No Hamonic tonight. Consider opponents relieved. - Paul Bereswill
What's almost as odd as the NHL canceling three months of a season? AHL hockey on a Tuesday night.
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers, still fresh off mercifully ending their eight-game winless streak, get to it again Tuesday night in Portland. If you have satellite radio, this is one of the games that will also air live on Sirius 207 / XM 92 (just pick a format already!).
Michael Fornabaio notes that Casey Cizikas, who left Sunday's game with an injury, also accompanied the team. He also said Travis Hamonic had been left behind, which is just as well because the Islanders' best defenseman should be wrapped safely in a nice, plush blanket and preserved for the NHL wars. He's done his AHL time and should be deployed sparingly, like that scotch you reached over your budget to acquire.
Speaking of doing their time -- oh, praise these cheesy lockout transitions -- more love for leading scorers and 2010 picks Nino Niederreiter and Brock Nelson. This time it's in Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts (see 26-28), where Friedman routinely includes a few scouts' observations and they routinely include those two, as well as Hamonic, among the impressive AHLers.
Niederreiter leads Bridgeport with 24 points in 23 games; Nelson follows with 19. Both their shooting percentages have settled down into the 15.5 percent range, which is both realistic and acceptable for scoring forwards who see lots of powerplay time.
Meanwhile, leading the puppies, here's more from Colin McDonald and others on the captaincy announcements.
In the Pirates' last game, they fell behind 3-0 to Wilkes-Barre, initiated some fights, and came back to tie it and claim a shootout victory. Given the emphasis the Sound Tigers have placed on physical play this year -- leading to some tough penalized nights -- the potential is there for this game to get brawly if one team feels the hockey momentum gods demand a sacrifice.
Portland is in eighth, one point ahead of Bridgeport by virtue of an OTL instead of another regulation loss.
Finally, from one fantastic New York Islander to hopefully two future ones:
Go get 'em. (Adam Pelech too.)