1 Defenseman Mark Fistric scored his first AHL goal this season last Saturday in a 4-3 loss to the Worcester Sharks (San Jose Sharks) and his third assist last night in a 2-1 loss to the Providence Bruins (Boston Bruins). Fistric has four points (1G, 3A) in 13 games played since being loaned to Norfolk in late January.
2 Defenseman Andrew O'Brien continues to flourish offensively, scoring his second February goal and the Admirals' lone tally in a 2-1 loss against the Bruins last night. O'Brien, who has 13 points (4G, 9A) on the season, has scored points in two back-to-back games in February and has six points (2G, 4A) in nine games played this month.
3 Louis Leblanc has been disappointing this season to say the least. Leblanc, a healthy scratch last Sunday against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders), added his third assist in February Friday night against Providence. Leblanc is third among active players in scoring with 22 points (11G, 11A).
4 Goaltender Ryan Faragher got his fourth start of the season Friday night in a 2-1 loss against Providence. Faragher also got his first win of the season last Sunday against Bridgeport stopping 27 of 29. Faragher has seen action in five games this season (one in relief of Jason LaBarbera). He is 1-3-0 with a 3.04 GAA and a .879 SP on the season.
5 Dany Heatley continues to scorch the AHL stats sheets (ok, you got me, I couldn't even type that with a straight face). All kidding aside, Heatley did manage to add a fifth assist to his, um, (un)remarkable season record lastSaturday against Worcester. He has a "cool" seven points this season (2G, 5A) despite playing in just 25 games. Wait, for some reason, that doesn't sound right.... [Ed. Note: Heatley was also traded to Florida with a third round pick for Tomas Fleichmann this morning. -CK]
6 Nic Kerdiles has missed six straight games due to a concussion he suffered on Feb 13. Kerdiles leads the Admirals in points with 26 (9G, 17A).
7 Stefan Noesen potted his second goal of the season last Saturday against the Sharks and his third against the Sound Tigers. Noesen has seven points on the season (3G, 4A) with four coming in just seven games since his return Feb 13.
8 Max Friberg had a big week, putting up two assists last Saturday against Worcester and a and an assist on Sunday against Bridgeport. The goal, Friberg's eighth, was also his fourth game winner of the season. 21 points (8G,13A) in 36 games.
9 The Admirals won just their ninth road game this season last Sunday against Bridgeport. Norfolk is 9-16-0-2 away from Scope, good for just 20 standings points.
10 Charlie Sarault found the back of the net in back-to-back games last weekend for the first time this season, scoring his fourth goal against the Sharks Saturday and his fifth against the Sound Tigers Sunday. Sarault has ten points on the season (5G, 5A) with three points, all goals, coming in February.
--Nic Kerdiles has not been on the ice at all for the past two weeks. He's limited to the exercise bike, and even then can't get his heart rate up to "game levels" without feeling symptoms of his concussion. Coach Skalde said they are letting Nic tell them how he's feeling and there is no time-table for his return. Since most players will "push" to get on the ice as soon as possible in spite of their doctors and trainers, the fact he has limited himself to the bike does not lend itself to a quick return.
--Now that the Ilya Bryzgalov experiment is over, Anaheim's goaltenders (and fans) can look forward to some stability in the line-up if nowhere else. Jason LaBarbera was reassigned yesterday and should find himself back in the Admirals' number one spot for the remainder of the season with rookie Ryan Faragher backing him up. Faragher is raw, but he's got some skill. During post-game interviews last night I could tell the excitement of playing in the AHL had not worn off. He played solidly and despite allowing two goals was the game's Third Star. Igor Bobkov made a rare appearance in Norfolk as Faragher's back-up, which should leave no doubt in fans' minds how the organization views him.
--The AHL put out its "AHL Playoff Primer" this week. It's a great tool the league has to show fans just how close (or how far) their teams are out of the playoff race. Norfolk has done itself no favors---the Admirals' magic number is 55.
The "magic number" is the number of points a team needs to earn from that day on to guarantee a playoff spot regardless of the number of standings points other teams earn. Norfolk's problem with "55" is a simple one--it can't possible get that number of points. The Admirals only have 21 games left, which means the max they can earn is 42. So what does this mean? Well, it means Norfolk has to win pretty much every game AND hope that the teams in front of them experience some serious droughts when it comes to wins.
The Admirals also only have ten more home games, and home is where the points are...er...have been. Norfolk has flat out stunk away from home ice, which makes the climb out of the cellar that much more difficult. This isn't a "mathematical elimination" story yet, but you can call it a "statistical probability."
--Norfolk is 4-5-0-1 in their last ten and sits 14 points out of the eighth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
Follow me on Twitter: @VAPuckhead