“Guess what? I’ve got a fever. And the only prescription….is more cowbell.”
-Christopher Walken, Saturday Night Live
The Phantoms have now dumped three in a row for the first time this season. The last time they had a losing streak this bad was when they lost 8 in a row (2 were OT) from March 4-23, 2016.
The Phantoms out-played and out-shot the WolfPack for most of the game. But, not all of the game and a couple lucky puck bounces here and there and maybe a time when a defender or a goalie falls asleep for a few minutes and next thing you know the puck is in the net. On the offensive side, you can always run into a hot goalie–and while Halverson or whatever his name is, played fine. He’s not that good. He left a ton of juicy rebounds and chances that the Phantoms just couldn’t capitalize on. It made for some exciting hockey, but was pretty unfulfilling given the final result. It was also unfortunate because Wilkes Barre got their butts kicked in Albany 4-0.
And here we are on Saturday. A day unlike any other day, for hockey. Just a minute and I’ll show you why.
Season: 32-16-2; .660
Saturday Games: 7-8-1; .438
Saturday Games in 2017: 1-5; Outscored 29-13
Last 5 Saturday Games: 0-5
Season, if we throw out Saturday games: 25-8-1; .735
Best team in the league: .740
If the team has the talent, then what’s the problem with Saturdays? Saturdays always come after Fridays, right? Why can’t they be completely ready to play on the second day in a row? Why did they come out a bit flat in the first six minutes last night? Is it time to start looking at the coaching staff again? How will the inability to play two games in a row impact our playoff chances?
They can begin to answer all these questions by coming out with some jump tonight in the rematch with the WolfPack.
- D Sam Morin will sit out again tonight finishing his suspension for pushing a penguin near the boards last Tuesday.
- F Taylor Leier continues to sit out nursing a “lingering issue” that was re-aggravated in the days following the All Star Game. He is skating, but Taylor and the team have been tight-lipped about the situation or when he will return to game action. It probably won’t be this weekend. One last thought here: This has got to be killing Taylor, because with Konecny’s injury and now Weal’s, there are NHL opportunities available and he can’t take advantage of them.
- F Chris McCarthy was the healthy scratch last night.
There was trouble with the lights. Or the ice. Or something. We think we have it bad, just take a look at Elmira once in a while… the game was halted in the first period with the Royals leading 2-0. They’re back home tonight for pink in the rink, and tomorrow as well.
Doors: 5:30PM Saturday Game
Tickets: This game will probably go ‘SRO’ by the time you read this, and may sell out. Grab your tickets early.
Promotion: “90s Night”
PreGame: If you’re headed uptown early, check out “LV Beer Week” specials at some of the restaurants.
What To Watch
- Probably Stolie in goal. Can’t completely fault Lyon but sometimes you do have to bail out your defense. Facing fewer shots can sometimes be more difficult than facing more if you’re having trouble finding your rhythm.
- The other goal will likely be Hellburg, who often plays us tough. However, he hasn’t seen a lot of action lately, so we’ll have to see how that plays out.
- Watch to see if the team comes out with some intensity to start the game.
- I’m not sure what Laughton’s injury was. Knee? See if he can play back-to-back tonight.
- The Sanheim/Hagg pair is interesting in the absence of Morin. They were a combined +1 last night.
- The diminutive Conner and Miele were a combined -4.
- Time for some guys to step up: Attackers like Miele and Bardreau and Aube-Kubel need to get the puck in the net by any means necessary. If that means working in the dirty areas or crashing the net to try to get a greasy rebound, so be it.
The Phantoms head up to Utica tomorrow to finish their weekend. They’ll be in Springfield on Friday before returning here in one week to face the Penguins on home ice.
See you at the arena,
PS: Can you tell Cheryl was at the game last night? And she got all these great shots (and more) with her “fan” camera! Thanks Cheryl!