Ontario Reign Projected Lines
39 Auger - 9 Kempe - 16 Backman
27 Mersch - 26 Dowd - 7 Zykov
28 Lowry? - 21 Crescenzi - 12 Brodzinski
18 Samuels-Thomas - 24 Horvat - 25 Sabourin
20 MacDermid - 5 Loverde
4 Gravel - 33 Raine
55 Schultz - 23 Ebert
- Joel Lowry, who just recently graduated from Cornell University, has been activated from injured reserve (back/shoulder?) and will likely make his pro debut tonight.
- So far, the results with Adrian Kempe at center have been mostly positive. It seems the young Swede has gotten more comfortable as time has gone by and is doing a decent enough job, though Stothers is more inclined to protect him on the road and will put Andrew Crescenzi out there for a lot of draws.
- Budaj has started all but one game and will get the nod again vs SJ. However, per Lindsay Czarnecki of the Reign Insider, Patrik Bartosak is close to returning from his thumb injury and should draw into the lineup sometime next week vs Texas.
- Czarnecki also notes that Jordan Samuels-Thomas, who scored a hat trick on Sunday, has played well enough to stay up with the team. JST impressed coaches during training camp and preseason and has continued to impress them with his play of late.
- Ontario boasts the A's best PK (operating at a cool 94.2 percent, allowing only three power-play goals against on 52 chances), which they put to good use on Wednesday when they snuffed out a San Jose 5-on-3 with less than five minutes left in a one-goal game.
- Everyone is tired of hearing about how awesome Michael Mersch is, but he leads the AHL in shots on goal with 55, though he only has six goals to show for his trouble. His 9.15 sh% seems a tad low, but is really not that unreasonable in the AHL.
Bakersfield Condors Projected Lines
- The last time these two teams saw each other, Ontario had its home opener and erased a 3-0 deficit in the span of less than three minutes, eventually 5-4 in regulation.
- Old friend The Professor has mostly served as backup to Edmonton's Goalie of the Future Laurent Brossoit, but it looks like he'll get the nod tonight.
- Uber Prospects Darnell Nurse, Leon Draisaitl and Iiro Pakarinen are currently up with the Big Club, who apparently has many players battling the flu. Whether they draw in versus the Kings tonight is still unknown.
- Defenseman Brad Hunt has 10 points in 11 games and is the Condors' leading scorer. He remains a dangerous player for the Reign to watch out for.
- The Condors boast a league leading power play while the Reign boast a league leading penalty kill (which was on full display against the Barracuda on Wednesday). Still, as always, it would behoove Ontario's players to stay disciplined.
San Jose Barracuda Projected Lines
(based on last game, courtesy of Fear the Fin)
Karlsson / Carpenter / Langlois Goldobin / McCarthy (A) / Lerg (C)
Goodrow / Timmins / Parkes
Jevpalovs / Emanuelsson
Young / DeMelo (A)
Mueller / Ryan
Stollery / Bergman
- Aaron Dell was excellent in stopping the Reign train from rolling through SJ on Nov. 1 and backstopped the Barracuda to their only home victory so far this season.
- Melker Karlsson, Nikolay Goldobin, and Mirco Mueller were all recently called up to the parent club, so the Barracuda's lines look a bit jumbled right now. If Karlsson, Goldobin, or Micheal Haley aren't returned to the AHL club by tonight (unlikely), Vincent Arseneau and Chris Crane will probably draw in.
- Doug Wilson is enjoying the fact that his AHL team is now located across the hallway from his NHL team and has a nice, fun revolving door of call-ups. Somehow this is all within the rules. I don't know, it's weird. Anyway, that's partly what's leading to the messed up lines.
- The Barracuda have only one win in their last six games and will lean heavily on Dell to repeat his previous stellar performance against the Reign, especially with two of their top prospects being recalled.