Gudlevskis, Kristers

AHL Game Night: 12-6-15 Crunch at Devils

24 hours ago...

SYR-0
ALB-4

Adam Wilcox allowed 3 goals on 17 shots for the loss. He was relieved by Kristers Gudlevskis, who allowed 1 goal on 7 shots in the Third Period.

First Period
ALB Boucher, (10) (Burlon), 8:50 (PP)

Second Period
ALB Kelly, (1) (Gragnani, Sislo), 0:57
ALB Blandisi, (7) (Sislo, Gragnani), 17:54 (PP)

Third Period
ALB Novak, (2) (Sislo), 3:21

24 hours ago the Crunch were sailing toward a victory against Utica and looked like they were going to have a successful 3 games in 3 nights set over this weekend. Then the bottom fell out in the last 3 minutes against the Comets and they followed up that effort by getting shutout 4-0 by Albany tonight. Opportunities lost...

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-5-15 Comets at Crunch

Crunch choke.

UTI-4
SYR-2

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 32 shots for the loss.

First Period
SYR McGinn, (4) (Erne, Peca), 18:58 (PP)

Second Period
SYR Tambellini, (8) (Taormina, Blunden), 17:02 (PP)

Third Period
UTI Jensen, (4) (Vey, Archibald), 13:47
UTI Hamilton, (3) (Ehrhardt), 17:01
UTI Friesen, (4) (Zalewski), 17:55
UTI Grenier, (4) (Bancks), 19:43 (EN)

Gudlevskis and Jeff Tambellini were the game's first and second stars.

After being in control most of the night, Syracuse allowed 3 goals in the last 3 minutes of the game to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-4-15 Senators at Crunch

Erne's baaaaaaaaaaaack!

BNG-1
SYR-5

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 1 goal on 29 shots for the victory, further pumping up his season save percentage to .938. Stylish.

First Period
SYR Erne, (1) (Angelidis, Walcott), 8:02
SYR Angelidis, (2) (Tambellini, Erne), 12:31

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
SYR Taormina, (5) (DeAngelo, Peca), 1:06 (PP)
SYR Tambellini, (7) (Angelidis, Erne), 8:22
BNG Puempel, (5) (Dzingel, Carlisle), 11:49
SYR Witkowski, (1) (Peca), 19:30

Adam Erne, Gudlevskis, and Mike Angelidis were the game's three stars.

Top flight prospect played his first game in over a month returning from injury, and immediately dropped points in triplicate, including his first goal of the season 8:02 into the game. So it took him less than a half a period to knock of the rust, I guess. Erne's performance coupled with a pair of assists by Matthew Peca are a welcome sign for a Crunch team that needs their top rookie pro forwards to chip in like core players if they're going to reach their ceiling this year as a club.

The Crunch have a ton of games in hand relative to most of the teams in the Eastern Conference, so a winning streak moving forward could be a chance to climb very quickly in the standings.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Day: 11-29-15 Crunch at Sound Tigers

Miserable weekend ends on a hopeful note.

SYR-4
BRI-0

Kristers Gudlevskis stopped all 31 shots he faced for the shutout victory. His 2.01 GAA and .935 sv% thus far this season marks a clear progression from the previous two seasons when he muddled around the .900 sv% mark.

First Period
SYR Blunden, (4) (Peca, Nesterov), 4:05

Second Period
SYR Paradis, (4) (Mormina, Richard), 15:41
SYR Blunden, (5) (Nesterov, DeAngelo), 18:51 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Gourde, (4) (Richard, Paradis), 18:31 (EN)

Mike Blunden, Gudlevskis, and Nikita Nesterov were the game's three stars.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-27-15 Crunch at Marlies

Crunch crushed by high-powered Marlies.

SYR-1
TOR-3

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 30 shots for the loss.

First Period
TOR Leivo, (6) (Brennan, Arcobello), 6:24 (PP)

Second Period
TOR Carrick, (3) (Brennan, Frattin), 4:40
TOR Gauthier, (2) (Campbell, Clune), 7:01

Third Period
SYR McGinn, (3) (DeAngelo), 4:11 (PP)

Tye McGinn was the game's third star.

Toronto gave several of their stars the day off, including Bolt Prospects Alumni Richard Panik, and the Marlies still hardly looked threatened by Syracuse over the course of the game. Just two teams in a completely different area code in terms of depth.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-18-15 Pirates at Crunch

Depleted Crunch fall to Portland.

POR-4
SYR-1

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 3 goals on 24 shots for the loss. After seeing Good Kristers in the last start he had, Bad Kristers reared his head tonight. Inconsistency is Gudlevskis' demon.

First Period
POR Brickley, (1) (Harper), 1:37
POR Schremp, (7) (Shaw), 12:09

Second Period
POR Matheson, (2) (Balisy), 13:36

Third Period
SYR Paradis, (3) (Richard, Gourde), 7:59
POR Olson, (1) (Gaunce, Balisy), 19:25 (EN/PP)

Philippe Paradis was the game's third star.

With 2 of the team's top forwards in Tampa Bay and Gudlevskis not on top of his game, things slid south almost immediately.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-14-15 Comets at Crunch

Gudlevskis stands on his head.

UTI-1
SYR-2

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed just 1 goal on 48 shots for the victory. That's darned near shades of the Lightning's affiliation with Springfield territory, when guys like Boutin were having to fend off 50-some shots a game. He gets back on track and one ups Wilcox who has had a couple of good starts in a row and now we have two goaltenders cooking in the AHL in a way that the Lightning haven't seen since the heady days of Tokarski and Janus. This is good.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
SYR Vermin, (3) (Nesterov, Mormina), 10:45
UTI Zalewski, (3) (Pedan, Fedun), 12:23

Third Period
SYR Peca, (4) (Vermin, DeAngelo), 1:01 (PP)

Gudlevskis, Joel Vermin and Matthew Peca were the game's three stars.

Syracuse punctuated their victory tonight with a feverish 5-on-3 PK toward the end of the Third Period to seal the win.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-6-15 Devils at Crunch

Crunch comeback dissolves into Third Period disappointment.

ALB-4
SYR-3

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 25 shots for the loss. That's not exactly the kind of triumphant return one might've hoped for in Gudlevskis first action back from Tampa Bay. Then again, some rust due to inaction was probably inevitable.

First Period
ALB Thomson, (2) (Scarlett), 16:40

Second Period
ALB Blandisi, (3) (Lorito, Sislo), 1:41 (PP)
SYR Gourde, (2) (Marchessault, Richard), 11:41
SYR Nesterov, (1) (DeAngelo, Vermin), 17:45 (PP)

Third Period
ALB Blandisi, (4) (Lorito, Sislo), 4:03 (PP)
SYR Marchessault, (4) (Gourde, Richard), 8:21
ALB Kujawinski, (2) (Mozik, McKelvie), 14:38

Yanni Gourde and Mike Blunden were the game's second and third stars.

It's a shame the Crunch spend all game crawling out of their initial 2 goal deficit only to relent the winner after getting the even footing for the second time in the game. Nikita Nesterov paid instant dividends in his return to the club by potting a power play goal that was the first equalizer toward the end of the Second Period. That's good news. Nesterov's regressed a bit early this year in Tampa Bay due to lack of action and a loss of confidence. Getting the chance to get more minutes, especially on the power play, is a good way for Nikita to get his swagger back. In the mean time, I'd expect a recall on the blueline to Tampa Bay for tomorrow's game against Minnesota (Slater Koekkoek?).

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-24-15 Lightning at Blackhawks

Gudlevskis gets the Lightning across the finish line...

TB-0
CHI-1 (OT)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 1 goal on 32 shots for the OT loss. Truth be told, the Lightning threw him to the wolves tonight with the hope that he would somehow be able to steal a point or two and he did. For the first time in his career, and I hate to possibly jinx it, he's starting to show some consistency game to game. He's as athletically gifted as just about anyone to come through this organization with his size and freakish quickness. If he starts to settle down a play consistently, he's a legit future NHL starter with those gifts, although it might not happen in Tampa with the logjam in the organization.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
0:17 CHI Toews (1), (Kane, Seabrook)

Gudlevskis was the game's third star.

Even in defeat, as frustrated as they were on offense, the Lightning have to be ecstatic to get a point out of this game. They were coming off an OT game against Winnipeg last night against the defending champs in their barn with the organization's third string goalie between the pipes. Gudlevskis was as close to a sacrificial lamb as there is in hockey tonight as the Lightning made the strategic choice to try to get Bishop rested for the road trip finale in St. Louis. Under those circumstances, I'm happy.

The Lightning got their 4th point of the road trip and will finish no less than .500 on a swing through arguably the NHL's toughest division. That's nothing to sneeze at considering the Lightning aren't playing their best hockey yet. More importantly, Gudlevskis delivered the Lightning their 12th point of the season. For the uninitiated to the site, we break regular season hockey into 10 game segments. If you get at least 12 points every 10 games, you stay comfortably on pace to get to the playoffs. Gudlevskis got the Lightning over the 12 in 10 finish line tonight with 1 more game to go in the segment. Getting a couple of insurance points in St. Louis would be fantastic, but either way the Lightning fought off any potential Stanley Cup Final hangover and got their 12 in 10. Now, they need to do it again.

Nikita Nesterov had 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 3 blocked shots in 13:19.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10-23-15 Lightning at Jets

Despite their best efforts to give the game away, Lightning pull 2 points from Winnipeg.

TB-4
WPG-3 (OT)

Ben Bishop allowed 3 goals on 36 shots for the OT win. That was certainly not Bishop's best effort. He looked shaky positionally and his rebound control was a bit of a hot mess and his puckhandling gaffe on Winnipeg's third goal was obviously inexcusable. However, he made key stops after that, including the stop on Little in OT, to insure that the team eventually got the opportunity to win the game. The big prize that comes out of that is it looks like they can play the freshly recalled Kristers Gudlevskis against Chicago with a clear conscience and finally give Ben his first rest of the season. With Vasilevskiy cleared to practice, hopefully Andrei can be back in another, say, 3 weeks and Tampa Bay can get Ben back into a more sane workload.

First Period
12:17 TB Coburn (1), (Johnson)
16:28 WPG Ehlers (2), (Scheifele, Perreault)

Second Period
7:22 TB Paquette (1), (Condra, Hedman)
10:58 WPG Stafford (3), (Lowry, Burmistrov)
11:19 TB Namestnikov (3), (Paquette, Hedman)

Third Period
1:17 WPG Wheeler (4), (unassisted)(SH)

Overtime
0:36 TB Palat (2), (Stamkos, Hedman)

Cedric Paquette and Victor Hedman were the game's first and second stars, and those were well-deserved selections.

I'm absolutely ecstatic the team got this win, for reason I'll expound upon further later on, but I'm absolutely furious about how incredibly stupid they look defending teams on the rush so far this season. I just don't get how a team can look this braindead in coverage. No team in the NHL right now is better at turning what should be a harmless 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 stalemate coming at them on the rush into an odd man break and digging the puck out of the back of their own net. The d-men have an awful case of the yips anytime a forward is bearing down on them with speed right now, and the forwards aren't helping in the slightest by applying precious little backchecking pressure to help support their defenseman. The resulting brain crampage in positioning and communication is just intolerable to watch, and at some point Jon Cooper's got to get more aggressive with his players to correct the issue. This team won't win anything but a dog show defending the way they are right now.

On the good side, Cooper may have found another hundred dollar bill on the ground today by way of Brian Boyle calling into work sick. The makeshift line of Vladislav Namestnikov, Cedric Paquette, and Eric Condra was, start-to-finish, the Lightning's most consistent and dominant line tonight. Namestnikov's been playing really well lately, so it wasn't that surprising to see him pump home a goal. Paquette and Condra have flashed individually this year but they haven't really found chemistry with any linemates to any great degree until tonight. That line's got a little bit of everything, and you could see them becoming a regular item if they have another game or two like tonight's. Namestnikov's and deft playmaker with some higher level puck handling acuity. Paquette and Condra have laser releases that are really surprising for lower line guys. And, all three of these guys are aggressive on the forecheck and the latter two in particular are strong at body positioning to win 50/50 pucks. This really could be found money for Jon Cooper, and the makings of a third really good line he can put on his goldenrod game plan in ink every night. Now he just needs to figure out what to do with Val Filppula...

Whatever voodoo practitioner got J.T. Brown, they've apparently gotten Tyler Johnson so far this year, as well. Send rum and chicken to Hockey Jobu, please.

As I noted, one of the big benefits of the win tonight is it means you can give Bishop the night off against the Blackhawks. Te reason for that is that the Lightning now have 11 points through 8 games, meaning they need just 1 more point out of the remainder of the road trip to hit their target for the first 10 game segment of the year. So, they'll likely send Gudlevskis out and hope he can steal at least a point, but even if he can't they'll have a rested Ben Bishop ready for St. Louis to close the trip in his home town to try and clinch a successful first 10 game segment of the year.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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