Here's your stat of the week:
Through six games, Norfolk's goaltenders have a combined 2.19 GAA and .925 save percentage. Mind you, they're 2-4-0 as a group, but you'd have to believe that if Tokarski, Helenius, and Janus keep this up the Admirals are going to be in great shape.
I mean, it's not like Martins Karsums can stay scoreless forever, right?
Oshawa Generals 5 @ Belleville Bulls 3
G Michael Zador, OSH: Win, 34 saves on 37 shots
Season: 6 GP, 4-1-1-0, 3.49 GAA, .896 sv%, 1 SO
Zador won his third straight game, defeating the division-rival Bulls in Belleville. With the win, Oshawa (5-3-2-0) climbed into a first place tie with Peterborough and Kingston in the East Division. Zador was complimented by his coach in the Oshawa Express for his good play recently (Click here to read).
Meanwhile, with Jaroslav Janus making his pro debut last night for Norfolk, his junior team in Erie lost yet again and have the leagueâ€™s fewest points at 6. Erie has been plagued by the relatively unexpected losses of Janus and center Ryan Oâ€™Reilly (2009 second round pick/33rd overall), whoâ€™s still with the Colorado Avalanche.
Chilliwack Bruins 1 @ Lethbridge Hurricanes 0
RW Carter Ashton, LET: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM (high sticking)
Season totals: 9 GP, 6-2-8, -6, 18 PIM
Lethbridge outshot Chilliwack 31-29, but couldnâ€™t beat Bruin goaltender Lucas Gore (undrafted), who won his first game of the season.
The disappointing lack of goal support continues.
Jaroslav Janus allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for the loss in his first professional start.
NOR Bochenski, (3) (Craig, Smolenak), 12:42
ALB Goertzen, (1) (Rodney, Sutter), 7:18
ALB Chaput, (2) (Paiement, Boychuk), 12:53
ALB Samson, (3) , 19:31 (EN)
Norfolk outshot Albany 38-30 but again could not manage to provide the goals necessary to secure the "W."
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Lewiston MAINEiacs 0 @ Moncton Wildcats 2
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 9 GP, 0-4-4, E, 10 PIM
Barberio assisted on the insurance goal scored on the power play late in the third period.
Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds 3 @ Owen Sound Attack 6
RW Kyle DeCoste, SSM: 1-0-1, +2, 2 PIM (holding)
Season totals: 6 GP, 1-0-1, -1, 10 PIM
After winning seven to start the year, the Soo has now lost two straight. DeCoste scored his first goal of the season. He had 15 in 65 games last year.
Erie Otters 4 @ Barrie Colts 7
LW/C Alex Hutchings, BAR: 1-1-2, +2, 2 PIM (slashing)
Season totals: 9 GP, 6-7-13, +5, 4 PIM
Hutchings has a five game point streak in which heâ€™s scored eight points. He has three goals in his last two games. Erie, who outshot Barrie 46-40, misses goalie Jaroslav Janus, who remains with the Norfolk Admirals on a tryout contract.
Saskatoon Blades 3 @ Lethbridge Hurricanes 2 (OT)
RW Carter Ashton, LET: 0-0-0, E, 15 PIM (major for checking-from-behind, game misconduct)
Season totals: 8 GP, 6-2-8, -6, 16 PIM
Ashton was kicked out at 3:58 of the first period after a checking-from-behind major penalty. His four game goal streak was snapped.
The Tampa Bay Lightning's 2009 6th round pick Jaroslav Janus has made the Norfolk Admirals season opening roster as the team's third goaltender. Janus, still without an NHL entry-level contract, has been retained by the Admirals on a Professional Tryout contract. Janus has drawn praise from Lightning GM Brian Lawton as having had a strong training camp, and there have been reports Janus' agent has been contacted about a contract. Janus joins fellow Bolt netminding prospects Riku Helenius and Dustin Tokarski battling to establish themselves as the Admirals go-to-guy in the nets for the 2009-10 season. It is still possible for the Lightning to reassign Janus to his OHL junior team in Erie, but that option is looking less and less likely. Janus led the Slovakian World Junior team to a medal-round finish last year.
A couple of Admirals tryouts are looking like serious contenders to make the team.
Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 13 shots before giving way to Jaroslav Janus midway through the game. Janus allowed 2 goals on 17 shots for the overtime loss, and now the Lightning will need to make a decision whether to sign the young Slovak to an entry-level deal or send him back to Erie of the OHL for one more season.
Norfolk was outshot 30-27 in the game.
Tommy Goebel has been the story so far in Admirals camp among the tryouts. The diminutive Parma, Ohio native is entering his second year of pro hockey after splitting last season between Wheeling of the ECHL (42 points in 35 games) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL (4 goals and 12 points in 25 games). Goebel played four years in the CCHA split between Michigan State and Ohio State, amassing 54 goals and 115 points in 147 games. Goebel could add more speed to an Admirals lineup that was one of the slowest in the AHL over the past two seasons.
Matt Dias is trying to earn a pro contract after four years with Sudbury of the OHL. Last season Dias had 31 goals and 66 points in 68 games.
Game story from NorfolkAdmirals.com.
The Lightning's minor leaguers drop one in a shootout to half of the Stars' first stringers.
Antero Nittymaki allowed 2 goals on 15 shots through the first 40 minutes before giving way to Jaroslav Janus who allowed 1 goal on 11 shots in the third and overtime before going 2/3 in the penalty shot session for the overtime loss. All in all, a very good performance for a young man who has been challenged to earn a pro contract.
DAL 9:28, Eriksson 1 (PP) (Modano)
DAL 18:51, Richards 1 (PP) (Modano, Neal)
TB 5:45, Fedoruk 1 (Mclean)
TB 19:31, Mclean 1 (PP) (Foster, Downie)
TB 5:55, Jones 1 (Halpern, Miller)
DAL 16:46, Neal 1 (Richards, Eriksson)
DAL - Richards
Winners? Brett McLean, who is also looking for a contract, drops 1 goal and 1 assist. The Kurtis Foster experiment gets off to a decent start with a power play assist, a +1, and 4 shots on goal. Richard Panik earns 15 minutes of ice time, which is a team high for forward prospects not named Steve Downie or Drew Miller. And Janus? Probably got a contract.
Steve Downie had a helper and was +1 in 17:03 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 4 hits. Still my pick to win the job on the Lecavalier/Tanguay line.
Drew Miller had 1 helper and was +1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 16:43.
Paul Szczechura was -1 in 12:22 with 1 shot on goal and 2 hits. He was also 33% on draws. If there was a loser in this game, in the race to win a roster, maybe it was Szczechura.
Dana Tyrell was -1 in 12:09 with 2 shots and 1 hit. He had a breakaway opportunity shorthanded he was stopped on. Coach Tocchet said he wanted to see if Tyrell could kill penalties. Shortie breakaways don't hurt.
Martins Karsums had 1 shot and 3 hits in 12:55. He also was stopped in the shootout session.
Blair Jones notched a rebound goal and was +1 in 12:42 with 1 shot, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot. He also was stopped in the shootout session. Tocchet moved Jones over to right wing with Halpern and Miller, which is ostensibly two-thirds of the likely third line. It was a good opportunity for Jones and he did pretty well with it.
Matt Lashoff was +1 with 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 18:36. No hits? Matt, brother, do you read the website? We need to see some jam, my friend.
Richard Panik had 1 shot and 1 hit in 15:00. I find it fascinating he got more shifts and more ice time than guys like Tyrell and Karsums who are closer to the NHL, particularly on the power play. They have sky high hopes for this young man, clearly.
Oh, yeah. Victor Hedman? 27:15 in his first NHL preseason game. Are you kidding? 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 blocked shot. That's unbelievable, really.
The Tampa Bay Lightning take the ice Wednesday night in Dallas, TX for their first pre-season game against the Dallas Stars. Five of BoltProspects' Top 7 ranked prospects, including the top three ranked prospects, will help kick off the Lightning's 2009-10 hockey season. Highlighting the Tampa roster will be 2009 #2 overall pick, Swedish blueline phenom Victor Hedman. Hedman will be joined by fellow 2009 draftees Richard Panik and Jaroslav Janus. Forwards Steve Downie and Dana Tyrell along with defenseman Matt Lashoff round out the remaining top prospects that will be showcased in tonight's opener. Forwards Blair Jones, Martins Karsums, and Paul Szczechura represent three more Top 20 prospects that are fighting for roster spots on the Lightning's bottom lines with overagers Drew Miller and Zenon Konopka.
The expected forward lines for Wednesday's game are:
Joining Lashoff and Hedman on the blueline are newcomers David Hale and Kurtis Foster along with former prospects Matt Smaby and Mike Lundin. Joining Janus in net is 2009 free agent acquisition Antero Niittymaki.
Buried in a blog post by Damian Crisdotero of the Times today is news that the Lightning are still considering signing goaltender Jaroslav Janus to a pro contract for this season if he shows in camp he is capable of pushing Riku Helenius and Dustin Tokarski in camp.
The Lightning have also hired Leigh Mendelson, ex of Spokane in the WHL, as the Norfolk Admirals' strength, conditioning, and video coach. Brian Lawton is also planning on revealing Norfolk's new assistant coach shortly. Former NHL defenseman Jim Johnson, who has been working with the team's prospects this summer, is said to be in the running. Johnson played 829 NHL games between Pittsburgh, Minnesota/Dallas, Washington, and Phoenix.
In recent CHL exhibition action:
Richard Panik (2009 2nd) had a goal and three assists in a 5-3 Windsor exhibition win over Plymouth Saturday afternoon. Panik has three goals and five assists in his first two North American games. And he's not even playing next to likely 2010 No.1 overall pick Taylor Hall yet. Panik couldn't be in a better situation. He's playing for a coach (Bob "The Boogie Man" Boughner) and GM (Warren Rychel) who were both hard-nosed, disciplined players and expect the same out of their Spitfire players. As the defending Memorial Cup and OHL champions, and expected 2010 champion for both, the Spits will be in Canada's spotlight and have targets on their backs all year. They'll get everyone's A-game defensively. This should help Panik speed his development for NHL play. Finally, he'll be surrounded by players such as Hall, Ryan Ellis, and Cam Fowler, which means he has a very high statistical ceiling. This will be fun to watch.
Goaltender Jaroslav Janus made his exhibition debut for Erie Saturday, stopping 31 shots in a 4-4 tie with Niagara. Janus can return to Erie this year as an overager, though there was speculation he'd go to Europe or be signed by the Lightning and placed in the Central League or assigned to an ECHL team. It's good to see him back with the Otters, even if it's just to get work before Tampa Bay's rookie camp this week.
The "other" 2009 Lightning first rounder, Carter Ashton, had an assist for Lethbridge in preseason action Friday.
Matias Sointu, who is making his North American debut with Ottawa this year, has one assist through two exhibition games for the 67's. Sointu missed most of last season with an injury in Finland.
The Q opens regular season play this week, so look for BoltProspects' Game Night summaries to appear shortly.