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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

3 in 3 Minus Goalies! by @disgruntledbill

The WBS Penguins have just wrapped up another 3 on 3, playing the Milwaukee Admirals (5-4 OT Win),  the Rochester Americans (5-2 Loss) and the Hershey Bears (4-3 OT) loss. 

WBS's new goalies: Stevens and Peters 
The WBS Pens have now dropped 4 out of 5 games dating back to a losing 2 games on back to back nights against Syracuse just prior to Thanksgiving.  

The WBS Pens preparing for life after Jarry and DeSmith.

The major story in WBS right now is that the Pens are playing without  Tristian Jarry and Casey DeSmith, who are both called up to Pittsburgh.   That leaves WBS with no goalies. 0. None. Nada. 

Not really. Goalie #3 Colin Stevens  was already called up from Wheeling. Stevens has been serving as Casey DeSmith’s backup since Jarry’s last callup. Despite being in WBS already, he has played exactly -0 games prior to this past weekend. Seems like a great plan for easing a goalie into the system if you ask me. 

Colin Stevens has played in 0 prior AHL games  and just 64 ECHL games over the previous 2 seasons. Casey DeSmith played back to back games against Syracuse on back to back nights, while Stevens served as backup. WBS lost both games. Playing a goalie back to back nights is always a recipe for disaster. Please note the obvious attempts at foreshadowing here.  
Goalie number 4, Anthony Peters was also called up from Wheeling.  Anthony Peters has played in a whopping 8 AHL games  prior to this past weekend and  112 AHL games. That makes Peters the seasoned vet in this tandem.

Based on Peters’ previous experience, it’s curious that he wasn’t called up before Stevens. The best explanation for this seems to be that the Pens likely thought that NEITHER of these guys would ever have to suit up as the starter in WBS. Things didn’t work out according to plan though.
Murray’s injury and Niemi’s awfulness means that WBS is without Jarry and DeSmith for the time being.

Knowing the depth is goal was so weak, a reasonable strategy for the Pens this past weekend would be to do everything that is possible to limit shots on goal. The WBS Pens already allow way too many shots on goal with an average of 31.15 shots. This past weekend there were 33, 36, and 29 shots on goal. No real effort was made to make a change there.
The first game against the Ads went much better than expected. Sure they almost choked and needed OT to win the game. Yet, it was fantastic to beat the Milwaukee Admirals. The last time the Pens and Ads played this happened way back in 2004:

Of course it happened in WBS. The Pens were swept. Brutal. This was traumatizing and just brutal. 

The Pens weekend started to go off the rails during the second game. The Pens weren’t even in the game against Rochester. It was particularly annoying that their team consists of a series of WBS castoffs (Sahir Gill, Adam Krause, Barry Goers, Kevin Porter, Stuart Percy, plus head coach Chris Taylor and assistant Toby Petersen). ”

                                                                    Life size statue of Toby Petersen

I always like Toby Petersen though. Congrats on winning with your zombie Penguins squad little guy 

The last game of the three in three was against Hershey, because of course it would be against the Pens biggest rival. The Pens play Hershey in Hershey pretty much every Sunday this season it seems.

Here is live footage of yours truly in Hershey, the land of chocolate, when the Pens roared out to a 2-0 lead in the first.

Then of course have a look at me after the game when the Pens lost 4-3 in OT

All in all a typical road game in Hershey.

So what is going on with this goaltending situation? Honestly if Peters is the better goaler, why wasn’t he the first call up to WBS? If Peters is the better tender why didn’t he play Friday and Sunday.

What benefit is there to playing a goalie back to back games in the AHL when it’s totally unnecessary. I’m baffled. The only thing certain is that it’s some questionable coaching or something else is going on behind the scenes.

The long and short of it is that WBS is in trouble.

It would really be nice if Pittsburgh would go out and get WBS an AHL/NHL vet that can bail out WBS if DeSmith and Jarry will be up for any length of time. Otherwise,  DeSmith needs to be sent down ASAP. . The Peters/Stevens tandem is unstainable.  Matt Murray’s injury better not be the cause of WBS playoff streak, which is currently at 15 (longer than Pittsburgh’s)  coming to an end.


Sprong was a healthy scratch on Friday because he has been terrible on ice. I can’t/won’t comment about any alleged off ice issues the man has had in the past.  2 days later he has a goal and assist. It seems that Donatelli might have found a way to motivate him. 


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