Whale Watch: Hot HagelinOctober 21, 2011, by
The CT Whale enter this weekend with a 1-1-2 record, similar to the Rangers but with two shootout losses on the books. For the first time this season the Whale will play a three-in-three days stretch over the weekend. This will be pretty new territory for some of the prospects on the team and without leading scorer and veteran leader Kris Newbury (tied for 2nd in the AHL in points) it will be interesting to see how the team reacts.
- Friday: Manchester travel to the XL arena to take on the Whale with a 3-3 record after 6
- Saturday: The Whale travel to Springfield to take on the Falcons who have a 3-2 record in 5
- Sunday: Sunday sees the Whale entertain Springfield in the back end of a home and home.
Carl Hagelin has begun his campaign in impressive style. With 4 points in 4 games, an impressive +5 rating and a shorthanded goal to his name statistically speaking it couldn’t be much better for the young Swede. Hagelin has been displaying his impressive speed aplenty and will be needed to lead the offense this weekend with Newbury missing.
Chad Johnson has begun the year brilliantly and is pretty unfortunate to only have one win to his name thus far. With a 1-0-2 record the netminder still boasts a .939 save percentage and 1.85 goals against average. Bear in mind his sole victory was a 1-0 shootout win and Johnson hasn’t had much offensive support. If he gets that support the team can certainly rely on their goalie at the moment.
Aside from Hagelin, of all the (young) prospects on the Whale only Tomas Kundratek has a point to claim as his own. With one assist in 4 games the young blueliner is off to a relatively muted start and only has 2 shots through 4 games.
Ryan Bourque has already missed a game with illness/injury and in 3 games is scoreless and -2 thus far. Again noting Newbury’s absence, Bourque should have more ice time if he’s in the line-up.
The circus comes to town this weekend and it will be interesting for several reasons; will Avery be a positive factor or a major distraction? Will he even be able to suit up this weekend (indications are that he will). If Avery plays he should be a difference maker at this level and could be an interesting addition to Hagelin’s line or, if Bourque moves to center on his line. Hopefully the Avery ‘addition’ to Connecticut won’t be the only storyline of their weekend.