My internet connection this weekend has been, in one word, sketchy. It's up, it's down, and it's starting to drive me bonkers. As you may well have known, this was supposed to be posted on Saturday. Well, every time I tried save or publish, I lost my connection. I know: sketchy. I thought it might have something to do with the snow and cold we've been receiving lately, but the unnamed Internet Service Provider said that everything was fine on their side of the equation. Then again, they are suffering through a strike right now, so that might be a "standard response" just to keep the plebians at bay. Never one to quit trying, even if I am a day late in posting this, here are your headlines from the past week that I may not have touched on.
- We'll start with the AHL's Manitoba Moose who were hosts to the heavily-stocked Chicago Wolves this weekend. The Moose were 1-1 coming into this game after posting a split against the Houston Aeros last weekend, so they needed to play hard against the Wolves. Game One on Friday saw Sergei Shorokov shine as the won by a score of 4-1. The following night, the Moose defeated the Wolves by a 2-1 score that may have featured the longest goal we'll see in the AHL this year. Check out Mike Keane's goal against Drew MacIntyre at the 1:01 mark of the video. Ouch.
- The Moose also welcome the 5,000,000th fan to the MTS Centre this weekend. The MTS Centre has been open since 2004, and has seen a number of high-profile events set up in the downtown Winnipeg arena. It hosts approximately 140 events per year, including concerts, shows, hockey tournaments, NHL hockey, and, of course, AHL hockey. Sheila Hathaway was the 5,000,000th person to walk through the turnstiles at the MTS Centre on Saturday night! She receives a $500 gift card to the Off The Rack Moose store, as well as the commemorative jersey shown in her picture. Congratulations, Sheila!
- Speaking of the Chicago Wolves, they added another veteran presence to their lineup this week when former NHL star Chris Chelios signed a deal to play with the AHL club. Reportedly, they will also add free agent goaltender Manny Legace to the club as well, according to the bottom of this report. The Wolves could almost field two AHL teams at this point with all the players they have at their disposal. Adding two solid NHL talents, however, will only make the Wolves that much more difficult to play against.
- The Moose will see a familiar face next weekend when the club welcomes the Abbotsford Heat to the MTS Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Calgary Flames assigned former Moose forward Jason Jaffray to the Heat on Saturday. After facing former Moose teammates Jason Krog and Drew MacIntyre in the Wolves, it gets no easier as another former fan favorite comes to town. I only hope that Jaffray doesn't get the chorus of boos like Jason Krog did. Jaffray was an excellent member of the Moose while he was in Winnipeg, and deserves some cheers. Unless he scores. Then it's on.
- The Hershey Bears have exploded out of the gates, going 3-0 in their first three games. What may be more impressive is the fact that they have scored 14 goals while only giving up two goals. However, they also decided to broadcast to the world that they were the AHL Calder Cup Champions on October 3 when the Norfolk Admirals came to town. C'mon, Hershey. You're better than that. There's no need for that logo. Good with the bad, I suppose.
- Marc-Andre Bergeron's signing with Montreal led him to Hamilton where he suited up for the Hamilton Bulldogs in a reconditioning stint before he heads back to the NHL with the Canadiens. He posted two assists in a 3-0 win over Rockford on Friday while former Manitoba Moose and Vancouver Canucks goaltender Curtis Sanford recorded the shutout. Bergeron looked sharp in his own end, and made crisp outlet passes all night. He should help Montreal with Markov and O'Byrne on the injured list. Sanford stopped 38 shots to post his first shutout of the season.
- In searching through some images this week, I had totally forgotten that Mikhail Shtalenkov of the Mighty Ducks had worn a new mask with an old-style mask painted on the front. This follows in the same style as Hannu Toivonen's Denis Lemieux mask. Are there any others out there who have an old-style mask with ears and hair painted on? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!