Most of the AHL plays 76 games per team, meaning each AHL franchise can deploy 936 man-games for forwards, 468 man-games for defensemen, and 76 games for their goalie prospects. The Pacific Division teams save money, or gasoline, or God knows what, and play just 68 games. That means the Bakersfield Condors have 816 (F), 408 (D) and 68 (G) opportunities for their kids. No one seems to think it’s a big deal, but as someone who counts at-bats as being vital for development, this is galling on the highest.
Coach Gerry Fleming is going to run basically the same roster in Game Two as he did in the first game. Changes include goalie Eddie Pasquale, RW getting a shuffle with Anton Slepyshev moving to the NHL, and Joe Gambardella replacing Braden Christoffer on the fourth line.
The Oilers have just 67 more games for their minor-league team this season, so you can bet the organization wants to see the most promising prospects. Sometimes we’ll get into a conversation about players who are on AHL-only deals, and someone will wonder why Josh Currie is getting at-bats in front of Greg Chase. Perhaps a more discerning reader will wonder why Chad Butcher, a new pro and an AHL-only player, is not only getting playing time in the AHL but Kyle Platzer’s roster spot (Platzer is in Wichita). The answer is the first sentence of this paragraph.
Fleming’s roster did a helluva job against the Heat last week, although the club scored only one goal. Seemed like every forward had five or six shots and that’s a good thing. If the group repeats tonight and the goaltending is tight, the Condors probably get their first win of the new season.
NOT CONDORS TONIGHT
Anton Slepyshev isn’t in the lineup because he’s in the NHL, but for men like Greg Chase, Ben Betker (and Kyle Platzer) not playing to start the final year of your entry-level deal is not a great beginning. Miles to go and everyone gets a chance in the 68 games made available.
The name that pops here is that of Ziyat Paigin. The Oilers like him plenty, yet he doesn’t play. Why? One of two possibilities, really. First, injury. Second, the hitch in his giddyup from preseason may remain. Paigin may take some time to adjust to the speed and style of the North American game. I can’t find any other explanations for his handling at this point in time. Unless there’s a visa issue (seems a stretch).