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It was a 50/50 split for both the Bulldogs and Nailers as they slowly try to work their way out of the conference cellars in each league. On the positive side, the offence for both squads is beginning to show signs of life for the first time in a while. With the year about to end, it's time to begin reflecting on the year that was, the first of three prominent storylines from 2012 will be discussed in my Final Thought.
The Dog Pound
Thirteen goals in four games represented Hamilton's best output in any week so far this season. It also moved them out of dead last in goals scored for the first time in several weeks.
News and Notes:
- Alexander Avtsin returned to the team after the birth of his first child but he has been a healthy scratch since he came back.
- On the injury front, Peter Delmas is now healthy and was re-assigned to Wheeling (ECHL). Greg Pateryn remains 2-3 weeks away from returning while Aaron Palushaj suffered a shoulder injury against Lake Erie. He is likely to miss 4-6 weeks. Mike Commodore (groin) missed the last two games but is expected to play in the Bulldogs' next game.
- Lines from the most recent game:
Blunden - Holland - Gallagher
Bournival - Chaput - Nattinen
Quailer - Fortier - Leblanc
Hagel - Dumont - Stortini
Beaulieu - Ellis
Tinordi - St-Denis
Nash - Corbin
The defence chipped in considerably for the Bulldogs; a pair of Hamilton blueliners scored their first career AHL goals while one other picked up his second career tally.
Assists: Bournival/Gallagher (8)
Points: Brendan Gallagher (15)
+/-: Joonas Nattinen (+5)
PIMS: Zack Stortini (87)
Shots: Brendan Gallagher (79)
Hamilton vs Peoria
December 21: St. John's vs Hamilton
December 22: San Antonio vs Hamilton
The Farm's Farm
Although the week didn't get off to a strong start for the Habs' ECHL affiliate in Wheeling, the offence took off over the weekend leading to a pair of wins.
As the Habs/Bulldogs now have players affiliated with four different teams, the table below now covers all of those players, not just the ones with Wheeling.
December 18: Greenville vs Wheeling
December 19: Greenville vs Wheeling
December 21: Elmira vs Wheeling
December 22: Elmira vs Wheeling
To call the 2011-12 season a disappointment for the Habs would be quite the understatement. It became clear early on that Montreal was likely to have a top-5 selection in the draft but could the promise of whichever prospect they selected be enough to help fans forget how truly bad the year was? Although Alex Galchenyuk has yet to put on a Montreal Canadiens jersey, it's pretty much safe to say the answer to that question is a resounding yes. He has lit up the OHL this season (he sits second in league scoring with 61 points in 37 games) and has quickly put to rest any concerns about his surgically repaired knee.
What makes him a top storyline though isn't his early season success but rather the attention he is getting from fans. I've been writing for HabsWorld since its inception over nine years ago, never have I seen any one prospect receive even half the amount of interest that Galchenyuk is getting in his junior season. Heck, I'm not sure too many Habs have been followed this closely. Yes, the lockout has something to do with that, but fans are genuinely tantalized by his potential. Despite there being no NHL hockey right now a lot fans are excited, something I'd have never guessed would be the case even a few months ago. That's some kind of first impression for Galchenyuk.
If you have any questions/comments, please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.