Saturday, April 11, 2009

Last Night Couldn't Have Gone Worse

Okay that statement isn't entirely true....Manitoba could have won too. Other than that every team that Hershey wanted to see lose....won. Bridgeport, Wilkes-Barre, Norfolk, and Milwaukee all won.

And worst of all Philly won.

Not sure what happened there but the cards were stacked against the Bears I think.

First you had the (potentially) last game at the Spectrum....
Second the Phantoms were fighting for their playoff lives....
Third you had a little pregame ceremony that takes a little out of you...
Fourth is was the biggest crowd Hershey has seen in a LONG time....
and Fifth Philly has been playing great of late.

Hershey definitely came out flat in the first but not terrible. They just didn't want to shoot...everyone wanted to make the extra pass which isn't a terrible thing but eventually someone has to shoot and no one was.

Michal Neuvirth looked human in goal for the first time in weeks and he let in one (the 4th goal) that absolutely should have been stopped.

Personally I blame the defense for at least 2 of the first 3....specifically the 2 power play goals allowed. Dean Arsene and Tyler Sloan both missed guys/assignments that led to goals. Not saying it was just on them but they were the two main pieces.

The Bears looked much better in the 2nd and 3rd periods and would say that they out hustled the Phantoms for most of the game but they couldn't get shots on net. The other problem I saw was a lot of missed passes and bouncing pucks that jumped over many Hershey sticks.

There was not a single Bear that played great last night and many looked lost amongst the atmosphere. Even in Hershey the Bears only ever see 11,000 so to see (supposedly) 17,000 probably affected them in some fashion.

*side note - there is no way there was 17,000 there...I would say closer to 15,000 as there were plenty of empty seats*

Hopefully the Bears come back tonight and play great. Philly has little to play for at this point after clinching a playoff spot last night. They can not improve their position so they might even rest some players tonight.

Hershey on the other hand now has a fight on their hands. They still control their playoff fate but it is a much harder road. A win (or loss for that matter) tonight coupled with a Penguins win would set up a very important game tomorrow night. IF the Pens lose tonight and the Bears win Hershey would clinch the division.

Other than that Hershey is still in line for the overall #1 seed but they might have to win both games to get it.

So with that, let's see what the schedule looks like tonight:

Lowell @ Bridgeport 7:00
Norfolk @ Wilkes Barre/Scranton 7:05
Manitoba @ Lake Erie 7:30

**I will have more on last night's game earlier this week as it was an interesting night in my opinion.

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