Stupid. Simply the stupidest I've seen the Falcons play this season.
Game sheet from TheAHL.com. There's more on the flip.
Overshadowed somewhat by the play of Justin Keller, who is now tied for 5th in the WHL in scoring, has been the play of center Blair Jones. Jones, a 4th round pick in last year's draft, has already put up career best numbers of 14 goals and 50 points for the Moose Jaw Warriors this season. Tonight he scored a goal in Moose Jaw's 4-1 win over Prince Albert. This puts Jones at the significant 30 goal plateau and it also puts him at an even 70 points in 61 games this season, good enough for 7th in the WHL just 1 point back of the older Keller. Jones was a positive surprise in this year's Traverse City prospect tournament with 2 goals and 4 points in 4 games. He was rated the third best WHL prospect in the CSS's preliminary rankings last season but a fallout with Brent Sutter in Red Deer and his subsequent trade dropped his stock by draft day. Now, with the Warriors, he appears to be living up to his potential.
You know, I find it pretty funny "mainstream" media outlets like Hockey's Future and THN can find it fit to ridicule the Tampa Bay Lightning's prospect base, put us dead last in their organizational ranking and keep our players out of their top-50 prospects without even so much as an honorable mention and yet when the puck is dropped and the real games are played the Lightning have three of the better rookies in the league this season. TSN released their top-40 rankings for rookie forwards today and Ryan Craig (#23) and Evgeny Artyukhin (#25) both made the grade. Here's a fun exercise: count the number of well hyped 1st round draft picks lunch pail 8th rounder Ryan Craig has outplayed so far this year. I count nine between the rest of the top-40 and the honorable mentions TSN lists, and I'm sure a certain very biased online editor at Hockey's Future must be thoroughly embarassed by the immortal Jim Slater being bested by two prospects from the Lightning's allegedly bare cupboard. Earlier TSN had released their list of the top-20 rookie defensemen prospects and 6th round pick Paul Ranger checked in at #15. What!? No Braydon Coburn!?!?!
To the critics of this organization:
Would you prefer yours grilled or baked?
That one hurt...
It's so hard to keep momentum in the AHL where you have these three game weekends stretches. The Falcons had played the previous two nights and had to travel to get to the game in Lowell. Gerald Coleman put in a valiant effort stopping 34 of 37 in the loss. Chris Dingman scored the lone Falcons goal with assists from Mike Egener and Ryan Vesce.
Where it hurts worst in the standings where Springfield had an opportunity to pull to within 3 points of Lowell which currently sits in 5th in the Atlantic. Providence is currently finishing up a throttling of the WBS Pens meaning the Falcons will be 15 points out of the playoffs at night's end.
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.