We continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Prospect of the Week for February 12 is … Alex Killorn, C/W, Tampa Bay (NHL – USA)
More than five years after his draft day, Alex Killorn made his NHL debut for the Tampa Bay Lightning at the world’s most famous arena.
Killorn, a third round pick of the Bolts in 2009, had an assist on Sunday in the Lightning’s 5-1 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Killorn started on the third line, but worked his way up to a scoring line with Vincent Lecavalier and Teddy Purcell by game’s end. He brought grit on the forecheck and his willingness to play in front of the net resulted in an assist.
The Lightning brought Killorn to the big club to add size and skill to the Bolts’ third line. Dana Tyrell was waived and assigned to AHL Syracuse.
Suddenly, the entire organization is circling the drain.
Mathiru Garon allowed 3 goals on 19 shots for the loss before being pulled for Anders Lindback who allowed 2 on 13 the rest of the way. Garon's played like hot garbage the past few starts he's had, and the third goal he allowed was horribly soft.
00:31 NYR Hagelin (2), (Nash, Girardi)
15:13 NYR Callahan (3), (unassisted)
09:58 NYR Hagelin (3), (Staal)
14:42 TB Lecavalier (5), (Hedman, Killorn)
12:22 NYR Asham (1), (McDonagh)
19:51 NYR Nash (3), (Hagelin, Girardi)
It's an embarassing, frustrating time to be a fan of the Lightning organization, as both Tampa Bay and Syracuse got shelled tonight and had to pull their goaltenders mid stream en route to being thumped. The symptoms are similar. Stupid turnovers. Uneven effort. Goaltending that can't seem to make big stops when they're needed to erase mistakes. It's hard not to feel disgusted right now.
Alex Killorn had 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes in his NHL debut. He also had 2 shots on goal in 13:17 of ice time, earning a promotion to the Lecavalier line. It was a pretty good debut after some early shifts where he looked a little wide eyed about the pace of the game. I just wish the result for the team had been better for his first game.
Pierre-Cedric Labrie had 1 hit in 6:45. I'm not seeing a lot of positives in his shifts. He's second to a lot of pucks, and not really landing any hits in the process.
Cory Conacher was -1 with 3 shots and 1 hit in 20:03. The fact the Lightning have to play a rookie, even one as good as Conacher, 20+ minutes to try to spark offense is an awfully bad omen.
Last night's collapse continues into today's match.
Riku Helenius allowed 4 goals on 14 shots for the loss before giving way to Dustin Tokarski, who allowed 2 on 12 shots the rest of the way. At some point you'd like one of your two championship pedigree goaltenders to step up and act like it and steal you a game rather than getting lit up like Roman candles.
ADK Gustafsson, (4) , 7:02
ADK Mangene, (2) (Sim), 0:37
ADK Dimmen, (3) (Mangene, Sim), 10:56
ADK Laliberte, (2) (Syvret, Akeson), 12:34 (PP)
ADK Eddy, (2) (Wellwood, Lauridsen), 1:30
ADK Laliberte, (3) (Akeson, Noebels), 13:21
SYR Johnson, (23) (Connolly, Neilson), 18:38 (PP)
This is the kind of embarassing loss where you'd expect Julien BriseBois to start looking to make some moves, now. The Crunch let some valuable veteran components like Segal, Smith, and Jackson walk over the offseason with the thought there was enough good youth to handle it. And, yes, there is a lot of good youth. But, in my mind, a piece needs to be added to, at the very least, try to fill some of what was lost between Conacher and now, possibly, Alex Killorn, to Tampa Bay.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
If Lightning prospect Alex Killorn makes his NHL debut today for Tampa Bay as expected, it will mark 2,060 days from his draft day to debut.
The Lightning play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Killorn, a 2007 third round pick of the Bolts, was scratched last night by the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, leading to speculation he will be recalled by the Lightning for the first time in his career.
Syracuse Post-Standard Crunch reporter Lindsay Kramer confirmed with Killorn after the game that he was headed to the big show.
"It's a really good feeling. You don't know when it's going to come,'' Killorn told Kramer, who also reported Killorn’s mother cried when the 23-year-old Montreal native told her the news.
Killorn is a rookie in the AHL though he finished last season with the Norfolk Admirals upon graduating from Harvard University. Killorn graduated from Harvard and won an AHL championship within a few weeks of each other.
His mother likely cried then, too.
The Syracuse Crunch's recent slide is the result of a myriad of factors.
After losing two straight games and six of their last seven, it is impossible for the Crunch to pinpoint one specific problem. With a little bit of everything to blame, the answers range from a mix of bad luck and tough opposition in net to defensive lapses and a lack of scoring.
“We just haven’t been playing the way we want to play,” said Crunch forward Tyler Johnson.
The Crunch hopes to remedy one of those problems, an absence of offense, by combining their top three point-scorers on the same line. With Tampa Bay Lightning prospects Johnson, Alex Killorn, and Brett Connolly practicing on the same unit, Syracuse hopes it becomes the team's slump-buster when Albany and Adirondack visit the Onondaga County War Memorial on Friday and Saturday.
It's starting to feel like Rochester has Syracuse's number.
Riku Helenius allowed 5 goals on 21 shots for the loss. That's an ugly stat line and a bitter pill for the whole team to swallow when they outshot Rochester 46-21.
RCH Rissmiller, (1) (McNabb), 11:48 (PP)
SYR Panik, (20) (Wyman, Angelidis), 11:28
RCH Schofield, (6) (Varone, Legault), 12:06
RCH Crawford, (3) (McNabb, Rissmiller), 14:16 (PP)
RCH Sundher, (4) (Mancari, Porter), 7:34
RCH Porter, (14) (Mancari, Gauthier-Leduc), 9:21
SYR Connolly, (17) (Killorn, Korobov), 12:50
SYR Gauthier, (5) (Barberio), 17:23
Richard Panik notched his 20th goal of the season in the defeat. Alex Killorn is tied with Jason Zucker of Houston for second in rookie scoring behind Justin Schultz, whose callup to Edmonton puts the Rookie of the Year award in play for Killorn.
But first, Syracuse needs to shake off the futility of this weekend.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Dustin Tokarski (pictured) allowed 3 goals on 18 shots before being kicked out of the game for leaving his crease to beat Eddie Pasquale like a drum. Key point: Eddie Pasquale is 6'3" 220 lbs. Tic is 6'0" 194 lbs. Didn't matter. Tic was like a rabid wolverine on its prey. He became a folk legend tonight. Oh, yeah, and Riku Helenius stopped all 15 shots he faced the rest of the way for the win (yawn).
SYR Killorn, (14) (Panik, Barberio), 14:50 (PP)
SYR Wyman, (4) , 17:37 (SH)
STJ Arsene, (1) (Mouillierat), 1:46
STJ Mouillierat, (4) (O'Dell, Melchiori), 2:35
STJ Cormier, (3) (Klingberg), 4:46 (PP)
SYR Wilson, (1) (Oberg, Panik), 9:16
SYR Killorn, (15) (Johnson, Barberio), 3:40 (PP)
SYR Cote, (1) (Angelidis, Killorn), 15:58
SYR Panik, (19) (Johnson, Korobov), 19:44
Alex Killorn and Richard Panik were the game's first and second stars. Panik's game was his first back from a 3 game suspension, and he came out like an animal that's been caged up too long with 1 goal and 3 points to show for his night. The Panik attack has equalled his goal total from a season ago and the sky is the limit if he keeps playing like that. Killorn snapped a personal three game scoreless streak in style with 2 goals and 3 points, as the entire Syracuse team had a breakthrough.
This was a huge win for this team, after suffering through the post-lockout malaise. They're still not at full strength with Taormina still out, but getting Panik tonight and winning an emotional, brawl-filled game by blowing a team off the rink in the Third Period goes a long way toward rekindling the club's confidence. They've been slowly recalibrating the bomb sites despite the setbacks and frustrations of the past few games, and tonight St. John's (and Eddie Pasquale's face, for that matter) was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Springfield is next on Friday.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
For Mike Angelidis, one of the strengths of the Syracuse Crunch is its ability to remain positive.
Down by a goal in the third period to the Norfolk Admirals at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday, the Crunch captain knew if his team poured on the pressure, it would find the game-tying goal.
Syracuse outshot Norfolk 23-4 in the third, finding the equalizer midway through the frame and and ultimately winning the game, 3-2, in the shootout. The Crunch has won five straight and seven of its last eight.
"It gets frustrating when you keep shooting the puck and missing the net or they're blocking shots," Angelidis said. "It's frustrating, but if you keep playing the game and you stay positive, good things happen."
In possibly their last game together as a group, Syracuse gets a win...
Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 31 shots for the victory.
SYR Connolly, (14) (Gauthier, Korobov), 10:25
RCH Mancari, (9) (Porter, Finley), 13:14
SYR Panik, (18) (Palat, Cote), 6:50
SYR Angelidis, (6) (Killorn, Taormina), 10:54
RCH Adam, (8) (Rankin, Brennan), 19:26 (PP)
RCH Flynn, (11) (Tarnasky), 11:25
SYR Gauthier, (3) (Connolly, Devos), 12:20
SYR Wyman, (3) (Killorn), 18:11
Richard Panik (pictured) is just 1 goal shy of his total from all of last season, and the Panik attack might well be deserving of at least an abbreviated training camp look.
Alex Killorn has 5 multi-point games in his last 10 outings. He's another one who might deserve a look.
Good to see Ondrej Palat back after getting banged up in the first game in Norfolk over the weekend. He is one of those guys who is the straw that stirs the drink.
Things get interesting now. The team has a game against Norfolk in Syracuse on Friday night. Speculation around the league earlier this week had most training camps opening on Saturday. Head Coach Jon Cooper made a comment about possibly losing a lot of his current roster to the NHL, presumably for an abbreviated camp as the Lightning evaluate whether it's smart (I think it is) to add a couple of these AHLers who have been playing well and don't have any rust to shake off. Watch the transaction wire the next couple of days, because you might see callups from Florida of the ECHL that signal what's to come.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Crunch sweep homecoming weekend in dramatic fashion.
Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 25 shots for the victory after Jon Cooper chose to pass over Riku Helenius for the start and keep the same netminder for the back end of the two game set. We'll see if Riku goes on Wednesday or if Cooper has evoked the "stick with a winner" selection process.
NOR Kurtz, (3) (Vatanen, Rosehill), 2:54
SYR Killorn, (13) (Wyman, Gudas), 3:48
NOR Maroon, (10) (Vatanen, Sexton), 12:28 (PP)
SYR Namestnikov, (2) (Labrie), 17:58
SYR Panik, (17) (Connolly, Cote), 3:46
NOR Palmieri, (11) (Vatanen), 11:39 (PP)
SYR Connolly, (13) (Killorn), 2:21
Brett Connolly was the game's first star. He's been pretty consistent all season, statistically. If you look at his last 22 games, for instance, he was only held off the scoresheet in 6 of those games. That's got to make Coach Cooper, and Guy Boucher for that matter, smile.
Richard Panik is now just 2 goals shy from his total of all last season. The Panik attack has lit the lamp 4 times in the last 3 games.
Vladislav Namestnikov is also consistently finding the scoresheet since his return from injury. He got his second pro goal tonight and he has 2 goals and 3 points in the 5 games since he came off the shelf.
Alex Killorn had his 4th multi-point game in his last 9 outings. He was chipping in singles in the early part of the season, but now he's starting to really pick up steam in his rookie campaign.
Syracuse moves on Wednesday to face Rochester.
Box score from TheAHL.com.