Are changes coming for the Washington Capitals?
Technical Difficulties – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Wins at Hershey *Again*
Once is chance. Twice is coincidence. Third time is conspiracy. The seventh time is just frustrating.
Last night, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defeated the Hershey Bears at the Giant Center for the seventh straight regular season game. It’s a streak that stretches back to the start of the 2010-11 season, despite an otherwise successful campaign. Given that we play the Baby Pens twelve times this year, it promises to get even more tiresome if it continues.
In defense of the boys, this particular loss came in overtime, so Hershey still walks away with a point. The Bears notched four goals in a steady progression(Brouilette, Miclikier, Aucoin, and Sjogren), never surrendering more than a 1-goal leag. Play itself moved quickly, with an emphasis on puck possession rather than shots on goal and a ping-pong feel to the scoreboard: 1-1, 2-1, 2-3, 3-4, 4-4.
When it comes to tone, it was a rough game without being truly ugly. While the Baby Pens were actively looking for a fight on several occasions (including throwing a hapless Bear into a headlock while lining up for a face-off during the first and running the Hershey goalie late in the third) and the officials just as clearly striving to prevent one (Wellar was more than happy to mix thing up after the goalie incident, but was politely asked to cool down).
Compared to the last time the teams met at the Giant Center (October 22, where they accumulated a combined 19 penalties, all minors), the 10 minor penalties assessed last night were rather tame. This is especially true in light of the fact that a player from each team was escorted off the ice by trainers before the end of the first period.
Poor Luck or Poor Play: After receiving praise for their performance on Wednesday, both Garrett Mitchell (first star of the Wednesday game) and D.J. King walked away from last night’s game with a -4 rating. They were on the ice for all goals against except for the one scored in OT. Maxime Lacroix was on the ice for two of the goals against as well, stepping into the slot normally held by Mattias Sjogren while the Swede shuffled up to the third line periodically and saw increased time on the power play.
In the Crowd: An unusually high number of objects went flying over the glass last night during regulation time. Not only were there four separate instances of an unexpected souvenir puck being launched, but some lucky soul behind the camera well got to take home an authentic Jacob Micflikier game-used stick.
Tech Fail of the Night: As the image at the top of this post illustrates, the Giant Center’s around-the-league scoreboard displayed the score of the Caps/Devils game backwards for the entire third period.