I tried to watch the games Friday and Saturday night but thank you AHL Live for screwing that up for me. Unfortunately I had a meeting and didn't get to see Sunday's game so everything I am giving you today is from the little I was able to see against the Phantoms and from Tim Leone's articles and the score sheets.
Overall Hershey went 3-1-0-2 in the past 10 days. Not bad although it could have been better. The blow out loss at home to the lowly Providence Bruins was kind of a downer the night before Thanksgiving but after that it got better with a beatdown of Adirondack Friday night. Then they let us down again in a shootout against the same Phantom team before coming up with a great performance against the flightless water fowl on Sunday night at Giant Center.
22 goals scored, 8 different goal scorers, 15 goals allowed, 3 different goalies. Not a bad 6 games. And more impressively is that Giroux wasn't one of the top goal scorers and wasn't even there for the last 3 games of the weekend. But other players stepped up when needed. Of the 8 goal scorers only 2 tallied only one goal...Keith Aucoin and Trevor Bruess.
Boyd Kane scored 6 times over the last 6 games and Kyle Wilson and Andrew Gordon scored 4 times each. Giroux (2), Michael Dubuc (2), and Darren Reid (2) scored the remaining goals. It was overall a very good team effort over the 6 games.
The most impressive performance of the 10 days was probably Michal Neuvirth's goaltending job against Wilkes Barre on Sunday. As I mentioned above I didn't get to see it so I can't attest to the claim of 42 shots for the Pens but either way none of them went in. 42 shots, 42 saves and a 5-0 Bears win.
Some games Neuvy is absolutely unbeatable and then others he seems to lose focus a bit and relax too much. If he can figure that part of the game out I can assure you that we won't see him in Hershey for too much longer. He is potentially the best goalie in the system when he is on his game and that is saying alot considering Varly and Holtby.
Good run of games. Only 11 games over the next 31 days should give the team a chance to get healthy. It will also test their concentration with extended time off in between most of their games. Fortunately the month includes two 3 in 3 weekends which should keep them focused.
Also it will be nice to see some different teams for a change. After playing Binghamton, Wilkes Barre, and Adirondack a combined 11 times in the first 23 games they don't play any of them in December. Games against Norfolk, Rochester, and Albany dominate the month.
A great start to the season considering the callups and injuries the team has played through. Leading the team in goals, 5th in the league in goals against, and a 7 point lead in the division.
Not too bad.