The Phantoms are teetering on the brink of playoff elimination. The official “Horn and Bell Countdown to Elimination Meter” says they need to go 17-5 over the final 22 games in order to secure a spot. While the teams above them obviously won’t win out, the official “Magic Number” for the Phantoms to secure a playoff spot is 54 points. That would be 27 wins. And that, my friends, is a little tough to do with only 22 games remaining. Kram and d.E. take a look at what role Jay Rosehill might play as the team continues to approach playoff irrelevance–but refuses to go away, at least for now.
Rosehill setting a screen for a Manning shot last season. Photo: Jack Mitroka
Kram: The Phantoms did the thing last weekend. We talked about it after the Phan Club meeting, and there were discussions behind the scenes. We talked about it in the stands before a recent game. What did they do? Well they opened up the garage. They pulled off the dust cover and got the carbon out of the carburetor. They took the old Jay Rosehill out for a spin last weekend and it didn’t turn out so poorly after all. They went 1-0-1 and old Rosie had one shot on goal and two penalty minutes for roughing. However, his roughing penalty was cancelled out by one from the other team as well, so it didn’t put his team at a disadvantage–in fact, it may have helped as the Phantoms were trying to come from behind at the time. I think they ought to take the Rosie out for a drive a little more oft…
der Eishockeyzuschauer: Wait, wait, wait. Kram wants me to think that the Lehigh Valley Phantoms actually have some kind of souped up hot rod in their garage and are now, all of a sudden, finally ready to lap the AHL field a few times in order to catch up in the Calder Cup playoff qualifying chase. But he seems to be forgetting all about my East German heritage, which means the ability to easily discern Politburo propaganda (read, separate fact from fiction) is in my blood.
So, if drawing parallels between Phantoms pugilist-turned-chronic press box attendant Jay Rosehill and cars is to be the order of the day here, then my response to Kram would be that the overpaid Rosie is so much better served by the imagery of an Edsel.
Kram: Not that the 11F/7D alignment has been all bad for us this season, but at this juncture, we’ve got enough veteran spots open (via AHL rules) and a bottom-six opening where Jay Rosehill’s leadership could help the team. With AMac in Philly, Colin McDonald with some type of “phantom” injury, and Tim Brent with a broken wrist, another veteran on the ice could help the team.
d.E.: In some respects, one does have to feel for the 30-year-old veteran left wing at least a little bit. After all, when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms first arrived in Allentown for the 2014/15 AHL campaign, it was Rosehill – and not the virtually unknown Zack Stortini – who had spent the previous season in the NHL bashing heads for the Philadelphia Flyers but, somehow, it was the bearded guy with the limited amount of teeth who achieved true rock star status among the loyal fan base. Prior to the start of this season, it seemed as if Rosie would finally have his chance to be lead singer for the band but then Tyrell Goulbourne showed up and started dropping dudes with one punch on a regular basis so, nowadays, the former University of Minnesota – Duluth Bulldog usually does not even get a sweater.
But, then again, just exactly why should he? Alright, so Rosehill is a good skater but this is seriously mitigated by the well-documented fact that his offensive and defensive skills are essentially non-existent and always have been, too. And then, of course, there are all those silly penalties which leave Lehigh Valley shorthanded that the undisciplined player with the lucrative AHL contract worth $ 250,000 has always had the unshakable penchant to take.
Kram: Rosehill has been able to keep his penalty minutes under control during his limited playing time this season. He’ll be on the fourth line, most likely, and his minutes on the ice will be somewhat limited, which tempers the probability that he hooks or trips somebody. I’m not looking for him to score goals; I’m looking for him to fire up the team, provide toughness, and if necessary, throw down with an opponent who would be more costly for the opposition to lose for 5 minutes than for the fourth line Phantoms forward.
d.E.: OK, because I thought you were going to point to the time when the Phantoms tough guy scored two goals in a game against the Hershey Bears last season. And even with his limited penalty minutes this season, my official response? Well, all I can say is that there is an old German proverb that goes something like ‘manchmal sogar der duemmste Bauer erntet die dicksten Kartoffeln’ – sometimes even the dumbest farmer harvests the biggest potatoes!
Kram: With the signing of “grinder” forward Dalton Smith to a ‘PTO’ yesterday, perhaps it’s back to the garage for my “Hot Rod Rosie.” However, if you see the rookie Padakin headed back to Reading to get top-line minutes there, you’ll know that Jay may still have a role on the Phantoms down the stretch. They may be close to elimination, but maybe we can be comfortable with Rosie’s leadership in a fourth-line role, at least until official elimination and until college and junior players are eligible to join us.
d.E.: The Lehigh Valley Phantoms need to divest themselves of this ludicrous notion that the team have anything even approaching a realistic chance of not missing the Calder Cup playoffs for the seventh year in succession. Surely they have figured out by now that the lower the team go in the AHL standings the more tickets they sell at the box office, anyway, so there is absolutely no rational reason why they shouldn’t be firmly focusing on the Philadelphia Flyers organization’s future. And that certainly does not mean increasing the ice time of aging Edsels.
Categories: Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Phantoms Hockey