First of all, apologies for the scarcity of posts and tweets the past couple weeks. Work has been kicking my butt, and what little free time I’ve had has been spent pampering my pooch and scouring Al Gore’s Internet for information on the various surgical options available for big, black furry mutts with torn knee ligaments.
And celebrating birthdays. Mine and my husband’s. In the same week. Last night with family, tonight with friends. So no Wolf Pack write-ups from me this weekend, though I do intend to watch both games in the archive at some point and will try to drop in with some thoughts on Sunday evening. In the meantime, you can check out Bob Crawford’s wrap-up of last night’s 5-3 victory over the Providence Bruins, which featured the first multi-goal performance as a pro by my favorite Manitoban, Brodie Dupont.
Speaking of Bob Crawford, he also penned a feature for the AHL’s web site on 33-year old defenseman Mathieu Dandenault and his quest to get back to the NHL. In the article, the three-time Stanley Cup champion talks about his career and about being the veteran voice in a locker room full of kids who dream of accomplishing what he already has.
In case you missed it, NYRangerscast posted a great Q&A with Wolf Pack defenseman Michael Sauer, who’s ability to remain positive never ceases to amaze me. While you’re there, take a listen to their audio interview with Rangers 2009 first round draft pick Chris Kreider.
In Wolf Pack transaction news, Devin DiDiomete’s recovery from a fractured arm has progressed far enough to where he needs to work his way back into game shape, so the 21-year old sophomore was shipped to Charlotte on Wednesday. In two games with the Checkers so far, he’s been scoreless and a minus-4 and picked up a pair of fighting majors and a game misconduct in a penalty-filled 7-0 defeat on Thursday night at the hands of the Florida Everblades. Sounds like he’s back to his old self, then.
Chris Chappell’s visit to Hartford was brief, lasting only a single game before he was returned to the Checkers. Chappell was scoreless in his AHL debut, with two shots on goal and five penalty minutes earned in an uneventful scrap with Providence’s Andy Wozniewski.
In ex-Pack news, former Rangers prospect and Wolf Pack forward Tommy Pyatt, who was sent to Montreal as part of the Scott Gomez deal this summer, made his NHL debut on Thursday night. Pyatt was scoreless in 11:27 of playing time playing on the Candadiens fourth line. In 11 games for the Hamilton Bulldogs this season the Thunder Bay native had nine points and was a plus-8. Pyatt was largely lost in the shuffle in his time with the Pack, buried behind higher-prized prospects, so it’s fair to say the trade has worked out very well for him.
Shifting gears a bit… in case you missed them, Rangers beat writer Andrew Gross filed a story on my favorite Russian Ranger, Artem Anisimov, and his adjustment to the NHL, and Jim Cerny revealed the secret of his new BFF, Enver Lisin, on his blog Rink Rap.
Keeping with the Russian theme, Newsday’s Steve Zipay had this quote from former Rangers head coach Tom Renney, which offers hope of a return to the NHL for Jaromir Jagr: “He’s on our radar,” Renney told Zipay. “He’s got NHL years left in him. He can still play, no question.” Which begs the question: does he want to? Rumors of his imminent re-signing with Avangard Omsk seem to pop up in the Russian press almost weekly, but the big Czech has repeatedly said he’ll wait till the end of the season before making any decisions.
Avangard got a taste of what life would be like without their star as they headed into the KHL’s first break for international play this week. Jagr missed their final two games with “neck, leg and back pain” — would that constitute “general body soreness” in the NHL? — after falling awkwardly into the boards during Avangard’s game against SKA St. Petersburg on October 28th. The injury is not thought to be serious, though he has been placed on Avangard’s injured players list. The Hawks’ first game after the break comes up on Wednesday, but there’s been no official word on whether Jagr will be ready to go when the team takes the ice in Yekaterinburg.
Joining him on the sidelines is Tampa Bay Lightning prospect and current Omsk goaltender Karri Ramo, who pulled a muscle in his leg during the first period of the same game and is expected to be out till mid-November. Before going down with the injury, the Finnish netminder earned goaltender of the month honors for October with seven wins — including two shutouts — a 1.92 goals against average and .912 save percentage. Also recognized by the KHL for the month of October were best defenseman, former Ranger Dmitry Kalinin, best forward, former Islander Mattias Weinhandl, and best rookie, Edmonton draft pick Linus Omark.
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