Belleville 1, Syracuse 4; Belleville 2, Leigh Valley 4

It was been a busy weekend for me so I caught both of these games on replay. Blurry vision in Syracuse below (screen capture of “best quality”).

AHL Live Best Quality

Shots: 28-30
PP: 0-5
PK: 3-3
Scoring chances: 5
Key saves: 7
The Goals
1. Leier with a move right in front
2. Syracuse – 2-on-1 scores with a move to the backhand
3. Syracuse – one-timer from the top of the slot
4. Syracuse – off a won faceoff a wrist shot from the slot goes in high short side
5. Syracuse – cross-ice one-timer from the faceoff dot
Notable plays: Selleck misses the net from two-feet in front (second); Paul stopped on a penalty shot (third)

AHL Live Best Quality

Shots: 29-23
PP: 0-2
PK: 2-3
Scoring chances: 7
Key saves: 3/0
The Goals
1. LV – 2-on-1 keeps and scores low far side through Hogberg
2. LV PP – dribbler goes through Hogberg’s legs (a really bad goal to give up)
3. LV – 2-on-1 keeps and scores low far side
4. Murray scores on a 4-on-2 while Sexton is down from a blind hit to the head
5. Rodewald bangs in his own rebound
6. LV – empty-netter

Notable plays: Sexton gets drilled with a hard hit and struggles to get up (first); Burgdoerfer gets away with boarding a Phantom (second); O’Brien hit in the corner and slow to get up (third); Sexton takes a hit to the head and has to be helped off the ice (third); needing a goal with the net empty Kleinendorst puts on…Sieloff (again!)

Hogberg was pulled for the fourth time this season, having given up one really bad goal and another that was iffy. Gustavsson, who relieved him, didn’t have much to do in the third, but was (to my mind) better in the game he lost to Syracuse than his opening win over Toronto. The hit to the head on Ben Sexton was hard to watch and you worry more about his long term health than anything hockey related.

Things of note:
-Kleinendorst’s cluelessness on the powerplay continues as PP dud Jordan Murray has put the breaks to the first unit’s efficiency; there’s also a collection of underperforming forwards making the second unit a joke
-I mentioned on Twitter that it’s clear that Marcus Hogberg has lost his confidence; it’s difficult to say exactly why (you can point to a lot of reasons), but he should be better than he has been. My feeling is either you give him a clean slate next season (preferably with a new coach and as part of the regular AHL-rotation) or you move him on
Jim O’Brien‘s return has been met with the usual mountain of TOI resulting in…basically nothing for the first-line center (5-0-1-1)
Nick Paul has been valiantly using the garbage end of the season to impress someone (21-9-6-15), but I’m not buying the production as a sign that anything has fundamentally changed yet
-The misplaced praising of Burgdoerfer never does stand-up to scrutiny and despite an ocean of playing time since his return he’s as lackluster as ever (7-0-2-2)–do yourself a favour and do not play the Burgdoerfer-turnover drinking game
Max Lajoie quietly had his most productive month of the season (12-0-5-5), largely aided by increased playing time
-The BSens weird losing streak when they are tied or lead in shots continues (0-4-1); prior to it they were 7-4-0 when in that situation (well above their normal winning percentage)
-Acquisition dud Eric Selleck continues to clog up the lineup–beyond not serving his supposed role of intimidating teams into not running his teammates, he’s 13-2-1-3 and the team’s record with him in the lineup is a horrendous 4-8-1 (the one game he missed was their 4-2 win over Toronto)

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)