Tuesday Night Observations-
- I already miss netminder Mike Murphy, and fear he could require a lengthy recovery. When he was tripped in Wilkes-Barre, he apparently hit his head on the ice and we all know what head injuries can mean in hockey. Justin Pogge played well last night, but the Phantoms were shorthanded a great deal and Pogge only faced 19 shots in 60 minutes of play.
- Netminder Bobby Goepfert was headed back to Fort Meyers, FL tonight so he can play for the Everblades at home. I understand he will return to the Checkers after that game for our two game road trip this weekend to back up Pogge until Murphy makes a full recovery.
- It was great to see the Checkers getting so many shots on goal. I’ve been worried about their offensive production as of late, and their ability to shoot the puck. Phantoms goalie faced 40 shots, which is more goal attempts than we’ve been able to produce lately. It seems whenever we call up Cedric McNicoll he brings some fire to our offense.
- I think Jason Shaya is a much better play by play guy when he’s by himself. He was very distracted last night with former Checkers coach Derek Wilkinson in the booth with him. Instead of Wilkinson adding color, the two of them tended to ramble and talk to each other while action was going on instead of following the play. While their dialog was interesting, it wasn’t pertinent to the game. A lot seemed to be missed for those of us listening at home.
- Congratulations are in order to Mike McKenzie on his first AHL goal. Unfortunately, he was taken out of the game by a nasty elbow. Here’s hoping he’s okay and has a speedy recovery.
- With Zach Boychuck’s two goals and assist, he was named one of the AHL’s three stars of the night for March 22.
- The NHL Flyers have quite the reputation for dirty play on the ice, and it seems that their AHL club follows in those footsteps, but maybe that has to do with former Flyer and big time fighter Riley Cote being one of the assistant coaches.
- Looking at the gamesheet from last night, the Phantoms took 60 minutes worth of penalties for fighting, unsportsmanlike conduct for elbowing Mike McKenzie (and taking him out of the game) and an “Intent to Injure” game misconduct, which I understand was a cross check to the face. That 60 minute figure doesn’t include the “regular” penalties for hooking, tripping, etc. Tack on another 22 PIM’s and you reach the Phantoms total of 82 minutes last night.
- I’m anxious to see what the AHL does as far as penalties to Oliver Lauridsen. Last night was Lauridsen’s second professional game after completing three years at St. Cloud State in the NCAA, and he doled out a pretty nasty elbow. In light of continued attention being drawn to head shots, I hope this elbow doesn’t go unnoticed, regardless of Lauridsen’s youth and inexperience.