Phantoms: Are They Ready?

“Got a monkey on my back

A (playoff) monkey on my back back back back
Gonna change my ways tonight
Nobody’s fault but mine”
-Led Zeppelin
Embed from Getty Images
der Eishockeyzuschauer, Hockey Analyst
Well, there has never been any question whatsoever that, sometimes, rookies do, in fact, make very noticeable mistakes.  When such instances happen, hometown broadcasters and beat writers are always rather quick to point out that it’s all part of the so-called “learning process”.  On the subject of quality education at an early age, here at the Noise Nation Horn and Bell blog, traditional guardians of all that is holy and sacred here in the Mecca Of Minor League Sports, it has always been regarded as a fundamental duty, to assist in the schooling of young professional athletes as they prepare for the unforgiving competition they will face at the very highest level.
In the wake of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins’ 5-1 victory over the visiting Lehigh Valley Phantoms this past Tuesday night, the Hamilton Street Heroes’ rookie winger Nicolas Aube-Kubel reportedly stated, “We (have) a lot of strategy to improve and we’ll be ready for the next game.”
Editor’s note:  In the interest of fairness, the @LVPhantoms tweet which I responded to late Tuesday night after several adult beverages was significantly abridged.  Here is the entire quote, courtesy of Highland Park Hockey who was present at the game:
“The game gets summarized as unlucky bounce for us and a lucky bounce for them. We were ready. Two losses in a row against them doesn’t mean we are going to lose the rest of the season. We a lot of strategy to improve, and we’ll be ready for the next game.”
Say what? Kram wants to know why the Phantoms weren’t ready Tuesday night’s game against the Baby Pens, the same bunch that had just blasted Lehigh Valley 7-1 ten days earlier back on February 4th.  Others are curious to know why all the strategy to improve wasn’t implemented before the Valentine’s Day debacle versus WBS at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Now, because the 20-year-old rookie winger who was the second round pick (# 48 overall) of the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2014 National Hockey League Draft grew up in French-speaking Quebec and also played his junior hockey in that very same Canadian province, it is quite understandable if the youngster did not have many opportunities to take any of the language arts classes that former Lehigh Valley IronPigs first baseman Andy Tracy used to offer over at Coca-Cola Park on the East Side of Allentown in recent summers gone by.  If so, then Aube-Kubel would already know full well that terse responses such as “this is unacceptable” and “we have to work harder” are the most appropriate phrases to employ on the heels of a deflating four-goal loss to intra-state rivals … or anybody else.
Therefore, considering all the extenuating circumstances, it should be taken by all for granted that the youthful Phantoms winger will grow and mature from this most enlightening experience.
Follow der Eishockeyzuschauer on Twitter:  @EishockeyRolf

Categories: Phantoms Hockey

1 reply

  1. Yeah, I responded poorly–and with good reason–when I thought the Phantoms “weren’t ready” for a non-Saturday (we don’t really try on Saturdays) game at Casey Plaza following the recent 7-1 thrashing. I think young Nic is trying to say that he thought they were ready, and that perhaps he felt the game was closer than the 5-1 score. OK on him, he’s the only one who managed a marker for the Hamilton Street Heroes in the game, but a look at the shot totals might tell another story. Not to mention the turnovers.

    But Young Nic used his speed to create a quality chance, and he’s going to need to do that kind of thing some more if this squad is going to go anywhere–not just in the playoffs but even to make the tournament to begin with. Konecny, Weal, Leier all injured–although Laughton is thought to be returning tonight. It’s time to step up to the challenge, and we’ll see if Nic has it in him. And not to single him out, either. If he really thought the team wasn’t ready (and I don’t think that’s what he was trying to say) then that not only reflects on him, but on the entire team and the coaches as well. I don’t think he was saying that, but we’re 2-2 versus Scranton now, with each team holding serve at home, and 8 more (4 home/away) to go so plenty of chance to find out.

    Oh, and one other thing: Anyone whining about these injuries needs to go look at the transaction page. The Pens are getting decimated by call-ups and injuries as well (Morin’s hit contributed, but that’s another comment on another post) and they will likely just keep on winning because they have guys who can “step up.” Do we? (See also, d.E.’s “depth” post from the other day. Just click back.)

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