Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Micnael Leighton has arrived in Glens Falls. What will happen with the Flyers/Phantoms goalie situation, once Leighton's rehab stint ends in up to 6 days, is anybody's guess. Meanwhile, Backlund will miss 2-4 weeks with an ankle sprain.

If the Flyers opt to send Leighton down after the rehab stint, he would have to clear waivers. Given his history of being claimed, I will be somewhat surprised if he clears.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hallelujah, the streak is over! Phantoms win in OT!

Hallelujah! The Phantoms won 4-3 in OT! Thank you, Denis Hamel for tying the game with 1:55 left, then scoring the winner in overtime!

Must have been the prayers from the people in the house for Faith and Family Night that put us over the top. :-) I wonder if we can get them all to attend the rest of our games this year?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New coach, Same Results: Losing Streak Reaches 10 Games

The results speak for themselves, and they're not saying anything pretty.

The Phantoms have welcomed John Paddock into his second stint as head coach with a 5-1 loss to the second-worst team in the league, the Toronto Marlies. In seven of the ten losses in this streak, we have given up 5 or more goals. In ALL of the losses in the streak, we've given up at least four goals. We haven't earned a standings point since an OTL on October 16.

I posted about replacing Gilbert with Paddock the day before the team pulled the trigger on precisely that move. For my next feat, I predict that trades and reassignments are going to be the order of the day. Some guys are going to be headed to the ECHL or out of the organization entirely. Speaking of which, I read a rumor a few days ago that we would see Maroon moved this week, but so far, that hasn't come to fruition. Here's hoping we get someone back who can help us, STAT. When it's crisis time and we're not even to Thanksgiving yet, you know your hockey team's having a rough year.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Phantoms Weekly Report #5, Phantoms Podcast, Transcript to Flyers Conference Call

HERE is the Phantoms Weekly Report #5 from the Phantoms site.

I seem to have missed last week's podcast link, so I'll put that link in with this week's:

HERE is the Phantoms Podcast Episode #5, and

HERE is Phantoms Podcast Episode #6 on The Post-Star.

And HERE is the transcript to tonight's conference call with the Flyers, regarding the coaching changes. As beat writer Tim McManus pointed out, it's different from, and expanded in some places compared to, the transcript released by the Flyers.

Greg Gilbert relieved of coaching duties; John Paddock named interim head coach; Wellwood returns to Phantoms

When the team is mired in a nine-game losing streak, and hasn't garnered a point of any kind since an overtime loss on October 16, something has to be done.

Today, the Phantoms relieved Greg Gilbert of his coaching duties. Assistant GM John Paddock will retake his place behind the Phantoms bench. He last coached the Phantoms during the 2008-09 season, the final year in Philadelphia. Former Adirondack Red Wing Joe Paterson would join the team as an assistant coach.

Click HERE to see the article on the Phantoms website.

The preliminary story in The Post-Star is HERE.

Eric Wellwood has been returned to the Phantoms on loan from the Flyers, after a callup during which he received a lot of praise. If not for the salary cap, I suspect he might have been able to stay up a little longer. See The Post-Star's Phantoms blog post HERE.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Phantoms' losing streak reaches nine, sets a franchise record

I don't know what's more depressing: the way the Phantoms are playing right now, or the negative, sometimes hostile response of the fans online (as represented by the people who post comments on The Post-Star's news coverage and blog posts). But honestly, the team has performed so poorly this season, that the fans are within their rights to rant.

The Phantoms have set a franchise record with their ninth consecutive loss. They haven't earned a point since October 16, an OTL vs. Albany. That's more than ten percent of the season we've burned up in this losing streak, folks. I'm detecting another playoff-free season unless we start turning things around, and I mean NOW.

Gilbert's in the tough position of having an extremely young team with a lot of newly-minted pros, plus the loss of one top guy (Maroon) and the presence of two other top guys who've been "served notice" that if they don't straighten up and fly right, they'll be the next ones gone (Kalinski and Legein). We got a new veteran (Denis Hamel), and he's scored three times for us in two games, but it'll take a lot more than one guy to get this team on the right track.

My instinct says, "Get Gilbert out of there, and tell Assistant GM (and former Phantoms coach) John Paddock he's going back behind the bench for the remainder of the season." Paddock's Phantoms didn't exactly dominate the league in 2008-09, but at least we made the freaking playoffs. We got steamrolled by the Hershey powerhouse in the first round, but at least we freaking got to the first round.

It's a mess in Glens Falls. As much as I miss my team and wish I could see them in person, there's a part of me that's thinking, "I don't want these health issues that are keeping me from a road trip, but at least I can't travel NOW while the team can't seem to win its way out of a paper bag." Maybe the team's play will improve by the time my health does.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Phantoms Weekly Report #4

Read the Phantoms Weekly Report #4 HERE on the Phantoms website.

Phantoms' losing streak continues; Denis Hamel comes to ADK; Eric Wellwood makes Flyers debut; More on Maroon's departure

The Phantoms lost their seventh consecutive game on Saturday, to Rochester. Read about it, as well as Paul Holmgren's comments on Pat Maroon's status, HERE. There is also a transcript of Holmgren's interview HERE. Patrick Maroon will not be returning to the Phantoms; Holmgren is exploring other options, including trade or reassignment to the ECHL.

Maybe we can loan him out to another AHL team. (Preferably NOT one in our division, as that could come back to bite us in the caboose.) I've seen us loan players out to other teams, and then accept others on loan in return. Surely there'll be at least one other AHLer somewhere in the league who could use a fresh start in a new organization. That would be the first place I would look to send Maroon, be it by loan or by trade, with the intent of receiving said other player back in return. Whatever happened, it's a downright shame that matters had to reach this point. I thought Maroon brought a lot to the table on the ice, and this team sorely needs any and all contributions right now as they attempt to get back on track. According to THIS post, Jon Kalinski and Stefan Legein were "warned" to straighten up and fly right, or face a similar fate to Maroon's.

There IS some good news to report on the player front. Denis Hamel, an AHL veteran who had a brief (7 games) stint with the Flyers a few years ago, has been signed to a PTO. He's spent the past few years with the Bingo Sens. He has a track record of community involvement in Binghamton, including winning the AHLs Yanick Dupre Award as the league's Man of the Year, so I'm sure Senators fans will hate to see him go. I think a veteran of his on- and off-ice caliber will be a huge boon to the team right now. Read more about him HERE.

In other good news, Eric Wellwood made his NHL debut last night, as the Flyers will be without the services of Danny Briere (suspended) and Andreas Nodl (injured) for the next several games. He looked terrific. I can honestly say that no observer would have been able to guess that it was his first NHL game, if they hadn't already been aware of that fact, solely from watching him play. I thought for sure that he was about to get his first NHL assist, at one point, but the puck didn't cooperate by going into the net. Heck. On the other hand, if he keeps playing as he did last night, his first NHL points will be listed among his stats by the time he returns to the Phantoms.