“You don’t have to be crazy to play goal, but it helps.”
– Bernie Parent
I played soccer in high school.
I was a reserve midfielder on a team that was never very good. I think it was my sophomore year, right after taking a 10-1 beating from a suburban Scranton team, that my coach came up with a plan. He was also my trig teacher, and the next day in class he announced a new defensive strategy: He was going to strap a large piece of plexiglass to the back of the goal keeper and tell him to just stand still.
So Stolie will see better days; we probably don’t need to break out the plexiglass plan just yet. Defensive breakdowns were part of the problem as well, as Charlotte’s shot quality was certainly better than the Phantom’s. For those who point out that the jeering and booing wasn’t necessary, you’re probably right. Stolie certainly knows when he’s not having a good game without our help. However, it’s hockey. And cheering one way or another is a good way to show that we’re interested in the game and don’t need a sweaty T-Shirt guy to help us along. A reported crowd of 5,542 was in the house last night to observe the 6-1 Charlotte victory. Today’s another day.
Lines from last night:
10 Carey – 21 Miele – 22 Conner
18 Martel – 7 Zengerle – 16 Aube Kubel
11 Swavely – 19 Fazleev – 14 Knight
29 Mathers – 37 Sundher – 40 Crandall
6 Sanheim – 4 Hagg
43 Brennan – 44 Willcox
New – 38 Pettersson
I would expect to see 23 Leier, 24 Straka, 13 McDonald, 8 O’Neill, 12 Goulbourne, 3 Morin, and 34 Lyon in the lineup tonight.
Another injury in Philadelphia yesterday, as it was announced that defenseman Michael Del Zotto would miss several weeks. GM Ron Hextall can’t be happy having to make roster decisions with the challenges of the injured players and the salary cap limits. It’s difficult to even speculate on the final move or two he needs to make before Tuesday. Stay tuned.
The Royals lost to Elmira 3-1 last night at the Santander. They’ll be at it again tonight up in Elmira. Reading opens their 2016-17 campaign on the 15th at home against that same Elmira squad.
It’s a rematch with Charlotte again tonight at the PPL Center.
Puck Drop: 7:05PM
Doors: 6:00PM (Last season we had 5:30PM doors on Saturdays; however, I’m not sure they’re going to do that tonight. Noticed last night they had express entry for those of us without bags. Good idea. No walk-through detectors yet, though.)
Tickets and Parking: Good seats still available on the primary and secondary markets. Parking issue last night: Attendant was unable to give me a receipt. Troubling when dealing in cash. I have contacted the Parking Authority.
Broadcast Information: TV: Service Electric 2 Sports 6:30 pregame, 7PM game; WFMZ-69 7PM game. Radio: 790-AM, 89.9FM in arena; pregame 6:20PM
Media Kit: (preseason; not available)
Promotions: none; preseason
PreGame: Just like Stolie missed the second period last night, I missed the first period while attending the tequila-pairing dinner at the Dime. It was excellent. I’m not a cocktail drinker, but the drink recipes and the Mexican food pairings were sublime. Hats off to them. As Allentown Cocktail Week winds up, there are some things going on downtown tonight:
- CENTRO: Bitters 101 2PM-3:30PM
- Hamilton: Beer Cocktails 5PM-11PM (New Belgium)
- grain.: Spirits pairing 5PM-7PM; small plates, Tito’s, Milagro, Bayou, Bluecoat, Woodford. $40
- Hamilton: Live music 9PM-12PM
I think I’m going to end up at Chickie’s tonight with Junior–with the amount of lobster tails he can put away it will probably end up being more expensive than that Dime dinner was last night.
What To Watch
- Watch Lyon. I was kind of expecting to see him last night.
- Watch the defense. Breaking out and pushing the puck up have been a point of emphasis in practice, I hear, but left some guys out of position to help out in the defensive zone. Let’s see if that’s better tonight, and if Lyon can bail them out a little better than what we saw last night.
- Watch the power play. They went with a more conventional formation last night, and we’ll watch to see if that continues. My buddy d.E. may have more on that later this afternoon. It occurs to me that with the quality D-men in the house, having two offensive-minded guys out there together isn’t necessarily a bad plan. Still, it’s preseason and they could be in the process of working this out.
- With only two preseason contests, watch to see if they’re looking like they want to get ready for the regular season a little more tonight, with respect to urgency, speed, defense, checking, coaching and lineup.
- Remember to pick up your season ticket books. I got mine last night, and they’re gorgeous, as usual.
- Check out those preseason sweaters again. They’re orange and pretty sharp, if less ornate than a regular season getup, I think I like them better than the whites of 2014 and the blacks of 2015. I hope the losing isn’t associated with them.
One week from tonight is opening night for the 2016-2017 hockey season at the PPL Center versus Springfield. That is the only game next weekend, and they’ll be home the following Friday and Saturday to take on Bridgeport and Hartford respectively before going on the road for 3-in-3 over Halloween weekend.
See you at the arena,