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Sound Tigers Gameday: Good Morning, Bridgeport, and New Lines

The Islanders' AHL affiliate hosts Norfolk for its annual "Cool Fun 101" game day, either a nod to students or a reminder to adults just how early 11 a.m. can feel.

"Rise and shine, it's time for morning hockey."
"Rise and shine, it's time for morning hockey."
Harry How

This is a fun bit of trivia from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers official site: They've seen three hat tricks in their last four annual ungodly morning games.

The stars of yesteryear? John Sim, Rhett Rakhshani and Tim Wallace. (Speaking of, "Yo String, where's Wallace at?" Sorry. Habit. And anyway, he's here.)

More fun AHL trivia: Abbotsford broke the AHL record by scoring goals three seconds apart ... and shorthanded.

Today the Sound Tigers do the morning thing again, hosting Norfolk at 11 a.m. Norfolk, the franchise, is the defending AHL champion -- however the roster itself largely departed since the Tampa Bay Lightning dropped their affiliation and the Admirals East are now affiliated with the Anaheim Ducks.

Incidentally, the other affiliate in that trans-continental Ducks family is the Fort Wayne Komets, where Sound Tigers goalie Ken Reiter has now been returned.

Reiter's return to the ECHL means Anders Nilsson is finally feeling better, though the explanation for what ailed him never did become clear. Nilsson isn't expected to start, but he should get his turn soon.

Lines Shuffled?

Injuries to Kirill Kabanov and David Ullstrom invite some line shuffling, and coach Scott Pellerin told Michael Fornabaio (relayed in chat, I think) he was looking at chemistry pairings that made sense. That included Brock Nelson moving up to a partnership with Nino Niederreiter, while Casey Cizikas slid down one for a new partnership with Brandon DeFazio and John Persson.

From practice, the forwards:


(Tsk. The shuffle disrupts the wonderful inverted pyramid the old lines made.)

and the defense:


Though these aren't your father's, or rather Tampa Bay's Admirals, they are still 6-2 to lead their division. They lobbed 26 shots against Binghamton in the first period alone Sunday. So, a good test for the 5-3 Sound Tigers, who are already dipping into their depth to replace three injuries in this young season.

Parent club note: The translation was pretty clear -- "struggling with his groin" -- but Rick DiPietro denies any injury. This after Deadspin and Bleacher ran with the same German media report.

NHL Talks

Meanwhile, yes the NHL and NHLPA are apparently acting like they should negotiate. Seven hours yesterday, ending at 10:15 p.m., with more to come today. I'm sure you're holding your breath.

Also: It was discussed in comments, but Miro Satan was indeed peeved by that Zdeno Chara hit.