I’m more fascinated at the little tidbit that play by play man Nick Hart tossed out at the end of the 5-0 Penguins loss to the Charlotte Checkers Wednesday night.
It was the first time all season that the Penguins have been shutout by an opponent all season. That’s fascinating to me, with how this season has gone.
On the season, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins were officially eliminated from Calder Cup contention with their loss to the Checkers, but it was cemented about seven minutes before the action in Wilkes-barre wrapped up as Hartford defeats Toronto in overtime 2-1. The win gives Hartford 75 points and the Penguins, with the loss Wednesday, can only now max out at 73 points.
So just play out the string now and get an early jump on your garden, like me.
Here’s how they lined up…
Lineup: Pittsburgh signed Joel Blomqvist to a three year entry level deal which will kick in 2023-24. Good chance he will be in Wilkes-Barre in the fall, or maybe he just stays overseas. Depends. He’s already with them on an ATO….Sam Poulin warmed up, but didn’t dress. Coal Street signed Jami Krannila to an ATO the same time they signed Blomqvist and Krannila went right in on the second line.
First Period: 90 seconds in a Zac Dalpe scores for the Checkers.
Later, bad to worse, a shot is saved by Dustin Tokarski with the pad but the puck redirects right to the stick of Cameron Morrison who shoots it at the net. Tokarski isn’t able to get over in time and it’s 2-0 Checkers.
Wilkes-Barre had back to back power plays and got really close on the first one, but weren’t able to cash. Felt at the time with the pressure they were building that if they scored there it may have been a different result. Alas, they did not.
Second Period: Takes Charlotte just 1:12 to score in this period, as Connor Bunnaman scores to make it 3-0 on a dart.
May have been offside, but that isn’t reviewable in the AHL like it is in the NHL. Linesmen rarely miss.
Teams traded a power play a side in the period but come up empty. Don’t want to say that Charlotte was protecting the lead, but it was a pretty inert period otherwise.
Third Period: Checkers kept coming, scoring on a dart of a shot that made it 4-0 off the stick of Lucas Carlsson at 2:48 of the third and then late with a shot by Calle Sjalin to rub more dirt in the faces of the Penguins.
I’m not going to post the Sjalin shot. I would hope you get the point.
Bummer of a season. I don’t know what they could have done differently tonight save for personnel which could have saved them.
Three Stars: 3) Zac Dalpe (goal) 2) Santtu Kinnunen (two assists) 1) J-F Berube (21 save shutout)
The Good: How do you get anything good on a night when you are shutout and eliminated from playoffs?
The Bad: They were shutout and eliminated from playoffs, officially.
Turning Point: Have to go when the Penguins didn’t score on that power play late in the first when it looked like they just might.
Around the Division: Providence retakes the top spot in the Atlantic with a 3-1 win at home against Hershey…Hartford beats Toronto in overtime 2-1, as advised at the top of this piece.
Standings: Providence 92 – Hershey 91 – Springfield 80 – Charlotte 80 – Lehigh Valley 76 – Hartford 75 – Bridgeport 72 – Penguins 63
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were idle.
I’m heading to Virginia for a week starting tomorrow. I should have your coverage of the road games in Providence, Bridgeport and Laval here on the blog, provided the campsite wi-fi holds up.
Let’s Go Pens!