Konopka, Zenon

NHL Game Night 4/4: Lightning at Islanders

2-1/2 hours of my life I'll never get back.

TB-1
NYI-3

Mike McKenna allowed 3 goals on 21 shots for the loss. That might've been his worst game as a member of the Lightning. Each of the Islanders' first two goals are ones Mike probably would like back and he made another big puck handling error that he managed to get away with. He's got one more start scheduled this season, and that's probably a good thing. You'd hate to go out like that after a pretty successful year.

First Period
00:23 NYI Park (14), (Joensuu)

Second Period
14:52 NYI Martinek (5), (Gervais, Joensuu)(PP)
16:38 TB Pettinger (6), (Karsums)(PP)

Third Period
09:14 NYI Bailey (7), (Comeau, Gervais)(PP)

The Lightning waited 35 minutes tonight to start playing. Watching grass grow would've been more exciting.

Noah Welch had 3 hits and 3 blocked shots in 19:04. He's been decent the past two games, which is shocking considering how poorly he'd previously played.

Zenon Konopka had a fight, 1 shot, 1 hit, and was 67% on draws in 7:42. He earned his game check.

Matt Smaby was beastly with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, 7 hits, and 3 blocked shots in 22:22. He's been so much better since taking a game off to nurse his foot injury. Graduation Tuesday. Bring your digital cap and gown.

David Koci had 15 penalty minutes in 6:34. Former Lightning farm hand Mitch Fritz threw him around like a rag doll.

Paul Szczechura was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 1 blocked shot in 15:33. He was also 38% on draws.

Martins Karsums had 1 assist and was -1 with 6 penalty minutes, 2 shots, 4 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 12:02. Like Welch, he's playing better in these past two games.

Matt Lashoff was -1 with 3 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 27:17. He lost a couple of physical battles that resulted in one puck going in the net and one being rung off the post. He didn't do his younger pairing partner any favors.

Vladimir Mihalik was -1 with 1 shot in 13:05 paired primarily with Lashoff. I thought this was his best NHL game thus far, but that may not be saying much. He looked more confident, but he's still a little slow to react to the play. The guy's a mountain and he had 0 hits. That's still a problem. I was, admittedly, surprised he got the call over Ty Wishart or Kevin Quick.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night 3/20: Senators at Admirals

60 minutes. Nice.

BNG-2
NOR-4

Riku Helenius allowed 2 goals on 31 shots for the win. The victory snaps a 5 game personal losing streak for Riku and raises his season save percentage back to .918.

First Period
NOR Konopka, (15) (Smolenak, Segal), 3:24
NOR Smolenak, (21) (Keller, Boyle), 12:45 (PP)
BNG Mauldin, (20) (Regin, Karlsson), 15:41 (PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
NOR Kinrade, (1) (Bochenski), 8:12
BNG Smith, (21) (Zubov, Kudelka), 11:52
NOR Konopka, (16) (Bochenski, Segal), 17:48 (PP)

The Admirals signed their first ATO, defenseman Geoff Kinrade out of Michagan Tech, and he paid instant dividends with the game winning goal.

Zenon Konopka, Kinrade, and Radek Smolenak were the game's three stars. Smolenak potted his 21st of the season in the win. Run up those numbers, young man.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Zenon Konopka

Basics
Position: 
Center
Height: 
6.00
Weight: 
215
Age: 
33
Acquired: 
Signed as an unrestricted free agent on July 10, 2008
Last Team: 
Unknown
Contract
Signing Date: 
07/10/2008
Contract Type: 
One-way
Contract Length: 
2 years
Cap Number: 
$487 500

AHL Game Night 2/21: Senators at Admirals

Keller is also getting in line for a recall.

BNG-2
NOR-4

Riku Helenius stopped 24 of 26 shots for the win to even his record at 4-4-0 this season. He is now sitting on 1 shutout, a 2.18 GAA, and a .938 save percentage. What's the definition of a "good problem" to have? Karri Ramo and Mike McKenna acquitting themselves fairly well in the NHL while your young #1 starter is out injured, Helenius playing well in the AHL, and young Dustin Tokarski standing on his head in junior. That is a "good problem" to have.

First Period
BNG Mauldin, (12) (Regin, Hamel), 11:54
BNG Mauldin, (13) (Fata, Regin), 17:56

Second Period
NOR Potulny, (8) (Brookbank, Jones), 1:27
NOR Jones, (11) (Lundin, Konopka), 14:44 (PP)

Third Period
NOR Bochenski, (21) (Keller, Konopka), 3:43
NOR Keller, (11) (Bochenski), 11:08

Brandon Bochenski, Justin Keller, and Zenon Konopka were the game's three stars.

I find it fascinating that, despite spotting him a significant head start, Keller has caught Blair Jones in the goal department. Jones still has a mammoth lead on Keller in assists and a better points per game number, but that may be a little inflated with power play assists with Blair playing the point position so much. This may be another really good problem for the Lightning organization to have if Keller and Jones continue to hit the scoresheet and, along with Brandon Segal, continue to push for late season recalls.

For those who have been wondering, Vladimir Mihalik has been out with a nasty concussion.

Norfolk climbs back to 3 games under .500. I think the season would be considered a success, given the rocky beginnings, if the team could climb to a winning record. It could be the foundation of a return to the playoffs next season with the Admirals getting an injection of a little more speed and skill with guys like Dana Tyrell coming on board.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night 1/10: Monarchs at Admirals

Admirals sweep out the Monarchs.

MCH-2
NOR-4

Mike McKenna allowed 2 goals on 21 shots for the win.

First Period
MCH Campbell, (3) (Rheault, Moulson), 1:25
MCH Azevedo, (5) , 10:54

Second Period
NOR Downie, (8) (Konopka, Boyle), 4:20 (SH)
NOR Downie, (9) (Bochenski, Konopka), 11:40 (PP)

Third Period
NOR Kearns, (8) (Smolenak, Jones), 2:38
NOR Gratton, (2) (Downie, Konopka), 19:19 (EN)

Steve Downie, Bracken Kearns, and Zenon Konopka were the game's three stars.

The Ads now move within 3 games of the .500 mark.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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