“Hockey is figure skating in a war zone.”
The Phantoms took the game Saturday night at the PPL Center, via shootout, over the Springfield Falcons. Their record on this 5-game home stand is now 2-1; however, their opponents have a 1-0-1-1 record. Just saying. But can’t be totally disappointed with 4 points out of 6–now I want two more in two games.
They let the Falcons off the hook somewhat, leading 4-2 in the third period, then allowing a tie before fighting off a penalty in the overtime session. Hats off to Leier and Straka for getting the quick shootout goals and winning in two quick shootout rounds–as the media complained about all of the extra time used up by the overtime period. Still, it was somewhat disappointing to give up the extra point to a team neck and neck in the standings.
“…and we let them off the hook.”
- Def Jesper Pettersson was sent to Reading yesterday. He had missed a couple games with injury. Maxim Lamarche remains with the Phantoms…
- Until Def Christian Marti is healthy. And, he’s getting close–skating non-contact.
- F Michael Parks was thought to be close to returning, but was not skating in practice this week.
- G Marty Ouellette was sent back to Reading, signaling the full return of Jason LaBarbera. This should be good for Reading, BTW.
- F Tim Brent skated in practice, but is not expected to be in the lineup tonight.
The Royals won 2-1 Saturday night in Florida. They’ll play in Norfolk tonight. They’re in fourth place in their division and their fans are visiting Allentown and complaining that our fans are no good–and no one wants to go to Reading with me on January 2?
The Penguins come in facing a degree of adversity, as two of their players, and all-AHL goalie Matt Murray were recalled to Pittsburgh yesterday afternoon. Some reinforcements are on the way from ECHL Wheeling, but a “wounded” Penguins team arrives at the PPL Center with a very fine goalie–Jarry–and plenty to play for. Count me scared–the more desperate team often wins the game like this. Can we match their intensity, skill, and discipline? We’ll see. Oh, and I almost forgot, they lost their coach since last Friday’s game. No matter, they’re a machine and I doubt it will even matter–their new coach is already undefeated!
For a more in-depth review of the Pens personnel and recent roster moves, read this der Eishockeyzuschauer “Behind Enemy Lines” piece, written for tonight’s game.
And tonight we honor some who have battled in an actual war zone–so excuse the quote at the lead of this post as it’s meant as a tribute. It’s “Military Appreciation Night” and we’ll do just that. Hat’s off. As a Facebook poster suggested, let’s all sing along with the National Anthem tonight…
Puck Drop: 7:05PM
Tickets and Parking: Good seats are still available for this game–although perhaps not as many as you’d think for a mid-week tilt. Consult PPLCenter.com and secondary markets before heading downtown. Pre-purchase parking in the arena deck may still be available, but Parking Authority resources should also be readily available for this game.
Media Kit: vs Penguins 12-16-2015
Printable Rosters: Print pages 11 and 12 of the 32-page PDF Media Kit above.
Broadcast: Service Electric TV-2; AHL-Live; AM-1470: IHeartRadio App; Phantomshockey.com. In the arena, the live feed is available on FM-89.9
Pregame: TV pregame goes on at 6:30PM–LIVE if you’re in Chickie’s. Radio pregame goes on at 6:20PM if you’re on the way downtown. Meal: Mrs. Kram and I had a very nice meal at The Dime prior to the game Saturday night. They welcomed us and our Teddy Bears and provided excellent service. They even noticed that we were headed for the game (duh!) and promised to have us out on time. We got out for much less coin than the last time we were there, and were able to enter through the “secret” access via the Miller Lite Loft entrance. Really slick, and no security worries with our bags of bears. It’s a great option for game night! Tonight, we may be heading back to Bell Hall. Until I’ve had every burger on the menu and every beer on the list, I’m going to keep going.
Promotion: As mentioned above, it’s Military Appreciation Night.
What To Watch
- Jason LaBarbera is expected to be in goal for us tonight. How will he do after almost 40 days off?
- How will Jarry do for the Pens without Murray looking over his shoulder?
- Can we get the Pens out of their comfort zone?
- A blow-out is a possibility–for them or for us. Will it happen?
- The Phantoms special teams have been hot and cold–and somewhat goalie dependent. How will they do with Barbie in goal tonight?
- I doubt their new coach will have any effect on their play–but it is worth watching if things don’t go their way for the Pens.
The final game of the home stand comes on Friday, when the kiddos get Winter Hats and we battle the Hershey Browns. The team will then go on the road up I-81 to Binghamton for Saturday night.
See you at the arena,