Line combinations from Saturday's game against the Monarchs (L.A. Kings):
McLeod, Kiel - Jaspers, Jason - Shuchuk, Gary
Stutzel, Mike - Ferraro, Chris - Ferraro, Peter
Sjostrom, Fredrik- Westrum, Erik - Banham, Frank
Gillies, Trevor - Podlesak, Martin
Knyazev, Igor (D)
Lukes, Frantisek (LW)
The power play usually had McCarthy-Tselios and Westrum-Schutte on the point, although I did see Wilson-McCarthy out once on the man advantage. Down low, the lines usually were Stutzel-C. Ferraro-P. Ferraro and Sjostrom-Shuchuk-Banham.
The penalty kill generally had Wilson-Bezina and Wood-Tselios as defenseman in addition to either C. Ferraro-P. Ferraro or Sjostrom-Westrum as forwards. I believe Jaspers also played on the penalty kill, but I don't have his name written down as one of the PK units.
This was my first look at LeNeveu (26 shots, 21 saves) and he didn't look good. At one point in the first period, the Falcons were outshooting Manchester, 13-5, and trailing, 2-0. I hate to blame a game on the goaltender, but it was a one-goal game up until the final 1:30 and LeNeveu should have had a couple of those goals. He was really struggling with rebounds.
I've only been to three Falcons games this year since I'm away at school, but the team has look totally disinterested in all of those games. The usually pesky Ferraro brothers look like they're going through the motions - and they're the co-captains! This is when I miss having Rob Murray around. At least Rob showed some emotion and showed that he actually cared.
I have not impressed by Gord Dineen's coaching this weekend. I was having flashbacks of Marc Potvin standing behind the bench. And I don't know how Dineen can be praising the guys for their effort in the paper. They played a good first period, but that's where the good effort stopped. The Falcons never seemed to recover from that early second-period Manchester goal. Trevor Gillies tried to spark the team with a fight, but that didn't seem to energize anyone. He'll probably be scratched for today's re-match in New Hampshire, too. If he is, it'll only show that effort is not rewarded with playing time.
Here's what I find most scary. All six of the Falcons' victories have been by one goal - including two in overtime. Four of those game-winning goals have been scored by Jeff Taffe. The Falcons have only won once when Taffe hasn't scored (2-1 win in Albany - and Taffe had an assist in that game). So, if you take Taffe out of the line-up, the Falcons have won once in 17 games played this season.
Falcons lose the second half of the home-and-home series this afternoon in Manchester, 5-2. Springfield was outshot in every period and 40-19 for the game. Pelletier made 35 saves. Westrum had both goals. Gary Shuchuk and Dustin woods were scratches. Igor Knyazev was assessed a match penalty for head-butting in the second period and should be receiving a suspension from the league in the next couple of days.
Falcons fall to 6-10-3, last-place in the Atlantic Division, third-worst record in the Eastern Conference. Springfield is 1-7-1 in its last nine games. Next game is Wednesday at Providence.