While the Philadelphia Flyers have stumbled a bit out of the gates with just one win (and two come-from-behind ties against Columbus) to show for their first four games, the Flyers top farm club is off to a sensational start. The Phantoms are 4-0-0 and have outscored their opponents by a combined 18 to 7. The Phantoms have begun their first road trip of the season with a 3-2 win in Rochester and a 4-1 victory in Bridgeport.
Even with the callup of top line center Marty Murray to the big club, the Phantoms have not missed a beat since the club departed Philly for the trip. Veteran Mark Freer has moved up from the third line to the center the first line with AHL Player of the Week Mark Greig and red hot sniper Vaclav Pletka. The revised line has continued to dominate.
So far on the young season, Pletka has 6 goals and 3 helpers, including back-to-back two goal efforts against Wilkes Barre/Scranton and Rochester. The second year winger from the Czech
Republic, who reportedly considered going home to play this season because he didn’t think he was in the mix for a job with the big club, has been making a strong case for himself to get NHL consideration, despite his lack of size. He’s shown plenty of speed and a surprising level of grit to go along with his soft hands and laser quick shot release.
Almost everywhere you look in the Phantoms lineup, there are positives.
Second line left wing/ center Tomas Divisek has points in every game so far and has continued to demonstrate a commitment to playing two-way hockey.
Young defenseman Bruno Read more»
The Calder Corner
Radek Martinek: 1 Assist, +4
Dan Blackburn: NHL Debut, 42 Shots, 37 Saves, 0-1-0
As a general rule, I will always list goals and assists and other noteworthy stats. If there is more to be noted, HF encourages our readers to talk about them below!
Last season, Norm Maracle set an Orlando Solar Bear record by recording . If the Chicago Wolves continue to play the kind of suffocating defense that they displayed in their 3-0 whitewashing of the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, Wednesday night, he could break that record by the half way point of the of the season.
If the fact that the Wolves only allowed 19 shots was not impressive enough, consider that they allowed 19 shots on goal while killing off several penalties. The Wolves short-handed unit not only killed off the infractions, but their aggressive play created scoring chances as well. Led by penalty killer specialist, (Wolves forward) Dan Plante, the Wolves defense gave the Ducks no room to operate as they harassed the puck carrier at every opportunity. If this group continues
to play as dominant as this, we’re going to need to find them a nickname.
With things well taken care of on the defensive end, the Wolves defense decided to help out on offense. With 4:24 gone in the first period, Rob Brown slid a beautiful pass, through the slot, finding Dallas Eakins for the one timer to put the Wolves ahead 1-0. Later in the period, Derek MacKenzie scored his first ever professional goal off of rebound shots by Brett Clark and Dan Plante. MacKenzie ended the scoring an empty netter at 19:54 of the third period with an assist from Jef Dessner.
The Wolves were awarded a rare penalty shot in the second period when Ben Simon was pulled down, from behind. Taking the Wolves first non-shootout since April on 1999, Simon skated in on the right side, and tried Read more»
Chris Nielsen injuried his groin in Monday’s game against the Flyers. He blocked a Chris Therien’s slapshot in the second period. Undergoing surgery last night, Nielsen was released this morning.
Until the injury, Nielsen was matched up against the Jeremy Roenick line. Only in a defensive faceoff did Tyler Wright replace him against Roenick. Wright lost the faceoff andnow Columbus looses their emerging checking forward for at least a month.
In other news, Rostislav Klesla sees his ice time dimnish. In Columbus’ first game, Klesla managed a tip in goal to tie the game against. But in thier most recent game he logged less than ten minutes of icetime.
Jody Shelley was placed on the Syracuse Crunch roster on loan from the BlueJackets on 10-9-01.
Syracuse Crunch Notable Statistics
Mathieu Darche scored two goals in the team’s opener against Bridgeport.