Jones, Blair

AHL Game Night 12/12: Sound Tigers at Admirals

It won't be long until guys like Segal and Jones get their shots in Tampa too.

BRI-2
NOR-3

Mike McKenna allowed 2 goals on 33 shots in the win.

First Period
NOR Segal, (11) (Downie, Rosehill), 5:04
NOR Potulny, (4) (Kearns, Segal), 18:27
BRI Bentivoglio, (4) (Colliton, Callahan), 18:51

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
BRI McLean, (7) (Iggulden), 0:30
NOR Jones, (6) (Segal, Downie), 6:29 (PP)

Brandon Segal helped make sure Bridgeport was On Deadly Ground at The Scope, as he was named the game's first star. Blair Jones was named the game's second star with his power play game winning goal.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night 12/2: Admirals at River Rats

Ramo responds... sort of.

NOR-2
ALB-3 (SO)

Karri Ramo only allowed 2 goals on 37 shots in the game before allowing 4 of 8 shooters to tally for the shootout loss.

First Period
ALB Blanchard, (4) (Rodney, Flood), 11:42 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Mihalik, (1) (Bochenski), 9:42
ALB Chaput, (3) (Petruzalek, Ryan), 11:51

Third Period
NOR Jones, (5) , 5:47

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
NOR- Bochenski, Konopka, Heward
ALB- Ryan, Chaput, Rodney (x2)

Blair Jones was named the game's second star.

Ramo got back in after sitting the last game and living under the threat of a Riku Helenius recall, so his play in regulation and overtime was a reasonably encouraging response. He's still struggling in shootouts, but he and the Admirals did manage to get eight shooters deep into the extra session. Baby steps, I suppose. In any event, I hope this is the beginning of a run similar to what Ramo did in Tampa late last season when John Tortorella publicly embarassed Karri. I suspect Admirals GM Mike Butters would be more than happy if Ramo, to paraphrase the immortal Vaclav Prospal, "stuck it up his butt" and started a hot streak here. Knock on wood.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night 12/2: Lightning at Flyers

Wow. Radek Smolenak.

TB-3
PHI-4 (OT)

Mike Smith allowed 4 goals on 32 shots for the loss.

First Period
02:58 PHI Carter (17), (Timonen, Lupul)(PP)
11:50 TB Recchi (6), (Jokinen, Prospal)(PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
00:36 PHI Richards (9), (unassisted)(SH)
04:36 PHI Carter (18), (Hartnell, Lupul)(PP)
04:57 TB Prospal (5), (St. Louis, Eminger)(PP)
15:25 TB Downie (1), (Smolenak, Stamkos)

Overtime
02:05 PHI Richards (10), (Timonen, Carter)(PP)

Steve Downie was named the third star of the game. He was the the fourth most impressive prospect the Lightning had in the game, to me, but ok. I get it. He's a former Flyer.

I was really impressed with the two callups, particularly Smolenak. I wish there had been more 5-on-5 play in the game so he could have played more. I really liked the energy he had on a line with Artyukhin before R2 got nicked on a boarding major from Scotty Upshall in the first period. Obviously, you can see the flaw in Smolenak's game: he's not a speed merchant. But, you know, there was no fear in the young man. Sometimes these callups get into these games and they act like they're afraid to get a puckmark on their tape because maybe NHL tape is expensive, or something. Not Smolenak. First shift he gets the puck down low and makes a power move to get a shot off from the angle. Third or fourth shift he fights Aaron Asham. Third period he's out there battling down low again and getting off a hard shot from the angle to try to tie up the game. And he gets rewarded with the assist on the tying goal as one of his long slappers generates a rebound for Downie to send the game to OT. That's probably the best NHL debut we've seen from a player since Paul Ranger came up a few games into 2005-2006. Honestly, if he keeps playing like that, one of these old fogies is out of a job.

Paul Szczechura, very quietly, played some big minutes in this game both at even strength and on the penalty kill. And, you know, that's high praise if you're an NHL rookie in your first game and the coach puts you out there on the PK. It shows the kind of intelligence Szczechura has, and I'm not surprised Tocchet instantly started leaning on the young man. He's just one of those guys who is a coach's dream. I don't think his scoring really projects to the NHL level, and you can see he's still maybe a quarter step slow, but he can outthink 95% of the players he's going up against, and that means he'll have a solid NHL career.

Bottom line, the Norfolk kids did good tonight, and I loved the energy the new blood brought to the table. And, you know, there's other kids down there knocking on the door like Brandon Segal,Matt Smaby, and Blair Jones. I think it's time to get some of the AARP members out of Tampa and mix some youth and enthusiasm into the team, especially on the forward lines.

Steve Downie had 1 goal and was +1 with 4 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 2 hits in 10:43.

Paul Szczechura had 3 shots and was 30% on draws in 15:16.

Radek Smolenak had an assist and was +1 with a fighting major, and a game high 6 shots on goal in 9:45. And he gets a gold star from me.

Steven Stamkos had 1 assist, 4 shots, and was 60% on draws in 16:47.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night 11/28: Penguins at Admirals

It was an inexplicably passive third period.

WBS-4
NOR-3

Karri Ramo allowed 4 goals on 29 shots for the loss.

First Period
WBS Thomas, (2) (Letestu, Richmond), 16:12 (PP)
NOR Boyle, (2) (Simek, Kearns), 19:39

Second Period
WBS James, (7) (Jeffrey), 12:59 (SH)
NOR Jones, (4) (Konopka, Bochenski), 19:16 (PP)

Third Period
WBS James, (8) (Lovejoy, Caputi), 10:57
WBS Taffe, (12) (Caputi, Wallace), 16:35
NOR Bochenski, (8) (Konopka, Potulny), 19:31

Brandon Bochenski was named the game's second star.

I'm absolutely flabbergasted. Norfolk played 40 minutes of very solid hockey only to come out flat as a pancake in the final period to take the loss. It's a tough one to take. Maybe it was expecting too much considering the team had 4 players called up, but they played so well in the first couple of periods its shocking how badly they got rolled in the third.

Blair Jones extended his point streak to 4 games with a power play goal. Jones, a righty shot, is once again being used on the point on the power play as he has been from time to time in his professional career, and the Admirals seem to be running a lot of their PP set pieces through Jones and his ever improving point shot. His goal tonight came with Vladimir Mihalik being used in front of the net as a king-sized screen.

Norfolk squares off with the Penguins again tomorrow night.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night 11/26: Falcons at Admirals

Raise your hand if you like offense.

SPR-4
NOR-6

Karri Ramo allowed 4 goals on 34 shots in the win.

First Period
NOR Jones, (3) (Jackson, Simek), 1:46
SPR Brule, (8) (Bisaillon, Trukhno), 7:06 (PP)
NOR Potulny, (1) (Jones, Konopka), 16:46 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Bochenski, (6) (Hutchinson, Jones), 0:49 (PP)
SPR Trukhno, (2) (Wild, Schremp), 3:11 (PP)
NOR Smaby, (1) (Szczechura, Segal), 18:44

Third Period
SPR McDonald, (3) (Schremp, Paukovich), 1:36
NOR Smolenak, (8) (Konopka, Segal), 2:18
NOR Bochenski, (7) (Potulny, Konopka), 8:30
SPR Roy, (1) (Bina, Brule), 15:30 (PP)

Brandon Bochenski, newcomer Grant Potulny, and Zenon Konopka were the game's three stars.

Blair Jones had a three point night as he is riding a mini hot streak with 6 points in the last 3 games. He has 13 points in 20 games now and he's on a pace to put up a career best season in points despite playing less minutes than he was last season.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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