Saturday, October 30, 2010

Phantoms dismiss Patrick Maroon, extend losing streak to 6 games

I'm entirely bewildered to log on today and see that, along with losing the sixth straight game last night, the Phantoms have dismissed Patrick Maroon. He is "pending reassignment", according to coach Greg Gilbert. That could mean anything from a loanout to a trade to a buyout, so stay tuned.

What. The. Bleep. I hate to see us lose our current top scorer, especially since goals have been supremely hard to come by in the team's first nine games. He was slated to be a mainstay of the team this year, which makes the news that much more jarring.

The Post-Star has articles here and here. The Broad Street Hockey site has THIS to say on the subject.

I'm pretty well floored by this news, to be honest. Our front office had better come up with some scoring punch ASAP to replace what Maroon would have brought to the team this year. I was expecting him to have a breakout season, or at least a make-or-break one as he's a prospect in a contract year. So much for that idea.

Significantly, both Paul Holmgren and John Paddock were in attendance in Glens Falls last night. The Flyers had a game in Pittsburgh at the same time, which (as I found out earlier this week) is actually closer to Philadelphia than Glens Falls is. In any event, it's not a small matter for Homer and Paddock to make an appearance at a Phantoms game when the Flyers are playing as well. I'm trying hard to remember if it ever happened when the Phantoms were in the Spectrum, and I can't. The Flyers brass were normally with the Flyers on their game days, not the Phantoms, even when we were only right across the street. Of course, when both teams were in Philly, they also both PRACTICED in the same building, so the Flyers brass had ready access to the farm team at nearly all times (barring road trips for one or both teams). So they wouldn't have had to make a 288-mile pilgrimage to make their point by showing up in person.

All I can say is, with the way the Phantoms are slumping, GOOD that Holmgren and Paddock watched the team with their own eyes last night. I hope they stuck around in Glens Falls for tonight's game, too (though the Flyers have a home game tonight). I *want* the front office people to see firsthand just what the Phantoms need to field a competitive team. And right now, we need plenty.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Back-to-back 5-1 losses. Ouch. Also, game recaps, podcasts and weekly report updates

I haven't had the chance to listen to/watch the last couple of Phantoms games. The stream for their radio station has been down-and-out for over a week, and I haven't been home to watch the games online.

However, I can say that we lost to the Charlotte Checkers (former Albany River Ratw) at home on Friday night, 5-1. Jon Matsumoto, who was traded to Carolina over the summer, had a goal and two assists, and was the second star. I still can't figure out why the Flyers never even gave him a cup of coffee in the NHL. Then we played in Hershey on Saturday night, and lost 5-1 again. Ouch. Without having seen the past couple of games, I can't vouch for what we did well or poorly, but the scoresheets suggest that there are at least some things that we'll do well to work on in our next practices.

Sorry for the delay in posting... my health has not been ideal lately, and it's been getting in my way at times. The good news is, when I have surgery next month, it'll be all over but the recovery, but until then, I'll keep plugging away the best I can.

I have a couple of podcast links, courtesy of The Post-Star:

Phantoms Podcast, Episode 3
Phantoms Podcast, Episode 4

Here is the Phantoms Weekly Release, Week 2 from the Phantoms website.

Recaps of games that were played between the previous post and now:

October 12: Phantoms @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton; Penguins 2, Phantoms 1
October 15: Syracuse @ Phantoms; Phantoms 3, Crunch 2
October 16: Albany @ Phantoms; Devils 4, Phantoms 3, OT
October 17: Phantoms @ Rochester; Americans 5, Phantoms 2
October 22: Charlotte @ Phantoms; Checkers 5, Phantoms 1
October 23: Phantoms @ Hershey; Bears 5, Phantoms 1
October 24: Phantoms @ Hershey; Bears 4, Phantoms 2

Monday, October 11, 2010

Phatoms Weekly, Week One; Phantoms website's coverage of the weekend

CLICK HERE for the Phantoms' website's first Phantoms Weekly report of the season.

CLICK HERE for the Phantoms' website's coverage of the weekend games.

10-9-10 Phantoms @ Albany: Phantoms 5, Devils 3, plus weekend wrap-up

I wasn't able to watch the Phantoms/Albany tilt live. However, I was pleased to see that we've earned the first win of the season, defeating Albany 5-3.

Here is the coverage of Saturday's games in The Post-Star:

Phantoms' efforts pay off in victory
Phantoms Forum: Phantoms 5, Devils 3 (FINAL)
Phantoms Forum: Postgame: Phantoms 5, Albany 3

Here is the box score from the AHL's site.

Friday, October 8, 2010

10-08-10 Phantoms at Binghamtom: Senators 5, Phantoms 1

From the Phantoms Facebook page:

Phantoms fall at Binghamton 5-1 in season opener. Great game for Johan Backlund in goal. Patrick Maroon scores first Adirondack goal of the year on the power play easily slamming in the nice cross-ice feed from Dan Jancevski. Next up: At the Albany Devils Saturday night at 7. Just 7 days away until the Phantoms Home Opener!

I did get to watch the entire game online; however, the audio was glitched for both the Adirondack and Binghamton feeds. So all of the fans who were logged in to AHL Live watched the game sans play-by-play until a little while after the midpoint of the game.

I haven't yet seen the box score, nor the stars of the game. However, I can say that Johan Backlund should have had a star, five goals-against notwithstanding. The Phantoms' teamwide youth (average age 22.8 years) really showed itself tonight, as there were lengthy stretches when the only Phantom touching the puck was the goaltender. We were massively outshot, and there were some parts of the game when even though the teams were even strength, the appearance was that the Senators were on the power play.

Though we did give up three PP goals, I can say that I was pleased to see the Phantoms kill off a full two-minute 5-on-3 PK. So that, and Backlund's performance in the game, were bright spots.

I am still concerned that Backlund's hip is still not quite in top form yet. The Senators got a wraparound goal, going around behind the net after Backlund made an excellent save on one post, and firing it in the open side of the net. Backlund just couldn't make the lateral move quickly enough. Mind you, a lot of goalies might have had a challenge going post-to-post on that particular goal. But the way Backlund moved made me think that his hip was among the reasons he couldn't get over there as quickly as he'd have liked. One thing's for sure -- his hip, and everything else, got quite the workout during this game. He'll be able to make a long report to the trainer on how the hip felt when he put it through its paces.

CLICK HERE for the box score from tonight's game.
CLICK HERE for The Post-Star's Phantoms blog post for the game.
CLICK HERE for The Post-Star's postgame blog post.
CLICK HERE for the game article from The Post-Star.

The Phantoms play in Albany on Saturday at 7 PM.

Phantoms officially announce the finalized roster

CLICK HERE for the article on the Phantoms website, announcing the final roster to start the season.

Post-Star article, including Phantoms final roster

CLICK HERE to read Tim McManus's article: "3 things to watch this weekend, a final roster, and where everyone went". It includes the Phantoms opening night roster, as well as a list of where the players went who were cut from the training camp roster. The following players will be on the Phantoms roster when they play the season opener tonight:

Forwards (13): Matt Clackson, Ben Holmstrom, Jon Kalinski, Garrett Klotz, David Laliberte, Stefan Legein, Pat Maroon, Greg Moore, Luke Pither, Andrew Rowe, Zac Rinaldo, Mike Testwuide, Eric Wellwood.

Defensemen (7): Marc-Andre Bourdon, Erik Gustafsson, Dan Jancevski, Joonas Lehtivuori, Kevin Marshall, Logan Stephenson, J.P. Testwuide.

Goalies (2): Johan Backlund, Brian Stewart.

Captains: Dan Jancevski (C); Greg Moore (A); David Laliberte (A).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Post-Star Weekly Phantoms Forum Podcast; Power Rankings from The Hockey News; Twitter updates

CLICK HERE to listen to the latest Phantoms podcast on the Post-Star site.

The Hockey News has released its AHL Power Rankings. Click HERE to see them. The Phantoms have almost nowhere to go but up, as they've been ranked 29th out of a possible 30 teams. I can't say that's a surprising way for the team to start this season, given the combination of underachievement last year plus the loss of our top scorers. However, I do believe that we've got what it takes to have a far better season this year than the subpar results of last year. Unfortunately, we've got a couple of powerhouses in the division, with Hershey and Wilkes-Barre, so challenging for a playoff spot will be as difficult of a task as ever. However, I see that Hershey has lost some of its Phantoms-killers to other teams and other leagues (Alexandre Giroux, anyone?), so perhaps that will be to our benefit.

According to beat writer Tim McManus's Twitter feed, Dan Jancevski has been named captain of the team, with Greg Moore and David Laliberte as alternate captains. Shane Harper is confirmed as sent to the ECHL affiliate in Greenville. D Cullen Eddy appears to have been sent to Greenville as well.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Per Broad Street Hockey, Nodl has been temporarily sent to the Phantoms due to roster size constraints

According to THIS article on Broad Street Hockey, the Flyers had to temporarily assign Andreas Nodl to the Phantoms in order to trim their roster size to 23.

Ian Laperriere (post-concussion syndrome) and Michael Leighton (bulging disk in lower back) are not on the LTIR yet, though it's expected that both of them will eventually go on the long-term injured reserve. Assigning them to the LTIR would remove them from the active roster; the Flyers roster stands at 25, when it must be 23 by noon today.

Therefore, Nodl was sent down as a roster-trimming move, though according to Paul Holmgren, he will be recalled when the Flyers have cleared room for him on the active roster.

I sure hope he doesn't have to haul himself and all his gear 288 miles to Glens Falls, if he's going to be back on the Flyers roster in the immediate future. This is the kind of thing that makes me (and, I'm sure, the Flyers brass) miss the days when both teams operated out of the same practice facility. Callups and send-downs merely required a player to walk to the opposite side of the same building. Oh, well.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More Phantoms moves (Riopel to ECHL)

According to the Twitter feed of Phantoms beat writer Tim McManus, the Phantoms have made additional roster moves to bring their roster to 23. According to THIS article in today's Post-Star, here is the Phantoms' current roster:

Goalies (2): Johan Backlund, Brian Stewart.

Forwards (13): Pat Maroon, Luke Pither, Mike Testwuide, Andrew Rowe, Greg Moore, Stefan Legein, Eric Wellwood, Ben Holmstrom, David Laliberte, Garrett Klotz, Jon Kalinski, Matt Clackson, Zac Rinaldo.

Defenseman (8): Marc-Andre Bourdon, Joonas Lehtivuori, Erik Gustafsson, Dan Jancevski, Kevin Marshall, Logan Stephenson, J.P. Testwuide, Cullen Eddy.

Today's practice lines, again drawing from the above-mentioned article, are as follows:

Lines: Maroon/Pither/Legein; Rowe/Moore/M. Testwuide; Wellwood/Holmstrom/Laliberte; Klotz/Kalinski(Rinaldo)/Clackson.

Defense: Gustafsson/Jancevski; Bourdon/Lehtivuori; Marshall/Stephenson; J.P Testwuide/Eddy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Post-Star coverage of the roster moves, last night's Flyers preseason game

CLICK HERE for the Post-Star's coverage of today's Phantoms roster moves, as well as some talk about last night's Flyers preseason game.

Patrick Maroon took part in the Flyers tilt in Buffalo, and absorbed a hard hit that appeared to knock him out. He left the ice on his own; however, he missed a lot of time last season due to a concussion, so this is not the kind of thing anyone wants to see. I hope he's all right.

More players assigned to Phantoms

According to the Twitter feeds of Anthony SanFilippo and Tim Panaccio, the following players have been sent from the Flyers to the Phantoms: Backlund, Bourdon, Testwuide, Holmstrom, Gustafsson, Laliberte, and Kalinski.

Andreas Nodl, meanwhile, is staying with the Flyers, as is Sergei Bobrovsky. With the possibility that Ian Laperriere and Michael Leighton will be starting the NHL season on the LTIR, that's a significant tip of the cap to both those players.

EDIT TO ADD: Backlund and Laliberte have to clear waivers in order to be sent down. I hadn't realized that Laliberte would have to clear waivers.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Phantoms lose third preseason game, 5-4, in Syracuse

For the second night in a row, the online radio stream didn't work. However, I did find a couple of Syracuse Crunch-related Twitter feeds that kept me updated on the game. Such as this one:

@SyracuseCrunch Syracuse Crunch win 5-4 v. Adirondack Phantoms! Bonino named first star and Syvret gets the 2nd star.

I think we're going to regret not having Syvret on this team anymore. On the other hand, we have a huge logjam on the Flyers blueline. He probably stands a better chance of getting an NHL shot in Anaheim's system, as compared to ours.

Anyway, the Phantoms are now 0-3, or 0-2-1-0 if you want to separate OTL and SOLs from regulation losses. They were all close games on the scoreboard, which is good, but I'm looking forward to seeing the team register a W.

Phantoms Preseason Results to date

The Phantoms have played two preseason games vs. Albany so far. The first one was a 2-1 OT loss to the Albany Devils on Friday night. The second one was a 4-2 loss, with the fourth Albany goal going into the empty net.

I haven't been online a lot in the past couple of days, so I'm going to have to do some legwork to track down preseason coverage. However, I did find a nice writeup on Zac Rinaldo, a Phantom who should help make this a pretty colorful season. :-) CLICK HERE for Broad Street Hockey's take on his performance so far.

The Phantoms wrap up a three-games-in-three-nights stint in Syracuse tonight. Here's to improving our preseason record with a win!