Monday's Catch Up & Links 3/16

Monday, March 16, 2015
Lehigh Valley Phantoms inching back into playoff picture with three straight road wins.
Phantoms Dialed In For Postseason Push On Five-Game Road Trip

A 3-0 start on their season-high five game road trip has given the Lehigh Valley Phantoms a glimpse of hope for a postseason push - now eight points behind current 8th place Springfield with three games in hand on the Falcons entering this week's games.

The biggest difference in the past seven games has been overall team defense. Stay tuned tomorrow for more on the improved overall team defense with thoughts from stay-at-home defender Oliver Lauridsen. But here's a simple self-explanatory stat below:
In their last seven games, the Phantoms allowed 16 goals and have a record of 5-2-0-0.
In the nine games prior to that seven game stretch, the Phantoms allowed 37 goals and went 3-4-2-0.
The road ahead is no easy task. After playing the 7th and 9th place teams in the Eastern Conference in Hartford and Worcester this weekend on Friday and Saturday nights, respectively, the Phantoms finish the month of March with two games against 4th place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and a game each against the top seeded Manchester Monarchs and third place Syracuse Crunch.

The positives of playing teams ahead of them in the standings is that this stretch of games the rest of the month will shape up the playoff picture and determine whether the Phantoms can make a run at the postseason in April or play the role of spoiler for other bubble teams looking to get in.

Up Next:

Friday (3/20) at Hartford, 7:00 p.m. ET
Saturday (3/21) at Worcester, 7:00 p.m. ET
Sunday (3/22) vs W-B/Scranton, 5:05 p.m. ET


Anthony Stolarz (38 saves - 40 shots) drew the start in net for the Phantoms Saturday against Bridgeport with Rob Zepp backing him up after getting the Friday night in Providence (33 saves - 34 shots, stopped 3-of-3 in shootout).

With four goals, two assists and his first NHL call up of his pro hockey career last week, the league named forward Nick Cousins as the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the week ending on March 15th.

No lineup changes for the Phantoms again tonight, though the forward line combos were changed a bit from Friday's game in Providence.

Steven Delisle remains a healthy scratch as he missed his third straight game. Petr Straka (upper body) missed his third straight game while head coach Terry Murray said Blair Jones (lower body since mid-January) still isn't ready to return to the lineup.

Scratches: Steven Delisle (healthy), Shayne Gostisbehere (ACL injury), Blair Jones (lower body since 1/16), Petr Straka (upper body since 3/7).

Recent Transactions

Nick Cousins called up to Philadelphia after 3/14's game vs. BST
Maxim Lamarche called up to Lehigh Valley (AHL) on 3/10.
Brandon Manning called up to Philadelphia on 3/7.

Lines from 3/14's game vs. Bridgeport

Taylor Leier - Scott Laughton - Zack Stortini
Jason Akeson - Nick Cousins - Andrew Gordon
Jay Rosehill - Austin Fyten - Brett Hextall
Darroll Powe - Kevin Goumas - Derek Mathers

Adam Comrie - Mark Alt
Robert Hagg - Jesper Pettersson
Oliver Lauridsen - Maxim Lamarche

Anthony Stolarz - Rob Zepp

Weekly Links

It wouldn't be a weekly links post without Eric Majeski's weekly "Talking To Myself" post. This week's piece takes a look at some serious knowledge dropped by friend Jesse Marshall on Trib Live Radio.

My friends at Pens Initiative caught up with Pens-prospects extraordinaire Ian Altenbaugh to talk about the incredible rookie season Matt Murray is having with the WBS Penguins.

Mike Colligan is another great writer who provides great insights in the Penguins hockey media. Here's his weekly piece at The Pensblog. Colligan also launched a new website of his own lately at that you should also check out.

From Saturday afternoon, my conversation with Phantoms forward Scott Laughton about re-adjusting to the AHL and getting his energy level back up after battling the flu.

Last week at The Home News, my Lehigh Valley Phantoms feature on the Phantoms' final push to make a run at the postseason, with quotes from Brett Hextall and Brandon Manning. Stay tuned for this week's piece on the Phantoms hot start to their five-game road trip featuring defenseman Adam Comrie, who is in the midst of a four-game point streak (three goals, three assists).


Post a Comment