After a disastrous stretch of eight straight losses, the Hershey Bears sit dead last in the Atlantic Division and are in serious danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2013-14.
It's not hard to figure out what the problem is. In those eight losses, Hershey has been held to only 12 total goals for a paltry 1.5 goals per game. You are not going to very much at that rate.
The Bears played three games in the past week and many of the Caps' top prospects were limited on the score sheet. Nathan Walker and Tyler Graovac each had only one goal, Travis Boyd and Connor Hobbs had only one assist and Riley Barber was held to zero points.
This is a troubling sign for a Hershey team that is about to lose its top scorer in Chris Bourque to the Olympics. That is a serious blow to an offense that is already sputtering.
By the time Bourque returns, one has to wonder if the Bears will already be in a hole too deep to climb out of.
Other prospect notes:
- Ilya Samsonov was not one of the three goalies selected to the Olympic Athletes From Russia roster that will compete in Pyeongchang. According to a list approved by the IOC, Samsonov was among the final six goalies the Russian Hockey Federation was considering.
- Tyler Lewington dropped the gloves with Garrett Wilson of the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins late in Hershey's 4-0 loss on Jan. 24. You don't get to see too many fights like this in the NHL anymore.
- As bad as things have been in Hershey, one has to wonder if perhaps they would consider recalling Tim McGauley or Hampus Gustafsson from the ECHL. Both players had very good weeks with the South Carolina Stingrays as McGauley scored three goals and Gustafsson tallied two goals and two assists. McGauley has no career games in the AHL, but Gustafsson was only recently reassigned to South Carolina by the Bears after playing in 14 games in the AHL.
- Providence senior Brian Pinho has been named one of the 74 nominees for college hockey's highest honor, the Hobey Baker Award. Fans can vote on the nominees here. He may have a long way to go before he gets to that point, but Pinho would join some pretty exclusive company if he should win the Hobey Baker. The last four players to win the award were Will Butcher, Jimmy Vesey, Jack Eichel and Johnny Gaudreau.
- Garrett Pilon was named the Third Star in Everett's win Monday over Seattle. He had one assist in that game. Pilon totaled five assists in his team's three games over the past week.