“People think common sense is common – but it’s not.”
Last night at the PPL Center in Allentown (less than) 7,072 fans gathered to watch the Phantoms lose to Bridgeport 5-2. As the game began, the team was getting quality chances but couldn’t get the puck on net. Guys were open but missed on shots. Pucks slid under and jumped over sticks in the offensive zone at a rate I haven’t seen before in that building. Perhaps they were over-complicating things? However, the defense was doing a good job not allowing quality chances, and keeping Stolie from having to face anything difficult.
Then, things changed in the second period. As defenders began pushing up–pressing maybe–the Sound Tigers were able to counter-punch and get odd-man looks at Stolie, and unfortunately he wasn’t completely up to the task. The team just looked beat in the third period.
It was only their second game in the last 12 days, so perhaps it’s rust, or just out of rhythm. We’re back at it tonight, looking for a simpler game and some defensive responsibility.
The lines were as expected last night, but F Cole Bardreau didn’t get to make his season debut, and F Petr Straka was a healthy scratch again as well. I’d kind of expect both to be in the lineup tonight, on the fourth line.
Things might get juggled a bit if Philadelphia needs a forward to fill in for the now-suspended Dale Weise. Lyubimov steps in, but they’ll take a guy for the press box if they so desire. With the Flyers home tonight for Carolina, they could just wait until they get through the morning skate healthy–and if there’s any question throw a guy in a Town Car and send him South on I-476. My guess would probably be Colin McDonald–but it’s only a guess. Otherwise, status quo for tonight’s contest in Allentown.
Goals last night were by McDonald and Carey. I thought McDonald did a fine job camping in front of the goalie at times in that sort-of Stortini role.
Lamarche is back in town–if only to keep AHL transaction pages busy. We’ll see if he gets on the plane to Idaho on Wednesday or the bus to Hartford on Friday this week.
I thought D Sam Morin played his most physical game last night. I was going to say ‘best’ but he missed on some passes, turned the puck over, and missed his assignment more than I would like. Still, it was good to see him throwing that big body around a little. It’s not a complete game yet, but it was noticeable.
The Royals lost last night at the Santander, 5-1, to Manchester, to bring their season record to 2-1. They remain tied for first with four points. They’re off until Wednesday, when they’ll begin a three games in four days set in Idaho.
The Hartford Wolfpack arrive downtown tonight not having played since they were dismantled last Saturday in Wilkes-Barre, 6-2. They’re also 1-1, but ranked 18th in the Power Rankings. Phantoms are 11.
Puck Drop: 7:05PM
Tickets and Parking: Plenty of good seats are still available for this game. Parking tonight consider one of the decks if it’s still raining and you want to keep the old clunker dry.
Broadcast: Service Electric TV-2; Radio 1470-AM; Arena: 89.9-FM; Mobile: IHeartRadio; Online: PhantomsHockey.com
Media Kit: wolfpack-10222016 (Does anybody look at this? Let me know if I should keep posting it.)
Promotions: Post-game autographs with the players. Usually, tables set up around the concourse. Suggestion for the team: Have a map so folks can find the player(s) they’re most interested in.
Pre-Game: Radio 6:20PM; TV 6:30PM from Chickie’s; I’ll probably grab something at home tonight and then head in early with the early doors on Saturdays. You might find me in the Miller Lite Loft.
Last night we were at The Hamilton. Excellent service once again, and not too crowded for dinner–the bar had a crowd. Jefferson Ocean Voyage IV is a really nice bourbon if you’re looking for somewhere to start on that mammoth list.
What To Watch
- I’m thinking we get a Lyon night tonight. And, I’m looking forward to it.
- Watch to see if Straka and Bardreau get to play
- If Strax plays, check his intensity, see if we can figure out why he hasn’t been able to crack the lineup
- Watch the defenders. They’ve been tasked with pushing the puck up the ice and joining the rush, but at what cost?
- Watch the power play. I hope we get better quality chances compared with last night.
- Watch Sanheim. The kid is good, but seemed to disappear at times last night–at least to me–so I’m going to make sure I keep my eye on him tonight.
- Watch to see if Goulbourne plays. He got into a tussle last night, but not much of a fight. The other guy’s strategy of standing close and grabbing his arms was probably a good one. If you let him get a full swing, you’re probably going down.
- In the preseason, this teem bounced back pretty well after taking a sound defeat on a Friday night. Granted, many of the players are different, but I’m looking for a strong performance tonight against a Wolfpack team that might not be any good.
- Those throwbacks were glorious last night. Expect the home whites tonight. Orange pre-season at the silent auction table, Alt, McDonald and (blank) #17 (Goumas last season).
The Phantoms are done until next weekend, which they will spend entirely on the road. Hartford, Bridgeport, and then a Sunday contest in Hershey which will open the Pennsylvania series for this season.
Anybody going to Hershey?
Then back to Hartford the following Wednesday, Providence on Friday, and PPL Center two weeks from tonight for a rematch of the opener, Springfield.
See you at the arena,