- Blog post gamer updated with division action and standings, conference look, Wheeling Update and SendToNews hilites: wp.me/pZJgR-1DH 4 hours ago
- December 27 is going to be so hard on me. RT @CrunchThis12: Great win, Admirals! http://t.co/efNOZ6K1uP 4 hours ago
- I don't want to see any "woe is us" coming from Virginia tonight or in the future, either. Any of the 5 teams at this point can vault to #1 4 hours ago
- Norfolk now three back for the division leaders. Syracuse will be 4, Hershey 8. WBS / Bingo have 29. 4 hours ago
- Norfolk storms back and gets by Syracuse 4-3 in SO. Brad Thiessen's first win back on North American soil. 4 hours ago
- No flies on the ECHL affiliate Wheeling, who despite being wrecked by their own callups, beat champs Reading in OT and are 9-0-2 in last 11 4 hours ago
- Norfolk and Syracuse tied 3-3 with ol' buddy Brad Thiessen in net for the Ads after an injury to starter John Gibson. 4 hours ago
A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins
Category Archives: Wheeling Enforcements
December 2, 2013Posted by on
When they say, “get your scorecards here” they’ll mean it, especially at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
More moves you can shake a stick at today for the Penguins. Here they are….
- They sign Mike Carman to a standard AHL Player Contract for the remainder of the season. Carman had a goal for the Pens Saturday in Hershey, against his old team.
- They send Dustin Stevenson to Wheeling.
- They call up from Wheeling F Anton Zlobin and D Harrison Ruopp.
- They sign C.J. Severyn to a PTO.
Jeepers! Where to start!?!
Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way first. Rotating Ruopp and Stevenson is just Coal Street’s way of seeing what they have depth wise and how Ruopp can handle bigger, faster, better competition. For what it’s worth, I liked Dustin Stevenson’s game and didn’t have a complaint about his play at all.
The Pens are adding two forwards in the addition of Severyn and Zlobin. This leads me to believe the following: 1) they want insurance for the St. John’s trip this weekend, 2) it means Pittsburgh isn’t sending back a forward anytime soon. My initial thought on who is Andrew Ebbett. Ebbett played more games in the NHL last year for Vancouver than he did in the AHL for the Canucks’ affiliate at the time, the Chicago Wolves. Or, 3) The diagnoses on Forwards Nick Drazenovic and/or Dominik Uher are more on the side of long term. Update: I was partially right. Jonathan reports today that Nick Drazenovic is out “indefinitely” – not good.
For Severyn, he was in camp with Wilkes-Barre this fall and must have left an impression. He’s 6-11-17, +3 in 19 games for the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL, he leads the Solar Bears in scoring and is 19th overall in the ECHL in points.
Boy, talk about a change of scenery for a guy like Severyn. The sunny skies and 70 to 80 degree weather of Orlando, Florida to the overcast and rain forecasted for St. John’s, Newfoundland this week.
Anyway, my Week 9 AHL Power Rankings, originally scheduled to run at 4 p.m., will debut at 5:15 p.m. instead. Come back later to check those out.
November 26, 2013Posted by on
Tons of stuff to catch up on here Tuesday afternoon…
– Brian Gibbons is back. Re-assigned this morning.
– Up top, Beau Bennett is out 8-10 weeks with a broken wrist. Tanner Glass is out with a broken hand. That’s why the demotion of Gibbons is head scratching to me.
– Here’s some nice words from Pittsburgh on Andrew Ebbett. In that, you’ll also find that Paul Martin is out with a lower body injury.
So where does that leave Wilkes-Barre?
– Carter Rowney was recalled from Wheeling today.
– Peter Merth and Pierre Leblond practiced today, from the Tuesday Bombulie update.
Jonathan really has things covered in his offering today. He mentions that a forward could still go back up tomorrow as well as Simon Despres because of Paul Martin’s injury and that Despres uses his right frame of mind.*
Oh, and Matt D’Agostini is on waivers. If no one claims him, he could end up on the ice with the Penguins tomorrow in Glens Falls, NY.
Three other things before I wrap it up. Remember the big hit in Saturday’s game Tom Kuhnhackl took by J.C. Lipon of St. John’s? Lipon was suspended two games as a result by the AHL today….Zack Torquato was named ECHL Player of the Week for the Wheeling Nailers. Torquato is on an ECHL only deal, meaning he can sign with any AHL team. He was in Wilkes-Barre camp last season if I remember correctly…..There is a new ECHL team which will take the ice for the 2014-2015 season. They are the Indy Fuel. They’ll probably face Wheeling a few times next season.
Depending if there is a call up to Pittsburgh tomorrow and the time it happens, I might have a few words on it. If not, Gameday for tomorrow’s game in Glens Falls vs. the Phantoms will be up at 3 p.m.
* – alright, it’s a terrible joke. Left handed people use the right side of their brain. Righties use their left side. So you’ll hear the joke from left handed people that they are always “in the right frame of mind”… I’ll be here all week. Try the veal….
November 18, 2013Posted by on
I don’t think a Mohegan Sun Casino blackjack dealer can shuffle the cards like the brain trust on Coal Street did today.
At around 9 a.m. Monday, Brian Gibbons was recalled to Pittsburgh. It’s his first NHL call-up, and a well deserved one. Gibbons has flat out been the best player in Wilkes-Barre all season. He’s finally put together the equation of: Speed + Finish = NHL call up. Good for him.
That call up left Wilkes-Barre short one forward. Nick Drazenovic didn’t practice today per Jonathan Bombulie’s Monday update. Pierre Leblond hasn’t resumed practicing yet either. So the speculation began on who could get recalled from Wheeling.
Well, at around 3 p.m. today, Wilkes-Barre recalled FOUR players from Wheeling. G Eric Hartzell, D Dustin Stevenson and forwards Denver Manderson and Cody Sylvester.
Instead of trying to make sense of it, Jonathan already did…
Make that four call-ups. WBS called up C Denver Manderson, C Cody Sylvester, D Dustin Stevenson and G Eric Hartzell from the Nailers and sent G Peter Mannino down in Hartzell’s place. The more I think about it, Manderson and Sylvester could both play Wednesday. Payerl, Megna and Uher have played center, but not this year. So that leaves Andrew Ebbett and Mike Carman as the only true centers on the roster. Stevenson is a plus-9 for Wheeling, so he was an obvious call for defense depth.
The Hartzell situation is a little more interesting. He’s 2-2 and with a 2.58 GAA with Wheeling, but his save percentage is a healthy .922 and two starts back, he pitched a 37-save shutout against Elmira. I know I’m curious to see how he does in a real AHL game. Perhaps the decision makers feel the same way.
Mike O’Brien also chimed in with the following…
Manderson and Sylvester help replenish the center position for WBS with Gibbons and Sill called up to Pitt.—
Mike O'Brien (@MikeOBrienWBS) November 18, 2013
It’ll be interesting to see if Hartzell gets a start either Wednesday in Rochester or this weekend vs. St. John’s. My guess is you aren’t recalling Hartzell just so he can make a trek across Pennsylvania and to Western New York this week. Mannino will likely start Wednesday for Wheeling in Reading. As for Stevenson, he’s probably a safety net for Reid McNeill / Nick D’Agostino. McNeill is still out with injury and D’Agostino is still too wet behind the ears for my liking to be slotted in full time in the bottom pairing.
But who knows. Things can get shuffled again in an instant. Let’s just hope the Pens don’t bust this week.
November 14, 2013Posted by on
Well, maybe it is.
Here’s a catch-you-up from the week that was….
– Steven Stamkos was hurt Monday playing in Boston. As a result, JT Brown and Dmitry Korobov were called up from Syracuse to help fill the void. Brown has always killed Wilkes-Barre in one way or another, so we will see what his absence does for the Crunch heading into the weekend and beyond.
– Ex-Penguin Keven Veilleux was loaned to the Elmira Jackals by the Portland Pirates. The Pirates’ ECHL affiliate is the Gwinnett Gladiators. This is an interesting move. The Jackals are in Wheeling tonight.
– Ex-Penguin goalie John Curry was named ECHL Goaltender of the Week. Curry plays for the Orlando Solar Bears.
– Certified Penguin Killer Tomas Kundratek was sidelined Sunday in Hershey with an ACL tear. He will need surgery and is obviously out. The Bears come to Wilkes-Barre Saturday night.
– Coupla moves on Coal Street today. First, they got Jayson Megna back from Pittsburgh and sent Harrison Ruopp to Wheeling. Megna’s return means Paul Thompson most likely is back to eating popcorn in the stands.
Finally, I will not be able to tweet the Syracuse game tomorrow. But the blog will still be covered. I’m putting together a list of those who will tweet the game and will run it here Friday night. I will be able to listen to and most likely watch the game on AHL Live on my iPhone and most likely will have a recap here afterwards as always.
Let’s Go Pens!
October 31, 2013Posted by on
Heading into a home and home series with the Hershey Bears, here’s a few things to knock around.
– For Hershey, the top two leading scorers, C Micheal Latta and D Dmitry Orlov were called up to Washington on Wednesday.
– For Wilkes-Barre, G Eric Hartzell is healthy and he was assigned to the Wheeling Nailers on Wednesday also.
– For Hershey, Tim Leone’s piece on the Bears perspective heading into a big three in three, starting with the Penguins Friday and Saturday and ending with the Norfolk Admirals on Sunday.
– For Wilkes-Barre, Jonathan’s Thursday blog update. There’s blurbs on Hartzell, Dustin Jeffrey and most notably the news that Jeff Deslauriers will get the start for the Pens on Friday.
Elsewhere in the division, Dave Steckel signed a contract with the Norfolk Admirals. Some fans in these parts may remember Steckel when he was a part of the Hershey Bears a few years ago….The Syracuse Crunch have won four games in a row and are third in the East Division, just two points back of Wilkes-Barre….Binghamton gets Jean-Gabriel Pageau back from parent Ottawa.
I’ll have the Gameday setup for the first of the home and home with the Hershey Bears tomorrow on the blog at 3 p.m.
October 29, 2013Posted by on
I never thought I would see the day.
After being the only player in Chirps from Center Ice history to get an “F” in the Quarterly Grades blog feature, Jayson Megna has proved me wrong.
Megna scored his first NHL goal Monday night, along with his first NHL assist and was named first star of the game when the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1.
What a night and day turnaround from last year for the undrafted Megna. I have polished off my plate of crow in record time.
– Jonathan’s Tuesday update. Tom Kostopoulous is back and Eric Hartzell is poised to start his pro career.
– What do you mean Tux isn’t a real person? Our own flightless fowl was part of a series called “Behind the Mask” which you can watch on Hulu.com
– Wheeling beat writer Shawn Rine’s piece for The Intelligencer on Wilkes-Barre native Patrick McGrath.
– The AHL has this new weekly feature called, “The A-List” worth taking a look at.
Also, if you haven’t yet, take a look at the Week 4 AHL Power Rankings.
October 24, 2013Posted by on
The Megna news really isn’t surprising. Megna to date has been night and day better from last year.
Jonathan had an update today that would lead me to believe that there is going to be a rotation of call-ups between what we have seen already in Chris Conner and Harry Zolnierczyk going up and being sent back, Megna the latest to go up and guys like Zach Sill and Brian Gibbons, who are worthy enough right now to go up. I can certainly see that being the case going forward for as long as James Neal and Beau Bennett are banged up for Pittsburgh.
For Stevenson, it’s a numbers game. Kris Letting is ready to come back for the Penguins, Olli Maatta is staying with the team and Simon Despres is in Wilkes-Barre. It’s an overabundance of blue liners right now so instead of sitting watching, Stevenson will go to Wheeling and play meaningful minutes.
Short of earth shattering news, Gameday for tomorrow’s tilt in Binghamton will be here Friday on the blog at 3 p.m. I will be making the trek up to the Southern Tier. The Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena went through a renovation this summer so it will be nice to see the updates.
EDIT: I hate when they do this. Literally one second after I hit “Publish” on my post, I saw that Coal Street announced a 10 game home TV schedule. The dates are:
Norfolk on 10/26
Hershey on 11/16
Utica on 12/14
Syracuse on 12/21
Manchester on 1/4
Hartford on 1/11
Providence on 2/22
Norfolk on 3/15
Utica on 3/22
Binghamton on 4/12
The immediate takeaway from this is the fact that the Pens don’t play Hershey that much at home on Saturdays, in fact, the 11/16 game will be the only time this year that the Pens and Bears play at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.