Going winless in his first five games was a rough start for the new coach. But they are 7-0-1-1 in the last nine (don't know if you can say "unbeaten" with the OT loss in there).
Solid system and a veteran defensive corps (we know there are not a lot of young defensive prospects here) have kept things from being too hard on the goalies. And they have held up well to the tune of 24 goals allowed in 14 games. And the #1 PK unit in the league (where have I heard that before?) has helped a lot.
Offensively, it took them time to find their legs. At first, only the Hamilton and Mapletoft were producing, most effectively with Chabada. Mapletoft got called up and Chabada returned home and I was worried. But Weinhandl and Manlow returned from injuries at the perfect time and the offense has been clicking lately.
Hamilton 11G, 5A, +5 in 14 games.
Mapletoft 4G, 6A, even in 10 games.
Manlow 1G, 5A, +4 in 8 games.
Weinhandl 1G, 3A, +4 in 4 games.
12 Different players have produced a total of 37 goals through the first 14 games but only Hamilton has more than 4 goals. Losing Hamilton and/or Weinhandl to injury or recall and this recent offensive surge could vanish in a heartbeat.
Timander 0G, 3A, -1, 2PIM in 14 games.
He's been steady but not producing numbers that scream "I belong in the NHL." I'm sure the Isles would love it if he was since that might help create a trade market for him but it isn't happening yet.
I'm really liking the Hamilton-Manlow-Weinhandl line. They've been on a tear as of late. Unfortunately when Weinhandl will get his eventual call-up to the Island, that line with disappear. Hammy with 11 goals is pretty impressive. He's already scored half of his 22 goals from last year. He's been a shot-shooting machine...6 shots tonight, 5 shots on Tuesday, and 10 in Philadelphia! Big ups to Brandon Smith and Alain Nasreddine who notched a +4 tonight. I guess 7-0-1-1 isn't an "unbeaten streak," but better yet, a "regulation unbeaten streak"???? :p It's worth a shot Up next for the Tigers: The Philadelphia Phantoms tomorrow night!