The Whale dropped a 4-2 decision on Friday night in Springfield. It was the Whale's fourth loss in six games to the Northeast Division leading Falcons. The Whale trail the Falcons by 16 points in the division.
The addition of two former Whale players has shot them to the top of the division. Springfield fans must have been happy that Jonathen Audy-Marchessault and Tim Erixon are getting more time at the AHL level, the Columbus Blue Jackets did not call up J.A.M. and Erixon was sent down after a brief look in training camp.
Those two, J.A.M. and Erixon, have combined for 20 points in six games against the Whale this season. J.A.M. has 3 goals and 8 assists for 11 points, and Erixon has 5 goals and 6 assists for 9 points when playing against their former club. The Whale are 2-4 against Springfield this season and they have been outscored 28-8 in those 6 contests. The games are more lopsided in person then they are on paper. This may not be the Whale's year against Springfield, they do not match up well with them at all. In the Whale's two wins they won by a combined score of 7-4, but in the four losses to Springfield the Whale have been outscored 24-2. Thats as lopsided as it gets.
On Saturday the Whale took a short road trip to Portland Maine to play the Pirates. The Whale got off to a great start in front a sold out crowd at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Every where the Whale go you will find a Whalers or Whale jersey in the stands. Portland was no exception to this rule.
The Portland crowd of 6,773 would go home disappointed that night. The Whale played an incredibly solid game in front of Mt. Missiaen. Goaltender, Jason Missiaen, stopped 32 of 33 shots with his 6 foot 8 inch frame. Kris Newbury and Chad Kolarik both picked up a goal and an assist, and defenseman Blake Parlett added two assists to complete the 4-1 victory.
On Sunday afternoon the Whale were in Providence where they lost 4-1. It was their third game in three days. Jason Missiaen received back to back starts and he was busy once again making 34 stops out of 38 Providence shots. Not surprisingly, the Whale were out shot in all three games. Being out shot is not rare, but the Whale only scraped up 15 shots on Sunday which is a poor offensive showing when you consider the Bruins put up 38 shots. You certainly cant score if you don't shoot. The lone goal went to J.T. Miller who just won gold at the World Juniors for team U.S.A.
The Whale are still twelfth in the conference and tied for third in the Northeast Division with Albany. If the Whale do not pick it up in the final stretch of the season they could miss the playoffs something that has only happened to them once in their time in Hartford. That would be a disappointing season especially if the team does not extend their lease with the XL Center. There is still no word of the MSG working on signing a deal but that also may be because they are awaiting to see who wins the bid to manage the building. The bids are sealed to the public and the hearings are as well but a decision should be expected by the end of this month.
Congratulations to comeback player Chad Kolarik who will represent the Whale in the AHL All Star Game. Kolarik missed all of last year with an injury but this year he is at the top of the teams scoring since the season began. Kolarik has 16 goals and 18 assists for 34 points in 40 games. The All Star game will be held in Providence this year on January 28.
I wanted to give a special thanks to Bryan Yates and John Ames for inviting me on their podcast show last night to talk about the Connecticut Whale and the Hartford Whalers. We discussed the current bids for the XL Center and the possibility of a Ranger extension in Hartford. Click on the word link to hear the show. Bryan Yates and John Ames can be found on the NHL on the Ice website, under blogtalkradio.com.