The Phantoms are back at it again later this afternoon in the final dress-rehearsal for the regular season. Here’s what you need to know about today’s game:
About Last Night
The Phantoms dropped their first home pre-season game–and second overall–by a 3-1 tally to the Hartford Wolfpack, the AHL affiliate of the New York Rangers. Stoli made some really nice saves, and it was good to see the defense involved in the offensive rush, but alas they need to tighten things up in their own zone. I thought they broke out well, and the center ice attack was good, but lapses in their own end led to more quality chances for the ‘pack compared with what should have been. On the offensive end, they did have some nice chances of their own, and used speed and fore-check on many occasions to generate such. That was good to see.
For a more detailed review of last night’s game, see the comment section of yesterday’s post. Some really nice observations from der Eishockeyzuschauer there.
The Phantoms are now 0-2 (“Owen Two”) on the preseason. On to the Pens..
Lines from last night:
23 Leier 37 Brent 22 Conner
18 Martel 25 Cousins 16 Palushaj
15 Parks 27 Padakin 38 Rosehill
43 Sundher 17 Goumas 29 Mathers
4 Hagg 14 Gostisbehere
2 Alt 5 Drewskie
3 Morin 8 Pettersson
41 Stolarz (Ouellette)
Scratches from last night:
6 Luukko, 9 Bardreau, 12 Goulbourne, 13 McDonald, 19 Alderson, 20 Lamarche, 24 Straka, 39 Pyett, 34 Knapp, LaBarbara
McDonald and LaBarbera should be in town and should be in the lineup tonight; in fact, LaBarbera has been confirmed to be tonight’s starting net-minder.
Alderson and Knapp have been sent to Reading this morning.
Phan Nation fan club T-Shirts are still being delivered. Please contact the club if you are interested in joining or if you need to make arrangements to pick up your shirt. They can be found on the web at PhanNation.org or via Facebook and Twitter.
Season ticket books are available for pick-up at desks on the concourse. Regular books at the rear of the “rotunda” near where the kid zone usually is–first part of the game for end of the alphabet and second part for beginning of alphabet, reversed for tonight’s game.
Rumor has it, some season ticket holders will have their tickets delivered to them on Tuesday by players. If you are one of those folks, you have already received a phone call from the Phantoms front office–otherwise please pick up your books at today’s game! Please note this is only a rumor–although I do have two sources.
The other rumor is that the current black with orange jerseys are a “preseason” get-up, which will be auctioned at some point, for fun and profit. New 2015-16 sweaters will be introduced at the “Breaking the Ice” broadcast tomorrow. That’s only a rumor, though–only one source. Stay tuned!
Tickets and Parking:
Good seats are still available. Parking may be pre-purchased via the PPLCenter.com web site (arena deck, while supplies last) as well as from AllentownEventParking.com for Spiral or ATC decks.
The usual suspects: SECTV-2, AM-1470, FM 89.9 (inside arena)
“Front and Center” on TV-2 at 4:30PM; Radio pre-game starring Bob Rotruck at 4:20PM; NoiseNation pre-game meal TBD. Chickie’s and Pete’s should be crowded early-on today as folks head down to catch the football action.
None. Pre-season hockey at a reduced price, early enough in the day to go out drinking (or get the kiddos home for bed) afterwards.
What To Watch
- Watch to see if we’re still wearing the “preseason” sweaters, in order to predict the accuracy of the rumor above.
- Watch to see LaBarbera in goal and McDonald in the lineup. Watch to see how LaBarbera does in his Phantoms debut.
- After reading the comments from the last post, watch to see the strategy and risk in the power play. Will they give up a shorty? Will they finish? Or, as the folks behind me called it, will they engage in the “PPL Passing Play?”
- Watch to see how crowded it is. I know it’s only preseason, but will NFL football keep folks away? Will it be more or less than last night? I’m really curious because I was one who was calling for more Sunday games this season.
- Watch to see if big Sam Morin can be more aggressive and forceful. He looked tentative last night, I thought, and needs to make himself more assertive–especially if he’s going to play with the “diminutive defenceman” Jesper Pettersson.
- Watch to see the development of a top scoring line with Cousins and Palushaj leading the way. Watch to see if someone else joins them on that line tonight.
- Watch to see if Rosie can stay out of the box tonight. I’ll give him a pass if he actually fights–at the right time.
- Watch to see if I can come up with some kind of cheer for Ghost. I think he’s the best player on the ice, but I need to find something to yell rather than just screaming “Ghost” like a fan-girl every time he touches the puck. 😉
The Good and the Bad and…
- Props to the Phantoms for the “Phan Wi-Phi”–it sucks that we can’t get good cell reception in the PPL Center, but the Wi Fi worked flawlessly last night. Now that I’ve written about it, perhaps it will be more difficult to stay connected to it–but it was sorely needed. THANK YOU!
- Season ticket distribution looked to be proceeding flawlessly. And I didn’t need to make a special trip (and pay to park). Also, good stuff. Thank You Phantoms!
- After attending three “Major League” events this week (NHL, NFL, MLB) I sure enjoyed spending less than $10 for a large beer. Thanks for keeping those prices in line, and unchanged from last season.
- On the downside: Please see what you can do about the PA system, Phantoms. I know I’m an old guy, but I couldn’t understand a word being said–and it wasn’t just in my seats, out in the concourse and at the West end I still couldn’t understand the speech.
- Security seemed to move quickly when I arrived this time, but the ushers were still in preseason form. PLEASE tell them to hold traffic from the aisles until the puck is stopped. I think some of them have never seen hockey before, so perhaps some training sessions are in order. If it were me, I’d have an experienced usher or two come around and show them how to handle the traffic for a few minutes. Yes, some fans are going to be angry and rude, but it’s for their own good, and for those of us in our seats we want to be able to see the game that we paid to see–from our seats.
Planning to have some pre-season predictions and further roster information this week–maybe even a podcast??–in advance of the season opener on Saturday, versus the Syracuse Crunch-less.
See you at the arena,