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Postgame: Albany 4, Phantoms 1

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  • Postgame: Albany 4, Phantoms 1

    I feel like a broken record. There isn’t much new I can add to the record after the Phantoms latest defeat, their sixth in their last seven. They can’t score, the intensity isn’t there, blah blah blah. You can read more of the bitter details in my game story.

    Coach Greg Gilbert held a long meeting with the players after the game. The doors didn’t open for about 20 minutes. *I didn’t have much to ask him: it’s been the same questions/answers for a month.

    I turned to Jon Matsumoto, now in his third full season with the team, and the best player so far this year. Here are his take on a few things:

    On where the team is a quarter of the way through the season: “A lot of the negative on our team right now is self-inflicted, it’s not because we’re going up against teams a lot better than us. we’re going against ourselves a lot of games.”

    On the meeting: “It was more along the line of we have to figure our (stuff) out.”

    On the frustration: “We’re still working on stuff we’ve been trying to work on since day one.”

    On whether the team is repeating it’s pattern from last season, when they dug a hole and had to rally to make the playoffs: “We’ve got to start playing better if we want to even see the playoffs this year.”

    On whether new coach, new systems had changed anything: “A little different… We’re pro athletes we should be able to adjust and do the things that make us successful.”

    One of the most striking differences to me is the way Albany scores goals. They make their own luck by going to what Gilbert likes to call “the dirty areas.” Albany always has someone out front, and it paid off on at least two of their goals.

    “They weren’t afraid to take slashes and cross checks and what-have-you to score goals,” Gilbert said.

    You can read between the lines that the Phantoms didn’t show similar characteristics.

    “It’s the same thing we’ve talked about. If they’re not going to drive the net and shoot the puck and pay the price to score, we’re not going to score,” Gilbert said.

    I think the frustration is mounting that there aren’t any signs of improvement. Not only are the Phantoms losing, they’re losing the same way each night. Gilbert said, “every game we lose is the same thing.”

    They just aren’t handling adversity well right now. The Phantoms play good for a period, then can’t sustain it. As I wrote about it in my weekly column, the Phantoms have been now outscored 17-5 in second periods in their last seven gamers.

    Did you notice?

    – Jerome Sansom and Jacob Mickflicker kill the Phantoms. Sansom has scored three times against them and Mickflicker twice. I like Mickflicker, a guy who has spent most of the year in the ECHL. He has four goals in seven games with Albany.

    – Johan Backlund had no shot on three of the goals. He deserves better than the GAA he has.

    Injury report:

    – Kevin Marshall, Josh Beaulieu and Joonas Lehtivuori were all out with injuries. Gilbert said they won’t play tomorrow, but he hopes they are all ready by next week.