– If you’re looking for shootout videos and audio from Adam Berkhoel, Thomas Harrison and Rick Kowalsky, check the post below this one.
– I said this in the game thread itself, but that one had a little bit of everything. Three fights, four goalies, ten goals and a shootout. The crowd, announced at 1,216, but much closer to 500, certainly got their money’s worth.
– Where to even begin in breaking down the game? Dave Caruso played pretty well during the first period, but seemed to fall apart in the second. He’s having some Jason Smith moments out there — not a compliment — and he isn’t making the big save. Dan D’Uva asked me inbetween periods on the air about which of Trenton’s two goalies are under more pressure, and I answered with Caruso. Considering he’s on an ECHL deal, is clearly the sixth goalie in the organization, is back in the ECHL after a full year in the AHL last year and is surely aware that Jeff Lerg is slowly recovering from a knee injury, he’s got to know it’s time to put up some numbers. This can’t be the Gerald Coleman show. They can’t run him into the ground like they did last year.
–Want a wacky statistical anomaly I’ve never seen before? Gerald Coleman has played one game for the T-Devils this year. He’s got a loss, a 0.00 GAA and a 1.000 save percentage. Never thought I’d see a goalie with a loss and perfect numbers.
– I would STRONGLY encourage you to listen to the audio, especially with Rick Kowalsky. Felt like it was some of my better post-game work. Something I wish I’d asked about, though, were his choices in the shootout. I loved his choice of Tim Kunes, but didn’t understand why Mike Harder was out there. I would have liked to have seen Brett Wilson rewarded for his strong game, or Kory Nagy or Jeremy Akeson.
– For as much as he plugged up the line he was on in Trenton last year, Thomas Harrison seems to have greatly improved his skating. He still has some work to do with his hands — skill wise, not fighting wise — but he seems to have made great strides with Wheeling and has been publicly applauded by his coach for his effort.
– Myles Stoesz could learn a lesson from Justin Coutu. When Coutu first arrived with the Devils last year, he took a few dumb penalties in trying to provide a spark for his team. Tonight, Coutu tried to spark his team by dropping the gloves after a faceoff that took place right after a goal. Stoesz tried to spark his with a late hit on an icing.
Stoesz has put the T-Devils shorthanded a few times this year with some questionable play, and Kowalsky told me after the game that he has to be smarter about the way he goes about doing things. I think Stoesz is a really solid fighter who can skate and has some — limited sure, but some — offensive ability. But he’s got to keep his head in the game and not put his team in bad positions like that.
– Trenton’s power play could also learn a lesson from what Wheeling did as well. The Nailers were absolutely commanding with the puck around the perimeter, and seemed to pass the puck with ease while trying to set up their chances. On the power play and even in general, the Devils don’t always seem to have much of a system set up…I’m sure they do, but it seems a lot of guys are doing their own thing at times.
– Expect Gerald Coleman to start for Trenton on Friday. That was the plan all along, even before Caruso gave up five goals tonight.
– I’d have to see the replay another time, but there was some talk that the play where Jeff Prough was cross-checked into the net and somehow called for a slash should have been called a goal. Watching the play live, I thought that the net came off before the puck went in…but there was some talk in the room after the game that it was a goal.
– With that said, the officiating seemed spotty tonight. Icings were called off with seemingly no reason, and then called when players seemed to deflect or tip the puck at the red line. One play was called dead after it was touched with a high stick when the ref whistled it dead while one of the linseman had clearly signaled it was OK to play.
– What was the deal with the Zamboni inbetween OT and the shootout? Seemed the Nailers bench was yelling at the driver, and the referee had to tell him where to scrape.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com