Thursday, November 12, 2009

News & Notes

  • Some say a two-goal lead is the hardest to keep. Look no further than last night's game against Syracuse for an example of why. Hockey is a sport based largely on momentum and perseverance. If a team is comfortable, their opponent is usually desperate. The best players and teams are those that play hard every shift of every game, no matter the situation or score. The River Rats have plenty of talent, but they are still struggling with consistency. The players, coaches and captains need to keep the bench energized at all times. Look for that to be the deciding factor as Albany heads into a busy weekend. 
  • The River Rats have a packed schedule ahead of them. Albany will play three games in three nights: Friday at home against Wilkes Barre/Scranton, Saturday at home against Norfolk, and Sunday in Springfield. The East Division remains extremely tight so these games are vital. Albany, Norfolk and Wilkes Barre/Scranton are all tied with 16 points each. Remember, the crossover rule applies to the Eastern Conference this year. If the season ended today, only three teams in the East Division would qualify for the playoffs. 
  • Rat-in-reserve Jacob MicFlikier continues to tear through the ECHL. The Florida Everblades' top-scorer was named Sher-wood Player of the Week for November 2-8. MicFlikier scored nine points in his first two games back from assignment in Albany. He landed a hat-trick and three assists on November 5. He has accumulated 17 points (7 G, 10 A) in just eight contests with the Blades. The Naples Daily News has more on everyone's favorite ECHL'er.
  • Forward Milan Gajic, who was assigned to the ECHL after attending training camp with the River Rats, suffered a lower-body injury on November 4. He was ranked second in scoring on the Everblades with eight points in nine games. He was placed on 21-day injured reserve and is walking with the assistance of crutches. The Naples Daily News keeps us up-to-date.
  • The Carolina Hurricanes have lost 13 games in a row. Veteran goaltender Manny Legace, who was signed after Cam Ward was injured, allowed four goals on 30 shots last night in a 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Forwards Stephane Yelle and Scott Walker both left the game with injuries. Tim Conboy was the only healthy scratch on the Canes' roster. Bryan Rodney, who was called up to replace an ill Joni Pitkanen, registered 21:29 of ice-time, the third-highest on the team. Rodney had an even plus/minus rating, skated on the power-play unit, and was not on the ice during any of the goals against. He was given a tripping penalty in the first period, but Carolina killed it off.