St.John’s IceCaps Update: December 15

The IceCaps didn’t do themselves any favours in regards to their playoff chances as they completed a week that saw some up and down play leading to a 1-2-1 record in back to backs against the Providence Bruins and Toronto Marlies.

With Patrice Cormier returning to the IceCaps, it seems like Eric O’Dell will be getting the next call-up based on performance. O’Dell was on fire playing on a line with Kyle MacKinnon and Carl Klingberg. O’Dell exploded with five goals including a hat trick in the team’s only win over the week.

CURRENT STATS

  • Eric O’Dell 27GP 12-8-20 (4GP 5-1-6 this week)
  • John Albert 30GP 30-8-12-20 (4GP 2-1-3 this week)
  • Chase Balisy 27GP 7-13-20 (4GP 0-2-2 this week)
  • Carl Klingberg 30GP 7-9-16 (4GP 1-1-2 this week)
  • Will O’Neill 28GP 5-7-12 (2GP 0-0-0 this week)
  • Patrice Cormier 19GP 5-5-10 (2GP 0-0-0 this week)
  • Brenden Kichton 30GP 3-7-10 (4GP 0-3-3 this week)
  • Ben Chiarot 24GP 4-5-9 (NHL this week)
  • JC Lipon 29GP 1-8-9 (4GP 0-0-0 this week)
  • Scott Kosmachuk 29GP 3-4-7 (4GP 1-0-0 this week)
  • Kyle MacKinnon 19GP 1-6-7 (4GP 0-4-4 this week)
  • Austen Brassard 29GP 1-5-6 (4GP 0-1-1 this week)
  • Keaton Ellerby 18GP 0-6-6 (injured this week)
  • Ryan Olsen 30GP 2-3-5 (4GP 0-1-1 this week)
  • Kris Fredheim 23GP 2-3-5 (4GP 0-0-0 this week)
  • Nicolas Blanchard 21GP 0-5-5 (3GP 0-2-2 this week)
  • Julien Broulliette 11GP 2-2-4 (Injured this week)
  • Mike Cornell 8GP 1-2-3 (4GP 1-1-2 this week)
  • Blair Riley 24GP 1-2-3 (injured this week)
  • Julian Melchiori 30GP 0-3-3 (4GP 0-1-1 this week)
  • Jason Jaffray 5GP 1-0-1 (4GP 1-0-1 this week)
  • Ben Walker 13GP 0-1-1 (3GP 0-0-0 this week)
  • Jordan Hill 15GP 0-1-1 (4GP 0-0-0 this week)
  • Brandon MacLean 10GP 0-0-0 (DNP this week)
  • Patrick Holland 7GP 0-0-0 (Injured this week)
  • Ralfs Friebergs 2GP 0-0-0 (2GP 0-0-0 this week)
  • Connor Hellebuyck 21GP 11-8-2, 2.44 GAA, .928
  • Peter Budaj 10GP 0-4-4, 3.45 GAA, .891
  • Jussi Olkinuora 1GP 0-1-0, 6.07 GAA, .824
Peter Budaj had another lackluster effort and is still searching for his first win with the IceCaps, but Hellebuyck continues to provide the Caps with substantial goaltending. That’s something they will need if they want to make the playoffs.

Scott Kosmachuk was buzzing during the entire week and he was rewarded with a beautiful penalty shot goal. The kid may still be feeling out the pro game, but he has NHL skill and his shot was glimpses of Joe Sakic.

With all the injuries on the blueline with the big club that resulted in the promotion of Ben Chiarot and swap from Dustin Byfuglien back to defense, the IceCaps have had a few looks at depth defencemen. Keaton Ellerby and Julien Broulliette are also still on the shelf so the club got good looks at Mike Cornell, Jordan Hill (who had a nice fight with the Bruins Tyler Randell) and Latvian Ralfs Friebergs. Cornell scored the overtiime winner against the Marlies.

John Albert continues to be one of the top producers on the team, but I was able to count three defensive lapses that resulted in goals against. If he wants to have another cup of coffee in the NHL he’s going to have to work on them.

AHL veteran Jason Jaffray returned to play a full week and buried his first goal of the season. Jaffray is a player with tons of leadership and he should be a good guy to have working with youngsters that aren’t producing like Austen Brassard and JC Lipon.

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE NEXT WEEK

After a busy four-game week, the IceCaps will ease into the Christmas break with their final two games before they take a long absence and return to the ice on New Year’s Eve.

The IceCaps will host the Hamilton Bulldogs on Wednesday and Friday before the Christmas break. The Bulldogs and IceCaps have split the season series so far, and both games were close. The IceCaps won the first meeting 3-2 on November 13, before losing a 2-1 game in overtime the following night.

The Bulldogs are currently 12-10-5, but they boast the AHL’s leading scorer in Charles Hudon. Without a Dustin Tokarski between the pipes, the Bulldogs have relied on a tandem of AHL veterans Mike Condon and Joey MacDonald.

CURRENT ICECAPS DEPTH CHART

Klingberg-O’Dell-MacKinnon

Blanchard-Albert-Balisy

Lipon-Cormier-Brassard

Riley-Jaffray-Walker

O’Neill-Kichton

Melchiori-Cornell

Fredheim-Hill

Hellebuyck

Budaj

DECEMBER LOG

Dec 5: 1-0 L, @ Worcester

Dec 6: 3-2 W, @ Worcester

Dec 9: 5-4 OTL, @ Providence

Dec 10: 4-1 L, @ Providence

Dec 13: 6-5 OTW, vs Toronto

Dec 14: 4-0 L, vs Toronto