The Whale remain winless through four games this season (0-3-1), their lone point in the standings coming in a 5-4 overtime loss down in Norfolk on Friday night. Unfortunately that difficult defeat has been made more painful with the news Tuesday that the AHL has suspended Connecticut's Chris Kreider one game for his Boarding Major against the Admirals.
I was not at the game Friday night, but what was related to me was that Kreider was looking to shake things up for the Whale---who were trailing in the game and struggling at the time of the hit---and went in with a hard hit that sent the opposing player hard into the boards. Kreider's opponent was cut, and the Rangers 2009 first rounder was handed a Boarding Major and Game Miscounduct. And on Tuesday he was assessed the one-game ban, which will be served Wednesday when the Whale visit the Devils in Albany.
At practice Monday Kreider was skating on the top line with Kris Newbury and Chad Kolarik, so obviously head coach Ken Gernander---who has been juggling his lines quite a bit to start the season anyway---will be forced to make more changes on Wednesday. Kreider then proceeded to remain on the ice a good 45 minutes after practice ended working on his shot along with rookie Kyle Jean. Was impressive to witness his terrific work ethic, even in a cold practice rink in Cromwell, if not at the World's Most Famous Arena.
So with Kreider out there is the chance that Ryan Bourque could make his Whale season debut Wednesday. Bourque was hurt during a training camp collision and has missed all four regular season games to date, along with the last two pre-season contests. He was visiting the doctor Monday, so did not practice, but was back on the ice Tuesday. We'll see if he gets a uniform on Wednesday.
Ditto for goaltender Cam Talbot, who has yet to play in a regular season game after missing most of training camp with a broken bone in his foot. Talbot has been practicing for two weeks, and on Monday Gernander told me that it is very likely Talbot will get to play this week (the Whale also have home games Friday and Saturday). With Scott Stajcer sporting a 4.32 goals against and .841 save percentage, and Jason Missiaen up at 5.74 and .851, the return of Talbot is highly anticipated, though Gernander promised he would not rush him back into action and possibly jeapordize him for future injury.
I will be up in Albany Wednesday Tweeting updates and handling postgame interviews for BlueshirtsUnited.com, and we will also post a highlights package of the game on Thursday.
If you are heading up to Albany for the game, swing by and say Hi!
October 23, 2012