The IceCaps are 2-2-0-0 after splitting another pair of games over the weekend with the Adirondack Phantoms, a team that included some pretty significant names like Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier, among other Philadelphia Flyers' regulars.
I watched most of the first game (Friday) at home on television, but took in Saturday night's game at Mile One Centre. So, like last week, a lot of notes may be more so geared toward the second tilt.
Here are a few things I noticed (feel free to disagree):
- Edward Pasquale was obviously outstanding in Friday night's home opener, turning away 32 of the Phantoms' 33 shots. Before allowing the go-ahead and sealing goals on Saturday night, I was telling a friend of mine how his movement looked much more fluid and controlled compared to last season. I'm no expert on goaltending (or anything really) but it's pretty obvious that Pasquale has tightened up his game, I'm guessing due to some good work in the off-season. Though, I am puzzled as to why he started both games, especially with the IceCaps playing again on Tuesday and Wednesday. Pasquale let in two late on Saturday, one of which was a squeaker from a bad angle from Schenn, and I can't help but think it was related to fatigue after that 32 save effort only 24 hours prior. Pasquale has a .908 through three starts, which doesn't mean much, but he needs to be used properly or his numbers are going to suffer. Mark Dekanich should have started on Saturday.
- Zach Redmond is shooting a lot so far. He put five on goal in each game over the weekend, including a goal on Saturday, and has 18 shots on net so far this season, good for most on the team. Burmistrov is closest with 11.
- It's easy to see Ivan Telegin has raw talent and what I assume is the most upside of anyone on the team. I probably sound like a broken record, but these prospects like Mark Scheifele, Telegin, and even others I've noticed from opposing teams (Etem, Kadri, etc) are my favorites to watch. They have that "Whoa who's this guy?" factor when they pick up the puck or enter the play, and most AHL players don't have that. A year of AHL practices and games will do this guy wonders. Telegin picked up his first goal of the season Saturday, and is third on the team in shots with nine through four games.
- Alexander Burmistrov had a solid game on Saturday, with six shots on net and an assist, which gained him 2nd star honors, though I honestly didn't think he stood out as much as in other games. I thought he looked better last weekend when I watched on television. I'll try to focus on him a little more on Wednesday when I'm down in the bowl for the Pirates game.
- The IceCaps have only accumulated 47 penalty minutes through four games, the lowest total in the league. They're also a pretty boring club on the whole, but draw your own conclusions there. The lack of hitting in the beginning of Saturday's game had the crowd sleeping, though Cormier was out and he's often one to get that ball rolling.
- The IceCaps' powerplay went 1/9 on the weekend, while the penalty kill was 8/9.
- Carl Klingberg was hurt in practice last week and did not suit up for either game against the Phantoms. I haven't seen any details emerge yet.
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