HOCKEY NIGHT IN ALLENTOWN: “Back in Black” 11/23/2018

“So look at me now, I’m just makin’ my play
Don’t try to push your luck, just get out of my way
Cause I’m back”


*Sales exclude jerseys — but still.

“Let Loose From The Noose”

Welcome to Black Friday–and we’re BACK!  It’s Rock-N-Roll night and the Bears are in town!

Tonight we’ll see the debut of the new “third black” jersey, as the orange “alternate” has now become the road solid for the first half of the season.  I’ll reserve my judgement for when I see it out on the ice and with the appropriate numbers and name plates.  But, as I’ve said before, good or bad I’m glad they’re changing things up.

“[It’s] Been Too Long I’m Glad To Be Back”

The Phantoms spent last weekend in New England.  Friday night in Providence they jumped out to a 3-0 deficit on just 8 Bruin shots before young Carter Hart gave way to Anthony Stolarz in net.  The team steamed back and won 5-4 in regulation.  Those in attendance tell me that it was incredible to see the leadership on this Phantoms club pull together and support Stolarz, who hadn’t seen game action since late October.

Saturday in Springfield the Hamilton Street Heroes couldn’t muster such magic.  Hart was back on the horse and played better, but the Phantoms still lost 3-2.

1 Charlotte Checkers 19 14 4 1 0 29 0.763 13 68 53 1-0-0-0 6-3-1-0 360
2 Bridgeport Sound Tigers 18 11 5 2 0 24 0.667 9 64 60 7-0-1-0 7-2-1-0 288
3 Springfield Thunderbirds 15 9 4 0 2 20 0.667 9 60 49 2-0-0-0 6-4-0-0 241
4 Lehigh Valley Phantoms 16 9 5 1 1 20 0.625 8 65 58 0-1-0-0 6-3-1-0 208
5 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 17 8 6 2 1 19 0.559 7 57 52 0-1-1-0 3-4-2-1 309
6 Hartford Wolf Pack 20 8 9 1 2 19 0.475 8 62 74 1-0-0-0 4-4-0-2 249
7 Hershey Bears 18 8 9 0 1 17 0.472 6 45 57 0-1-0-0 6-4-0-0 281
8 Providence Bruins 17 6 8 3 0 15 0.441 6 56 57 1-0-1-0 4-4-2-0 244

“Abusin’ every one of them and runnin’ wild”

Friday night in Providence forwards German Rubtsov and Cole Bardreau suffered injuries.  Neither played Saturday in Springfield.  The extend of their ailments is not known, of course.  Watching the video, I fear Rubtsov has a cracked up shoulder and could be out for a while–but that’s only speculation on my part.

Netminder Alex Lyon remains with Philadelphia for now as Michal Neuvirth continues to try to get healthy.  With Elliot out, the Flyers are rolling with Pickard/Lyon while the Phantoms turn to Carter Hart and Anthony Stolarz.  Lyon did not have his best game Wednesday.

Yesterday, forward Nic Aube-Kubel was returned from the Flyers in exchange for the call-up of forward Tyrell Goulbourne.  NAK was starting to get his legs under him at the NHL level and was earning more minutes.  The exchange of forwards is somewhat puzzling and here at the blog we’re not sure the Flyers know what they’re doing.  Still, glad to see Tyrell get a bigger paycheck and glad to have NAK back in the fold for now.

Photo: Jack Mitroka

“Oh Yeah, Back In Now!”

Good seats are still available as the rock show gets underway at 7:05 with expected puck drop around 7:19PM.  As noted above, it’s a rock-n-roll themed event tonight, which will include the debut of the new “third black” sweaters as well as a T-Shirt giveaway.  Arrive a little early and use the main entrances to get the giveaway.  Over/under on the number of advertisements and corporate logos on the T-Shirt is 9.  Wager at your own risk.  I kid–it’s free so I don’t care.

Referee Alex Garon (#64)
Referee Jason Williams (#18)
Linesman Tom DellaFranco (#71)
Linesman Bill Lyons (#27)

MEDIA KIT (rosters, stats, etc.)

Bears Black Friday


“So look at me now I’m just makin’ my play”

  1. As I noted last week in my column on the goalies, I was waiting for a sign as to how the Hart/Stolarz tandem would be used.  Carter getting pulled Friday clouded the picture a bit, but considering how well Stolie played Friday and that they went right back to Carter on Saturday should tell us something.  Hart will be the primary guy–and should be as the top prospect–and should start tonight.  It will be interesting to see who goes tomorrow.  If you’re of the mind that Stolie gives us the best chance to win right now?  You’re probably right–but we’re here for development and that means suffering the slings and arrows of some sub-par play from time to time–however frustrating it might be.  For what it’s worth, Coach Gordon–a former goalie himself–has predicted that Carter will take a giant step forward, very soon.  We’ll see.
  2. Kubes should return to his rightful spot on the right wing of the top line tonight.  Watch the lines and see how that shakes out–I didn’t put them in above because I know things will be shuffled a little bit.
  3. Scratches:  Watch to see who gets scratched.  Are Bards and Ruby still injured?  Will they ever let deHaas play?  (I know, he did get in there last Saturday)
  4. The crowd should be interesting.  With the Flyers playing at 1PM today and many Flyers fans ready to burn that team to the ground, the vibe in the arena could be interesting.  Then you have the kids home from college and company in town going to the game and folks missing because they’re away or otherwise busy.  It might be something to watch.
  5. I’m a jersey geek so I’m looking forward to how the new sweaters look out on the ice.  The design appears to be about the reverse of the former-third orange that we now wear on the road.  As I’ve said before, I like the black name plate on the tweaked orange for 2018.  My final opinion on the new black will likely center on how the numbers are done and how the name plate looks.  As they auction off all the old black shirts on the concourse, I’ll be going in hard for one soon.

“Back in the back of a Cadillac”

We’re right back here tomorrow for the bears by any other name–the Providence Bruins.  “Hockey Night” may or may not appear due to other commitments.

The team is off after tomorrow, getting ready for their 3/3 weekend in Canada.  They’ll be in Laval, Belleville and Toronto next weekend with the Phan Club in tow.  Here’s to a safe trip for all if I don’t have a chance to write tomorrow!


See you at the arena,



PS: (Not Safe For Work–but we can’t forget this even on rock night)



Categories: Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Phantoms Hockey

1 reply

  1. Note to Kram :

    I, for one, am hoping that the Carter Hart Prospect Show has not been canceled prematurely. Because I, being the keen observer of international competition that I am, have had this date circled on the calendar for quite some time now. Especially now that Ilya Samsonov has just been returned to the Hershey Bears on November 19th after experiencing his first-ever NHL recall by the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals just three days earlier. Samsonov, of course, is the 21-year-old goaltender whom the Capitals chose in the first round (# 22 overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft and is now in his first season of professional hockey here in North America.

    Hart and Samsonov have not played against one another since their highly anticipated showdown on the first day of group stage play at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship co-hosted by Montreal and Toronto. In that game, which was actually played on December 26th, 2016, at what was then known as the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, neither Hart nor Samsonov stood out for positive reasons. Samsonov stopped 32 shots but also let no fewer than five pucks enter the net he was assigned to protect while Hart surrendered three goals on just seventeen shots.

    Hart ended up collecting a silver medal with Canada whereas Samsonov had to settle for bronze at the 2017 IIHF WJC. But the Russian netminder was named to the official tournament All-Star team as selected by the accredited media whereas Hart had no such individual honors to show. Just for the record, Sweden’s Felix Sandstrom, the third round pick (# 70 overall) of the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2015 NHL Draft, was named the Best Goaltender at the 2017 WJC as traditionally determined by the IIHF Directorate.

    Oddly enough, neither Hart nor Samsonov have been setting the AHL on fire thus far this season :

    8 ga, 3.73 avg, .875 svpct …… Samsonov with Hershey in 2018/19
    10 ga, 3.52 avg, .884 svpct …… Hart with Lehigh Valley in 2018/19

    I must confess that I am disappointed that Sergei Shumakov probably will not play for Hershey Bears tonight. The 25-year-old Russian national team fringe player, who had a career year for powerful CSKA Moscow in the crack Kontinental Hockey League last season, scored two goals in his first five AHL games for Hershey but suffered a hand injury and has been out since. I specifically looked to see if he has returned to practice but came up empty – which probably tells me everything I need to know.

    I’ve also very interested to see if Maximilian Kammerer suits up for the visiting Hershey Bears tonight at the PPL Center. The 22-year-old Kammerer just so happens to be considered one of the very best players among his age group by the German national team management staff. The undrafted Kammerer has already played thirteen times for the senior side and scored his first career international goal at the senior level during Germany’s surprise 4-3 overtime victory against a Russian B squad at the beginning of last April. Kammerer has four assists in 10 AHL games for Hershey thus far this season but also sports a -3 plus/minus rating and has sat out eight contests, including the Bears’ previous game against the Cleveland Monsters last Saturday evening.

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