Friday, December 17, 2010

Hershey drops game to Phantoms

Well that is not exactly the way you want to start off a 3 in 3 weekend. Despite the return to action of both Patrick McNeill and Keith Aucoin, the Bears couldn't get enough offensive support to pick up the W.

Dany Sabourin gave up 3 goals while Brian Willsie scored Hershey's loan goal, his 11th of the season, as Hershey lost 3-1.

The win was just the Phantoms fifth of the season which makes the loss that much harder to take. And Hershey didn't just lose in the standings either. Already missing Patrick Wellar and Phil Oreskovic due to injuries, the Bears lost Sheldon Souray and Dylan Yeo during the game.

Add that to Mathieu Perreault, Jay Beagle, and Andrew Gordon on recall to Hershey and you have a pretty good line not currently active.

Luckily Hershey dressed 7 defenseman to keep the pressure off McNeill a bit which allowed for a relatively normal defensive rotation. But it wasn't enough.

Hershey's depth is being tested here of late and that will continue through this weekend. After Sunday's game the Bears get a full 6 days with no game action which will hopefully help them get healthy.

Expect some call ups overnight. If Yeo and/or Souray can't go the Bears would be short 1 or 2 defenseman and that includes Patty McNeill, who I doubt they were looking to play more than 1 or 2 games this weekend.

Offensively there isn't much more the team can do right now. When 3 of your top 8 scorers are on recall to the NHL and another of the 8 is just coming back after missing a month, you are probably going to have some problems.

Shifting lines, lack of familiarity, young guys getting a chance...all of comes into play this weekend. Heck, Steve Pinizzotto and Andrew Joudrey were playing on the top 2 lines and on the power play units tonight. While I am sure both players have the ability to play in those positions and contribute, how much practice have they had in those positions this season?

Coiner just came back...and he got to play with Pinner and Bouch. How many times over the past couple years have those players practiced together? Probably not much.

And nothing against Joudrey but he is used to playing a very defensive, high energy, grind it out kind of game. Turning on the offensive switch is not as easy as it sounds. Given the time to practice with certain players and in certain roles I am certain the Captain can fill any role asked of him...but with only a few days to practice it has to be tough.

Hopefully a return home will help the Bears. Providence visits Saturday with Charlotte coming to town on Sunday. With any luck the injuries currently being dealt with will heal and/or players will return from Washington.


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