Springfield’s Two-Man Show Trying to Lift Falcons Out of Atlantic Division Basement

by abournenesn

January 16, 2010

Springfield's Two-Man Show Trying to Lift Falcons Out of Atlantic Division Basement It's been a rough season thus far for the Springfield Falcons, but just how close has the Edmonton Oilers' farm team been from being the last-place stragglers that they are to a middle-of-pack contender?

How about a league-most eight overtime losses to go with two shootout losses?

At 12-22-8-2, Springfield has just 32 points and trails Providence by 10 points at the bottom of the Atlantic Division.

Much of the blame can be placed on the defense — or lack thereof — as the Falcons have coughed up an AHL-most 157 goals against through 44 games. Many of those goals against came during a dreadful December when head coach Rob Daum's team went winless in all 13 contests in the final month of the calender year. The Falcons were nipped in four overtime games in that span but lost five games by four goals or more.

Another reason for their struggles during this stretch can be blamed on their parent club as well. Because Oilers netminder Jeff Deslauriers, Edmonton called up Falcons starting backstop Devan Dubnyk. Dubnyk was recalled on Nov. 22 after starting 18 of the Falcons' first 20 contests and posting a respectable 9-8-1 record to go with a 2.77 GAA. Needless to say, Dubnyk was a key asset as he was leading the league in saves and minutes played at the time of his promotion to the NHL. In his absence, reserves Jean-Philippe Levasseur (1-9-0) and Aaron Sorochan (1-5-0-) struggled to keep the squad afloat.

While the MassMutual Center hasn't been a cozy nest for the Falcons, the road hasn't been much easier. The team went on a 10-game road losing streak dating back to late-November all the way to this past week when they edged the Sharks in overtime at the Worcester DCU Center 4-3.

But pacing the Falcons have been a two-man tandem in AHL All-Star Charles Linglet and Colton Fretter. Linglet, who will represent the Canadian All-Star squad next week in Portland, has a team-high 42 points thanks to nine goals and 33 assists in all 44 games played. The 43 points also puts him in fourth place in the league behind Corey Locke (47 points), Alexandre Giroux (47) and Keith Aucoin (49).

Fretter leads the Falcons in scoring with 16 tallies and trails Linglet for the team-lead in points with 32. His 16 goals is good for 19th in the league, just six shy of Brett Sterling's league-leading 22.

Unfortunately, the Falcons aren't getting much support from the fans in the birthplace of basketball as Springfield owns the second-lowest attendance mark in the league, averaging just 3,147 fans per game (69,232 fans in 22 home games). By comparison, the top four teams in the league are averaging twice as many fans per game than the Falcons, who lead just the Lowell Devils (1,892 fans per game) in that department.

Previous Article

With Ron Hextall’s Guidance, Jonathan Bernier Turning in All-Star Season for Monarchs

Next Article

Bengals’ Marvin Lewis Wins AP NFL Coach of the Year

Picked For You