Hey guys, I have a really exciting announcement. We've added Alex Nunn to the staff at Blueshirt Banter. You might know him from Twitter (@aj_ranger), or you might know him from his ability to keep a close eye on Rangers prospects overseas. Alex is an expert on our Swedish prospects, and last night he watched Fast play his first AHL game and did some analysis. Alex has a more in-depth analysis coming this Monday, but this is how Alex saw things last night from Connecticut.
Jesper Fasth capped his North American pro debut with a game-winning goal as the Connecticut Whale stormed back to beat the visiting Springfield Falcons 4-3 at the XL Center in Hartford on Friday night.
Fasth took a quick pass from Chris Kreider during a second-period powerplay and fired home a first-time shot from the goal line that beat Falcons goalie Curtis McElhinney top-shelf.
The 21-year old skated alongside Brandon Mashinter and Ben Ferriero for the most part. Offensive opportunities for the trio were rare, but Fasth's game looked to adapt well to North American ice.
Fasth started brightly, beating former Whale skater Jonathan Audy-Marchessault to the puck on his first shift. He pinched the rubber away and centred a pass in front, and though none of his team-mates were on hand to finish the chance, it was an early example of what Fasth's speed and hustle can do on the ice.
He broke up several plays in the neutral zone by rushing opposing forwards into turnovers and, as advertised, he didn't hesitate to get involved physically.
A second-period goalie interference penalty was perhaps a bit harsh on the Swede. Fasth looked to be nudged from behind by a Falcons defenseman as he tried to force a loose puck past McElhinney at the top of the crease. But he went to the net to make a play, and he did it often.
There weren't too many opportunities for Fasth to make an impression on the scoreboard either side of his second-period strike, but as all good scorers do he took his chance. He did the little things well too, worked hard and didn't quit on a play.
Something I'd like to see Whale head coach Ken Gernander explore a little more over the next couple of games is the partnership between Fasth and Kreider. They linked-up well on the game-winning goal and looked good during the brief TOI that they saw together.