“Everything was set for us to play a real good game. Then we left the dressing room and everything went to hell.”
~Curt Fraser, coach, Thrashers
The .500 Club
After compiling a 3-3 record on a six-game road run, the Phantoms are now in the midst of 6 at home and come into tonight’s game versus the Hershey Bears at 1-1. There’s a lot going on, but if you are what your record says you are, then the Phantoms are a pretty mediocre .500 squad of late.
Enter the Hershey Bears. They’re getting healthy and getting some reinforcements from Washington. Nevertheless, they’re a pretty mediocre 1-2-1 in their last four. They’re in sixth place in the division with a perfectly mediocre .500 record overall. Should be a good one tonight.
Weak Night Woes
Hoping for “Week Night Woo’s” but it wasn’t to be. I wrote prior to Wednesday night’s game that the Devils’ affiliate would likely play a slow and excruciating game. Sure enough it came to pass in the 0-3 loss by the Phantoms. Alex Lyon would like to have a couple of those goals back, but did look better and more comfortable overall. The attack had some windows to get pucks on net in good spots, but those windows often closed before they could pull the trigger. They played a little slow–down to the Devils if you want to think of it that way. What resulted was a mere 25 shots on goal in a game that was tied or were behind.
If you want to look for bright sides from the game, the Hamilton Street Heroes were gave up but three power play opportunities to Binghamton and no power play goals. Of course our own power play was 0-for-5 with a shortie, but never mind that.
The puck will drop at about 7:17PM for tonight’s division tilt with Hershey. It’s “Super Hero” night, so you can come as your favorite hero–I’ll be dressed as a “Hamilton Street Hero” of course. Please check security regulations (as if anyone knows what they really are) regarding the appropriateness of your costume and any props or bags you may wish to bring inside the arena. Good seats still remain for this game.
Only three officials tonight: Referee Olivier Gouin (#54); Linesmen James Tobias (#61) and Jud Ritter (#34)
Official Media Kit, Stats, and Rosters: Hershey 12117
What To Watch
- I think we’re going to see Tokarski in net tonight and Conner sitting out as the veteran scratch. Keep an eye on that.
- Check the lines during warm-ups. There were some abnormalities Wednesday night, but I’m predicting things return to “normal” tonight now that Martel and Morin have been back in town for a few days, and that one dude (Krushelnyski) was sent back to Reading.
- Don’t look for Willcox, Myers or Lamarche tonight. They are injured. If someone surprises, it might be Lamarche, and if that were to happen you could see maybe Brennan or O’Neill getting the veteran scratch for a night off. But I wouldn’t bet on that scenario at all. Then again, Frank Hora was just recalled from Reading for tonight’s game, so that could be a possibility after all–or one of the remaining blue-liners could be nicked up.
- The Bears haven’t been exactly rotating their goalies Pheonix Copley and Vitek Vanecek, but if they do it’s Vanecek tonight which would be a slight advantage for the Phantoms. However, they have 3/3 this weekend and could go Copley/Vanecek/Copley in that case.
- The Bears were dreadful in the shootout last season, and it looks like that’s continuing. Advantage Phantoms if this thing gets that far tonight.
- The Phantoms come in with the 10th ranked Power Play in the conference to go against Hershey’s second-ranked kill unit. Hershey has the 8th ranked conference power play to go against the Phantoms’ 14th (out of 15) conference Penalty Kill. I will say that the Phantoms PK is 5th when ranked at home and they’ve been playing better of late.
News and Notes
- STH bring the coupon from the back of your ticket book, and pick up your TJ Brennan bobblehead at the retention tent by the Air Products stairs. As far as a season ticket gift, I feel like a unique, quality collectible is a nice idea. The IronPigs have gone hot and cold over the years with their STH gifts; I like this for the Phantoms despite the fact that I have more bobbles than I can ever use.
- Remember, tomorrow is Teddy Bear night. I’ll be out shopping today trying to buy as many as I can. They tell us that bulk bears can be brought inside the arena via garbage bag, so we’ll have to see how that works. We need to bring 4K++ in order to beat last season–and yes, they do go to charity.
- We’ve been talking jerseys a bunch lately, and I got a question last game about my attire. For super-hero night you can say that I’m super-stitious. For this season I’ve been following the same basic plan, and rotating the qualifying sweaters and then altering based on recency bias. Sheesh I’m crazy. But, here it goes: Friday is black, as the IronPigs wear black on Friday. I have three choices, Miele Ed Snider throwback, Conner black/purple throwback and replica blank. Saturday is orange. My three choices are Andrew Johnston Adirondack, Goumas alternate and Sundher diagonal. Sunday and Wednesday are white. I’ve got Nick Cousins Adirondack and Philadelpia authentic blank. Barring a hat trick situation, my hat will always match the jersey. Tonight is the night for Conner purple/black but that jersey was bad luck last year. Yet, this season we’ve only had ONE Friday home game? The Miele won on October 20 and Conner is due to be a scratch tonight. I might go back to Miele. Yup, full-on nut job this one. Oh, look for Goumas tomorrow.
- We’ve got another Wednesday this coming week with the hated Penguins in town, followed by the final of the 6-game home stretch a week from tonight for a rematch of tonight’s contest.
See you at the arena,
Featured Image by Cheryl Pursell
PS: You wanna get fired up for tonight? Play this on a loop a few times before you head downtown. CAUTION: Bad Language, and NOT safe for work.