Have you heard the one about a Latvian and a French Canadian who walk into a diner on the way from Utica to Montreal?
Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 29 shots for the loss. After the game, Desjardins and tandem-mate Kristers Gudlevskis were summoned to join the Lightning in Montreal for tomorrow night's came against the Canadiens with Bishop's head injury and Lindback's sprained ankle.
UTI DeFazio, (6) (O'Reilly), 3:24
UTI Pelletier, (8) (Grenier, Archibald), 13:31
UTI Archibald, (7) (Grenier, Pelletier), 14:46
SYR Sustr, (1) (Angelidis, Panik), 18:55
I suppose the good news is that at least Andrej Sustr was able to get on the board. Sadly, though, the Crunch will be going into tomorrow night with a loaned ECHL goaltender between the pipes, in all likelihood. They've reportedly suspended Riku Helenius tonight for breach of contract. So, things don't appear to be on the way to getting a whole lot better for the Crunch. Perhaps there's a silver lining that there's no recall for Valtteri Filppula's spot as of this posting. It's not exactly something worth throwing a parade over, but Crunch fans have to take what they can get these days.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Despite being sent to Syracuse for more ice time, Andrej Sustr hasn't seen much game action.
The 6-8 defenseman, hurt on his second shift since being reassigned by the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier this month, practiced with the Crunch Tuesday. After missing five games, he is nearing a return to the lineup.
“It’s been pretty good,” Sustr said of working his way back into game shape Tuesday. “I’m aiming for this weekend.”
With Syracuse on a five-game losing streak, the addition of Sustr is a major shot in the arm to a struggling Crunch defense that has surrendered 23 goals in the past five games.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Halifax Mooseheads 2 @ Quebec Remparts 8
C/W Jonathan Drouin, HAL: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, 1 Hit, 7/13 FO
Season totals: 29 GP, 18-47-65, +26, 34 PIM
2011-2012 Season: 49 GP, 41-64-105, +48, 32 PIM
C/W Adam Erne, QUE: 0-2-2, -1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG, 1 Hit
Season totals: 39 GP, 19-35-54, E, 57 PIM
2012-2013 Season: 68 GP, 28-44-72, +11, 67 PIM
The first QMJHL game between rivals Quebec and Halifax since Erne’s concussion-inducing hit on Drouin in December was a doozy. Quebec exploded for six goals in the second period and cruised to an 8-2 win. Both of Erne’s assists were on the power play, and though Drouin officially has two more penalty minutes added to his season total, he was in the box for two 10-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. His first was for something he said to the refs, the second followed a slashing call and the assumption is it was for the same thing.
As for Erne, the Mooseheads got some payback for the December hit when Luca Ciampini cross-checked him to the ice after a play, and Andrew Ryan hit him when he was on the ice. Ciampini was ejected, Ryan got a roughing call. The Remparts out PP-chanced the Mooseheads 17-3 and had several 5-on-3 advantages.
Meanwhile, Rangers prospect Anthony Duclair had seven points (2+5) in the game for Quebec. Ducks pick Nick Sorensen had a hat trick and five points.
Ontario Hockey League
London Knights 9 @ North Bay Battalion 4
D Dylan Blujus, NB: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM
Season totals: 35 GP, 3-15-18, +3, 42 PIM
2012-13 totals: 68 GP, 2-27-29, -8, 57 PIM
London put nine on the scoreboard Thursday in North Bay, beating the Battalion, 9-4. Former Lightning camper Brett Welychka had a goal and an assist for London. He has 16-25-41 in 48 games this year. As for Blujus, he extended his point streak to three games, which is a season long.
Sudbury Wolves 7 @ Barrie Colts 5
D Jake Dotchin, BAR: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM
Season totals: 44 GP, 9-18-27, +19, 87 PIM
2012-13 totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM
Barrie had a 2-0 lead in this one before the game slipped away.
Kingston Frontenacs 0 @ Windsor Spitfires 4
W Henri Ikonen, KGN: 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM
Season totals: 36 GP, 14-34-48, +12, 31 PIM
2012-13 totals: 61 GP, 22-29-51, +2, 30 PIM
D Slater Koekkoek, WSR: 0-0-0, +3, 0 PIM
Season totals: 46 GP, 12-28-40, +38, 30 PIM
2012-13 totals: 42 GP, 6-23-29, -24, 28 PIM
In the “other” Lightning prospect match-up, Koekkoek’s Spitfires got the best of Ikonen’s Frontenacs, 4-0. With his plus-3 night, Koekkoek is back on top of the OHL plus/minus leaders at plus-38. The big news out of this game was 2014 top prospect Sam Bennett of Kingston had his league-best 25-game point streak snapped. He had 46 points in those 25 games.
Costly night in Ottawa.
Ben Bishop allowed 1 goal on 1 shot before leaving the game with an injury. It was a bizarre play where Bishop left his crease to try to play a puck that he had no chance of getting to, and after diving to the ice to get to it he was kneed in the back of the head by his teammate, Kucherov. If it's a concussion, that's probably a week, minimum, without Bishop, but early reports have Bishop passing his concussion test. Lindback allowed 4 on 27 shots the rest of the way for the old backdoor loss.
1:49 OTT Methot (5), (Zibanejad, Spezza)
19:34 OTT Karlsson (13), (Spezza, Michalek)
3:10 TB Killorn (13), (Kucherov, Hedman)
6:25 OTT Smith (10), (unassisted)
18:40 OTT Turris (18), (Ryan)
6:55 OTT Ryan (20), (Turris, MacArthur)
12:54 TB Johnson (17), (Palat)(SH)
17:08 TB Hedman (11), (St Louis, Palat)
Compounding the injury to Bishop was Valtteri Filppula leaving the game with some sort of ailment that limited his mobility after getting hit away from the play. I'm going to go with a hip injury as my guess. If his injury is of any severity, then I'm just going to throw the name Vladislav Namestnkov out there as a possible recall.
The Lightning's effort level really sagged after losing Bishop early in the game, and they looked like they were skating in quicksand until late in the game when the score was well out of hand. Between that and the copious number of turnovers that have ended up in the back of the team's net lately, it's not a good look. In particular, Radko Gudas has really struggled over the last month and he's had turnovers lead to important goals in each of the last two Lightning losses. Against the Leafs, he allowed the GWG. Against the Sens, his mistake led to the Smith goal that destroyed a fledgling rally from the Lightning after they'd cut the deficit to 2-1.
Mark Barberio was -2 with 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, and 2 blocked shots. He was responsible for Turris' goal with an ill advised step up in the neutral zone where he missed the puck to surrender a breakaway to Bobby Ryan, which he compounded by failing to pick up the trailing Turris. There was no atonement for his mistake like the last game against Toronto, either.
J.P. Cote had 6 hits and 1 blocked shot in 9:35.
J.T. Brown had 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 11:11.
Nikita Kucherov had a helper and was -1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 14:59. He got some luck on his helper with a pass that ricocheted off a skate to Killorn in prime scoring position in the slot for the goal.
Lots of questions this week, most of which involve speculating on future Lightning lineups. I'm the Miss Cleo of Lightningland, apparently.
Here we go...
What's the deal with the Reto Suri situation and where would he be on the depth chart? (@awoundedzebra1)
Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times reported earlier this week that Suri is indeed on the Lightning’s radar, but the club can’t talk to him until Suri, his agent, and the club work out an agreement enabling the 2014 Olympian to get out of his current contract. Suri told RTS.ch that he expects to sign with Tampa Bay.
Swisshockeynews.ch reported Suri got an out clause, but he hasn’t signed it and will take the Olympic break to consider it. The conditions are that if Suri returns to Switzerland from the fall until 2017, he has to return to his club team, Zug, and if he comes back mid-season, Zug only has to pay him half his due amount.
The site points out that Suri can wait until his Zug contract is over in 2015 and be free to do what he wants.