“Feeling okay this morning
And you know
We’re on the road to paradise
Here we go, here we go”
… Talking Heads
Ordinarily speaking, a minor league game matching the two worst teams in the whole division is just not all that much to get excited about in spite of what your local minister of propaganda insists. On the other hand, when an American Hockey League team watches both its first and second string goaltenders get promoted to the National Hockey League’s Arizona Coyotes but then brings in a PTO guy who has racked up 25 wins against just one shootout loss in the East Coast Hockey League this season, well, then, that is a different matter entirely. Such is the case for the AHL’s Springfield Falcons as the prepare to visit the spectacular PPL Center in downtown Allentown.
Nicklas Treutle (26 ga, 2.91 avg, .909 svpct), the one-time German national team netminder who was surprisingly signed from EHC Red Munich by the Coyotes this past summer, was abruptly summoned from Springfield after it was determined that Anders Lindback, the 27-year-old Swedish veteran who was also signed as a free agent this past summer, has an Achilles tendon injury which will require surgery. Meanwhile, the Falcons’ first choice between the pipes at the beginning of this 2015/16 AHL season, Louis Domingue (13 ga, 2.55 avg, .919 svpct), was recalled to the NHL in early December after Arizona’s preferred starter, Canada Olympic gold medalist Mike Smith, went down with a core muscle injury which ultimately required an operation. And, of course, journeyman Tyler Beskorowany, still another free agent signing of the Arizona Coyotes organization this past summer, went back to play in the German elite league at the start of December after appearing in just two AHL contests (3.55 avg, .885 svpct) for the Springfield Falcons earlier this fall.
(Editor’s Note: Cannot confirm, but some of these guys also may have played drummer for Spinal Tap.)
Marek Langhamer (9 ga, 3.77 avg, .877 svpct), the 21-year-old rookie from the Czech Republic who was the 7th round pick of the Arizona Coyotes at the 2012 NHL Draft, was promoted to Springfield from the ECHL’s Rapid City Rush after Domingue was recalled to the NHL in early December but, on the whole, has been less than convincing at the AHL level … it must be noted that Langhamer has shown improvement over the course of his three starts (2.95 avg, .901 svpct) for the Falcons in the month of February, however and registered a 4-3 shootout victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this past Tuesday.
To cope with the departure of Treutle, the Springfield Falcons have signed little-known Josh Robinson to a professional tryout contract. The undrafted 26-year-old veteran from Michigan Tech University started the 2014/15 season tending the nets for Hungarian club HC Szekeshfehervar Alba Volan, a team which actually competes in the multinational Austrian elite league, before making the return trip across the Atlantic Ocean and signing for the Missouri Mavericks (18 ga, 2.90 avg, .912 svpct) of the East Coast Hockey League at the end of January. Robinson has been nothing short of sensational (27 ga, 1.85 avg, .928 svpct) for Missouri in the ECHL this term, posting the astonishing record of 25-0-0-1 after winning just six of eighteen games for the Mavericks last season.
Robinson does have a measure of American Hockey League experience having appeared 15 contests (3.30 avg, .882 svpct) for the Texas Stars during the 2013/14 campaign …
… and the Springfield Falcons do have three games in as many days this weekend, with two of those affairs being against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Perhaps the Springfield coaching staff will want test their new goaltender under AHL fire right away on Friday night. If that, indeed, turns out to be the case, then the Hamilton Street Heroes should certainly welcome Mr. Robinson to the NIZ Neighborhood in a most proper way.
Categories: Phantoms Hockey