Taking a look at the video highlights of last night’s game at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton led a lot of us on the front of the bus to several conclusions.
For me, these are the conclusions I made:
1) Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, no matter what amount of talented, skilled or even ECHL-destined players is on the team roster, is probably the hardest-working team out there. They are fast. They skate. They look for mistakes. They play with a purpose.
2) You need at least a four-goal cushion heading into the third period against the Penguins. The team has now outscored their opponent 18-4 in third periods after last night.
3) Dane Byers’ hit on Simon Despres is going to be tough to judge with the lone camera angle given to everyone. Some buildings don’t have the capability like the GC does to have two or three slash-cameras spread about. The angle I saw was from the back of Byers’ jersey going forward. It was definitely a huge hit, and the fact that Despres’ helmet flew off leads me to believe that motion was directed at the very least at his shoulders…and probably a bit higher. A 5-minute charging major and game misconduct will certainly be looked at.
4) There were two other notable hits/events in the game that went undetected, if – and only if – one wants to make comparisons. Penguins forward Andrew Ebbett’s hit on Connor Carrick early in the game is one. Although he was penalized, the hit was directed just as high as the hit on Despres. Video does not lie, fans. The second event occurred immediately after the Byers hit on Despres and the resulting confrontation between the remaining players on the ice. Forward Brian Gibbons hauls down defenseman Tyson Strachan with a blatant slew-foot move. Once again, video does not lie. Check out both the Byers hit and the aftermath here, about :20 in.
5) It should be a fun rematch tonight at the GC! Expect a few changes to the lineup once again, as some players have worked their way in with solid play lately. There will definitely be a lineup change if there are repercussions from the Byers hit in last night’s game. That would be too bad, because the Bears captain has been the best player in the past few games. He has scored in back-to-back contests and has posted a plus-5 rating in the last three games.
Due to an outage around the company which is preventing me from accessing my personal drive – and thus the file I need to write today’s game notes – there will be no full-blown game preview on HersheyBears.com. Tickets are available for tonight, which is a Dietz & Watson Dollar Dog Night… hope to see you here!