I took the weekend off because of my cat and stayed off Twitter so I apologize if you rely on me to give you updates about the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins. Friday night I was in New York State and Saturday night I was home relaxing and decompressing and quite frankly wanting nothing to do with tweeting.
I didn’t watch a second of the Syracuse game Friday because of my travels, but watched a good portion of Saturday’s game. I can tell you that the Penguins were more competitive just based off of what I read on Twitter and elsewhere on Friday than they were on Saturday. I don’t think it’s a situation of giving Hershey the division and the odds on lock in the Calder Cup Finals, but when you constantly turn the puck over and don’t look like a cohesive unit 50+ games into the season, any team will look like a Cup contender.
They lost Friday 4-3. The Penguins were up 2-1, then got it to 3-3 before Alexander Volkov’s goal with under four minutes to play in the third period gave the Crunch the lead for good. Alex Barre-Boulet stole the show, scoring :11 into the game and netting a hat trick with two other goals.
Here’s how they lined up Friday.
Phil Varone made his debut and immediately made an impact. The power play clicked twice and Varone assisted on both goals. Varone had a goal taken away on account of a kick in that was taken away on video review.
Riley Barber had a nice goal that put the Penguins up 2-1 in the first on a power play goal.
Cole Cassels and Phil Varone had the assists there.
Saturday, they were expecting a different result. They played good Friday in Syracuse and were looking to carry the momentum into Hershey Saturday.
It didn’t work.
Here’s how they lined up first and foremost.
No Niclas Almari for both games this weekend. He’s been a sore spot, but I don’t think it would have mattered Saturday. They were on a whole, bad in every way Saturday night.
They went down 4-0. Garret Pilon scored on a breakaway goal off of a gaffe. Daniel Sprong made his Bears debut and scored on a fluke of a goal that clattered around in the air before going in the net. Mike Sgarbossa scores into an empty net when Sprong hit him with a no look behind the back pass. Sgarbossa’s first game back in a while too which made it 3-0. Philippe Maillet scored to make it 4-0 before David Warsofsky connected with a power play goal that made it 4-1 with and assist to Phil Varone before Sgarbossa and Sprong connected again to make it 5-1. Hershey let off from there and protected it’s four goal lead.
That’s basically it in one paragraph. Everything that could go wrong went wrong Saturday.
They have a week to get it together. They head to Binghamton Friday before returning home to face Bridgeport who always plays them tough and host the Devils again for a Sunday matinee.
Some solace as Springfield is struggling just as much and have lost two straight and are on 62 points with the Penguins.
The bad news is fourth place Charlotte is at least four points up with two games in hand after Sunday’s game in Hershey.
We will get back to regularly tweeting the games next weekend dependent on the health of the little guy who is improving.
AHL trade deadline is Monday. I don’t expect the Penguins to be active, but stranger things have happened. Check in Monday for an update there if there is one to be had.
AHL Power Rankings this Thursday but for anything breaking before.