“You do that, you go to the box, you know. Two minutes, by yourself, you know and you feel shame, you know. And then you get free.”
Denis Lemieux, Slap Shot
About Last Night
Golly, I love winning. The game is so much more fun when we can relax and joke and celebrate the goals. Alex Lyon looked great in net last night, which was a relief given his layoff. Kudos to him for keeping himself ready to go. You can practice all you want but there’s no substitute for the speed of the game and the rough traffic out in front of the net. Charlotte is no pushover; they’re a talented team despite recent losses to call-ups and international play. Great win last night, as the info-graphic above shows.
Ugly Sweater Party
Look, they weren’t that bad. They were fine. I just had my hopes up for an epic purple jersey that would better pay tribute to those teams from days gone by. What we got was a cartoonish and simple (cheap?) rendition. The socks were good, and the purple on the helmet was good, but it could have used some additional white or black to set it off and make it more “classic.”
Now, those are some purple jerseys. Anyway, nice try.
The color rush orange were released today, which will be worn once at home in January and then at the outdoor game in Hershey. Those will be auctioned in March, I understand. They look quite plain from the front, but once we see the finished product with the bigger numbers (they should be, to be seen in the stadium setting) I might change my tune.
Back to the purple: Expectations are a part of it. I had such high hopes I was beginning to try to figure out how I might afford one of them in the auction tonight. So part of it on my part is simply disappointment. But no matter. I’m glad they’re trying.
One more thing about the auction: We’ve been through this before. The prices will be high and there will be all manner of hand-wringing about the amount of money “you people” spend on authentic jerseys and the “non-charity” aspect and all of that. I’ll just add this for this time: I think the team underestimates the appetite of the local fan base for merch. Seriously. Go to an IronPigs game and walk around a little. The sheer number of jerseys, hats, T-Shirts is staggering. It’s not like that anywhere else I’ve ever been in the minor leagues. I think they could sell a truck-load of replica versions of these for $125.00 each and it wouldn’t really dent their auction cash cow that much at all. And, no, not every specialty jersey needs a replica counterpart, but they’re missing out on some cash here and disappointing fans along the way.
Latest information suggests that D Sam Morin probably does not have sequelae from a concussion, but more likely a some kind of soft-tissue injury which has been re-aggravated. In my mind, the most likely culprit which would fit this pattern would be a stubborn hamstring injury. But who knows? Stay tuned.
Looking for F Cole Bardreau maybe next week. We’ll see.
No news on F Colin McDonald, F Matt Read, or F Misha Vorobyev.
D Mark Alt cleared waivers today at noon and is eligible to play tonight. No word on he’s availability.
So who ya got?
On the forward side, Danick Martel and Phil Varone are strong candidates. So is Greg Carey. My dark horse is Corban Knight with the recent surge.
Among defenders, of course TJ Brennan.
Despite recent strong play, I don’t think we’ll have a goalie in the mix this season.
Special Teams Rankings
PK Overall: 22/30
PK Home: 1
PK Road: 30
So I credit Phan Nation, you know? Let’s get loud and kill those penalties!
PP Overall: 21
PP Home: 21
PP Road: 16
Tonight’s “event” starts at 7:05PM in advance of the 7:25PM puck drop. It’s a rematch with the Checkers whom we beat last night 3-1. Recall a back-to-back in Charlotte where we won the first and dropped the second, so tonight’s game will be no easy task versus the third-place Carolina affiliate.
It’s “80’s Night” and the team will sport the cartoon jerseys again and we’ll be subject to all the ’80s music and movies you can take. Now, where did I put those leg warmers?
Referee Pierre Lambert (#47)
Referee Furman South (#44)
Linesman Jason Mandroc (#17)
Linesman Luke Murray (#92)
MEDIA KIT: charlotte 123017
What To Watch
- Despite Lyon’s stellar night last night, I’d probably go with Tokarski tonight. He’s coming off two nice wins in Wilkes Barre and has been playing well, rather than try to go back-to-back with Lyon.
- The team played with great energy last night, I thought. So, despite the relative sloppiness of some of the passing, everything worked out OK, and they had plenty of quality chances at the net. Look for them to repeat the energy but with more precise play tonight if we’re to win going away once again.
- Watch the scoreboard if you want. Without any head-to-head we’ll need other teams to beat Providence in order to gain the top spot in the division. They’re in Belleville tonight to face the Senators. However, the Bruins have several games in hand on us so I don’t think we’ll catch them tonight, regardless.
- Watch your favorite All Star candidates to see if any can make a last-minute push.
The Phantoms are off for the week, then head north to Toronto and Rochester next weekend. They’ll return home on January 12th for Springfield followed by Hershey on Saturday 1/13 (color rush) and AT Hershey 1/14 for home/home in the 3/3.
Let’s do that hockey,
PS: Coming back around to the jersey stuff. Some of you may know, I’ve been working on a massive post with pictures of every jersey the Phantoms have ever worn. But, it’s a big, daunting project and I get discouraged and give up from time to time. If anyone would like to help with it, let me know. That’s where the jersey pics came from, above. I’m sorry I don’t remember where I nicked them from online.
Barring getting caught up in an auction (not tonight, I promise) the next jersey I want to find is a black Adirondack. Let me know if you see one out there, authentic version of course.
Oh, and last night the curse came off my throw-back Conner jersey, which I don’t think had ever won before. That’s nice for me. I’ll forgo the usual orange on Saturday routine for a white/purple Philadelphia version for tonight’s game.