- RT @djr5001: @nafsnep apparently the pens have signed Conor Sheary from UMass according to his teammates 12 minutes ago
- Hershey did it too, calling up Riley Gill from Reading. 3 hours ago
- RT @Shawn_Rine: @nafsnep Nailers got G Mike Condon back from Hamilton yesterday. No rush. Nailers carried 3 healthy for a long spell. 3 hours ago
- Something's up. Ruopp and Kuhnhackl to Wheeling again while Hartzell is retained, giving WBS three goalies, all seemingly healthy. 3 hours ago
- RT @WBSPenguins: Kuhnhackl and Ruopp Assigned to Wheeling bit.ly/1g8Jge9 3 hours ago
- AHL Trade Deadline Day today. I'm really not expecting much, but you never know. 5 hours ago
- Referring? What, a friend? I meant refereeing. Sorry, I've had a few cans... 16 hours ago
A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins
March 6, 2014Posted by on
Welcome to the Third Quarter Chirps from Center Ice Quarterly Grades.
Almost forgot about these, what with the hubbub surrounding the NHL trade deadline, the snow in the Northeast, polar vortexes, big boy jobs and whatever else.
Oh, on that Trade Deadline, if you missed my analysis of the moves surrounding the AHL East Division, click this and then come back.
Anyway, back to the Grades. I included the January 17 game at Providence to make it a 20 game snap shot instead of the standard 19. This is paying off logistics involved in the Second Quarter, where I had to cut it short a game because of the January 17 Providence-Portland-Providence trip.
I have to say, a really flat period for a lot of guys. When I recap games and such I just recap what went on that game or weekend. Looking back at this quarter especially, I see why the Penguins are struggling. You’ll see why when you look at each capsule.
So here they are. Rules are anyone who skated gets a blurb. That means Chris Conner, Cody Sylvester, etc. don’t get grades. If you played six or more games or more you get a grade.
Here we go, after the jump.
March 5, 2014Posted by on
With all the hype surrounding trade deadline day for the NHL, let’s cut to the chase and examine how it affects the AHL’s East Division.
Let’s get right to it…
Pittsburgh / Wilkes Barre
Marcel Goc from Florida and Lee Stempniak from Calgary for draft picks. So, the Wilkes-Barre roster and prospect pipeline stays intact. Chuck Kobasew, who cleared waivers yesterday, to Wilkes-Barre. Chris Conner can NOT be sent to Wilkes-Barre because he was not on waivers yesterday. So, ideally from a Wilkes-Barre perspective, it’s Conner for Kobasew. I’ll reserve judgement on whether this is good or bad after I see what Kobasew and do in the AHL.
Jonathan tweeted that Simon Despres and Brian Gibbons were on the Wilkes-Barre roster at 3 p.m. and thus eligible to return to the Penguins at some point.
Washington / Hershey
Bears end up netting Chris Brown from Phoenix / Portland in an NHL deal for Marty Erat and John Mitchell. Brown has put up solid numbers in Portland for the past two seasons. He’s 14-21-35 so far this year. Brown was also sent from Phoenix with Rostislav Klesla, but Klesla’s stay in Chocolatetown lasted less than 24 hours as he was sent to Buffalo with G Michal Neuvirth in the trade for G Jaroslav Halak.
Connor Carrick and Dmitry Orlov were eligible to be sent to Hershey, but were not and will remain with Washington for the duration.
Ottawa / Binghamton
Initial returns are that the winners of the NHL Trade deadline in the East Division are the Binghamton Senators, who get a depth defenseman in Patrick Mullen from the Utica Comets and Alex Grant (yes, THAT Alex Grant) from Norfolk / Anaheim for Andre Petersson. Grant makes a dangerous Binghamton power play even more dangerous. Ottawa also papered down Cody Ceci and Mike Hoffman, making that duo eligible for the AHL if the need arises.
In another minor move, Ottawa loaned Joe Corvo to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. But Corvo, a Chicago area native, is hurt and isn’t expected to play the rest of the season. He also is making $900K this season.
Tampa Bay / Syracuse
Dana Tyrell and Matt Taormina to Columbus for Jonathan Marchessault and Dalton Smith. Syracuse looks like the big winner in this trade. Marchessault was Springfield’s leading scorer (14-27-41) Richard Panik was recalled earlier today, meaning his AHL days are done at least for this year and Vlad Namestnikov was sent to Syracuse. If there is one downside, the moves today leave the Crunch a bit thin on the blue line.
Anaheim / Norfolk
Jonathan’s take on today’s proceedings is here.
In my view, Wilkes-Barre has the most work to do in the divsion, with seemingly everyone else bolstering up their rosters. The Kobasew add is nice and should help, but you just never know with how a player who has spent most of his time in the NHL will take a demotion back to the AHL. You go from airplanes and caviar to bus rides and 3 a.m. McDonald’s stops.
Time, always tells.
March 3, 2014Posted by on
Well, that was an unexpected weekend.
The Binghamton Senators go to “The Rock” and get swept by the St. John’s IceCaps. Meanwhile, the Norfolk Admirals pasted the AHL’s best Manchester Monarchs. To say that yours truly was expecting either would be wrong.
Hershey has lost six straight. The Penguins still can’t figure it out. The Crunch are too far out to be in the discussion. The B-Sens look like a Jekyll and Hyde team. Does the East Division run through Hampton Roads again?
And that discussion is just one division out of the six that comprise the American Hockey League.
The Chicago Wolves sit atop the Week 22 AHL Power Rankings this week. They are rolling. Biggest risers this week are your Norfolk Admirals.
A Comet and a Bear walk into a bar. I’m bad at jokes. But if you guessed that the punchline is that Utica and Hershey took the biggest slide this week, you get the joke.
The only team not to make a move up or down? Your Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins.
Click through to see where everyone else ended up if you didn’t link in direct.
March 1, 2014Posted by on
Coming into the third period of today’s game in Atlantic City against the Albany Devils and trailing 1-0, I tweeted that the Penguins had been shutout for 107:36 since last scoring Tuesday night vs. Hershey.
Brendan Mikkelson’s shot from the blue line 13:33 later ended the shutout streak. Tom Kostopoulos’ power play goal about two and a half minutes later on the power play put the Penguins out front for good and they would win 2-1 over the Albany Devils.
Peter Mannino started the game for the Penguins, his last start? November 8 in Wilkes-Barre against these same Devils. A game where he would be pulled then later sent to Wheeling, where it took him two months to report.
Full circle for Mannino, who gave the Penguins tonight something which was really lacking, steady goaltending. The first time since February 7 in Portland that the Penguins only allow one goal to the opponent.
Now you might be thinking that the sorry Albany Devils aren’t really an offensive juggernaut and you couldn’t be more wrong. The Devils are a solid club that block shots and kill penalties and were prior to tonight a point ahead of the Penguins in the Conference.
That shot blocking by the Devils made for a pretty boring first forty minutes of play. The Penguins only had nine shots on goal through two periods. A Mike Sislo backhander on a rebound of a shot while the Devils were on a 5-on-3 in the first period was the only goal allowed by the Penguins tonight.
Keith Kinkaid manned the net for the Devils. The Penguins recalled Anton Zlobin and Tom Kuhnhackl today from Wheeling. Zlobin took warmups but was scratched.
With the score 1-0 to begin the third and with both teams seemingly in it, it boiled down to who wanted it more.
The Penguins found themselves on what ended up to be a 6:00 penalty kill. Andrew Ebbett would high stick Mattias Tedenby and draw blood for a 4:00 double minor penalty.
Mike Carman, in an attempt to backhand the puck down ice, puts it over the glass with :03 left on the Ebbett double minor.
Penguins kill it all off. Brendan Mikkelson waits, waits and waits then snaps a shot from the top of the blue line for a tie game. Later, Tom Kostopoulos scores his 20th goal of the season on the power play to put the Penguins ahead 2-1.
Devils would pull Kinkaid with a minute to go, but the Penguins and Mannino closed the door.
Three Stars: 3) Mike Sislo (goal, evn) 2) Brendan Mikkelson (goal, +1) 1) Tom Kostopoulos (goal, even)
Around the Division: Binghamton loses 1-0 in St. John’s and are swept by the IceCaps this weekend. The Norfolk Admirals sweep the best team in the AHL with another win vs. the Monarchs tonight, 4-1. The Hershey Bears lose to the Charlotte Checkers 4-1 and have all of a sudden lost five in a row. Syracuse was up 4-1 and need overtime to defeat the Adirondack Phantoms 5-4.
Other Game of Interest: Worcester ends its seven game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. who see their seven game winning steak end.
Standings: Binghamton 70 — Norfolk 70 — Penguins 67 — Hershey 65 — Syracuse 53
Conference: 1) MCH (80) 2) SPR (72) 3) BNG (70) 4) STJ (72) 5) NOR (70) 6) WBS (67) 7) PRO (67) 8) ALB (66)
Wheeling Update: Nailers were in Reading tonight and lost 4-1. Eric Hartzell backed up tonight.
SendToNews Highlights: No where to be located. Don’t hold your breath.
Penguins off till next weekend. So tomorrow, I’ll be keeping tabs on Utica @ Bridgeport, Albany @ Providence and Charlotte @ Hershey. You should probably follow me on Twitter if you aren’t already for the results of these games and where the Penguins wash out in the Conference Sunday night.
Other than that, come back Monday afternoon for the Week 22 AHL Power Rankings which’ll debut at 4 p.m.
Let’s Go Pens!!!
March 1, 2014Posted by on
Away Game: 27
AHL Game: 824
Who: Albany Devils
Where: Boardwalk Hall
When: 5:00 p.m.
Last Game: Last night in Syracuse the Penguins were shut out 4-0. For Albany, the Devils hosted the Utica Comets last Sunday and won 2-1. Reid Boucher and Mike Sislo both scored for the Devils in the win.
Last Meeting: November 8 in Wilkes-Barre, the Pens lost 6-5. This was Peter Mannino’s last game for the Penguins before being sent to Wheeling a few days later. Mannino was recalled from Wheeling by the Penguins yesterday.
Record: For WBS: 29-20-3-4 (65 pts., 4th place East Division) — For ALB: 29-17-3-5 (66 pts., 2nd place Northeast Division)
Why you should care: Very important game for both teams, separated by a point in the playoff chase with several teams buzzing around them. Can the Penguins hake off the 4-0 setback last night? Will the rest for Devils play a factor?
Referee(s): Ryan Fraser / David Banfield
Linesmen: Jud Ritter / Luke Murray
Television: AHL Live
Other Game to Watch: Keep an eye on the 10th place Sound Tigers, who host the hapless Worcester Sharks tonight at Webster Bank Arena.
Next Five Games: @ UTI 3/7, @ HAM 3/8, @ TOR 3/9, HAM 3/14, NOR 3/15
February 28, 2014Posted by on
Really don’t know what to make of this one.
Syracuse has won three straight. They beat Hershey Saturday night in Hershey 5-0. Then the next night in Washington D.C. they beat the Bears again 5-2. Then they respond tonight, at home with a 4-0 shutout of the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins. They have outscored their opponents 14-2 in three games.
Are the Crunch making a push out of the East Division basement? May be too early to tell. I think tonight was more about Crunch goaltender Anders Lindback, down from parent Tampa Bay on conditioning, who pitched a 30 save shutout tonight and helped the Crunch to the win tonight.
There were moves today for the Penguins. As expected, Eric Hartzell was sent to Wheeling this morning and Peter Mannino was recalled. Then this afternoon, Tom Kuhnhackl and Anton Zlobin were sent to Wheeling also.
That left D Barry Goers as the only healthy scratch for the Penguins tonight. He is out for the weekend attending to a family matter. Harrison Ruopp was in for the Pens tonight as the 6th defenseman.
Jeff Deslauriers vs. the aforementioned Anders Lindback
First Period: Tanner Richard scored on the first shot of the game for the Crunch as he skated in from the blue line and beat Deslauriers for an early 1-0 Crunch lead. Penguins pretty much dominate the period, but Matt Taormina scores in the final minute to put the Crunch up 2-0.
That play was offsides:
Second Period: Matt Taormina scores again to put the Crunch up 3-0 and this ended Deslauriers night. Peter Mannino would out in his first work for Wilkes-Barre since November 8.
He’d promptly get scored on by Drew Olsen. It was 4-0 Crunch.
Then a boffo moment. Lindback misplays a puck in back of his net and inadvertently passes to Jayson Megna. Megna gathers himself and shoots, but Lindback makes it back in net in time to rob him to keep the Penguins off the board and preserve his shutout. That gaffe right there was probably the Penguins best chance at a goal tonight.
Third Period: Teams trade power plays. Nothing of either. Back and forth period with the Crunch outshooting the Penguins 11-8. Credit Syracuse for not letting off. No one would score though.
Three Stars: 3) Dana Tyrell (assist, +2) 2) Matt Taormina (two goals, +2) and 1) Anders Lindback (30 save shutout)
Around the Division: Binghamton lost up on The Rock to St. John’s 6-2. Hershey lost in a shootout 2-1 to the Hartford Wolf Pack and the Norfolk Admirals beat the best team in the AHL in the Manchester Monarchs by a score of 3-2.
Other Game of Relevance: The Bridgeport Sound Tigers win their seventh in a row with a 4-2 over the Providence Bruins. The Sound Tigers are making a push out of the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference to make it into the top 8. Right now, the playoff picture is 9 teams for 8 spots. Bridgeport wants to and probably will make it 10 for 8 really soon.
The AHL put out the Playoff Primer today, so if you have been saying it’s too early for me to be thinking about playoffs, think again. The Penguins magic number coming into the weekend was 43.
Standings: Binghamton 70 — Norfolk 68 — Hershey 65 — Penguins 65 — Syracuse 51
Conference: 1) MCH (80) 2) SPR (71) 3) BNG (70) 4) STJ (70) 5) NOR (68) 6) ALB (66) 7) HER (65) 8) WBS (65) 9) PRO (65) 10) BRI (55)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were in Elmira tonight and were down 4-0. They score five goals in 14:58 and end up beating the Jackals by a score of 6-4. Eric Hartzell picked up the win. Anton Zlobin had a goal and an assist. Cody Sylvester had two goals.
SendToNews Highlights: Are not up yet. I will check again.
Penguins probably are bussing to Atlantic City tonight for their 5 p.m. start time with the rested Devils tomorrow in an important game for both. I’ll have the Gameday setup here on the blog at 1 p.m. tomorrow.
Let’s Go Pens!
February 28, 2014Posted by on
Away Game: 26
AHL Game: 821
Who: Syracuse Crunch
Where: Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter
When: 7:00 p.m.
Last Game: Tuesday at home vs. Hershey, the Penguins finally ended their six game losing streak with a 6-5 win over the Bears. Spencer Machacek scored two goal for the Pens in the win. For Syracuse, Sunday they “hosted” Hershey in Washington, D.C. at the AHL Showcase and beat the Bears 5-2. Richard Panik had a goal and three assists in the win for the Crunch.
Last Meeting: January 29 in Wilkes-Barre, Eric Hartzell had a 20 save shutout and the Penguins shutout the Crunch 4-0.
Record: For WBS: 29-19-3-4 (65 pts., 3rd place East Division) — For SYR: 20-23-4-5 (49 pts., 5th place East Division)
Why you should care: Penguins will look for a winning streak in Syracuse tonight as the Crunch look to extend theirs, after shutting down the Bears this past weekend.
Referee(s): Jamie Koharski / Terry Koharski
Linesmen: Tim Kotyra / Andy Petrus
Television: AHL Live
Other Game to Watch: The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are ascending up the Eastern Conference ladder. They will be in Providence tonight.
Next Five Games: @ ALB 3/1*, @ UTI 3/7, @ HAM 3/8, @ TOR 3/9, HAM 3/14
* – game played at Atlantic City, NJ