Rink Notes: Barracuda Aim For a Perfect Month of February In Tucson
SAN JOSE — At this point, Buddy Robinson almost can’t remember what it feels like to lose a game.
The Barracuda are an unblemished 11-0 since Robinson and forward Zack Stortini made their debuts with the club on Jan. 27 after coming over in a trade with the Ottawa Senators organization for Tommy Wingels on Jan. 24.
With two wins against the Tucson Roadrunners in the Arizona this weekend, the Barracuda (31-11-4) can stay undefeated with Robinson and Stortini while finishing the month of February with a perfect 11-0 record.
“I don’t want to jinx it,” Robinson said. “Since me and Zack have been here, we’ve got 11 in a row under our belts, 12 for the team. It’s been a fun run. I hope we can keep it going this weekend.”
Although the Roadrunners (22-19-5) are just 2-8 over their last 10 games, head coach Roy Sommer said his team won’t be taking the Arizona Coyotes’ AHL affiliate lightly. After 18-plus seasons in the AHL, Sommer knows how challenging it can be to beat the same team on back-to-back nights on the road.
At the beginning of the month, the Barracuda nearly had their winning streak snapped by the Manitoba Moose in the second game of a back-to-back at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg when they coughed up three goals in the last 10 minutes of the third period.
“You can’t look too far ahead,” Sommer said. “It’s hard to win back-to-back in a visiting building. We had a close call up in Manitoba, and we’ve done it a few times here at home, but these guys just go in there at treat every one like it’s a game they can win.”
The Barracuda’s last loss came on Jan. 21 against the Ontario Reign.
‘Get After Pucks’: No one could fault Nikolay Goldobin if he had played with diminished energy on Monday.
The Barracuda’s 5-3 win over the Texas Stars wasn’t just his third game in three nights, it came on the heels of his reassignment from the Sharks.
After waiting more than four months to receive an opportunity to strut his stuff in the NHL, one can only imagine that Goldobin rejoined the Baby Sharks on Monday with a pinch of disappointment in his heart.
But if Goldobin was suffering from the post-recall blues, it didn’t show on the ice as he gave the Barracuda a 1-0 lead in the first by notching a power play goal.
Sommer indicated that Goldobin’s marching orders from the Sharks coaching staff are what everyone who watched his two games with the team would expect.
“He’s just got to get after pucks, that’s all they want him to do,” Sommer said after the Barracuda’s win on Monday.
Practice Time: Like the Sharks, the Barracuda have struggled to find practice time in recent weeks because of travel and scheduling.
With three games in four days last weekend, including a trip to Ontario on Saturday, the Barracuda received just one practice this week, and Sommer kept things light, allowing the guys to scrimmage in four-on-four and three-on-three situations and practice shootouts.
Considering the team’s performance over the last month, the Barracuda aren’t in dire need of practice time right now, so the Sommer said the goal of Wednesday’s session was to allow the team to get a, “feel for the puck.”
“It was good. A lot of energy. You can tell when a team’s feeling good about themselves,” Sommer said after Wednesday’s practice. “The guys love it right now. We’re playing three or four games a week, we’re getting our days off and they’re going, Roy, it’s working. So what are you going to do?”
Labanc, Goodrow, Heed Rejoin Sharks: The Sharks recalled forwards Kevin Labanc and Barclay Goodrow and defenseman Tim Heed for their game against the Vancouver Canucks in Canada on Saturday.
Goldobin and Timo Meier will suit up for the Barracuda in Tucson.