16
WBS Megna, (10) (Kostopoulos, Harrington), 14:31
WBS Megna, (11) (Boak), 18:38

Second Period
SYR Marchessault, (10) (Namestnikov), 3:29
SYR Blunden, (10) (Witkowski, Marchessault), 14:21

Third Period
SYR Ikonen, (4) (Vermin, Angelidis), 14:16
WBS Rowney, (2) (Dumoulin, Kostopoulos), 19:52 (PP)

Mike Blunden, Jonathan Marchessault, and Vasilevskiy were the game's three stars.

The night also saw the return of Philippe Paradis from injury. Paradis has been a key missing cog from the Gourde line that has sputtered in his absence. Henri Ikonen also potted a goal for the second game in a row.

At this moment, Syracuse's 51 points has them 1 point off the pace for both the division and the conference lead.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 1-3-15 Crunch at Senators

Crunch rally to avoid meltdown.

BNG-4 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 28 shots for the OT win.

First Period
SYR Kunyk, (5) (Neilson, Mormina), 2:40
SYR Blunden, (7) , 15:40 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Blunden, (8) (Marchessault, Mormina), 1:49 (PP)
BNG McCormick, (5) (Mills), 5:49 (SH)

Third Period
BNG Schneider, (12) (Puempel), 4:14
BNG Puempel, (8) (Mills, A. Grant), 9:25 (PP)
BNG Camper, (4) , 16:45
SYR Blunden, (9) (Namestnikov), 18:50

SYR Marchessault, (9) , 6:48

Mike Blunden (with the hat trick) and Jonathan Marchessault (with the OT winner) were the game's first and second stars.

Syracuse coughs up the 3 goal lead, falls behind late in the Third Period, and still manages to squeak out the victory in Overtime. Thank goodness.

Box score from

AHL Game Day: 12-31-14 Crunch at Americans

A power play worse than Tampa Bay's.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the loss. The number looks ugly, but I can't be mad about any of the three goals. The first was a clean faceoff loss and a seeing eye point shot through a ton of traffic. Second goal was a breakaway after an awful Gourde turnover where Kristers got the first shot but got beat on the rebound. Third goal was a 2-on-1 where Blujus failed to block the pass across and Blunden couldn't catch up to the goal scorer.

First Period
SYR Koekkoek, (2) (Kunyk, Gourde), 7:58
RCH Leduc, (2) (Varone), 16:41

Second Period
RCH Reid, (5) , 7:42
RCH Dalpe, (6) (Schaller, Bagnall), 11:34 (SH)

Third Period
RCH Irwin, (4) (Ellis), 18:40 (EN)

Syracuse was 0-for-8 on the power play. Unlike Tampa Bay, though, which has plenty of finishers, I think the Crunch suffer from having only 1 or 2 pure finishers like Marchessault. As a consequence, they should be playing more of a shot/rebound style of basic PP, but that's not what they seemed interested in doing today.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 12-27-14 Sharks at Crunch

All good things...


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 22 shots for the loss. That snaps a streak of 4 starts where he allowed 2 or fewer goals. It should be noted Gudlevskis did also turn away a First Period penalty shot, as well.

First Period

Second Period
WOR Taormina, (4) (Lerg, Fedun), 8:43 (PP)
WOR Coetzee, (1) (Brace, Abeltshauser), 17:07

Third Period
WOR Trupp, (7) (Langlois), 3:31
SYR Gourde, (13) (Koekkoek, Richard), 9:45 (PP)
SYR Smith, (8) (Marchessault, Namestnikov), 17:17
WOR Langlois, (8) (Lerg), 18:29 (EN)

Yanni Gourde was the game's second star.

The defeat snaps Syracuse's 10 game winning streak.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 12-20-14 Devils at Crunch

Fans went to a fight and another Syracuse Crunch win broke out.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 28 shots for the victory. That's 4 straight quality starts and 5 straight wins and he's run his save percentage up to .907 now.

First Period
SYR Angelidis, (11) (Marchessault, Namestnikov), 8:41 (PP)
SYR Blunden, (5) (Angelidis), 13:34

Second Period
ALB Boucher, (7) (Whitney, Scarlett), 7:32 (PP)
SYR Namestnikov, (4) (Nesterov, Samson), 9:30 (PP)

Third Period
ALB Thompson, (13) (Black), 7:56

Mike Angelidis, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Gudlevskis were the game's three stars. The Crunch ran their winning streak to 9 games as they continue to diligently stalk Manchester for first place in the Eastern Conference, where they remain just a point out. Given the Lightning's struggles up top, though, I would not be shocked to see Namestnikov moved back up sooner rather than later to try to shake the chemistry up in Tampa. Either way, though, the Crunch defense and goaltending seem to have it rolling now. They'll reconvene Friday against the Devils when I suspect there might be a roster change or three, because a defenseman may be going up, too.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 12-19-14 Crunch at Wolf Pack

The yak is still on the loose.


Kristers Gudlevskis stopped all 24 shots he faced for the victory and his first shutout of the campaign. He's won his last 4 starts allowing just 3 total goals in the last 3 of those starts, while running his season save percentage back up to .906 in the process. Now things get very interesting in Syracuse, once Vasilevskiy returns, because this is what we expected coming into the year. These are two of the best prospect netminders around, and they'll be in a knock-down, drag-out for starts all season long. The competition is going to push both guys to play better than they ever thought possible. It's going to be great to see unfold.

First Period

Second Period
SYR Richard, (5) (Koekkoek), 2:12
SYR Namestnikov, (3) (Nesterov, Marchessault)

Third Period

Gudlevskis and Tanner Richard were the game's first and second stars. As of this posting, Richard's +18 mark is second best in the AHL behind the +21 of Manchester's Nick Shore. I should also point out that, on top of the game winning helper he had tonight, Nikita Nesterov hasn't had a minus game in a full month, when he had a -1 outing on 11/19 against Hartford. He's been +9 since that game, taking him up to +9 for the year. He was -2 last year and the 13 points he has in 28 games this season is 3 off the 16 he posted as a rookie in 54 games last season. So, like Richard, here's a player who had some holes in his game who seems to be rounding the corner a bit. Nice to see. Slater Koekkoek, oh by the way, has helpers in 3 of the last 4 games.

Tomorrow, Syracuse draws Albany at home.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 12-17-14 Crunch at Americans

The Killer G's.


Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for the victory. That's two straight quality starts for Kristers since Vasilevskiy started to show his Latvian tandem-mate his tail lights, and he squared his save percentage away at exactly .900 with his effort tonight.

First Period
SYR Paradis, (7) (Mormina, Gourde), 1:19
RCH Ellis, (7) (McCabe, Pysyk), 18:20 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Gourde, (12) (Richard, Koekkoek), 5:24
RCH Ruhwedel, (6) (Irwin), 11:28 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Blunden, (4) (Angelidis, Kunyk), 2:14

Yanni Gourde and Mike Blunden were the game's first and second stars. Gourde, who along with Gudlevskis was the other Killer G in tonight's contest, is now tied for 3rd in the league in goals, as of this posting. He's just 2 back of the league leader right now and is doing his best to be the next diminutive, undrafted Lightning gem, following in the footsteps of Conacher and Johnson before him.

Here's a stat that you could've won a lot of money with before this season: Tanner Richard is tied for second in the league in +/- right now at +17. His point tonight helped him match his scoring totals from all of last season (17 points) in 38 less games, and his +/- has improved dramatically from the -9 mark he posted last year. The light has come on for the pesky Richard, who looks to fit a future role as a two-way third liner who can create as a playmaker and has a little bit of instigator's edge to him, too.

Syracuse's win moves them into a tie with Springfield for the division lead at 37 points and they currently sit at second in the Eastern Conference by virtue of this 7-game winning streak/magic carpet ride they're on. Although they don't yet have the ridiculously good defensive stats and goal differential, this is starting to take on the appearance of one of the old Jon Cooper teams: long winning streaks, plenty of goals, and also, at this moment, tied for second in the league in penalty minutes, too. Fast, talented, and rough and tough when they need to be.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 12-13-14 Crunch at Comets

Gudlevskis responds.

UTI-1 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 1 goal on 29 shots for the OT win, rebounding from giving up 4 or more goals in each of his previous 3 starts. Gudlevskis saw the Vasilevskiy train leaving the station, and didn't want to be left behind. Big plus for the Crunch that he stepped up tonight.

First Period

Second Period

Third Period
UTI DeFazio, (9) (Tommernes, Sanguinetti), 15:09
SYR Angelidis, (10) (Ikonen, Mormina), 17:49

SYR Gourde, (11) (Richard, Mormina), 6:00

Gudlevskis and Yanni Gourde were the game's first and second stars. Also, very quietly, Henri Ikonen has 1 goal and 3 points in the last 2 games. That matches his statistical output from all of November.

The Crunch's win pulls them within 2 points of division and conference leading Springfield, which lost to Norfolk tonight. Syracuse has 2 games in hand on the Falcons, and they can move into a tie with Springfield on Wednesday when they square off against Rochester.

Box score from

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