Chirps from Center Ice

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

Friday In Betweens 4/22

In between Games 2 and 3 in this best of five series with the Providence Bruins and a travel day for both teams, here’s some stuff to chew on as we take today to relax and recoil for what could be a big day Saturday.

First, I updated my postseason stat board page. As you would expect, it looks great for the Penguins and awful for the Bruins. Some bullet points…

– The defensive pairing of Chris Casto and Chris Breen are a combined -10 between them and a -5 each. They have been on the ice for 5 of the 7 Wilkes-Barre goals scored in the series.

– Barry Goers and Ryan Parent are on the opposite end of that spectrum. Neither have been on the ice for a Bruins goal and are +4 between them and +2 each.

– The big names like Khokhalchev, Czarnik and Vatrano have been bottled up. But for that goal that bounced in off of Casey DeSmith’s skate in the third period in Game 2, a large part of what got the Bruins to second in the Bruins to second in the division has been quiet. Take off the two shorthanded goals scored and it’s utter dominance by the Penguins.

Providence bussed back home overnight and didn’t get in until 3:30 Friday morning and didn’t practice today. Mark Divver from The Providence Journal spoke with Bruce Cassidy and tweeted some of Cassidy’s thoughts Friday afternoon…

Everything that Divver said there is true. The Penguins normally have a hard time getting to the front of the net because they either can’t get there or it isn’t part of the gameplan. The Rowney OT winner in Game 1 was in front of the Bruins net. The Kostopoulos goal in Game 2 that tied it at two was scored in the same spot as Rowney’s. Countless other times in the series so far pressing Smith into a big save that sometimes he cannot make. And blocking shots is something that is burned into the heads of the Penguins at camp on Coal Street in September. It’s a calling card, and a card that has them up 2-0 in a series against a dangerous opponent.

Seth had six thoughts after Game 2. He hit on all the salient points. Check it out.

Mike O’Brien Friday went a bit deeper with his blog piece for Skating on the Susquehanna. Sprong’s impact has been immediate, the Penguins are beating the Providence Bruins up and The Legend of Casey DeSmith is growing.

Game 3 goes off Saturday at 7:05 from Providence. The Gameday setup hits the blog at 3 in the afternoon Saturday.

Let’s Go Pens!

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