To blow a 3 goal lead in less than five minutes in inexcusable. There's good points and there bad points (used to be good ties and bad ties, but the cliche has to change with the times), tonight was a bad point for the Springfield Falcons. And there's not a heck of a lot more you can say about it.
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned Brian Eklund and Nick Tarnasky to Springfield of the AHL. Both players will be available for the Falcons' game Thursday at home against Manchester. As a consequence, expect Jonathan Boutin and perhaps one skater to be reassigned to Johnstown of the ECHL within the next 24-48 hours. The Chiefs' next game is Friday night against Trenton at home.
According to the Springfield Republican, Falcons GM/Owner Bruce Landon is preparing to fly to Tampa in early December to hammer out a long term extention for the single affiliation agreement the team has with the Tampa Bay Lightning through the year 2010. The deal would coincide with the length of time left on the Falcons' lease with the newly rennovated Mass Mutual Center. The two organization's current affiliation agreement expires this summer.
It was a tough spot to be in as a team. The Falcons were playing their third game in three nights and their fourth without starting netminder Brian Eklund who was still up with the Lightning. Something had to give... I just had hoped it wouldn't be against a division opponent the Falcons were tied with in 1st in the division. But the dam finally broke in the third period.
Rookie Gerald Coleman took the loss stopping 24 of 28 shots. The positives: Jason Jaspers continued the season of his lifetime with a goal and an assist and Zbynek Hrdel notched his first AHL point. Still, the hope has to be that by next weekend the callup situation will be resolved and possibly Eklund and one or two of the forwards will be back with the team.
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
To go into Wilkes-Barrie/Scranton and Hershey on back to back nights and steal 3 out of 4 points is outstanding. Period.
Jonathan Boutin stopped 50 of 52 shots faced. 50 saves in his AHL debut. That's not a typo. And he had an assist on top of that. That's not a typo either. Rightfully he earned #1 star of the game even in a shootout defeat. It's a shame he couldn't make that one more save late in the 3rd period or that the Falcons' final three shooters in the shootout couldn't get that one more talley for the rookie. The irony is that if this game was played under the NHL's shootout rules, Boutin wins.
Ryan Vesce was outstanding again with two goals in regulation and he scored in the shootout for Springfield as well. The rookie now has 4 goals and 10 points in 10 games and it may well be time for the Lightning to consider purchasing his contract from the Falcons and making him officially a member of the Lightning family. Just my opinion.
Game sheet can be found at TheAHL.com.