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From the Branches: Solar Bears sweep Brampton — Again

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Kaskisuo holds on for a 5-4 victory in the third game of the series.

Kasimir Kaskisuo in goal for the Orlando Solar Bears
Kasimir Kaskisuo in goal for the Orlando Solar Bears
Orlando Solar Bears

How is Kasimir Kaskisuo doing in Orlando? He’s playing like many young goaltenders in his first professional year, meaning that he’s lost more games than he’s won. So far he’s split starts with second-year Solar Bear Ryan Massa. In nine games played, Kaskisuo’s record is 3-3-1-0. His SV% is .883, and his goals-against average is 3.44. (Massa’s stats for ten games played is 7-2-1, 2.68 GAA, .905 SV%.)

But more telling than that is Don Money’s description of Kaskisuo’s last game:

Orlando goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo – who was making his first start since November 21st – was having a rocking chair evening as he faced just two shots in the first ten minutes of the opening frame. That changed quickly when the Beast mounted a counterattack and got on the board. Connor Crisp did the honors, banging home the rebound of a Tim Billingsley shot that dropped behind Kaskisuo at the 12:02 mark of the period. For Crisp, it was his third goal of the season.

Two minutes later, Brampton was back on the power play and this time the visitors used the advantage to tie the score. David Vallorani fed the puck to the net where Crisp forced Kaskisuo to make a save. The rebound came out to the top of the crease where David Pacan swept it into the net for his ninth of the year. Pacan’s score allowed the Beast to take the game into the first intermission even at 2-2.

In Kaskisuo’s last two starts, he’s given up four goals each. Is it time for another visit from Piero Greco? The Solar Bears managed to outscore Brampton in this game, with Tony Cameranesi looking particularly good. Read Don’s recap for more.

On the plus side, the Solar Bears are doing well under second-time coach (and old Maple Leaf) Drake Berehowsky, with a record of 5-0-1-0, although three of these were against Brampton. If you’ll recall last season, Species went to the three-game Brampton series and watched the Bears sweep that one too. If they sweep next season, it’ll be a hat-trick of Brampton sweeps!

On to the news.

Leafs News

Recap: Calgary 3, Toronto 0 | Us
An ugly first two minutes was enough to sink the Leafs, whose offence suddenly dried up.

Chad Johnson Makes 39 Saves to Help Flames Shutout Maple Leafs | M&G
The Flames returned home from their Eastern Conference road trip for a date against the youthful Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night. The Flames went 3-2-1 on the trip, but lost the last two games of the trip.

Theoretical Problems vs Real Problems of the Toronto Maple Leafs | Hockey Analysis.com
"Offensively they are a dramatically improved team and are near the top of the league in 5v5 GF60. Thats the good news. The bad news is they are near the bottom of the league in 5v5 GA60. Keeping pucks out of their own net is their real problem."

Brian Burke is fed up with the Dougie Hamilton to Toronto rumors | Jeffler
“Brad Treliving talked to the media in Calgary today, and said that rumours that the team is looking into trading him are "completely false". But Flames President of Hockey Operations and former Leafs GM Brian Burke doubled up on the situation this afternoon, venting his frustrations in the direction of Toronto radio.”

Maple Leafs Trade Tree: Doug Gilmour | Dangle
“Do we really need to look back at the Gilmour trade every time the Leafs play the Flames?” I’ll make a deal with you: I won’t write about this trade anymore after this post.”

Toronto Maple Leafs Prospects: Hunter’s Euro Picks Update | Editor in Leaf
"The Toronto Maple Leafs have had two drafts under Mark Hunter’s tutelage, so let’s take a look at how the European selections from 2015 and 2016 are doing this year."

Day after brutal loss to Toronto Maple Leafs, some rants and raves about the Edmonton Oilers | Edmonton Journal
I love reading sad Edmonton fans.

Harnarayan Singh to make English debut in NHL broadcast from Calgary | CBC
"Already the first person to call the play-by-play of NHL games in Punjabi, the 31-year-old will become the first Sikh to broadcast in English when he joins the crew covering the Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs game at the Saddledome."

I, for one, fully support Steve Dangles #Kadri4Selke campaign.

The League

Follow the money | Battle of Cali
"Getting an expansion franchise is like working really, really hard to start a relationship that will suck and has a non-zero chance of disintegrating without there being any happiness."

It’s Much More Than Goaltending Hurting Dallas This Year | DBD
"This team had been fantastic offensively since Jason Spezza arrived two seasons ago. This season, injuries to Spezza (and others) have slowed the Goals-O-Matic machine that the Stars have had humming along for them. Sure, the power play is mid-pack and the PK is bad, but this team is getting vastly outplayed at evens, and that’s the real problem."

Point: Fighting is not necessary in the NHL | 5FH
"Maybe I don’t understand ‘The Code’ or the culture of fighting in hockey on a personal level, but I do understand that it part of the game that is dying. Gone are the days of the enforcers and in are the days with skill and speed."

Counterpoint: fighting is in the NHL for the foreseeable future | 5FH
Or maybe fighting is not as dangerous as actually just playing hockey.

WHICH NHL TEAM IS MOST IN NEED OF A REBUILD? | DGB
You’ll never guess #2 !

This recipe is for Species’ next Marlies Meetup Party: