Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hershey welcomes Bruins to town

Well the weekend didn't start out the way anyone hoped it would. Dropping a game to the Phantoms definitely leaves a bad taste in your mouth. They now have 5 wins on the season and while they are definitely a better team than that record it is still tough to stomach.

So the Bears need to move on and be ready for tonight's game. After losing to the East division bottom dweller the Bears now welcome the Atlantic divisions worst team to town.

While the Bruins are in last place they don't seem to be as bad as other last place teams. In fact if they were in the East division they would actually be in 6th, 8 points behind Hershey.

In fact, Providence is actually a much better road team than home team. At home they are only 3-11-1-1 while on the road they are actually 8-2-1-0. Their .773 road winning percentage makes them the 2nd best road team in the league, trailing only the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Unfortunately, Hershey isn't as dominant a home team as they were last season. After 13 games they are 7-6 and those 7 wins have come against teams with a combined winning percentage of .399. 3 of those wins were over the Phantoms.

To make matters worse the road wins by the Bruins have come against good teams. 7 of their 8 wins were against teams that are .500 or better. And the 1 win over a team under .500 was against Albany who sits at .429.

But the numbers aren't all bad. Surprisingly the Bruins are still terrible at penalty killing on the road. They kill off only 73.1% of penalties on the road, good for 29th in the league. And Hershey scores on 22.9% of their power plays at home, good for 5th in the league.

So with any luck that will help Hershey tonight as they try to get back on track before the new year.

I am guessing here but I suspect we will see Braden Holtby in goal tonight for Hershey. And considering the injuries along the blue line right now I would expect to see some recalls from South Carolina. Haven't seen anything reported yet but I would imagine that Yohann Kroll and either Joe Finley or Josh Godfrey will be recalled to help the Hershey blue line.

With Souray and Yeo going down last night and Weller and Oreskovic already hurt the Bears have only 5 healthy defenseman and I don't think they were looking to play Patty McNeill in all 3 games this weekend.

We will surely see what happens. Looking forward to a good game tonight at the GC.

A little more on the game tonight....

Hershey Bears
record ~ 16-11-0-1 33 points
standings ~ 4th in East Division
most recent game ~ 3-1 Loss @ Adirondack, 12/17
last 5 games ~ 3-2-0-0
home record ~ 7-6-0-0
goals for ~ 98
goals against ~ 74
power play ~ 20.0% (8th)
penalty kill ~ 81.4% (21st)

Providence Bruins
record ~ 11-13-2-1 25 points
standings ~ Last in Atlantic Division
most recent game ~ 6-2 Loss vs Charlotte, 12/17
last 5 games ~ 2-3-0-0
home record ~ 8-2-1-0
goals for ~ 67
goals against ~ 93
power play ~ 12.7% (27th)
penalty kill ~ 78.7% (26th)

last time teams met - This is the first of 2 meetings between the teams this season. Hershey visits Providence in February.

Players to watch:


C Keith Aucoin (11) - Got an assist in his first game back in the lineup. Not sure if he will play again tonight but with all the injuries and call ups I would say it is probable that you will see him.
F Brian Willsie (18) - Scored Hershey's loan goal last night and will need to help out again tonight if the Bears are going to get the W.
C Andrew Joudrey (23) - The captain and defensive star is being asked to contribute more in the offensive end with all the recalls. Getting time on the 2nd line and on the power play. He has 4 goals already this season...adding to that number is critical for Hershey.


C Jamie Arniel (12) - Leading the team in goals with 11 and points with 19. Hasn't produced much in December with only 2 goals and 1 assist in 7 games this month.
C Joe Colborne (22) - The rookie is second on the team in goals with 7 and 2nd in points with 16. He is rated as the #2 prospect in the Bruins organization behind Tyler Seguin.
D Yury Alexandrov (4) - The defenseman in the #4 prospect for Boston and comes in tied for 6th on the team with 10 points (4 g, 6 a).


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