A quick look at yesterday and today, as the Phantoms’ home stand continues.


“The post is a goalie’s best friend.”



View from 106 Photo: DiPro

View from 106
Photo: DiPro

Looking Back

Well-known Phantom killer Matt Murray–and two of his best friends (posts and cross-bar)–once again shut-out the Phantoms by a 4-0 tally last night at the PPL Center in front of 7,797.  I’ll have more thoughts and analysis of the Pens leading up to the rematch on Wednesday.

However, the Phantoms did hit the posts several times.  You know what that is?


It’s like second-place is the “first loser” or “doesn’t count except in horseshoes and hand-grenades.”  It’s still not a goal.  The team played relatively well, and Stolie was strong as usual in net, but they’ve got to get pucks on nets–not on posts or on glass or hard at the boards.  ON NETS!

The Phatoms now have 2 of 4 possible points on this 5-game, 10-point, home stand.  I’m shooting for 6.


Team Report

1 WBS 23 18 5 0 0 36 0.783
2 BRI 26 16 9 1 0 33 0.635
3 HER 24 12 6 1 5 30 0.625
4 LV 26 12 13 1 0 25 0.481
5 SPR 24 11 12 1 0 23 0.479
6 PRO 24 9 10 4 1 23 0.479
7 POR 22 10 11 1 0 21 0.477
8 HFD 25 10 13 2 0 22 0.440


Felt like over 8K there last night, just FYI…


Player Report

  • Forward Tim Brent returned to the lineup centering the top line last night, but took a hard hit and never returned.  He had missed Wednesday’s game with undisclosed minor injuries.
  • Forward Cole Bardreau returned to the lineup last night.  He looked a little rusty; we’ll hope to see his game improve in the coming weeks as he gets back into the swing.
  • Goalie Jason LaBarbera again served as back-up to our guy Stolie.  Coach told reporters after the game Barbie is “close.”  Does that mean we’ll see him tonight?  Or next week against WBS or HER?
  • Rosie was a late healthy scratch in favor of Rehkamp
  • Injured players remain:  Marti, Pettersson, Sundher, Conner, Parks.  Parks could be ready as soon as tonight.

I’ll hold off on lines and leaders, as that information is either similar to yesterday, or in constant flux, as the case may be.

Reading Report

Reading lost at Florida last night 3-2 in overtime.  They had also lost in Florida on Wednesday–that time in a shootout.  Goals last night by Czarnik and Reid.  They’ll face off again tonight, then head North to face Norfolk in Virginia on Wednesday.




Look for a “Behind Enemy Lines” piece on the Arizona affiliate soon to follow this posting.  They are a team that the Phantoms should be competitive with–and a team they should defeat if they want to be a playoff team.

And, it’s Teddy Bear night!  More on that in a bit.

Puck Drop: 7:05PM

Doors:  5:30PM (normal Saturday early-open)

Tickets and Parking:  Good seats still available for tonight’s game, but there could be some walk-up with the events planned (see below).  Parking was filling up last night in some lots and garages–I usually monitor the Parking Authority’s Twitter feed in order to make sure parking is available at my chosen location.

Media:  Full Media Kit for tonight’s game:  Media Kit 121215.  No, d.E., it’s not “wrinkled khakis and a plaid shirt.”

Broadcast:  In addition to the usual suspects, tonight’s game is also available on WFMZ-69 where available.  Tune in at 7PM.  Use TV-2 or the radio for pre-game.  Radio feed is 1470-AM or IHeartRadio or  In the arena, live call is on FM-89.9

Pre-Game Meal:  Solo again last night, I grabbed a bite in the arena.  First time I tried the pizza.  Going with the “Supreme” was probably (definitely) a mistake.  I’ll try plain next time–if I have to.  Tonight, we’re likely headed back to Bell Hall, although Shula’s and Chickie’s also have votes, and there’s a scenario where I end up at ROAR for their Bat-Manhattan.

Promotion:  This is the big one:  Teddy Bear Toss and Post-Game skate with players.  First, watch these videos if you wanna know what the Teddy Bear Toss is:

And last year at the PPL Center:



What Kind Of Bears Should We Bring?  Any brand new stuffed toys will suffice.  Do not alter with weight or throw anything which may cause an injury.  The stuffed toys will be donated for the holidays.

What If We Don’t Score A Goal?  We never get shut-out….Wait, what?!?  Oh, yeah, last night.  OK.  They’ll probably have us throw them at the second intermission or perhaps following the game because we’ve gotta stick around to skate anyway.

What If I Can’t Reach The Ice With My Throw?  Throw it anyway.  Throw it towards someone who can re-throw.  Folks down front, look out.  If my bears come your way kindly chuck them onto the ice.  Folks behind the net, perhaps toss to the side for “a little help.”

What’s this about the skating?  Oh, yeah, separate promotion:  Bring your skates and you’ll be allowed down on the ice following the game.  Players (healthy ones) will return to the ice to chat, take selfies, sign autographs and hang out.  Folks who did it last season had a lot of fun.  You will NOT be allowed on the ice without skates.  Follow the direction from the PA on where to go, and when.

Anything else I should know?  Well, even with the early door opening, please leave a little extra time for security, as skates and stuffed toys will need to be checked for contraband and safety.


What To Watch

  • As always, watch to see who leads the team onto the ice for warm-ups–that’s your starting netminder.
  • Watch to see if the Phantoms can get the puck on net a little more.
  • Watch to see if the power play can get going, and what formation they use.
  • If they continue with the “one high” umbrella on the PP, then who will they use up top?  Is it a good choice?  What do you think?
  • What do the lines look like?  Who returns from injury and who gets scratched?  Will they get jumbled late in the game?
  • How quickly will the lines for beer and bathrooms fill up during the teddy toss?  At all?  We’ll see.
  • Can we toss more teddies than last season?  We need to continue to do better–in so many ways.
  • Who will score the teddy goal?  Brett Hextall last year, I think (watch that video again…)


Looking Ahead

The Phantoms will have a re-match with the Pens on Wednesday for “Military Appreciation Night” and will be right back on Friday for the Browns on “Kiddo Winter Hat Night.”  Those are the fourth and fifth home games of this 5-game stand.


See you at the arena,


Categories: Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Phantoms Hockey

3 replies

  1. UPDATE: Andrew MacDonald back on loan from the Flyers. This should help things on the Power Play somewhat.

  2. Lehigh Valley are just 3-50, a woeful 6%, on the power play in their last twelve games since Ghost was recalled on November 14th. AMac certainly won’t do much to improve the situation, but he will probably replace the slow and plodding Lashoff as the # 1 QB on the point at the top of the Umbrella power play. In order for the Umbrella formation to work properly, what is needed is a defenseman who not only has good vision, passing skills, etc., but the ability to cover lots of ground, go quickly ‘from sideline to sideline’, to borrow some football jargon.

    Now that Ghost is gone, I’m not really sure the Phantoms actually have a player who is truly qualified to play at the point in the Umbrella; I think that Lehigh Valley would be perhaps better served to go back to a traditional power play formation with two defensemen stationed on the blue line.

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