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The final pro hockey game at the Spectrum has been played.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Phantoms at Bridgeport: Recap, Box Score, Comments at the Quarter-Season mark

Here's the Phantoms site's recap of today's game.

And here is the box score.

At the 1/4 mark of the season, we are a .500 team. It could be worse, considering that we dropped 6 in a row at one point. We're a young team, having started out with 9 rookies on the roster; the learning curve that every new pro experiences is a part of the reason why we've taken one step forward and one step back during the course of the year. Injuries have been a factor, and so has the fact that we've repeatedly lost top guys to the Flyers, sometimes for the short term (Ross, Kane, Raduns, to name three) and sometimes for the long term (Powe, Nodl, and in Downie's case "long term" = "traded away"). Our special teams have been excellent, which is a pleasant change from some past seasons when they've been ineffective at best. Right now I'd offer two, easily applied suggestions. 1. If we can get to our own goalies' rebounds more often, we'll give up fewer opportunities for opponents to cash one in. 2. If our goalies have any technical issues that they need to work on, let our goalie coaches sit down with them and give them pointers, let them practice extra on the ice... whatever it takes. They're certainly not slumping -- in fact, prior to this weekend, Scott Munroe was ranked third in the league in GAA. But some goals that have gone in during these 20 games have been facilitated by some technical issues like committing too soon, not getting back up from a split quickly enough, not quite getting the angles right, etc. It's all fixable stuff.

We've given up 59 goals, approximately 5th-worst in the league at the moment, and I know we can improve on those numbers as the season progresses. At the other end of the ice we've scored 58 goals, which puts us at about 12th in the league -- it certainly wouldn't hurt us to do what we can to raise that total, as well. But keeping goals OUT will mean that we can win more games without having to blow out the other team to do so. I trust our coaches to help our young guys continue to acclimate to playing at the AHL level, and to help our team repair the flaws in its game without developing any new Achilles heels.

Go Phantoms!

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