The Manitoba Moose have been playing mediocre hockey for most of march. Sure they have won 9 of 14 games this month, however there was a stretch where they only won 1 game out of 5. Tonight they play the Rochester Amerk's in the second game of a double header. The Moose really have to take it to the Amerk's. The Amerk's have been hit by the casualty of having many of their players called up to the Florida Panthers late in the season. The Amerk's were competing for a playoff spot at the NHL trade deadline however have since lost 10 of 11 games. Dave Tallon (GM of the Florida Panthers is to blame) for trading away all his players at the deadline and then being forced to call players up from his AHL affiliate. Dave Tallon is an idiot that caused the Blackhawks to not be able to compete for the top spot in the league, by signing players to ridiculous contracts( Cambpell 7 mil a season, Huet 5 mil a season, Boland 3.75 million a season). It resulted in the blackhawks firing him, and having to trade away Versteeg, Ladd and Bifugly for virtually no return.
Tonight the Moose must take advantage of the Amerk's. It could be a great opportunity for players on the Moose to make a bid to play on the Canucks third line for the remainder of the season. The Vancouver Canucks are looking for a third line/fourth line player and a good night by Sweatt, Shirokov or Hodgson could go a long way in giving them an opportunity to take part in a long NHL playoff run. It's not something the Moose fans want to consider, losing one of their best players to the Canucks, but its something the Moose can afford to do because they have been scoring by committee all season. Shirokov, their leading goal scorer would be the biggest loss, but it is unlikely the Canucks would call him up because he is not a natural center which the Canucks are looking for. Eddy Lack will not be getting the start tonight, he will be rested as the Moose are on a stretch of hockey that see them play 6 games in eight nights.
I am expecting another great night from Rick Rypien. He has been playing with a lot of hockey smarts, always making smart first passes with the puck and getting involved any chance he can after the whistle, mixing it up with the other team. Cody Hodgson will have to have a better night tonight. With the Moose up 2-1 in the third period of last nights game, Cody Hodgson coughed the puck up while he was on the PP, allowing Thomas of the Amerk's to go in alone shorthanded on Lack and tie up the game late. Fortunately the combination of Yann Sauve and Bill Sweatt were able to combine for each of their second points of the night, and regain late in the game the win that Hodgson nearly threw away.