Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Deliberately Uncategorized

Reader Survey Analysis

Thanks for the feedback on the Reader Survey. I’ve decided to share with you the feedback and give a preview of coming attractions as far as what to expect with the blog for the 2019-20 season with the Penguins.

Most of you follow me on Twitter and get to the blog based off of tweets of mine which link stories for you to read here. (42.2%) The other half of you (39.1%) access the blog he most direct way, directly through the website. 29.7% of you see something I post on Facebook and link in that way and 18.8% of you are signed up for the e-mail notifications.

Analysis: Pretty much as I expected, I use Twitter to drive people to the website, Facebook is secondary and the e-mail signups are just an added vehicle for those who have neither.

Half of you read the blog weekly and 45.3% of you daily and just 6.3% of you monthly. I’d assume, and I will get to this here soon, that there is a small portion of readers from out of town that access the site from other AHL cities.

A vast majority of you read the blog on your phones. (68.8%) and I have to consider that when putting out content because it shows up differently on the phone vs. the computer (35.9% of you) or tablet (just 12.5%)

Analysis: The blog is really set up for reading on a laptop or PC, but WordPress plays nice enough to allow for reading on a phone. I’ll go in on the back end and see if there are any improvements that can be made for viewing on mobile devices.

The next parts are of interest in what I talk about during the season:

Gameday Setups and Postgame Summaries are a popular thing which I don’t intend on tinkering with and a vast majority of readers come here for that sole purpose.

AHL Power Rankings was balanced all the way through with, 21.9% voting “2” and 29.7% voting “5” with “3” and “4” somewhere in the middle. More on this in a minute. (the scale was “1” being least interested and “5 being most interested)

Next and with this being a blog about the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, the 57.8% of you who marked “most interested” in the feature for WBS News and Notes doesn’t surprise me. I would like to mix in more non-gameday stories throughout the season as they come.

AHL News and Notes was also balanced with about 25% for categories 3-5. I always try to mix in news about the Penguins or their opponents here.

Now, some pie charts:

This is actually what I was hoping for and what I was expecting. There are a cadre of readers who like the Power Rankings but most people don’t read all of them all the time. Well, for me, I can’t just put half the scores or work on 2/3’s of the teams. It’s a time consuming process that I moved to Thursday’s because I wanted my Sunday evening’s back instead of sitting in front of a computer at 9 o’clock in the evening knowing that in twelve short hours I would be back at my regular job doing it again. So I moved them to Thursday’s last year and it was a lot better for me.

Doing both on ice and Power Rankings at the same time in the same week is not an option, but I threw it in there anyway. Leads to my next pie chart.

You’ll be getting that. I am planning on going deeper this year and bringing back the on-ice stats for the Penguins.

Next pie was how, if you followed on Twitter, how it could best be served you.

Good to see Hershey fans have a sense of humor!

I just tossed in this next question to see where the base of the readers come from.

Decent spread, with the majority full share members, the die hards and the ones that the blog really caters to.

Last was a free form field that if you wanted you could drop a note. Here are some with my response.

First off, thank you so much for all the time you put into the blog. You don’t understand how much at work I look forward to a new post. Moreover, I think you should go live on Twitter an answer questions from readers… I would love to have a more open discussion about the Baby Pens…And hear not only other people questions, but your thoughts!

Sounds like a good idea.

We are from MN and don’t go to all the games. We watch all the games on AHL TV stream. We buy the season pass. Thank you so much for your blogs. Enjoy them.

Some of the responses were like this one above. You are welcome.

Time on ice for wbs players

Trust me, if there was a way I could freely access this and share, I would. You can’t. I have looked. A lot.

Maryland loves Nafsnep

Thanks, Dan!

I always check your blog. You do a great job. The questions above didn’t ask about game day updates. I go to your live feed for that. If I am out travelling that is where I go. Not the AHL scoreboard. I like to see who scored etc. I always look for the capital letters because that means we scored. I also listen to the game on my phone. Lets see if the next couple of years we can get over the hump and get a championship!

If that day comes, I wonder what the postgame story would be and what it would look like. Likely an incoherent mess put up at 3 am after the celebrations.

I think you do a tremendous job with your blog. Your level of detail & dedication are very much appreciated. I’m from the Pittsburgh area and your blog is a daily read during the season & a weekly read during the off season to see what you will post next. I hope you can keep it up & look forward to what changes you may make. Thanks again!

Blog isn’t going anywhere so don’t worry. Thank you for the kind words.

You’re doing a great job and are now basically the only reliable blog to read up on the WBS Penguins since the Penguins Insider one is pretty much dead. I’m a reader from Bulgaria, so there’s virtually no other way for me to get some insider info on the AHL Penguins. Even the radio that covers WBS games is geoblocked for some reason. Not following you on twitter just because I don’t have one (never hopped onto that train;). Cheers!

Get a VPN and connect into the USA to allow yourself to listen to the games on the internet radio… Jonathan left for Pittsburgh and his inspiration for me to start my own blog has grown into this… Tom Venesky doesn’t cover the Pens anymore and I’m not going to step on Tyler’s toes as he does this for a living and I a hobby. I’ll never encourage folks to prefer the blogger over the paid professional but I’m not going to tell the person where to get their news.

Thank you to all who contributed to the reader survey. I truly do appreciate your input in helping me improve the blog.

So anyway, I’m going to make the AHL Power Rankings a bi-weekly feature and in weeks where there are no Power Rankings offer up a deep dive into Penguins on ice stats. Long time readers of the blog will remember this feature from a few years ago. I have to work on a few things as to how to best apply this so look for more information on this in the coming weeks.

Training camp and rosters will be out soon for the Penguins as camp opens on Coal Street next week. I’ll be back with a look at the names attending the camp. First preseason games get going next week as well.

It’s about that time.

Join My Team

EDIT: This idea went over like a lead balloon. Had a lot of people window shop, but no one walked through the door. Disregard the entire post…

Read more of this post

Blog of the Year Nomination

The fine folks that coordinate the NEPA BlogCon are handing out their yearly Blog of the Year Awards. 

This blog, Chirps from Center Ice, was nominated again. First, I’d like to thank you for nominating the blog again. I don’t nominate myself. 

Click here to be brought to the voting page. There are other categories to vote on also. Chirps from Center Ice is under the, “Best Sports Blog” category. 

Thank you.

Schedule Soon, Other Notes

Real quick one today.

The NBA has their schedule, so the AHL can start finalizing theirs. The NBA announced their schedule last week, so I would expect that the AHL will have their schedule by the end of this week.

No rush. I am enjoying the summertime.

Out the door, Clark Seymour and James Melindy have new homes. Seymour was a little used defensive fill-in and Melindy was a throw in for the Dustin Jeffrey trade that never played a game in Wilkes-Barre. Seymour signed with HC Bolzano in the EBEL and Melindy signed with Wichita in the ECHL.

So there is that. I updated the 2016 Offseason Moves List and put one last edit in on the big board, which as you see if you didn’t link in direct is no longer pinned to the top of the site. You have to scroll down now if you didn’t bookmark.

Will probably drop a line here again when the “schedule is coming tomorrow” announcement is made. An announcement about an announcement!

Go outside and jump in the pool while you still can!

They’re Going the Distance…

The Hershey Bears got all the offense they needed in the first period of Game 4 tonight and force a decisive Game 5 with a 2-0 win tonight at home tonight against the Portland Pirates.

So the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins opponent, and schedule for said opponent, will need to wait another day.

The winner take all Game 5 goes off from Hershey Sunday at 5.

Pearls Before Quine — Pens LOSE 5-2

BRI         vs.         WBS

5                                              2

I called the Sound Tigers, ‘dastardly’ in this afternoons Gameday setup on the blog.

Name me three teams that you don’t want to face come playoff time. Hershey is one, Toronto is one and likely Providence the other. You are forgetting about Bridgeport. Something about this Sound Tigers team gives the Penguins fits.

The Pens put 40 shots up on Sound Tigers goalie Chris Gibson tonight and still lost. It wasn’t even close. Here was a tweet that summed up the night, pretty much…

Pens couldn’t do anything with the presence that they had in the offensive zone. Every shot was blocked. Every pass deflected. Every would be shot stopped by Gibson.

One of those nights.

The Penguins lost 5-2 to the Sound Tigers. With Portland, in tomorrow, beating Hartford tonight, the magic number drops to two. A win of any kind Sunday by Wilkes-Barre and they are in.

Tristan Jarry started his ninth consecutive game and was pulled after two periods when the score was 4-0 and well out of reach for the Penguins. Not for nothing, head coach Clark Donatelli tried different line combinations and replaced Jarry in net with Brian Foster. Foster’s only blemish was a puck that got away from him from behind his net that caromed to James Wright which at the time made it 5-1. Dominik Simon scored :32 into the third to cut the lead to 4-1.

The damage was done in the second period. The Penguins, already trailing 1-0 after the first period on an Alan Quine rebound he followed on a Sound Tigers power play, saw Bridgeport score three times.

And it was probably the best period that the Penguins played.

Quine added his second goal of the game finishing a nice cross ice pass from Mike Halmo that made it 2-0.

Quine completed the natural hat trick when he busted by three Penguins watching him and threw a seemingly weak backhanded shot at Jarry that hit the bar and went in for a 3-0 lead.

The Penguins, frustrated by what the Sound Tigers were giving them, couldn’t score on the periods only power play then saw a shot get blocked which led to a rush the other way for the Sound Tigers and a goal when a Pat Nullity shot from the blue line hit Connor Jones on the way in for a 4-0 Bridgeport lead.

The rout was on. If playoffs started today, the Penguins would be facing off against Bridgeport in the opening round. The Sound Tigers went 5-1 against the Penguins in the seasons series.

Mattias Plachta scored his first as a Penguin on a nice wrist shot late in the third with the game already decided. Donatelli used his time out to draw something up with Foster pulled but the Penguins could not get any closer.

Three Stars: 3) Connor Jones (goal, assist, +2) 2) James Wright (goal, two assists, +2) and 1) Alan Quine (natural hat trick, +2)

Around the Division: Hershey sees the first two shots against go in, fall behind 2-0 at Providence but come back and win in a shootout 4-3. The reverse of what happened here tonight in Wilkes-Barre happened up in Providence, the Bears won with just 18 shots on goal to Providence’s 38….Albany lost to Springfield 5-4. Ex-Penguin Matia Marcantuoni scored the game winning goal for the Falcons in the win. Marcantuoni was dealt in the trade which got the Pens Plachta. So both trade pieces score first goals for their respective teams. Nice….Lehigh Valley blanked St. John’s 4-0, the Phantoms were officially eliminated from playoffs tonight…Portland beats Hartford 4-1 which drops the Penguins magic number to 2.

Standings: Hershey (.645) — Penguins (.630) — Bridgeport (.601) — Providence (.601) — Portland (.587) — Hartford (.550) — Lehigh Valley (.493) — Springfield (.406)

Wheeling Update: The Nailers won a big one tonight over the Manchester Monarchs by a score of 2-1.

I’ll post any visual candy from Coal Street if they publish it in a morning edit.

Portland in tomorrow at 4. Gameday setup Sunday at noon.

Oh, if you are wondering where the pun headline came from, it’s a play on the term, “Pearls Before Swine” which has a biblical meaning and is also my favorite comic strip. I consider Stephan Pastis (also a big fan of puns himself) one of the greatest thinkers of our time.

Let’s Go Pens!

GAMEDAY: @ Manchester 3/7

manch white

Away Game: 29

AHL Game: 865

Who: Manchester Monarchs

Where: Verizon Wireless Arena

When: 3:00 p.m.

Media Kit

Last Game / Last Meeting: Last night, the Penguins lost 6-3. The Penguins scored two power play goals, but Jordan Weal had four points. (2-2-4)

Record: For WBS: 32-19-2-4 (70 pts., 2nd place East Division) — For MCH: 35-14-5-2 (77 pts., 1st place Atlantic Division)

Why you should care: Manchester is an elite team that makes you pay for your mistakes. That was on full display last night in New Hampshire. Minimizing those miscues is going to be key for the Penguins if they want to have a chance to win this afternoon.

Referee(s): Tom Chmielewski / Jon McIsaac

Linesmen: Joe Andrews / Alex Stagnone

Twitter: @wbspenguins / @WBSGameDay / @MonarchsHockey

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins // /MonarchsHockey

Instagram: wbspenguins / monarchshockey

Beat Writers: @CVBombulie and @TLTomVenesky

Broadcasters: WBS: Mike O’Brien @MikeOBrienWBS / MCH: Ken Cail @kenmonarchs

Fan Bloggers: @nafsnep 

Radio: For WBS: WILK Newsradio / For MCH: WGIR 610 AM

Television: AHL Live

Other Game to Watch: May as well pay some attention to Hershey @ Hartford starting a half an hour later than the Penguins game this afternoon. Both teams are coming off of bad losses last night and are going to look to regroup against one another today.

Next Five Games: @ SPR 3/8, HER 3/11, HER 3/14, HFD 3/15, @ SYR 3/20