AGD: Keep it Rollin' in San Antonio

Kent Wilson
November 24 2012 12:40PM

 

Time: 6:00 pm MST

Location: AT&T Center

Broadcast: abbotsfordheat.com, teamradio.ca

Although Abbotsford outshot Texas 29-19 last night it took until overtime for the Heat to break the scoreless tie and emerge victorious. Danny Taylor's shut-out was the fifth of the season (!) for the team so far and the win moved them to second overall in the Western Conference with 25 points.

The Heat have a good chance to jump into first place this evening in San Antonio. The Rampage are the worst team in the AHL currently (four wins and 10 points in 15 games). They have lost five of their last six games and managed just two victories in their last 10.

The Florida Panthers are said to have some good prospects in the system, but apparently a lot of them aren't playing for their AHL afiiliate this season. The team is lead in scoring by former Heat player and journeyman AHLer Jon Rheault. I personally liked Rheault when he was in the Flames system - he had a "little engine that could" kind of feel to him - but he shouldn't be leading your AHL team in scoring during a lock-out year.

The Line-up

Is it possible this is the game Greg Nemisz finally makes his debut? I talked about Leland Irving's narrowing window of opportunity recently, but one can probably say the same of young Greg as well. He turns 23 years old this upcoming June and his entry level contract expires as well. If he can't take a very real step forward, he risks falling into the "replacement level player" category. As such, he needs to get back into the line-up and start making an impact sooner rather than later.

  • Baertschi - Walter - Nemisz
  • Kolanos - Street - Olson
  • Horak - Byron - Sylvester
  • Ferland - Reinhart - Estoclet

  • Brodie - Piskula
  • Breen - McCarthy
  • Callahan - Lamb

  • Taylor

Kolanos was the veteran who sat out last night, but he may re-enter the rotation at the expense of someone like Laing this evening. I've assumed Nemisz will land on the top line, particularly since Horak has been shut-out in six of his last seven games, but that's just a guess.

Ward has shown a willingness to go back to goalies who played well in their previous game, even on back-to-backs, so I expect Taylor to start again tonight.

The Opposition

Aside from Rheault, other recognizable names on this roster are Casey Welmman (former Wild), Quinton Howden (first rounder), and veteran NHL journeymen Nolan Yonkman and Tyson Strachan.

  • Rallo - Wellman - Howden
  • Wright - Shore - Rheault
  • Selleck - Timmins - Vaive
  • Deveaux - Gomes - McFarland

  • Robak - Yonkman
  • Petrovic - Strachan
  • DeSantis - Caruso

  • Grumet-Morris

That blueline is completely underwhelming.

Goaltending was supposed to be a strength entering the season with high-end prospect Jacob Markstrom set to follow-up on his impressive season last year (.927 SV% in 32 games), but instead the third year pro has stumbled out of the gate with just two wins in his first eight starts and a save percentage of .886. As a result, 30 year old AHL veteran Grumet-Morris has split time evenly with Markstrom, managing much better numbers (.927).

Sum it up 

The Rampage also played last night (a 2-1L) so neither team will be fresh heading into action this evening. The Heat are the better team by most measures (even though goals have suddenly become hard to come by) so there's a better than even chance they will be in first place in the West come tomorrow morning.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Baalzamon
November 24 2012, 01:00PM
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Nemisz was Baertschi's center (?!?) with the Flames for 5 games last year, and he caused the turnover that led to Sven's 3rd goal (though he wasn't credited with an assist).

I liked Rheault too. Not only did he work like crazy, he was fast and had great hands. I always wondered how he managed to become a career minor leaguer with all those tools, but there it is.

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#3 jeremywilhelm
November 24 2012, 02:07PM
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Yeah, it's probably a bit much to say Nemisz is the reason Sven scored that goal. Anyone could have done what Nemisz did. Steve Macintyre could have done that.

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#4 Baalzamon
November 24 2012, 04:01PM
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@jeremywilhelm

I never said he was the reason Baertschi scored the goal. I said he was the reason the defender did something stupid.

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#5 thymebalm
November 24 2012, 04:04PM
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Meanwhile... Gaudreauby Baker has 4 points this afternoon.

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#6 Ryan Pike
November 24 2012, 04:17PM
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Lots of hockey tonight.

Utah hosts Alaska.
Edmonton plays Medicine Hat (who lost to Calgary last night).
Portland plays Seattle.
Red Deer goes for 5 with Brent against Moose Jaw.
Vancouver plays Kamloops.
Boston College plays Dartmouth.
Providence College plays Brown.
Notre Dame plays North Dakota.
HIFK plays KalPa.
Vasteras plays Tingsryds.

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#7 Baalzamon
November 24 2012, 05:15PM
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5 points for Gaudreau, a shutout for Gillies, and an assist for Jankowski. Not bad for the college prospects.

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#8 jeremywilhelm
November 24 2012, 06:32PM
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Anyone got a Heat stream? AHLLives is being annoying.

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#9 schevvy
November 24 2012, 06:52PM
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1-0 Heat. Byron scores on the PP. Our buddy Barry Brust is in net.

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#10 jeremywilhelm
November 24 2012, 06:52PM
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I really wanted Pinder to shut up about the shutout streak. Stupid superstition, but seriously.

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#11 vowswithin
November 24 2012, 07:37PM
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Yeah could use a stream over here too will post if I find one.

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#12 jeremywilhelm
November 24 2012, 07:44PM
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I guess there is some issues in San Antonio tonight, nice to find this out after i paid for the game.

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#13 vowswithin
November 24 2012, 07:50PM
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@jeremywilhelm

What do you mean?

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#14 jeremywilhelm
November 24 2012, 07:52PM
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Damn, one of the worst teams in the league just broke Barry Brust.

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#15 schevvy
November 24 2012, 09:19PM
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Heat escape. 3-2 win in shootout. Tied it up with 14 seconds left. Sven with assist + shootout goal

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#16 Ryan Pike
November 24 2012, 09:33PM
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Money in the Bancks, yo.

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#17 Vowswithin
November 25 2012, 12:03AM
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Baalzamon wrote:

5 points for Gaudreau, a shutout for Gillies, and an assist for Jankowski. Not bad for the college prospects.

Would be nice if he could grow like two more inches and edge up to say 170 :) This dude is red hot.

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