It was the first weekend of AHL action, and the IceCaps managed to get a split in the win/loss columns to kick off the new season. After dropping their season opener 4-2 to the Springfield Falcons on Saturday night, the team rebounded with a 3-2 win over the Whale in Hartford a day later.
I managed to take in more of Saturday night’s game than the afternoon tilt on Sunday, and here are a few notes:
- Klingberg looks to have improved his skating since last season. I don’t know if I’d have called him a “sloppy” skater before, but he does look craftier on his skates and definitely more powerful. He’s said he wants to drive to the net more this season, and it looks like he’s taking the right steps to doing just that.
- Pasquale was great in game one, as was Dekanich in game two. The IceCaps were said to be good between the pipes, and they’ll have to be. Pasquale did allow four in the first game, but he looked to be in form, so his numbers should be alright as we get in to bigger sample size.
- I wasn’t too impressed with the blue line, but again mostly what I viewed was game one, so maybe someone can correct me on that. We’ll get a better chance to assess it next week when Couturier, Schenn and the Phantoms are in town to put some heat on them, followed by what looks to be a stacked blue line in Portland for comparison. Also, we’ll see if Postma gets back in to the lineup to settle things down.
- Burmistrov is the real deal. Easily the most skilled on the team, as was expected. He picked up two assists on the powerplay in the win against the Whale.
- I’d heard that Macenauer looked pretty good in preseason, and while I didn’t watch him too much, he did get on the board with his first goal of the season on Sunday. I do recall him making a brutal clearing play in the first game that resulted in a Springfield powerplay marker, though. Either way, someone to keep an eye on.
- Machacek is off to a good start with three points (1G, 2A) already.
- The IceCaps’ powerplay was 3 for 12 on the weekend, with the penalty kill at only 7 for 11 (64%). Again, sample size.
- Telegin looked alright, but sort of off and on, much like Scheifele was last season when joining the Caps. Telegin did manage to grab his first assist though, on Sunday against Connecticut.
- The IceCaps were outshot 70-50 on the weekend — 33-25 and 37-25 against Springfield and Connecticut, respectively.
The IceCaps’ next game goes against Adirondack this Friday, in the team’s home opener. It’s the beginning of a six game home stand for St. John’s that will see them play pairs of games against Portland and Norfolk as well.
You can also view this recap at Arctic Ice Hockey.