Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bears playing well this weekend

2 down 1 to go for this 3 in 3 weekend. Personally I think the team has played very well this weekend. Obviously the 3-0 win in Syracuse last night shows that. But the 3-2 loss on Friday doesn't.

You know that feeling when you are trying to say something and you just can't figure out the word you are looking for. Or when you are watching a movie or tv show and an actor comes on and you know you have seen them before but you can't quite remember it. The answer is just at the tip of your tongue....

That's how the Bears played on Friday night. The plays were there, partially made. And then something would go wrong. Either an errant pass, an unlucky bounce, or just a good play from Toronto.

Things just didn't work out for 2.5 periods. You could feel the change though. Just before they scored I felt like bounces had started going their way, the Toronto goalie had started to give up some rebounds, and Hershey was making the passes.

Then the first goal...then the second goal.

And then...ouch. A play that goes fine 99 out of 100 times didn't work out. The bounce went Toronto's way. Sabourin played the puck behind the Hershey net but feeling pressure from behind he rushed the pass and it went directly to a Marlie who put it in the net before Sabs could get back in position.

But don't blame Dany for the loss. If anything you can celebrate him for keeping Hershey in the game. The first 2 goals would have been scored on damn near any goalie in hockey. Great plays by the Marlies and poor defensive positioning led to both.

Sabs kept Hershey in the game with 2 other great 1 on 1 saves in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Without those saves it would have 4-0 before Hershey got on the board.

If you want to blame someone for the loss...blame the defense. They didn't play with any consistency that game.

Or blame the centers...they were dominated in the faceoff circle for much of that game. Whether in the offensive or defensive zone it seemed that the Marlies won all the big faceoffs. Hershey has a 5 on 3 power play...can't win a draw to keep the puck in the zone. Hershey has a big draw when on the penalty kill...the Marlies win and keep possession.

In my opinion Hershey didn't play great on Friday but they did outplay the Marlies. Those games will even themselves out over the course of the season as Hershey will get all the bounces in some games.

The fact that Hershey overcame the tough luck and miscues to tie the game up with a legitimate chance to win says how good this team is.

They rebounded nicely on Saturday night as they out shot the Crunch 40 to 24 and outscored them 3-0. Sabourin made all the saves to pick up Hershey's first shutout of the season. Willsie and Gordon continued their good play picking up their 7th and 8th on the season respectively. And Ashton Rome scored his 4th after being a healthy scratch on Friday.

Tonight Hershey is back home at Giant Center serving host to the Binghamton Senators. In one game against Bingo this year, October 15th in Bingo, Hershey won 7-1 as 6 different Bears scored in that game.

Semyon Varlamov is expected to get the start for Hershey as he prepares to return to the Washington lineup. Varly hasn't played in Hershey since last February 28th in another conditioning assignment. And he hasn't played at all since October 21 when he got the start and the loss in a 4-1 loss in Boston. He has only appeared in 2 games for the Caps this year so rust could be an issue tonight.

Binghamton comes to town at the tail end of a 4 in 5 weekend. They beat Wilkes-Barre on Friday on the road before losing last night to Toronto at home. They haven't scored fewer than 3 goals in their last 5 games but have dropped 2 of those games.

Rookie Bobby Butler is leading the league in goals this season as he has 12 goals in 15 games. 7 of those have come in the last 5 games. And Corey Locke leads the league with 22 points this season as well.

Bingo currently resides in 5th place in the East division, one point behind the Bears. They are 3-2-0-1 on the road this year and 7-6-1-1 overall. Their power play on the road is 24th in the league while their penalty kill is #2 on the road. To compare, Hershey has the 10th best power play at home and the 16th ranked penalty kill at home.

Should be a good one at the GC tonight.


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