Timmins returns in Eagles Fight Cancer weekend

  

In the last set of games before the six-day break, the Eagles took to the ice in their stunning purple and black Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys. They bounced back to a 5-1 win over the San Antonio Rampage on the first night of the back-to-back, with five different players finding the back of the net and three players registering a multi-point night.

The second game went differently, with the Eagles falling to the Rampage for the first time in team history in a 4-2 loss. They now have a 6-1-0 all-time record against the Rampage and sit at third in the Pacific Division going into the break.

Weekend Takeaways

Inconsistency seems to be the fatal flaw for the Eagles at present, with the team alternately dominating offensively and then giving up scoring opportunities they could have locked down. Even in the dominating win on Friday, only one goal was scored through the first two periods. The play through the second period was far messier than it needed to be and the score only stayed at 1-0 due to Adam Werner having an outstanding night.

Then the Eagles exploded with four goals in the third period. It was a night and day difference from their performance in the third. They controlled the zones. They were passing intelligently in the offensive zone. They scored twice in 31 seconds. If the team finds a way to play with that level of jump more often, they have the chance to absolutely dominate the standings in the second half of the season.

The Eagles certainly perform better playing ahead than from behind, as they’re far more suited for extending a lead than trying to create one. Chatting with defenseman Conor Timmins after the game, he credited the excellent goaltending the Eagles have been receiving this year for that. “We know they’re gonna be strong back there no matter what we do, so it gives us a little more freedom in the third period to continue to push and continue to play our game, as opposed to just sitting back.”

Special teams were another stand-out from the weekend, with the Eagles going 5 for 5 on the penalty kill. The Eagles have a unique penalty kill, in that it’s possible to forget they’re playing shorthanded. They simply don’t give the opposition time to set up.

T.J. Tynan actually netted a shorthanded goal on Friday night, in one of the strangest plays I’ve ever seen – Who pulls the goalie with seven minutes remaining in the third? The Rampage, apparently. Tynan immediately made them regret that decision, racing for the puck and showcasing the speed and skill that sent him to the AHL All Star Game this year:

Conor Timmins makes his return

Yes, it’s true – After missing yet more time with a lower-body injury, Conor Timmins finally returned to play on Friday night against the Rampage. The much-beloved Avalanche prospect is no stranger to rehabilitating injuries, as he missed what should have been his first professional season due to a lengthy battle with concussion symptoms. This injury, however, was much less harrowing than the last, as Timmins only missed a little over a month of play.

Any concerns about him being rusty after missing time were put to rest on Friday night, as he had himself a two-point night, including a beautiful outlet pass to Jayson Megna that ended in the first goal of the evening.

Offense aside, there weren’t too many glaring gaps in Timmins’ defensive ability. He just wasn’t a noticeable force on the ice. Returning from such a prolonged time away from the ice, he looked to play a safer game, chipping in defensively in areas that wouldn’t expose any of that post-injury rust.

“Especially coming off the injury, I’m just trying to find my game,” he explained, rather matter-of-factly. “Obviously I need to get stronger off the ice, that’ll help with a lot of the on-ice issues. I’ve just been focused on working on my defensive game. The offense is gonna come from me, but being reliable is something that’s gonna get me to the next level.”

There’s no doubt that Timmins is going to find a place on the Avalanche blue line at some point in the near future. He has the right idea about where his development needs to go to get there. Reliability is key, as can be seen from the other Eagles players that have made the jump to the NHL for good. For now, though, he’s going to continue to be an important piece for the Eagles as they finish off the second half of the season and look to make another playoffs run.

 

Center Ice Forums Timmins returns in Eagles Fights Cancer weekend

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