Friday night’s game will be the first time that last year’s Calder Cup champions return to the city they won it for. Coach Jon Cooper and nearly the entire team moved to Syracuse after Tampa Bay changed their AHL affiliate in the offseason. » Continue reading “Everything Old is New Again: Crunch Return to Norfolk”
One of the good things about organizational depth is that it protects a team from taking a big hit if a trade doesn’t pan out. » Continue reading “Interesting Times For Keith Aulie”
First off, what does everyone think of Raichu Helenius? It’s a stupid joke that’s been kicking around in my head for a while. If it’s well-received, then we’ll see him again. If not, it’ll disappear faster than that sitcom about Hitler.
Through five games, your Syracuse Crunch are 4-0-0-1 and sit atop the East Division, one point ahead of the 4-0-0-0 Norfolk Admirals. The Crunch is leading the league in goals for with 21 (4.2 per game), but their 17 goals against are certainly less than impressive. This brings me to the meat of the post: how is the battle between Riku Helenius and Dustin Tokarski panning out thus far? » Continue reading “Early Season Review: Dustin Tokarski vs. Riku Helenius”
The Tampa Bay Lightning’s (well, Syracuse Crunch’s) three-headed goalie monster scenario appears to be resolved.
In a very roughly translated article, it appears that Jaroslav Janus has signed a tryout contract with HC Slovan Bratislava of the KHL. His KHL rights were held previously by Yaroslavl. Per the article, Yaroslavl has allowed him to play elsewhere. The story was first broken by Corey Pronman on Twitter and later shared by our friends at Bolt Prospects.
What does this mean for Janus’s development? It’s a chance for him to play in a lot of games as a potential starting goaltender. Despite his talent level, he wasn’t going to get that chance with Dustin Tokarski and Riku Helenius likely being the other two goaltenders in Syracuse.
Janus posted solid numbers in 34 appearances for the Norfolk Admirals last season: 23-8-2, 2.36 GAA, and a .914 save percentage. He stepped up admirably for Norfolk when Tokarski spent time in Tampa last season and did not allow Norfolk’s tremendous winning streak to be broken.
There’s always a chance that he could end up staying overseas. However, as we saw with Helenius, the team is not afraid to pursue players in the organization who have gone overseas. It will all come down to Janus’s progression and it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
With Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate changing to the Syracuse Crunch next season, a lot is in flux with the Lightning’s system. One thing they may not have to worry about is replacing the squad’s captain.
The Lightning announced on Monday that former Admirals forward Mike Angelidis has been re-signed to a one year, two way contract.
Angelidis played in 54 games for the Admirals during the 2011-12 season. He recorded 14 goals, 27 points, and 135 penalty minutes. He did suffer a knee injury, but recovered in time to join his team to the playoffs.
During their Calder Cup winning post season, the captain had 1 goal and 6 points. He also helped steer the Admirals to their first championship in franchise history.
He even found his way to Tampa for six games this past season, scoring his first career goal in his NHL debut on March 24th. To make the story even better? The goal came on just his second shift.
Angelidis would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, but he had other ideas.
“I have a lot of respect for the organization. They’ve given me a lot over the last couple of years,” he said. “I could say, let’s hold off. But me and my agent felt this was the right move to make. They’ve helped me get so far. I hope they can get me to the next level.” (Quote Source: Syracuse.com)
In celebration of the signing, let’s relive his first NHL goal. His reaction was one of the best home game moments of the season in my estimation.
It seems the Tampa Bay Lightning have made it clear that they plan to swap AHL affiliates, beginning with the 2012-2013 season. The Norfolk Admirals, current affiliate of the Lightning, will no longer be affiliated with the team, instead being replaced with the AHL Syracuse Crunch.
Tampa Bay Times beat writer Damian Cristodero tweeted this statement, basically confirming the move, earlier today: “So, Lightning spokesman Bill Wickett now confirms Lightning AHL affiliate move to Syracuse. Official announcement will come today.”
Tampa Tribune Lightning beat writer Erik Erlendsson also tweeted that he was told by a TB official that the official announcement was set for 1pm today.
Erlendsson also tweeted that “To clarify, all players, staff under contract with TB transfer to new affiliation, so their players go to Syracuse starting next season.”
Basically, this means that guys such as Cory Conacher and others already under contract will be sent to Syracuse if they are to end up in the AHL.
Cristodero tweeted that the reasoning behind the switch that “Lightning’s move to Syracuse has nothing to do with Norfolk area or fans (only good things said). All about cutting travel time, costs.”
The Admirals, however, will still have hockey in Norfolk.
“The Norfolk Admirals are aware of reports that the Tampa Bay Lightning have signed an affiliation agreement with the Syracuse Crunch. However, there will still be AHL hockey at Scope next season. We anticipate announcing an affiliation agreement with a National Hockey League partner in the near future.” (Quote Source: NorfolkAdmirals.com)
Any other information that comes out regarding this potential move will be given out as it is announced.
Today, June 11th, marks Tampa Bay Lightning and Norfolk Admirals defenseman Keith Aulie’s 23rd birthday.
Aulie, a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, spent much of his time with the AHL Toronto Marlies before a 2012 Trade Deadline deal sent him to the Lightning in exchange for Lightning prospect Carter Ashton. In 19 games played with the Lightning after the trade Aulie had one point and was a minus-5 with 13 penalty minutes. (Source: lightning.nhl.com) He also wasn’t afraid to drop the gloves when needed, something I’m sure most Lightning fans appreciate!
Aulie, after the Lightning’s season ended in early April, was sent to AHL Norfolk to gain experience and help out with their postseason run. He did that, tallying one goal, six points and a plus-7 rating in 18 playoff games with Norfolk. In Game 4 of the Calder Cup finals Saturday afternoon he collected one assist in Norfolk’s 6-1 win over his former team, the Marlies, helping to capture the Admirals’ first Calder Cup. (Source: NorfolkAdmirals.com)
It’s safe to say the Calder Cup playoff experience most likely helped Aulie in the long run. As the Admirals return to Norfolk today, cup in tow, I know he probably has what he wanted most for his birthday. Regardless, we would still like to say “Happy Birthday” and here’s to many more in a Lightning uniform!
The Norfolk Admirals are pretty good at hockey. After riding a historic 28 game winning streak and a league high 113 point regular season, their dominance continued with a 14-3 start in the Calder Cup playoffs.
Their story came to an end tonight in the best possible fashion: sweeping the Toronto Marlies to win the AHL Championship in a 6-1 victory. In doing so, they became the first Lightning American League affiliate to hoist the Calder Cup.
Even with the controversial finish to game 3, the Admirals wasted no time in putting points on the board. They scored 5 straight goals. Mike Kostka and Tyler Johnson had two apiece. Pierre-Cedric Labrie and Richard Panik scored the other Norfolk goals. Cory Conacher finished the evening with four assists.
As with all of Norfolk’s final 8 playoff games, Dustin Tokarski. He stopped 18 of the 19 shots he faced. Forward Alexandre Picard was awarded the Jack A. Butterfield trophy as the Calder Cup Playoffs MVP. Picard was held scoreless in the final game, but he led all skaters with 16 points through the rest of the postseason.
Yeah, about that Game 3 OT win for the Admirals. The one that brought them within 1 win of the Calder Cup. The one with the insanely flukey goal by Mike Koskta? According to the AHL rules, it shouldn’t have counted.
In case you missed it, here it is:
That’s pretty insane, right? How often do we see pucks in sent in exactly like that that don’t result in goals. Unfortunately for the Marlies, the puck careened off a stanchion when goalie Ben Scrivens was out of the net to play the puck so there was no stopping it from heading into the goal on a weird bounce. There wouldn’t have been any debate if Norfolk players hadn’t been in the zone on a delayed offsides call.
It turns out that according to the AHL rules, the tally shouldn’t have counted. Luckily for the Admirals, the league by-laws don’t allow for the result of a game to be changed based an incorrect rule interpretation.
Tonight, in front of a sold-out crowd that included some big names like Steve Yzerman, Pat Verbeek and Guy Boucher, the Norfolk Admirals won Game 2 of their Calder Cup Final series over the Toronto Marlies 4-2.
Norfolk opened the scoring at 14:28 of period 1 when Richard Panik took a nice pass from Evan Oberg, beating Marlies’ goaltender Ben Scrivens. Late in the first, with Trevor Smith off for cross-checking, the Marlies tied things up with Joe Colborne getting the puck past Admirals goaltender Dustin Tokarski.
The second period was tight checking; the only goal coming courtesy of Norfolk’s Alexandre Picard with 4:40 remaining in the period.
The third period was about Tokarski coming up big and the Admirals adding some insurance, with both being done. Brandon Segal scored to make it 3-1 with 11:34 remaining. Just over seven minutes later Trevor Smith scored, making it 4-1. Toronto got a late goal from Juraj Mikus, making the final 4-2.
Tokarski was outstanding, stopping 30 of the 32 shots he faced. Scrivens also held up pretty well, stopping 28 of the 32 shots he faced.
The Admirals now take a 2-0 series lead with them to Toronto, with Game 3 being played June 7th at 7:15pm.
*You can follow me, Lauren, @TBLightning491 on Twitter.*