Everything is coming up Falcons so far this year. There is no question they are HOT! Much is being made of the Falcons great start with 4 shutouts in the first 11 games, and 2 shutouts in the past 2 games. But the point is this, it takes 2 to tango. By this, I mean, not only is Curtis McElhinney a hot goalie, but the defense is playing well also. In Friday night’s shutout, Curtis only faced 20 shots. But Sunday he faced 35. Now, neither one of these facts is a “sole” reason for not only the shutouts but the great start. But it all helps.
It could be well argued that there are 3 NHL defensemen playing on the Springfield lines in Tim Erixon, John Moore and David Sevard. But also there are 3 others who have seen NHL ice. But not to give all the credit to the defense men, Ryan Russel was known for his shot blocking defense last year while at Columbus. In addition the Falcons Captain, Ryan Craig, is a gritty journeyman who knows how to play defense also. Much could be said about the rest of the squad also, both by name and inference. Low and behold, it is a team game, with each individual contributing and having responsibilities and they are havig success. All right it is the AHL, but it is the Super AHL right now. Springfield is not the only team to have top prospects playing at the AHL level.
There are several points here that the Blue Jacket faithful can take solace in.
- Supposedly the Falcons are playing the Blue Jackets “system”. In other words, every game, the team is getting to know and understand how they would play in the NHL as a future Blue Jacket.
- The players seem to both like and respect the new head coach, Brad Larson. But he seems like a no-nonsense kind of coach. [Sitting 2 of his top players in a tight game which eventually may have cost the team a point] So someone has the idea that learning is not necessarily confined to skills, it applies to the entire game and mental attitude of the players.
- But most of all, the top prospects are getting a lot of ice time. They are having success which will breed an expectation of success. And they are building a team effort.
- Lastly on the offensive side, the Falcons have shown they can score on the power play. this has been a sore part for the Blue Jackets in the past. Nick Drazenovic, a journeyman AHL player who has a 1 year contract with the Blue Jackets now has 4 power play goals.