Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Pack Conked by Phantoms, 3-2

Surviving You, Always Chris Rutsch/HWP photo

Ty Conlkin, on loan from the Edmonton Oilers, could've taken the bus out of town this morning after being undefeated over the weekend, and still no one would've missed him. Instead, Conklin was spotted a 2-0 lead in the overtime shootout of last night's game against Philadelphia and still couldn't hold onto the win, giving up 3 goals in a row and handing over the game to the Phantoms, 3-2. After Conklin's cringe-inducing play this weekend I wouldn't have bothered helping him pack his suitcase even if it got him back to Edmonton faster, unless I could also stuff Chris Holt into the same suitcase.

One of the memories that Conklin will leave for Wolf Pack fans of his two-day conditioning stint in Hartford will be his misadventures while handling the puck. His mind shuts down whenever there's a loose puck to play in front of him. At one point during the game Conklin made a save and looked as if he was going to drop the puck back to one of his defensemen who was skating out from behind the net. Then Conklin changed his mind mid-drop, deciding instead to try to clear the puck up ice out of the zone and sending a fluttering pass right to a Phantoms player, leading to a shot on goal. More than a few times this weekend Conklin left the net unattended in order to play loose pucks that he would've been better off not bothering with, including in the Springfield game where he had to make a head-first dive in order to cover up the puck because he had roamed too far out of the net, and then in last night's game skating out all the way to the blue line to play the puck along the left boards when there were 3 or 4 other players in the area.

Chan Poling appears no thanks to Polygram Records Chris Rutsch/HWP photo
Stinkin' Conk-Puncher!

Jeff Taffe scored a beauty of an unassisted goal in this game, stealing the puck at center ice and weaving past three different Phantoms players to give the Wolf Pack a momentary 2-1 lead early in the third period, before Philadelphia's All-Star defenseman, John Slaney, tied it up 2-2 a while later. The Wolf Pack then had to kill off Jake Taylor's tripping minor in the overtime period and were outshot 7-1 during the overtime, but still managed to get to the shootout unscathed.

In the shootout, Nigel Dawes and Colby Genoway scored on the Wolf Pack's first two shot attempts, meaning Ty Conklin only had to be barely adequate over the Phantoms' next three attempts and Hartford would've had their second straight shootout victory. Instead, Conklin was picked clean all three times-- coming way out of the the net to challenge the shooter each time (as is his usual), only to get beaten on the low side. Fedor Fedorov had a chance to keep the shootout going for Hartford, faking like he was going to draw the puck to his backhand but instead lifting his stick blade over the puck and shooting with his forehand, but he hit the post and the game was over.

Al Montoya should be back in net for the Wolf Pack starting this week, after playing two games in Charlotte over the weekend that included a 4-3 loss to Pensacola last night. Hugh Jessiman scored two goals last night for the Checkers.


Anonymous a petit dejeuner said...

I am real happy that the Ty 'the wanderer" Conklin is leaving town. I was more impressed with him when we played against him in the playoff about 4 seasons ago.

What was up with those three consecutive shots -- and 2 through the 5 hole. Dang! If we wanted that type of frustration bring up 5-Hole Holt.

also, I'm not too excited about the return of Montoya either. Not to say, the guy cannot gain some respect but his stock has gone up without even playing.

Gherson is the man. Well, he actually looks to be 12 years old, but you know what I mean.

12/11/05, 8:21 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

I made a comment earlier on Covered In Oil that it seemed really easy to fake Conklin into opening his 5-hole, which is what happened a few times both in Springfield and against Philadelphia this weekend.

Conklin likes to move way out to challenge the shooter, cutting down the angles and almost forcing the shooter to aim low, but then he doesn't take away the low shot. I don't get it.

Nice screen name-- you didn't buy that one from G12, did you?

12/11/05, 10:03 PM


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