Remember how the Whale did against ex-teammates last week? Well they saw another familiar face in net tonight as Chad “Dos-Nueve” Johnson was in net for the Portland Pirates. (He signed a contract with the Coyotes organization during the offseason.) It seems the Whale don’t do well against their ex-mates.
As for line-up changes, Kris Newbury was “banged up” so missed his first game of the season and was replaced by Chad Kolarik who returned from his minor injury. On defense Jyri Niemi was obviously out replaced by Mike Vernace. (Still no update on his status other than x-rays were negative and he’s back in Connecticut.) Otherwise line-up, including in goal, remained the same.
This is going to be a quick recap as I missed the game and since this isn’t the NHL, recaps aren’t readily available till the next day and video is hard to come by at any point.
It was a penalty-filled affair with the Pirates taking 14 penalties including two fighting majors and the Whale taking 10 penalties including the two fighting majors as well as two 10-minute misconducts. If you deduct the majors that puts the penalties at 12 for the Pirates and 6 for the Whale. Two were coincidental minors so we are down to 10-4. That means the Whale had TEN power plays. There is a reason I am pointing this out.
You know how I keep mentioning the similarities between the Whale and the Rangers? Yeah, that continued tonight. Would anyone be surprised if the Rangers went 0-for-10 on the power play? I know I wouldn’t be. Unfortunately the Whale were able to do it too. After the game, Jim Cerny tweeted the following:
Ouch. Next practice doesn’t sound like it will be a fun one if they play like that again tomorrow. And actually that tweet doesn’t tell whole story as Mitch Beck from Howlings.com posted video of Gernander’s post game comments:
That is one unhappy coach.
As for the rest of the game, there was no scoring till the third period when the Pirates broke through two minutes into the period. They added a second goal less than eight minutes later which ended up being the game winner as the Whale finally solved Johnson with 36 seconds to go in the game. The goal was Brandon Segal from Matt Gilroy and Mike Vernance. The Rangers would’ve managed to kill the shutout then too.
From what I’ve gathered, the Whale didn’t play a good game. With guys randomly coming in and out of the line-up, I wonder if the team is just banged up right now. I know it sounds like an excuse but I just feel they are better team than they are showing. Whatever it is, something has to give. And I don’t think it will be coaching related so the boys better figure this out. Their next chance to get back in the win column is tomorrow in Worcester versus the Sharks. I’m sure the Sharks will want blood after the Whale beat them 6-2 last weekend so the Whale better be on their game.