There are too many preseason games.
That out of the way, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins played their final preseason contest Sunday afternoon in Allentown against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and lost a special teams duel 3-1.
And for the Phantoms,
So no preseason for Penguins goaltender Dustin Tokarski. It could be something, or it could be nothing. You don’t really need to run the risk of a guy who you know will be on your opening night roster vs. evaluating two goalies in Emil Larmi and Alex D’Orio who are competing for the backup job, barring any roster jockeying with Jim Rutherford and Company up top in Pittsburgh.
In the first, it seemed like there were way too many penalties; three aside for each team. The Phantoms cashed on a late one when Andy Andreoff tip din a Greg Carey shot for a goal at 19:26 for a 1-0 Phantoms lead.
In the second, there were just three penalties, with two for the Penguins but no goals. There were chances both ways.
Nick Aube-Kubel scored 56 seconds into the third period that gave the Phantoms a 2-0 lead.
With just under seven minutes to play, David Warsofsky takes a shot which is deflected off the end wall, corralled by Ryan Haggerty and put in to put the Penguins on the board.
But the Phantoms would strike back in the same minute on the power play when Mikhail Vorobyev would score on a power play which reestablished the Phantoms two goal lead.
Penguins went with an empty net in the final 90 or so seconds of the game, but didn’t get any closer.
Impressions: Seemed like a game which was largely decided on special teams and with an offensively explosive team built like Lehigh Valley, not a game you want to start playing if you are the opponent of the Phantoms. With the two teams playing twelve times this season, it is something that they may need to key in on if they want to have any success against the Phantoms.
In other news, the Pittsburgh Penguins re-assigned Adam Johnson back to Wilkes-Barre Sunday afternoon. Wilkes-Barre also made a round of cuts Sunday which were sent to Wheeling who one their training camp this week. They are Forwards Christopher Brown, Jan Drozg, Brandon Hawkins, Yushiroh Hirano, Renārs Krastenbergs and Myles Powell and defensemen Macoy Erkamps, Blake Siebenaler, Craig Skudalski and Aaron Titcomb. Sum total of 10. No real surprises.
So that concludes the preseason. It counts for real this Saturday in Hershey. The Penguins play just one game on opening weekend, then are back in Lehigh Valley next Friday, home for the opener against Utica on October 12 then in Hershey Sunday afternoon.
This week, I’ll have a new feature here Monday that requires participation from you, a mailbag! Look for that around 9:15 Monday morning. Then, news and notes as it comes during the week, a look at the Penguins opponents this Friday. I opted against a full 31 team division by division preview because I found the exercise pointless because the Penguins don’t play every team. One shot of all the teams and outlooks the Pens play. Look for that Friday.
Back here Monday morning with the stamps for you to send me stuff for the mailbag.