Game 72 Preview: WBS Penguins @ Adirondack

Saturday, March 26, 2011
Andrew Hutchinson needs to play better in his own zone, especially with Wagner out of the lineup. Hutchinson and Corey Potter, along with Robert Bortuzzo and Brian Strait, will be relied on heavily the rest of the weekend.
To those stopping by to read the blog: Spread the word! Follow this blog on Facebook or via Google Friend Connect. I'm thinking of setting up a Twitter account for the blog for those who use that as well.

Getting Back on Track
After a disappointing night yesterday, the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins need to bounce back tonight in Adirondack when they take on the Phantoms in the second of three road games this weekend. After beating the Phantoms the first four times the team's met, the Phantoms have turned the tide and beaten the Pens the last two times out.

The Basics
Adirondack: 70 games played - 8th place East Division, 25-35-4-6, 60 points
WBS Penguins: 71 games played - 1st place East Division, 51-19-0-1, 103 points

Season Series:  WBS Penguins lead 4-2
Previous 10 games - ADK: 5-4-1-0  WBS: 7-2-0-1

Players to Watch
Adirondack:  Denis Hamel has been a prolific goal scorer in the AHL his entire career and with 21 goals on the season coming into tonight, he has scored at least 20 goals in each of his last five seasons. Hamel will be 34 in May, but he still has something left in the tank. He leads the Phantoms in goals and points and is the only player on the team with more than 20 goals. Michael Ryan (18) and Eric Wellwood (15) are the only other goal scorers with 15 or more goals. The Pens defense must contain Hamel tonight.

WBS: With Steve Wagner leaving last night's game in a ton of pain, look for Alex Grant and Jason DeSantis tonight. They both need to step up their game and what better time than the present. They will both play tonight as head coach John Hynes has already ruled Wagner out for the rest of this weekend.

Final Thoughts
That leaves Joe Rogalski as the seventh defenseman for the time being, with Carl Sneep (hand) and Joey Mormina (upper body) still out of the lineup. Sneep is the closer to coming back than Mormina, who I haven't seen practice in awhile. Up front for the Penguins, I don't expect Joe Vitale (upper body) to be in the lineup again tonight. We should see the same 12 guys as last night.

The goalie situation is interesting. John Curry got the start last night with Patrick Killeen backing him up. Here's the scenarios for the goalie situation the next two nights:
If John Curry gets the start tonight, then the rumblings about Brad Thiessen being sent back to WBS for Sunday's game in Hershey are probably accurate. No way Curry plays three straight in three days and I don't think Killeen will play in Hershey (2nd place). If Killeen gets the start tonight, then you will definitely see Curry back in action on Sunday. Sounds complicated but rather simple in the grand scheme of things - Either Curry starts tonight with Thiessen for Sunday or Killeen tonight and Curry will be between the pipes on Sunday.
Expected Lines

Sterling-Craig-Wallace                               Bortuzzo-Strait
Collins-Street-Lerg                                    Hutchinson-Potter
Veilleux-Sill-Walker                                   DeSantis-Grant

Game thread will be up at 6:30 p.m. EST. Puck drops at 7.


Post a Comment