Crunch! Kirill Tulupov, doing what he does best. Photo courtesy of Steven Christy Photography. All rights reserved.
Tonight the Oklahoma City Barons face-off in a rare Tuesday night home game. They'll play the last place Texas Stars, but will be down at least two skaters. Yesterday, Josh Green was handed a four game suspension following an illegal check to the head in a game against Peoria less than a week ago. In anticipation of this suspension, Barons coach Todd Nelson, kept him home while the team skated in Cedar Park, Texas. Thus he's served one game, with three more to come (starting tonight). Meanwhile, that same evening in Cedar Park, Kirill Tulupov made an obscene gesture (whilst tucked away in the penalty box) seemingly towards fans following a first period boarding call. My weary eyes, and the always weary AHL Live feed certainly hinted that Tulupov gave the flying fickle finger of fate in the middle variety. He'll begin his suspension tonight, which ironically is a game against the Texas Stars.
With Josh Green and Kirill Tulupov absent from the lineup, the Barons do take a slight dip. But, as we've seen over the course of two months, the Barons are loaded. Take your pick replacing Green at center, and infuse some Kevin Montgomery into a Ryan Lowery pairing on defense.
Tulupov is beginning to make a name for himself in the minors as a tough-as-nails, passionate, and fan-friendly player. This Oklahoma City team is gaining a little swagger as it soldiers on towards the new year.
In other news, Andrew Lord and Antti Tyrvainen seem prepared to return to the lineup very soon. Whether it's tonight or in the coming weeks, their energy in the lineup will compliment the already dynamic Barons roster.