- ICYMI: Pens leave a point in Mohawk Valley, lose 2-1 in shootout to Utica last night: Recap -> wp.me/pZJgR-1Ns 4 hours ago
- But I can see the reasoning. Gamer is near done. 350 words. Not bad for a guy that didn’t listen and watched here and there. 16 hours ago
- Laughable that Utica didn’t award Peter Mannino a star tonight. They went DeFazio (game tying goal) O’Reilly (shootout GWG) & Eriksson 32/33 16 hours ago
- Heading home. Blog’ll be up before midnight. 17 hours ago
- Albany and Providence with 69 pts. in 6 and 7. Pens’ll have 68 in 8th. Hershey, barring an implosion, will have 9th with 67 pts. 17 hours ago
- Albany yaks up a big lead again but manages to win in shootout. Worcester beats Providence in one too. St. John’s wins in regulation v BRI 17 hours ago
- However, a pack of rabid dogs make up the non-division leaders. Pens may settle 7-8-9 tonight, depending on other finals. 17 hours ago
A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins
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
February 26, 2014Posted by on
So you may have heard that the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins inducted a trio of important bedrocks into their inaugural Hall of Fame this past Saturday.
I was there. I took (average) pictures. Maybe you weren’t. Maybe you live in Pittsburgh or Florida or Canada and wanted to see some pictures.
Well, you have come to the right place.
After the jump, you will see the pictures I took.
February 25, 2014Posted by on
Teams on long losing streaks inevitably always find ways to win games. It always happens. The subsequent win always is an ugly one.
Tonight, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins were involved in a seven goal third period and manage to eke by the now sliding Hershey Bears, losers of three straight by a final score of 6-5.
Eric Hartzell started this game in goal for the Penguins. He did not finish it. Ironically, he received his January Goaltender of the Month Award by the Pens executives. Feburary has been nothing short of a disaster for the rookie goaltender, who doesn’t seem to be exuding any type of confidence whatsoever. I would not be surprised to see him sent to Wheeling to slow down the game again for him, and a recall of Peter Mannino.
But I don’t coach the team, I just blog about it.
Hartzell was opposed by David Leggio. Barry Goers and Denver Manderson, both up from Wheeling, were in for the recalled to Pittsburgh Simon Despres and Brian Gibbons.
First Period: Tale of two periods for the Penguins. Come out gangbuster, Mike Carman finishes a behind the net pass from Bobby Farnham to put the Pens on the board 1-0.
Then, the Pens start taking penalties. Pierre Leblond on a goaltender interference call. Dane Byers gets a piece of a deflected puck past Hartzell and its a 1-1 game.
Spencer Machacek trip. Pens kill it, but a second later Casey Wellman rips one past Hartzell for a 2-1 Bears lead.
Here’s how bad the situation was for Hartzell: One save on three shots. Three.
Here’s how bad the situation was for the Penguins in whole: They dominate the period, and kill all momentum by taking avoidable penalties.
It seemed like the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins lacked swagger.
Second Period: Okay. Back to basics. Penguins cycled the puck and possessed it for a large part of the period. Bobby Farnham scores on a rebound of a Pierre Leblond shot to make it even again 2-2. Control the pace, dominate on defense. Limit chances. It was exactly what was needed and the Pens outshot the Bears 14-4 in the period and the score was 2-2 heading into the…
Third Period: Dane Byers. :28 in. Whips a shot past Hartzell.
All goaltenders get scored on. Name one who has never been. When they do, it doesn’t look like they just let in the game winning goal in game seven of a quadruple overtime game. It looked like it on Hartzell tonight.
Little did he or anyone else know that this Byers goal would be a preview of coming attractions.
Three straight goals by Wilkes-Barre. Brendan Mikkelson shorthanded laser beam to tie it at three again. Then, Dustin Gazley clips Mike Carman with a high stick and draws blood. A 4:00 power play to the Penguins, who waste no time because :43 later, the Pens tack on two more goals and its a 5-3 Wilkes-Barre lead.
The Hershey Bears would have none of it.
Jeff Taffe. Snaps a shot that Hartzell gets some of, but not all. What he didn’t ended up in the net.
Hynes said enough. Enter Jeff Deslauriers. Hartzell to this point stopped 12 of 16. He has looked shaky all night and Hershey still had 9:59 left to work with to get the fifth and sixth goals.
They only got the fifth. But not before the Pens found their sixth, a Spencer Machacek boomer to put the Pens up two again.
Nic Deschamps for the visitors. 6-5 Penguins.
After a goal extravaganza, Pens calmed down and defended the lead. They get a penalty kill and keep Hershey from scoring with the extra attacker and hold on.
Probably the easiest three save win in Jeff Deslauriers career. He was the goaltender of record tonight and will pick up the win.
Three Stars: 3) Dane Byers (two goals, even) 2) Andrew Ebbett (goal, two assists) 1) Spencer Machacek (two goals, -2)
Around the Division: They all watched us.
Standings: Pens lose six straight but still trail Binghamton by five points and sit in second: Binghamton 70 — Penguins 65 — Norfolk 64 — Hershey 64 — Syracuse 49
Conference: 1) MCH (80) 2) SPR (71) 3) BNG (70) 4) STJ (68) 5) ALB (66) 6) WBS (65) 7) PRO (65) 8) NOR (64)
Wheeling Update: The Nailers did not play tonight.
SendToNews Highlights: Here they are.
Pens now off until Friday. Binghamton plays Toronto tomorrow and Norfolk plays Charlotte. Other than that, everyone is back Friday.
Content wise, I will have a photo blog of the Penguins Hall of Fame probably sometime tomorrow which I will run here as a buffer between tonights game and Friday’s one in Syracuse. Check back then.
Let’s Go Pens!!
February 25, 2014Posted by on
Home Game: 30
AHL Game: 804
Who: Hershey Bears
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
When: 7:05 p.m.
Last Game: Saturday at home vs. Providence, the Pens lost in a shootout 4-3. Spencer Machacek scored two goals for the Pens in the loss. For Hershey, they were in Washington, D.C. in the AHL Showcase against the Syracuse Crunch and lost 5-2. Nicolas Deschamps and Jeff Taffe scored goals for the Bears in the loss.
Last Meeting: February 16 in Wilkes-Barre, the Pens lost 3-1. Brian Gibbons had a goal for the Pens in the loss.
Record: For WBS: 28-19-3-4 (63 pts., 4th place East Division) — For HER: 29-18-3-3 (64 pts., 2nd place East Division)
Why you should care: Last regular season against the Bears who come in losing two straight against the Crunch rather handily. Will any of this transfer over for the Penguins?
Referee(s): Ryan Murphy / Ryan Hersey
Linesmen: Jud Ritter / Matt McNulty
Television: AHL Live
Other Game to Watch: Rockford is in Des Moines tonight as these two Western Conference teams are battling for the playoff spots.
Next Five Games: @ SYR 2/28, @ ALB 3/1*, @ UTI 2/7, @ HAM 2/8, @ TOR 2/9
* – game played at Atlantic City, NJ
February 24, 2014Posted by on
Week 21 has come and gone in the AHL and the Chirps from Center Ice Power Rankings are continuing.
No change to the top two spots, who remain the Manchester Monarchs and the Binghamton Senators.
Biggest rise this week? Syracuse Crunch, who travel to Hershey then to Washington and beat the Bears by an aggregate of 10-2, with a 5-0 shutout of the Bears at home Saturday ending Hershey’s 12 game home win streak.
Biggest fall this week belong to the Bears, down 12 spots to 16.
If you didn’t link in direct, click through the jump to see where everyone else ended up.
February 23, 2014Posted by on
Another day, another afternoon left scoreboard watching in the AHL’s Eastern Conference. There were five teams playing all close to the Penguins in the standings of the Eastern Confernence Sunday afternoon. The Penguins were in the 8th and final spot of playoffs coming into Sunday morning…
…Sunday evening, the Penguins are back on the outside looking in but a point.
Here’s the scores and some blurbs on the games….
It was a perfect six point weekend for the Albany Devils who downed the Utica Comets, seeking their own perfect weekend themselves by a score of 2-1.
Sound Tigers do a favor for the teams in the Eastern Conference chase with a 2-1 win at home. But, Bridgeport draws within eight points of the ninth place Penguins.
Ol’ buddy Brad Thiessen stops 28 of 30 and the Norfolk Admirals are back in the playoff hunt with a 3-2 win in Springfield. The win for the Ads stops a two game slide.
St. John’s explode for five goals in the third period and win in Portland 6-5 for their fourth win in a row.
Well, the Crunch certainly wish they saw more of the Bears on the schedule. They defeat Hershey in the home of the Capitals 5-2 in a “home” game for the Crunch in the AHL Showcase.
So here is what the Conference looks like: 1) MCH (80) 2) SPR (71) 3) BNG (70) 4) STJ (68) 5) ALB (66) 6) PRO (65) 7) HER (64) 8) NOR (64) 9) WBS (63)
The Penguins have games in hand on St. John’s and Providence now and Norfolk and Hershey have a game in hand on the Penguins.
The Pens have a big week this week. A game Tuesday against Hershey, then on the road again with Syracuse Friday and in Atlantic City with Albany Saturday.
Week 21 AHL Power Rankings will be up Monday at 4 p.m.