“Half the game is mental; the other half is being mental.”
— Jim McKenny
The Phantoms took both games from Rochester last weekend to ameliorate the loss suffered in Syracuse a week ago tonight. In the midst of a 6-game home residency, the team hosts Bridgeport tonight. The AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders has been the nemesis of the Phantoms to this point in the season. However, they were able to get a victory in Connecticut a week ago Sunday versus the Sound Kittens.
Tonight is Military Appreciation Night along with Post-Game Photos with Players.
The Phantoms enter the week as the third highest-scoring team in the AHL averaging 3.52 goals per game.
- Lehigh Valley’s power play is currently tops in the Eastern Conference and fifth among all AHL clubs at 24.4 percent. The Phantoms enter the week having tallied the most man-advantage markers to date in the entire AHL (29) and have already produced 11 multi-power play goal games this season.
- Forwards Colin McDonald and Greg Carey enter the week leading all Phantoms and tied for third among all AHL skaters with 11 goals this season. Carey continues to lead all AHL-ers with 8 power play goals this season.
- Forward Jordan Weal enters the week leading all Lehigh Valley skaters and is tied for fifth among all AHL-ers in scoring with 26 total points (10 goals, 16 assists). Weal has already registered eight multi-point games this season and enters the week having notched nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) over his last seven games.
- Forward Taylor Leier remains with the Flyers, as Forward Scott Laughton does with the Phantoms.
- Following last weekend’s games, Swavely and Lamarche were returned from Reading, as Sundher was also reassigned from whence he came.
- Lyon has been the chief goalie with Stolarz in Philadelphia. His current stat line looks like this: 16 Games, 10-5 record, 2.55 Goals Against Average, .916 Save Percentage
- Attack lines yesterday at practice:
9 – 49 – 13
19 – 40 – 16
10 – 21 – 22
7 – 19 – 14
A massive early-season western road swing was navigated successfully by the Royals, but on return they went into somewhat of a funk in recovery. Since then, though, they’ve been excellent. They’re currently on an 8-game win streak and are trailing the leader in the division by only two points. They have a mini-series in Greenville Thursday and Friday, and will return home Wednesday and Friday of next week if you’re looking for some hockey when the Phantoms are off.
For more on Bridgeport and their excellent Perkasie/Penn State Goalie Eamon McAdam, please click through to der Eishockeyzuschauer‘s excellent piece from earlier today.
Puck Drop: 7:05PM
Tickets: Tickets on the PPL site are scarce; however, many are available on the secondary markets–check with your favorite ticket re-seller for availability.
Parking: Cash only at many locations–bring $6
Promotions: Military Appreciation Night–Many tickets were donated/sponsored by local individuals and businesses for veterans groups tonight. Expect some special recognition for all. There is a special jersey, but I’m not sure if the team will be sporting it tonight or if it’s for warm-ups–or merely for group recognition.
Post game photos with players. Players will be stationed around the ice for you to snap pictures. Be aware, they may limit autographs in order to keep the lines moving.
Media Kit: sound-tigers-121416
Broadcast: TV-2 and AHL-Live as per usual. AM-1470 for the weeknight game.
Pre-game: Radio at 6:20PM, TV at 6:30PM–Live if you’re in Chickie’s.
It’s tough to say where I’ll end up tonight. My usual Wednesday haunt is Bell Hall, but I used that up last Saturday when we bailed on Chickie’s. I’m thinking I might wander into the Dime bar for a beverage or two tonight, then enter the game via the Miller Lite Loft entrance. Or, there might be pre-game cigars at an undisclosed location–we’ll see. Oh, and my burger and craft beers were as good as they always are at Bell.
Ugly Sweater party tonight at grain. pre-game, along with beers of Xmas special at Bell and 12 days of whiskey at Hamilton, if you’re looking for stuff to do before the game.
What To Watch
- Watch the top line: Last weekend, Coach Gordon revealed that he had tasked the top group with a more defensive assignment to match up with the Amerks’ top line. Indeed, they held the top line scoreless through two games (one goal came versus another line or special teams). Watch to see if the Bardreau-Laughton-McDonald group is attacking or playing a more defensive posture.
- Often, guys are sent down from the big club to work on something in particular–is that what’s happening with Laughton? Is he being told to work on his defensive game? Watch to see if he can end his three-game AHL scoring drought tonight.
- If the top line is in defensive mode, that makes the second line of Marty-Wealer-Q the de-facto top scoring line. This is just what Flyers prospect watchers–who don’t actually watch the games–wanted to see. So watch for Aube-Kubel to get involved with the scoring and watch for his ice time as well. This is a spot for him to step up.
- Carey has been kinda quiet lately. Look for him to get on the board tonight.
- It’s always a concern: Too many shots or not enough. One worries when the team isn’t getting the puck on net enough, if the offense is hurting or line jumbles are ruining chemistry. One also worries when the shots are so high–like lately–that the skilled players aren’t getting quality shots–they they’re just throwing the puck at the goalie’s chest. Well, it all goes away when the puck goes in the net–so watch what happens with the scoring chances tonight: Too many passes or not enough?
- The other thing about getting the puck on net is that it creates secondary chances on rebounds. Watch to see if the Phantoms can get to the net to clean things up and maybe get a greasy goal on the young McAdam, as the larger Sound Tigers attempt to clog passing lanes and prevent the fancy goals.
- Watch McAdam. He’s playing great and he’s a somewhat local product. What makes him so good? Take a look.
We’re right back here on Friday for game 4 of the 6 in a row at home. Hershey will be back for a divisional tilt on Service Electric Cap Night. Saturday is game 5 versus red-hot Providence with holiday jerseys up for auction following the game.
Get out your calendar and plan on coming out to Chickie’s on Wednesday the 28th for an “away” watch party versus the Amerks. The Phan Club is hosting, but you don’t need to be a member to attend–just come out and watch the game on the big screens. There will be raffles and giveaways and all manner of fun–check out their site at phannation.org for more details.
Blog Notes: Quick thank you to all the readers, as we once again broke our click record for this calendar year–with practically a whole month to spare. Thanks for reading and we hope you’ve had a good time around here–it’s all about having fun. Expect a “Hockey Night” post for the Friday game, but Saturday might be a more abbreviated version or it might not appear at all due to scheduling difficulties.
See you at the arena,