Chirps from Center Ice

A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins

VIDEO: Farnham the Instigator, Or is He?

I went back and looked at the AHL Live video of the incident that led to the Bobby Farnham instigator penalty from tonight’s 4-1 loss in Hershey which will result in an automatic one game suspension tomorrow vs. Binghamton and, well, you be the judge…

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Here’s the direct link to the video, in case it doesn’t load on your iPad, or other mobile device.

Apologies for the misspelling of “Farnham” there.

Anyway, a couple of things:

1) Bobby Farnham does his best to avoid Philipp Grubauer and does.
2) Steve Oleksy from Hershey initiates contact with Farnham and then gets tied up with Dominik Uher.
3) Farnham then goes out of the picture and has. “somebody all over him” per the words of Bears play-by-play man Scott Stuccio.

After that, since I was not at the game, we are left to draw our own conclusions. If you were at the game and saw what happened with Farnham, let me know in the comments.

Power Failure — Pens LOSE 4-1

WBS        @       HER

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The Penguins lost this game, a 4-1 setback to the Hershey Bears, by way of special teams. Plain and simple.

The Hershey Bears go 3-for-9 on the power play tonight, and that was your ballgame. The Penguins were 0-for-5 on the power play themselves. No need to read anymore or get upset over the struggling Penguins losing another game or to place blame. But, since you are already here, may as well stay for the story, right?

Matt Murray vs. Philipp Grubauer

Lines were…

Scott Wilson – Nick Drazenovic – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Kuhnhackl – Andrew Ebbett – Jayson Megna
Dominik Uher – Zack Torquato – Bryan Rust
Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond – Matia Marcantuoni – Bobby Farnham

Brian Dumoulin – Taylor Chorney
Derrick Pouliot – Philip Samuelsson
Reid McNeill – Scott Harrington

Matt Murray – Eric Hartzell

So essentially Matia Marcantuoni and Pierre Leblond for J-S Dea and Anton Zlobin.

First Period: Grubauer and Murray trade early big saves. Pens get a power play but don’t score. Bears get a power play and do. A diving Uher clear banks in off of Tim Kennedy and in. Then, :40 later, a Dane Byers pass ticketed for Chandler Stephenson hits a sliding Brian Dumoulin and in for a 2-0 Bears lead. Pens never established anything after that.

Second Period: :24 in, Jayson Megna scores to cut the Hershey deficit to one on a nice Andrew Ebbett pass of the Grubauer pads play. Pens get another power play immediately after the Megna goal but fail to cash. The Penguins would continue to pressure but would not crack Grubauer. Casey Wellman would score on a Bears power play to make it 3-1. Later, Dustin Gazley would get hooked down by Brian Dumoulin and cash on the penalty shot to make it 4-1.

Third Period: Bears don’t manage a single shot on goal for about fifteen minutes in, but they weren’t focused on tacking on more goals as much as they we’re about stopping any kinds of a comeback by Wilkes-Barre. The Bears let three quick goals get scored on them late yesterday against the Phantoms and lost a game that they otherwise controlled. The strategy worked and the Penguins didn’t get any closer.

Note: Nick Drazenovic did not finish the game. Tom Venesky of The Times Leader made mention that Drazenovic had been skating gingerly all night long. I saw on the AHL Live feed Drazenovic get hooked down on a face-off in the first period and he really wasn’t the same since. He did try to comeback in the second period but was not out for the third. Hynes told Venesky post game that Drazenovic will be evaluated on the bus ride back and they will know more tomorrow.

Also, Bobby Farnham was assessed an instigator penalty in the last five minutes of the game, which carries an automatic one game suspension. From the AHL Rule Book…

46.12 Instigator in Final Five Minutes of Regulation Time (or Anytime in Overtime) – A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five (5) minutes of regulation time or at any time in overtime shall be assessed an instigator minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting, and a game misconduct penalty, subject to the conditions outlined in 46.22.

46.22 Fines and Suspensions – Instigator in Final Five Minutes of Regulation Time (or Anytime in Overtime) – A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five (5) minutes of regulation time or at any time in overtime (see 46.12), shall automatically be suspended for one game. The length of suspension will double for each subsequent offense. This suspension shall be served in addition to any other automatic suspensions a player may incur for an accumulation of three or more instigator penalties.

When the one-game suspension is imposed, the player’s Coach and Club shall each be fined five hundred dollars ($500) – a fine that will double for each subsequent incident.

So, it’s a $1,000 fine, and if Farnham pulls these tactics again, the suspension and fine double. Farnham will be unavailable tomorrow vs. Binghamton.

I posted video on the Farnham incident one post up. Take a look if you are linked in direct, or just scroll up or find your computer’s “up” arrow.

Three Stars: 3) Dane Byers (goal, +1) 2) Philipp Grubauer (26 saves on 27 shots) 1) Tomas Kundratek (three assists)

Around the Division: Binghamton gets two late goals real quick to force overtime against Lehigh Valley but ultimately lose in overtime, 5-4. Phantoms are looking like the real deal early….Norfolk loses 6-3 to Springfield, ex-Penguin Brian Gibbons was named first star of the game with a goal and an assist.

Standings: Lehigh Valley 8 — Hershey 8 — Binghamton 6 — Penguin 6 – Norfolk 4

Conference: 1) ALB (11) 2) PRO (9) 3) LV (8) 4) STJ (9) 5) HER (8) 6) WOR (7) 7) HFD (7) 8) SYR (7) 12) WBS (6)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers rebound from last nights 5-0 loss to Gwinnett with a 5-1 win in South Carolina against the Stingrays.

SendToNews Highlights: Are here.

Pens are at it again tomorrow against Binghamton. Gameday for this will post to the blog at noon, with game action coming at you at 4 p.m.

Let’s Go Pens!

GAMEDAY: @ Hershey 10/25

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Away Game: 4

AHL Game: 82

Who: Hershey Bears

Where: Giant Center

When: 7:00 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game: Last night at home vs. the Falcons, the Pens won 5-0. Nick Drazenovic and Bryan Rust both had two goals. Matt Murray stopped all 21 shots faced… For Hershey, the Bears were in Allentown last night against the Phantoms and lost 4-2. The Phantoms scored three goals in the final 1:53 of the third period to steal victory away from the Chocoalte and White.

Record: For WBS: 3-3-0-0 (6 pts., 3rd place East Division) — For HER: 3-2-0-0 (6 pts., 2nd place East Division)

Why you should care: First of 12 meeting against the Bears this season and it’s Hershey’s home opener. So you know the Bears and their fans are going to be ready for the Penguins tonight. Pens need to play a sound 60 minutes of hockey in order to spoil the festivities tonight.

Referee(s): Mark Lemelin

Linesmen: Shandor Alphonso / Bob Fyrer

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @WBSGameDay / @TheHersheyBears

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /TheHersheyBears

Instagram: wbspenguins / thehersheybears

Beat Writers: @CVBombulie / @TLTomVenesky // @timleone

Broadcasters: WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS / HER: Scott Stuccio @ScottStuccio

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep / @ChocHockey

Radio: For WBS: Sports Hub 102.3 / For Hershey: 1460 The Ticket 

Television: AHL Live

Other Game to Watch: Binghamton hosts Lehigh Valley. It’s the Phantoms first visit to the Southern Tier this season.

Next Five Games: BNG 10/26, @ LV 10/29, @ NOR 10/31, @ NOR 11/1, HER 11/7

There is No Need to Be Upset — Pens WIN 5-0

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If you don’t know who goaltender Matt Murray is yet, you will soon.

The rookie, making just his second professional regular season start, pitched a 21 save shutout against the Springfield Falcons and the Penguins did the rest and rolled to a 5-0 win.

The bottom line is this, anyone who was worried about losing goaltender Jeff Zatkoff to injury and worry about losing a bunch of games and not being relevant and get upset about it, need not be. Matt Murray is back there. He knows what he is doing. The Penguins will be fine.

Bobby Farnham looked good. He was his usual self, flying everywhere and agitating the other team. He had two quality scoring chances in the game, and nearly scored on both.

Bryan Rust was the team leader in goals coming into this game with three. He tacked on two more tonight.

Nick Drazenovic really put the game away for the Pens in the first period against his old team with two first period goals.

The defense looked solid, only allowing the Falcons four shots in the second and four shots in the third. Whatever got to Murray was stopped without much problem.

Special teams finally kicked it into gear with two power play goals. Yes, two! The Penguins could not convert on 1:14 of 5-on-3 time in the second period however.

I don’t really know what to make of this win against a team like Springfield who, like the Penguins, are struggling to find their legs to start the season. They have ex-Penguins in Ryan Craig and Brian Gibbons and blue-chippers like Jerry D’Amigo and guys like Corey Cowick and Sean Collins and Brett Ponich. Osacr Dansk is a great goaltending prospect. We’ll find out more as this weekend goes on with Hershey tomorrow and Binghamton Sunday, I guess.

It was the aforementioned Messieurs Dansk and Murray in goal tonight for their respective teams.

Lines liked like this:

Scott Wilson – Nick Drazenovic – Tom Kostopoulos
Anton Zlobin – Andrew Ebbett – Jayson Megna
Tom Kuhnhackl – J-S Dea – Bryan Rust
Dominik Uher – Zack Torquato – Bobby Farnham

Brian Dumoulin – Taylor Chorney
Derrick Pouliot – Philip Samuelsson
Reid McNeill – Scott Harrington

Matt Murray – Eric Hartzell

Oh, the official word on Jeff Zatkoff is “week to week” per Hynes, as told to Jonathan Bombulie.

First Period: Great back and forth to begin between the two sides. Then Bryan Rust steps by the Falcons defense and cuts to the net and scores to put the Pens ahead 1-0. Farnham had the first of his two chances with a shorthanded breakaway but was stopped by Dansk.

Pens would double the lead on a Springfield failed clear when Nick Drazenovic buried his first of the game. He’d get his second of the period on the doorstep on a Penguins power play. Wilkes-Barre had been the last of two teams (Toronto) to not have a power play goal scored yet this season.

I feel that the game was lost for the Falcons in the final ninety seconds of the period, when Springfield tried everything it could to get one past Murray and on the board with a goal scored before the period ended. No dice.

Second Period: Pens fail to cash on a 1:14 of power play time up two men. Falcons didn’t really do anything memorable here.

Third Period: Derrick Pouliot had a great game for himself, his first on Wilkes-Barre ice, breaking up what would have been a shorthanded bid for Brian Gibbons. Pouliot must be not be a fan of the old Brian Gibbons Breakaway of the Game™.

Bryan Rust tacked on his second of the game with a wraparound stuff shot past Dansk to make it 4-0.

For good measure the Penguins added a second power play goal when Pouliot, in the corner, set up J-S Dea in the slot who just zipped one past the glove of Dea to make it 5-0.

At this point it was about preserving Murray’s shutout bid and the Penguins were successful in doing so.

Three Stars: 3) Nick Drazenovic (two goals, +1) 2) Bryan Rust (two goals, assist, +2) and 1) Matt Murray (21 save shutout)

Around the Division: Hershey coughs up three goals in 1:53 late in the third to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and lose 4-2. The Phantoms only had four shots on goal in the third period….Norfolk got shutout 4-0 in Providence. Binghamton was off.

Standings: Lehigh Valley 6 — Hershey 6 — Penguins 6 — Binghamton 5 — Norfolk 4

Conference: 1) ALB (9) 2) WOR (7) 3) LV (6) 4) HFD (7) 5) SYR (7) 6) PRO (7) 7 STJ (7) 8) MCH (6) 110 WBS (6)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers were shutout 5-0 in Gwinnett, South Carolina. The Nailers play the South Carolina Stingrays tomorrow night in Charleston.

SendToNews Highlights: Are here.

Gameday setup for the 7 p.m. start in Hershey tomorrow hits the blog at 3 p.m. Saturday!

Let’s Go Pens!!!

GAMEDAY: vs. Springfield 10/24

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Home Game: 3

AHL Game: 76

Who: Springfield Falcons

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

When: 7:05 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game: Tuesday in Albany, the Penguins were shutout 4-0. Jeff Zatkoff left the game with injury. For Springfield, the Falcons were in Bridgeport Sunday and lost 4-3 in overtime. Ex-Penguin Ryan Craig had a goal in the Falcons loss.

Record: For WBS: 2-3-0-0 (4 pts., 5th place East Division) — For SPR: 1-2-1-0 (3 pts., 5th place Northeast Division)

Why you should care: Two teams set to battle out of the basement in their respective divisions. The Penguins still look for their first power play goal of the season. It’s also the homecoming of ex-Penguin Brian Gibbons. Should be an interesting matchup of two teams who are better than their records show.

Referee(s): Mark Lemelin / Micheal Mullen

Linesmen: Shandor Alphonso / Luke Murray

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @WBSGameDay // @TheFalconsAHL

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /falconsahl

Instagram: wbspenguins / falconsahl

Beat Writers: @CVBombulie and @TLTomVenesky

Broadcasters: For WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS / For SPR: Andy Zilch @andy_zilch

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep

Radio: For WBS: WILK Newsradio / For Springfield: WHYN News Talk 560

Television: AHL Live

Promotion(s): None

Other Game to Watch: Hershey is in Allentown tonight taking on the Phantoms tonight. It will be the first of two meetings this weekend between the two clubs.

Next Five Games: @ HER 10/25, BNG 10/26, @ LV 10/29, @ NOR 10/31, @ NOR 11/1

Road Life is the Devil — Pens LOSE 4-0

WBS          @          ALB

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The Penguins spent eight days on the road with a weekend trip to St. John’s and a Tuesday visit to the Capital District of New York this evening.

The road weary Penguins were shut out by Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid tonight and lost 4-0. Kinkaid made 22 saves.

The main story of the night will be starting Penguins goaltender Jeff Zatkoff. Zatkoff left the game in the second period when he made what seemed to be a routine save on Paul Thompson. I have shoddy Vine video here. He was replaced by Matt Murray and was not on the Penguins bench to start the third period.

Albany’s Mike Sislo’s eyes must light up whenever he sees Wilkes-Barre / Scranton on the Devils schedule. Sislo has 6 goals in 4 games played against the Penguins. He had two tonight on the power play in the second period, which iced the game for the Devils.

With Andrew Ebbett, Derrick Pouliot and Scott Harrington inserted to the lineup, the lines were…..

Tom Kostopoulos – Nick Drazenovic – Bryan Rust
Scott Wilson – Andrew Ebbett – Jayson Megna
Bobby Farnham – Zack Torquato – Adam Payerl
Pierre Leblond – Matia Marcantuoni – Dominik Uher

Brian Dumoulin – Taylor Chorney
Reid McNeill – Scott Harrington
Derrick Pouliot – Philip Samuelsson

Jeff Zatkoff – Matt Murray

Scratches were Harrison Ruopp, Alex Boak. J-S Dea, Tom Kuhnhackl, Josh Archibald (week to week) Anton Zlobin, Nick D’Agostino, Barry Goers (took warmups) and Conor Sheary (day to day)

First Period: Not a whole heck of a lot happened. There were more post whistle scrums then any actual action. Zatkoff and the Penguins defense was tested early with an early barrage and passed then the Penguins had a late barrage of their own. They had about 1:30 to close out the first that tested Kinkaid but he was up to the challenge as well.

Second Period: Penguins dominate the Devils at even strength but when the Devils were given a power play, Mike Sislo burned Wilkes-Barre twice. The first was a laser from the blue line and the second was a snapper from inside the near face-off dot that beat Zatkoff stick side twice.

Then ex-Penguin Paul Thompson comes in partially unabated and Zatkoff makes what appears to be a routine save. The camera cuts to the action going back up ice but then the play stops and the camera cuts to a felled Zatkoff lying on his stomach. He’d need help off ice and put no weight on his right leg. Enter Matt Murray.

Third Period: Murray made this save on Mike Sislo to deny him his bid at a hat truck. Pens then gave up a 2-on-1 shorthanded bid to Albany but the Devils didn’t connect. The Penguins were making too many cute passes when they needed to take shots. With time running out and Murray pulled for the extra attacker Tim Sestito buried a shot from about 180′ away that sealed the game for the Devils. Immediately after on the face-off that ensued, Reid Boucher snapped one past Murray to make it 4-0.

Three Stars: 3) Reid Boucher (goal, assist, +1) 2) Keith Kinkaid (22 save shutout) 1) Mike Sislo (two goals, +1)

Around the Division: Binghamton lost a wild one in St. John’s 6-5. The two teams rematch tomorrow in Newfoundland and Labrador. The other East teams had the night off.

Standings: Hershey 6 — Lehigh Valley 4 — Norfolk 4 — Penguins 4 – Binghamton 3

Conference: 1) HFD (7) 2) WOR (6) 3) HER (6) 4) ALB (7) 5) BRI (6) 6) STJ (6) 7) SYR (5) 8) PRO (5) 12) WBS (4)

Wheeling Update: Nailers travel to the Carolinas this weekend and play Gwinnett Friday.

SendToNews Highlights: Unless you are a Keith Kinkaid fan or an Albany Devils fan living in Wilkes-Barre, there isn’t a whole heck of a lot to see here from a Penguins perspective. But here you go anyway.

We will probably see Wheeling moves this week. Either Eric Hartzell on his way up to backup Murray or reinforcements on their way to the Carolinas to join the Nailers there. Between now and Friday’s game vs. Springfield, that will give us some fodder to blog about, right?

The “Fancy Stats” chart page is updated though the Albany game. Link here. Bookmark this, it’s a page you can access at the top of the blog by clicking the “Charts” tab at time. It’s late on Tuesday night, I’ll examine the numbers some point this week and bloviate like bloggers do.

Let’s Go Pens!

GAMEDAY: @ Albany 10/21

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Away Game: 3

AHL Game: 59

Who: Albany Devils

Where: Times Union Center

When: 7:00 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game: Saturday in St. John’s, the Penguins won 4-1. Rookie Scott Wilson had a goal, and an assist and was a +2 in the contest. For Albany, they hosted Bridgeport Saturday and won 3-2. Ex-Penguin Paul Thompson had two goals and was named first star of the game.

Record: For WBS: 2-2-0-0 (4 pts., 4th place East Division) — For ALB: 2-0-0-1 (5 pts., 3rd place Northeast Division)

Why you should care: Should be an interesting game tonight. The Penguins are coming off of a great weekend in St. John’s and the Devils are undefeated in the AHL with hot scorer and ex-Penguin Paul Thompson waiting for Wilkes-Barre’s arrival.

Referee(s): Keith Kaval / David Banfield

Linesmen: Mike Emanatian / Frank Murphy

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @WBSGameDay / @AlbanyDevils

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /albanydevils

Instagram: wbspenguins / albanydevils

Beat Writers: @CVBombulie and @TLTomVenesky@Pete_Dougherty and @Bill_Cain_

Broadcasters: For WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS / For ALB: Josh Heller @Josh_Heller

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep / @trace_1114

Radio: For WBS: WILK Newsradio / For Albany: 104.5 The Team

Television: AHL Live

Other Game to Watch: Binghamton is in St. John’s tonight. How will the IceCaps fare with more East Division opposition heading their way tonight?

Next Five Games: SPR 10/24, @ HER 10/25, BNG 10/26, @ LV 10/29, @ NOR 10/31

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