The AHL isn't locked out, and the Connecticut Whale kicked off their season Wednesday night, when they fell 3-1 to the Albany Devils.
For full disclosure, my knowledge on this game is based off of Jim Cerny and the CT Whale twitter feed. Below are the notes from the game:
- Just to kick things off, Chris Kreider did not play last night. Not due to injuries, he just didn't get slated for game one of the preseason. That's not a surprise at all, since he's already made the team. You will most likely see him playing in game two, but it shouldn't shock you that Kreider sat out game one.
- The Whale's only goal came off the stick of J.T. Miller. Miller will be another New York Rangers prospect getting a major focus from the fans, especially after what he did in the OHL last year. Along with the goal Miller flashed his playmaking skills, springing Chad Kolarik, but he hit the post. According to Cerny, Whale head coach Ken Gernander was very pleased with the maturity and poise on the ice he saw from Miller. Good to see from Miller.
- Gernander also praised the line of Christian Thomas, Kyle Jean and Andrew Yogan. The trio created a few scoring chances, looked good and added a nice element to the Whale on Wednesday. This will be an interesting group to watch, even if they don't stay together all year. All three of them have something to prove. Thomas wants to prove last year's OHL numbers were a fluke, Yogan wants to prove that his numbers last year weren't a fluke and Jean is trying to prove he earned the professional tryout he landed this summer. Fun stuff.
- Like I said, I didn't get a chance to see the game, but the Whale were horribly outshot in the game, to the tune of 39-19. That's a pretty big gulf, and something they'll probably be focusing on in practice.
- Just to note, Miller's goal was on the power play. I'm really excited about Miller, and I'm thrille his first game this year was a positive one. Remember, he did a little of everything in the OHL, and if he can do that in the AHL, then the NHL won't be far behind.
- The Whale were down 3-0 before Miller scored and brought them back into the game. And Connecticut had some pressure in the third period, it just didn't convert. But it's game one, these things happen.
- Back to Kreider for a moment, I'm pretty excited to see what this team looks like with him in the lineup. He should get loads of attention from opposing teams, creating space for his teammates along with being a lethal scoring option for the playmakers.
Thoughts on this guys?