Off-Day Thoughts: Phantoms Eager to Get on the Road

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Flyers returned Jason LaBarbera just in time for the Phantoms' road trip this weekend. Photo credit: Nina Weiss.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms prepared for their first road trip of the regular season this week with practices Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The bad news is that team-captain Colin McDonald didn't practice this week and though head coach Scott Gordon said on Tuesday that he didn't think it was as serious as they first thought, it's doubtful McDonald will play this weekend in Springfield (Friday) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Saturday). 

The good news is that goaltender Jason LaBarbera has been re-assigned to Lehigh Valley after the veteran goaltender backed up Michal Neuvirth in Philadelphia the last two games.

Also, I'll be making my first road trip of the season on Friday. I'll be live from Springfield Friday night with exclusive road coverage of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, so make sure you stay tuned here for full coverage and post-game reactions and are following me on Twitter -> @TonyAndrock_TCG.

After the jump, thoughts from defensemen Mark Alt and Davis Drewiske about learning the system, the amount of practices between games and looking forward to this weekend's road trip.

Mark Alt on the new system:
It's a little more aggressive I think. It's good through the neutral zone, we changed things up to be more consistent. I think guys have a better idea of where they need to be so it's going to be a little more controlled.
Alt on the biggest adjustment from last season:
The neutral zone. We changed that up quite a bit, but it will be good. I think we'll jump on things quicker and we'll [create] more turnovers.
Alt on a lot of practices to open the regular season:
It's important to stay focused at practice and make sure you're getting everything out of these practices. This is our time to work on it and learn it so that when these games do come up and we only have one or two on the weekend we are ready to go.
Davis Drewiske on learning new system:
I think it's important to ask questions and communicate during practice when we're on the ice. Just make sure we are talking a lot to each other until it's second nature. We have to keep working to get to that point where you are reacting and not thinking about it.
Drewiske on the extra practice time:
It's good to get everyone on the same page but sometimes the best way to learn is under fire. I think everyone is anxious to get some more games under our belt.
Drewiske on the first road trip:
I think it will be good. Everyone together in a tight area. It's a lot of new guys, a lot of guys who haven't played together before so you get to know each other a little better and it just helps with the communication. That stuff off the ice helps with communication on the ice. I think it will continue to improve as we get to know each other better and spend more time together.


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