Things are not going well in Toledo. After an offensive outburst where they scored 14 goals in 3 games, the Walleye have gone 3 games without scoring a single goal. They played 3 games in 4 nights and were outscored 14-0. The Wings have several prospects currently with the Walleye, but the players I'm interested in are Martin Frk, Marek Tvrdon, and Jared Coreau. Frk has 7 points (3G 4A) in 9 games played and 8 PIM while Tvrdon has 6 points (4G 2A) and 4 PIM in 10 games played. Frk is 6th on the team in points, and Tvrdon is 8th. The Walleye are pretty weak in the scoring department and are 17th out of 22 teams in goals for. I haven't been able to watch any Walleye games, so I don't know if Frk and Tvrdon are playing better than their stat lines or game results indicate, or if they're as disappointing so far as it appears. Coreau has a 1-5-2 record in Toledo and a GAA of 4.24 and a SV% of .869. Without being able to watch him though, it's really hard to tell how much of those stats are Jared's fault, and how much is lack of team support. Based on some of the comments in the post game articles, it sounds like the goalies got very little support in at least the last few games.
No Rest For The Wicked:
After being shut out 7-0 the first time against the league's best team, the South Carolina Stingrays, Coach Nick Vitucci was not happy with his team's effort... or lack thereof.
"There was no effort," Vitucci said. "We have to look long and hard at this hockey club right now. They failed to play tonight any part of 60 minutes so we're going back out there right now."
He was so disappointed with his team, that immediately following the 2 hour and 15 minute game, he put his skates on made his team bag skate for an hour.
"I've never had to do this," Vitucci said. "Any one of a dozen people we could pull out of this lineup after tonight's game and not even have to think hard about it. The challenge is to figure out which ones to pull out because half of them were terrible."...
"We were awful, just awful tonight," Vitucci said. "We had no energy and were just lifeless."
Jared Coreau started this game, but was pulled early in the 3rd after allowing 4 goals.
The following quotes from the Toledo Blade article, indicate Coreau may not have been as much to blame as the score indicated. He made 17 stops on 21 shots before being pulled.
Toledo rookie goalie Jared Coreau, who earned his first pro victory last Saturday, finished with 17 saves on 21 shots. He was replaced following the Stingrays' fourth goal after getting little help from the Walleye defense.
But much like Coreau, Toivonen was hung out to dry.
Walleye lose 7-0 to South Carolina- Toledo Blade Post game writeup
Frk was a -3 and had 4 shots on goal, while Tvrdon was a -1 and had 1 shot on goal.
Walleye Highlights 11-27-13 - YouTube
"Highlights" start at 1:27
The ECHL - 11.27.13 Box Score
Walleye fall to Stingrays 7-0
Here's a picture of the players on the ice after the game.
Players skated for 10 min straight, water break, talk with Vitucci and then back to lines/wall for more skating and repeat.— Joseph Zakrzewski (@JoeyZStingrays) November 28, 2013
It is 10:39 and Toledo still being bag skated. Vitucci has only blown whistle and held 2 quick expletive-filled meetings.— Joseph Zakrzewski (@JoeyZStingrays) November 28, 2013
Almost Déjà Vu:
The Walleye had a chance to redeem themselves against the Stingrays two days later, but were once again shut out, falling 4-0 in a game that Jared Coreau did not play in. Frk was a -1 and had 0 shots on goal, while Tvrdon was a scratch.
Coach Vitucci was much happier with the team's effort, despite the disappointing results.
"I thought we competed very hard and that was something we didn't do on Wednesday," Vitucci said. "I thought the goals scored against us tonight were not because of a lack of effort."
I guess the team didn't want to bag skate again.
Walleye blanked once again - Toledo Blade
The Walleye put together a much better effort on Friday night but the results were the same as Toledo was shutout for the second straight game.
The ECHL - 11.29.13 Box Score
Walleye fall to Stingrays 4-0
Third Time's The Charm?
No goals for the Walleye in this game either as they fell to the Wheeling Nailers 3-0. It's a pretty bad slump to be in, but I don't know exactly what to make of it. Scoring 0 goals in three games is clearly something that needs to change, and now.
The ECHL - 11.30.13 Box Score
Walleye fall to Nailers 3-0
Walleye fall to Wheeling 3-0 - Toledo Blade
Usually a shutout streak is something fun to be a part of. Not so for the Toledo Walleye.
What Have We Leaned?
Something? Not much? I don't really know. Outside of the 7-0 drubbing where the team got to bag skate for an hour, I don't have enough information or context to know just how concerned to be with the individual play of Martin Frk or Marek Tvrdon. I'd love for Martin Frk to be tearing it up in the ECHL and finding ways to score goals because he should be. He has the skill and talent to be making much more of an impact than he is so far, but seeing how far Tomas Jurco came in his first pro season last year gives me hope. I still don't know what to expect out of Tvrdon, mostly because he's been injured so much, and so severely in the last couple years that it's difficult to know what he can really do. He has a lot of potential and I've seen things from him that indicate he could be a very good player, but he's struggling even more than Frk is. The whole team is obviously under performing and going through a tough time, and without being able to watch them play, I really don't know just how much to worry about Frk and Tvrdon. For now I'll keep watching and hoping for good news soon. It's certainly a little disappointing, but I'll hold back from too much judgement for now.
Grand Rapids is overflowing with very good players right now, and in order for Frk or Tvrdon to take someone's place on the Griffins, they're going to have to be very very good and show they belong int he AHL beyond a shadow of a doubt. Obviously that's not happening yet. It's still early for both of them, and they're in their 1st pro year, but I expected a little more from them so far. Hopefully their learning process speeds up.. soon.