The Hamilton Bulldogs got a dose of reality on Friday night as they dropped their third in a row in a 6-1 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins at Copps Coliseum. The Bulldogs records now stands at 5-4-0-3 but with the loss the team set a new level of team disparity by giving up four goals in 1:13 in the second period. The final result on Friday night was just plain ugly.
The loss on Friday night comes with concern as Bulldogs are starting to look like the team of last year where they finished last in their division and also set one of the lowest point totals in team history. With a terrible night in goal was Bulldogs goalie Robert Mayer who faced 14 shots on the night and gave up five goals before being pulled from the game. Mayer was pulled in the second period as the Griffins scored three goals in just 33 seconds to chase Mayer and it got even got worse as Dustin Tokarski was brought in off the bench and gave up a goal on his first shot of the game.
With the rough night in goal, a lot of fans are starting to wonder about Sylvain Lefebvre’s methods of alternating Mayer and Tokarski night after night. So far this season the team is no better than they were last season and they seem to be starting to fall apart right about the same time as last season. What is even more alarming is that both Mayer and Tokarski’s numbers are about even in the goals against column and many think it is clear, Lefebvre needs to choose a number one starter.
Also of concern is the Bulldogs lack of team discipline, the penalty minutes are starting to climb, and on Friday night the team gave the Griffins seven power plays and took a total of 28 penalty minutes. The Bulldogs took foolish penalties for most of the game and gave up their second goal of the night while down two men.
For the visiting Griffins, the team looked polished and every bit as good as the team that won last years Calder Cup. When the chances emerged, the Griffins capitalized on them, the big goal that really sunk the Bulldogs was their fourth goal of the game which came from Calle Jarnkrok, then came the fifth goal of the game just 40 seconds later. With the win the Griffins improved to 9-2-1-1 and have now won seven straight.
Up next for the Bulldogs is the Utica Comets on Sunday afternoon who have so far looked like the league’s worst team with just four points on the season with a 1-8-1-1 record.