The Providence Bruins came home from their weekend in Charlotte with nothing to show but a pair of one-goal losses to the Checkers, the AHL’s best team.
Providence played hard and was in position to earn at least a point in both games. In the end, though, they lost 4-3 on Friday night and 3-2 on Saturday.
“We’re obviously disappointed in our record and the fact that we’re not winning games. I would also say that we are encouraged by a lot of the things that we’re doing,” said coach Jay Leach.
“Our inability to keep a shot out at a crucial time and our inability to create a shot or a goal for on the power play is what has really hurt us. We have to walk the fine line of urgency but not panic. We need to focus on the things we can correct and build on the things that we’re doing well.”
Here’s the good, bad and ugly.
*** Continuing to produce points, Jan Kovar had 1-1-2 on Friday. A couple of weeks into his tryout, he has 3-2-5 in 5 games.
*** Ryan Fitzgerald showed off his good hands by scoring a nifty, between-the-legs goal to bring the P-Bruins within one on Saturday. It was a nice play all around, starting with a strong entry by Anton Blidh, who dished to Colby Cave. Cave muscled his way along the boards and passed to Cody Goloubef, who found Fitzgerald in front.
*** Conor Clifton pancaked Andrew Poturalski with a clean hit in the first minute of the second period on Saturday.
*** Jordan Szwarz scored his first goal of the season on Friday; Peter Cehlarik buried his first on Saturday.
*** Zane McIntyre was credited with his first assist of the year on Cehlarik’s goal.
*** Referees Mike Dietrich and Peter MacDougall had a wildly inconsistent weekend. After calling 7 minor penalties on Friday, they whistled 18 minors on Saturday – 9 on each team. It was as if they pulled out a different rulebook. Poor Jakub Zboril was called for the three of the weakest hooking, holding and slashing penalties you’re ever going to see.
*** With Providence pressing for the tying goal with 5 minutes left on Saturday, Kovar had plenty of net to shoot at after a smart setup by Ryan Donato, but missed from in close.
*** The P-Bruins gave up an ugly shorthanded goal in both games. The power play is 23rd in the league at 15.9 percent after going 1 for 12 for the weekend and being outscored, 2-1.
*** Six of Providence’s seven losses essentially have been one-goal games (two with empty netters at the end).
*** Twenty-six seconds after the P-Bruins grabbed an early lead on Friday, Patrick Brown’s 100-footer bounced past Vladar, tying the score.
*** Injuries: Mark McNeill, Chris Breen (day to day), David Broll.