Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Wheeling Enforcements

Tuesday Tidbits 11/24

Coupla things to touch on this Tuesday night.

First, the Penguins announced their nine game TV schedule. All Saturday dates, beginning December 5 when the Penguins host the Hartford Wolf Pack. Here is the whole list, air time on WQMY-TV at 7 p.m.

  • Hartford on December 5.
  • Albany on December 12.
  • Lehigh Valley on January 30.
  • Portland on February 13.
  • Bridgeport on March 12.
  • Hershey on March 19.
  • Providence on March 26.
  • Bridgeport on April 2.
  • Providence on April 16.

The Penguins will bring back, “Chillin’ with the Penguins” as well, airing at 6:30 before each game.

On the injury front, Matia Marcantuoni is closer to return than Tom Kuhnhackl. Seth said that Marcantuoni participated fully in today’s practice.

Not out there yet, but the Penguins are recalling defenseman Clark Seymour from Wheeling according to the nightly ECHL transactions roundup. Seymour is second on the Nailers in points for defensemen with 4-5-9 and a +6 in 16 games played.

Finally, Sean Shapiro from Wrong Side of the Red Line had me on his blog to talk AHL All-Stars. I don’t know if you have heard, but they have changed the format this year in the AHL. You can read about that here then read Sean and my projections.

Pens head up I-81 for a date with the Binghamton Senators. Gameday for that will hit the blog Wednesday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

Gator Huntin’ — Nailers WIN 6-5

WHL      @      FLA

6                                 5

In keeping with trying to watch as many Wheeling Nailers games I can this season and keep tabs on the ECHL affiliate, I was able to take in the Wheeling Nailers taking on the Florida Everblades in Estero, Florida Wednesday night. The Nailers are there for three straight games this week. Florida leads the ECHL South Division and the Eastern Conference with a record of 11-4.

Someone forgot to tell the Nailers. They beat the Everblades 6-5 in a high scoring affair.

Franky Palazzese opposed Anthony Peters. The Everblades are an affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes / Charlotte Checkers.

The Nailers jumped out to a 3-0 lead just 4:17 into the game.

– John McCarron got the party started at 1:41 with a nice wrist shot from the top of the right circle through Everblades defenseman Corey Syvret’s legs that handcuffed Peters.

– Harrison Ruopp scored his first professional goal from the point with lots of bodies in front and it was 2-0 Nailers at 3:02.

– Florida tried to energize themselves after the face-off so Rob Florentino fought Shane Bakker. It didn’t work. Bakker pummeled Florentino with punches and pulled his jersey over his head before being separated by the linesmen.

– Jarrett Burton scored to make it 3-0 Nailers and the rout was on. Or was it?

Florida came into the game with a +29 goal differential. With their 3.73 goals scored per game, good for second in the ECHL in offense, no lead is safe.

Two Everblades goals in the span of :52 to cut the Nailers lead to 3-2 late in the first. Gabriel Desjardins scored from in close then defenseman Matt Stanisz scored his first goal of the year after a desperate clearing attempt by Wheeling found his stick and he wasted no time in wristing home a shot that cut it to one heading into the second period.

It only took Wheeling 4:08 to score three more goals in the second period.

Zack Torquato scored at :53 and the two goal lead was re-established for the Nailers. Nice wrist shot that beat Peters. I had the sense that the Nailers wanted to get the first goal in the period because of the high octane offense of the Everblades.

Nailers scored on a power play when John McCarron caused a turnover and made it 5-2. This was the first time all season that Florida had given up five goals.

:16 later, Ty Loney found himself alone on a breakaway somehow and it was 6-2 Nailers.

Ethan Werek scored for the Everblades and it was a 6-3 game. Too much time and too much space for Werek there. Nine goals scored before the game had reached the halfway point, 6:39 to be exact.

Florentino drilled Zack Torquato with a hit and fought Clark Seymour. It was Florentino’s second fight of the night and he lost both of them. Seymour one punched him.

In case you were wondering there is no, ‘two fights and you are done’ rule in the ECHL like there is in the AHL.

Wheeling killed off a total of 1:52 of two separate 5-on-3’s on Florida’s top power play unit late in the second period.

Brant Harris scored the first of his two goals in the period for the Nailers on a play that looked offsides. About 12 minutes later, he scored on a power play when Palazzese tried to cover a rebound but Harris chipped it over him.

Florida had a lot of chances and created a lot of rushes. Florida outshot Wheeling 14-5 in the period but Palazzese stood tall in net.

Three stars were Ethan Werek with a goal and an assist, Brant Harris with two goals and John McCarron with two goal in that order.

No one else in the Nailers division, the North, played tonight. The Nailers lead the division with 15 points followed by Kalamazoo with 13, Toledo with 12 and Brampton with 11.

The Nailers rematch against the Everblades on Friday.

Nailers 2 @ Norfolk 6 11/7

WHL       @       NOR

2                                6

With the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins off this Saturday night, I figured I would fire up ECHL.TV and watch the Wheeling Nailers play the Norfolk Admirals at Scope Arena down on Hampton Roads tonight.

The Nailers got smoked 6-2. They drop to 4-4 on the season. The Admirals are trending upwards of recent, winning their third game in a row. The Nailers have lost two in a row.

Wheeling’s Brian Foster opposed Norfolk’s Ty Rimmer.

:27 into the first period, Connor Rankin swept in a puck shot from the far wall past Foster to give the Admirals a quick 1-0 lead. When this happened, the officials noted that the Nailers sent out the wrong starting lineup and assessed a minor penalty on them. I had never seen anything like that and there were some people that I follow on Twitter that never saw it either.

Later, Sahir Gill won an offensive zone face-off and a shot from the point by Clark Seymour was deflected in by Zack Torquato for a tie game.

:34 later, the Admirals went right back ahead when they put a shot on Foster, got him out of position and swept the puck past him and in to re-take the lead.

Riley Brace dispossessed Norfolk defenseman Joe Marciano deep in his own end and passed to a cutting in Jarrett Burton who rocketed a shot over the shoulder of Rimmer for a tie game once again.

Off the ensuing faceoff, Patrick McGrath and Gabriel Verpaelst were willing combatants in a buckets off hockey fight, but before a single punch was thrown, the linesmen jumped in and both would be pugilists were assessed delay of game penalties. That was stranger than the penalty for icing an illegal starting lineup.

With 26.6 left in the first period, Norfolk edged ahead again when a Michael Pelech shot at Foster was erroneously deflected by Burton and right to Charles-Olivier Roussel who scored to make it 3-2. There wasn’t anything Foster could do on that one.

The second period was a much tamer period because you didn’t have a penalty for an illegal lineup or linesmen jumping in to bust up fights. Both goalies settled in, referee Mike Sheehan put his whistle away, and about ten minutes of game time melted off the clock without a whistle. Brian Foster was making some nice saves.

Alexandre Ranger got a step Harrison Ruopp and scored on Foster to double the Admirals lead. I thought that the Wheeling defense was letting Foster down considerably. I saw a player cut right through a four man box and get a shot off on Foster and other plays made where there shouldn’t have been a shot in the first place.

In the third, the play of the game.

With Wheeling on a power play, Josh Currie danced around Zack Torquato, Derek Army and avoided a stick check from John McCarron and scored a ridiculous shorthanded goal that deflated the Nailers and made it 5-2. The Nailers were pressing to this point, but could never recover after that highlight reel goal by Currie.

Here’s a late look at the goal:

Steve Whitney hit an empty net with Foster pulled to round out the final score at 6-2.

Three stars were Alex Ranger with a goal, assist and a +2, Charles-Olivier Roussel with a goal, assist and a +3 and Josh Currie with two goals and a +1.

Ty Loney and Zack Torquato were a -4. Paul Cianfrini and Sahir Gill were -3. Harrison Ruopp and Jarrett Burton were -2.

Toledo lost to Adirondack, Kalamazoo beat Fort Wayne and Brampton lost to Manchester, so your North Division standings look like: Toledo and Kalamazoo with 9 points, Wheeling with 8 and Brampton with 5.

Here’s the infographic but out by Wheeling:

My Week 5 AHL Power Rankings hit the blog at 4 pm. Monday.

Thursday Tidbits 11/5

Coupla things to touch on on Thursday.

– Coal Street sent Ty Loney back to Wheeling today. There is a overabundance of talent already here and only so much ice to go around, so instead Loney being a scratch night after night, he was sent to the Nailers to play and to continue to develop. Loney had two assists during his call-up

Loney’s demotion got me to thinking of the depth that the Penguins have. Not too long ago, the Penguins would call up some no namer from someplace that would play three games, go pointless and a -1. He’d get shipped away ten days later and would be an afterthought. Not anymore. There is a plethora of talent down in Wheeling, which remember this year is the sole affiliate of the Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins. In the event of an injury to anyone here to a recall made by Pittsburgh, it’s a good quality player being recalled from Wheeling who can and will contribute.

– Barry Goers update. Still lower body, little to no progress. May need surgery. Here’s Seth’s Q&A on the topic with Coach Mike Sullivan from today…

The thing about the whole Goers situation is that even if he is healthy, does he even crack the lineup? I don’t think so. Goers is the proverbial eighth defenseman at this point.

Still no updates on defenseman Evan Wardley, who signed in preseason, but came in hurt, and hasn’t been seen or mentioned since. For what it’s worth I asked Seth and Tom if they heard anything.

– The Penguins had this infographic out this morning regarding Matt Murray.

There is no sophomore slump and he’s trying to outdo what he did last season. Look out.

Derrick Pouliot practiced today in full and met with media after and was straightforward, honest and contrite regarding his situation from this past weekend:

Here’s more, with statements from Jeff Barrett and Sullivan.

Hopefully, we all can move on from this, learn from it and be better people for it.

Pens rematch with St. John’s Friday. The gamely setup hits the blog Friday at 3 p.m.

Coal Street Cutdowns

The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins announced that they have released the following players Monday afternoon:

Derek Army, Shane Bakker, Mickael Beauregard, Riley Brace, Jarrett Burton, Paul Cianfrini, Sahir Gill, Christophe Lalancette, Matthew Maoine, Ryan Parent, Nick Petrecki, Brett Stern, Cody Wydo, Casey DeSmith.

They loaned the following players to Wheeling:

Adam Krause, Ty Loney, John McCarron, Patrick McGrath, Clark Seymour, Brian Foster.

And Anton Zlobin was reassigned to Wheeling from Pittsburgh.

There are 25 players left on the Penguins roster. They are:

Goaltenders: Tristan Jarry, Matt Murray

Defensemen: Derrick Pouliot, David Warsofsky, Barry Goers, Niclas Andersen, Will O’Neill, Reid McNeill Steve Oleksy, Harrison Ruopp. Evan Wardley is injured and still hasn’t reported.

Forwards: J-S Dea, Bryan Rust, Kevin Porter, Conor Sheary, Oskar Sundqvist, Scott Wilson, Tyler Biggs, Josh Archibald, Dominik Simon, Matia Marcantuoni, Dominik Uher, Kael Mouillierat, Tom Sestito, Tom Kostopoulos and Carter Rowney

So the goaltending tandem out of the gate is Matt Murray backed up by Tristan Jarry. I think it is safe to say that Jarry did outplay Brian Foster, but don’t expect Jarry to remain up the entire season unless continues to play lights out. I still think that he has a Wheeling trip or two in him.

Anton Zlobin to Wheeling is surprising, but not surprising. You heard rave reviews about guys like Sahir Gill, Ty Loney and Adam Krause in these last four preseason games. Uh, anyone mention Anton Zlobin or notice him? Anyone? So, let him go down to Wheeling and play. If he proves himself a worthy call-up, he will be back. There is just way too much depth on this current Penguins roster to give guys that were here last year a pass and an automatic roster spot. There are a lot of good teams in the Atlantic Division this season and every point is going to be crucial, so you want your best lineup night in and night out.

So that is it, we are set. Defenseman Tim Erixon was placed on waivers today from Pittsburgh and if he clears he may not immediately join Wilkes-Barre. The plan out of the gate is to carry eight defensemen up top. Erixson could be assigned within 30 days or before so many NHL games. I think 10 is the number, I could be wrong.

Anyway, if you missed earlier, the Pacific Division Preview hit the blog today at noon. Central Division tomorrow then the north Wednesday and finally the Atlantic Thursday. Keep it locked here.

A Camping We’ll Go, Just Don’t Be Late!

NHL training camps got going across the league this morning. The Pittsburgh Penguins started theirs today. Beat writers of old and new were in attendance. Start with Jonathan Bombulie, late of the Citizens Voice in Wilkes-Barre, and his observations of Day 1 of camp starting with Bobby Farnham. Farnham wants to make the team. I see it as a tough, if not impossible task, but Bobby is up to the challenge.

The new guy in town for the Voice, Seth Lakso, was there also with an emphasis on the players that will be joining Wilkes-Barre at some point. He also had a print version today of five things to expect this season of the 2015-16 version of the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins.

Cleaning up some leftovers….

–> Wilkes-Barre signed John McCarron to an AHL deal this week. He captained the Cornell squad last year. Nothing flashy offensively, but the brass on Coal Street must see something in McCarron to ink him to an AHL pact. They have had success with unheralded Ivy Leaguers in the past you know.

–> Single game tickets to all Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins hockey games go on sale Setpember 21.

–> Last weekend in London, Ontario, the Penguins posted a picture of ex-Captain and all around good fellow Dave Gove. Gove was in Penguins gear helping out. You gotta learn how to read tea leaves when it comes to things like this. Gove has been retired from professional hockey for years now. Why all of a sudden is he back on the ice, “helping out?” Well, the answer was made know today. The Wheeling Nailers, the Penguins ECHL affiliate, announced that they have hired Gove as assistant coach to Clark Donatelli. Hell, the former captain named assistant coach Alain Nasreddine went with John Hynes to New Jersey, why not plant a seed and home grow another assistant coach? It makes sense.

–> To my headline, the New York Islanders sent highly Joshua Ho-Sang back to his OHL team, the Niagra IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League because he was late for training camp. You are a rookie taking the first step professionally in your career. You may not want to be late. First impressions are lasting ones.

–> Finally, some team an hour south of here was named number one AHL logo by The Hockey News magazine. You may have heard of them.

Have a great weekend.

Yes, I’d Like to Return This…

So the stays of J-S Dea and Harrison Ruopp in Wilkes-Barre were short lived. They were returned to Wheeling Thursday.

Jonathan reported Wednesday that Bobby Farnham practiced in a limited role and has not been ruled out for games Saturday in Hartford and Sunday in Bridgeport. So the extra forward Saturday will probably come down to Farnham, Adam Payerl or Josh Archibald.

On Archibald, he performed better in Wheeling so he gets to stay. I still have no idea why Ruopp was recalled. If anyone knows, please leave me a comment.

On a potential suspension for Dylan McIlrath on Farnham Sunday, the AHL was mum this week so he’s not going to be suspended. While I respectfully disagree with the lack of action on behalf of the AHL, we have to move on.

If you live in Pittsburgh and get MyPittsburgh TV WPMY22, you will be able to watch the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins on television. This was announced on Thursday. The games will be 3/14 vs. Hershey, 3/21 vs. Binghamton, 4/4 vs. Lehigh Valley and 4/18 vs. Norfolk. Press release with channel information here.

Pens are off Friday, I am planning on taking in the rematch between between Hershey and Binghamton from the Southern Tier on AHL Live. This is the final game in hand that the Bears, who have a five point lead in the East Division in the Penguins, play.

Unless something jumps off the page Friday, expect the next blog update Saturday at 3 p.m. for the Gameday setup vs. Hartford.


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