Get out of here: Lehigh Valley postgame

Amid all the other instructions and reminders on the board in the Bridgeport room was a word, capitalized and underlined, that stood out after this one: Exits.

Mostly because it took about 10 minutes, including a goal against on the rush, and a penalty for Bridgeport to figure them out.

The details Brent Thompson has been talking about stand out a little more when you get to see them in person rather than on grainy video if your ISP cooperates. Slow changes. Turnovers at the blue lines. Losing battles. Being in position, but then subtle drops out of position that turn the whole play around.

“When you give a good hockey team those kinds of chances, they’re going to capitalize,” Thompson said. “I thought we were casual with our tracking. We were casual in our own end. We were casual managing the puck, which was one of our keys.”

Devon Toews talked about plays four feet inside and outside the zone being key. They had turnovers in those spots that hurt, let the Phantoms into the zone on the first goal.

There’s some tentative play out there. I don’t think it’s a lack of effort, but it looks like it sometimes because of the way things play out.

“It’s disappointing, especially with the way we played in the third,” Tanner Fritz said. “We competed. The first two periods, we came out flat. We let them dictate.”

They took their time exiting for home. Two chances to put it together this weekend. And at least they’ll have last change.


(So I guess I lied about going home first)

They flipped Scott Eansor and Matt Gaudreau from their opening alignment late in the first period, but it’d gone back to the original by the third. Gaudreau and Kyle Schempp sat out of the rotation down the stretch as they shortened up; Johnston-Jones-Holmstrom was the only unit that stayed together consistently, partly because it was generating most of the chances. St. Denis/Bailey stuck together, as did Fritz/Bernier, with rotating left wingers. So we’ll see how the lineup looks tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, prescout, and what the heck. Daniel Sprong is apparently, you know, good and stuff, but Bridgeport doesn’t have to worry about him until next week. The Rocket pay their one and only visit tomorrow.

Don’t tell anyone, but until Steve Bernier’s goal, I hadn’t seen Bridgeport score a goal on the road in 148:34. Most of the last Providence game (Toews scored early), the whole Springfield debacle, two periods tonight.

Kristers Gudlevskis had no idea how Danick Martel’s wraparound went, either, so I don’t feel bad. He made some big saves to keep it close.

Sacred Heart got one late but lost the second one at Notre Dame 3-1. Good split, still.

More tomorrow. (Baseball Game 7! Fun.)

Michael Fornabaio