Chirps from Center Ice

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

Weekend Preview: Spooky SZN

The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins are coming off a weekend three in three sweep of the Laval Rocket, Hartford Wolf Pack and Providence Bruins. They have points in all of their games played thus far and now close out October with another set of tough opponents.

Music to Set the Mood….

It’s Halloween weekend, and the Phantoms are on the schedule. Come on, I had to.

A Quote…

Winning does not always mean being first, winning means you are doing better than you have done before.
– Bonnie Blair

So let’s see how long this little nice win streak to start the season takes us and for how long. Continue to improve in all facets. Keep going, don’t stop.

The Setup

Wednesday home game against Cleveland, Friday trip to Lehigh Valley and a Saturday trip to Hershey.

I think we have a good team here. Dustin Tokarski is the number one goalie. The defense is keeping other teams offenses in check and they are listening to the coaching staff and winning hockey games.

They won a pair of 2-1 games against Laval and Providence and coughed up a 3-0 lead in Hartford before winning in a shootout Saturday. There was a lot of good then there was bad and even if it was bad, there was enough credit on the good to where the bad didn’t stink through.

Cleveland’s penalty kill stinks, at the bottom of the 32 team AHL but the power play is near the top. Go figure. They lost in Utica last Friday, beat the Phantoms in overtime Saturday and lost a close one Sunday in Allentown. All one goal games, like the Pens, but they don’t have the luck right now. The Pens do.

Lehigh Valley played Cleveland last weekend, so let’s skip to Hershey.

Bears blow a lead in Charlotte Friday and lose 5-4. They lose in the rematch Saturday in overtime.

I expect better from Hershey and I am sure those in Chocolatetown do as well.

Bears will be in Hartford Wednesday, will have Friday off. Lehigh doesn’t play Wednesday.


Pens are 3-0-1-0 good for 7 points; Hershey is 2-1-1-0 good for 5 and Lehigh Valley is also 2-1-1-0 and has 5 points.

Who’s Up? Who’s Down? Who’s Out?

Drake Caggiula and Sam Poulin were recalled before Sunday’s game in Providence. Mitch Reinke left the Hartford game with a lower body injury. Jamie Devane remains day to day and I think Jordan Frasca is still week to week. No one was sent down or recalled from Wheeling. Sean Josling signed a contract Wednesday and was assigned to Wheeling.

What can we learn about the Penguins this week?

How long and how far this momentum lasts and where it takes them. They seem unbeatable in stretches (when Tokarski is in net) and unfazed by things (coughing up a 3-0 lead in Hartford, winning in a shootout) Lehigh Valley back at their place for the first time this season will be a big test as will the first meeting with the Hershey Bears on Saturday.

Three more wins this week? We may have something good. But you still have to navigate the doldrums of November, December and January and all the injuries and recalls which will inevitably occur.

Getting Jonathan Gruden back Friday and having him available for all three games and no, “night off because you are working off an injury” was sneaky big, too.

Who’s in Goal? 

I don’t think they go back to back with goalies so I think it’s Lindberg’s start Wednesday, Tokarski on the road in Allentown and then Lindberg again in Hershey. Flip it if Lindberg is out first Wednesday.

Cleveland will probably go Jet Greaves Wednesday. Lehigh Valley will likely go back to Troy Grosenick and toss a coin for Zach Fucale or Hunter Shepard for the Bears.

Who is running the show?

Casey Terreri and Michael Zyla have the Wednesday assignment with J.P. Waleski and Tyler Loftus on the lines. Jake Kamrass and Patrick Hanrahan work the Friday game with Bill Lyons and Jud Ritter. On Saturday it’s Kamrass again with Mason Riley. Tommy George and Colin Gates will handle the lines.

Looking ahead…

The calendar flips to November and it’s a Saturday / Sunday home and home with the Hershey Bears. So that’s three in a row against the Chocolate and White. Important stretch of games here for the Penguins in the bigger scope of things.

Give us a bold prediction…

I’m not going to be passing out any Hershey’s candies to someone else’s kids on Halloween.

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