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Syracuse 6, Phantoms 5: ?Unacceptable.?

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  • Syracuse 6, Phantoms 5: ?Unacceptable.?

    Both the captain and the coach called this loss the same thing: “unacceptable.” I’m sure the fans felt the same way.

    If the comments we’ve gotten lately, or the ones we’ve already gotten on this game, are any indication, coach Greg Gilbert is going to take a lot of heat for this loss. I understand that, and having coached in Calgary in the NHL, I’m sure he does, too. Coach a team with a below .500 record and the inconsistencies this team has shown and it comes with the territory.

    But the players shouldn’t get a free pass here. *There were lapses made Wednesday night that had nothing to do with schemes or coaching. A different team played the second and third periods than the first. A different one than the one who played here last Friday.

    There’s something off about this team, something that can’t be explained only by coaching. Maybe it’s a bad mix. Maybe the talent level isn’t what the organization thought. Maybe it’s something in the water up here. I really don’t have an answer. Whichever way the blame gets spread for this, I think it needs to fall in more places than just the coach.

    There was a lot to talk about in the final seven minutes of the second: Johan Backlund’s sliding save at the blue line, the fact that the Phantoms allowed three or four shorthanded odd-man rushes, Syracuse coach Ross Yates mixing it up with a fan, the two power play goals, the fight after Jared Ross scored the goal with .05 left. Basically, the Phantoms played an awful period and somehow escaped with a 5-3 lead.

    But really, it’s all irrelevant after the third period collapse. *I can’t say it any better than the people involved. So let’s get to the quotes.


    Jared Ross

    On the defensive lapses:

    “It’s not acceptable. All those power plays and we gave them about four chances on odd-man rushes, really kind of strung Backlund out to try. Just not a very good game, the whole game, defensively for us.”

    On where the team goes from here:

    “It’s either going to happen or its not. We can’t keep waiting. We’ve only got 22 or games left or so and we keep thinking we have enough time and time’s running out. If it doesn’t start in the next two or three games, we’re not going to make the playoffs and it’s going to be a long summer for us.”

    Greg Gilbert

    On the breakdowns that led to all the breakaways and losing the leads:

    “They had four or five breakaways on power plays, which is completely unacceptable. You watch this game tonight and we had two leads, 2-0 and 5-3. We just, we collapsed. We got away from what we were doing well. We outplayed them in the first period, *played a very solid period. Then a lot of guys go on their own agenda. They skated away from the game and that tells me either they don’t understand what’s going on, which I don’t think is a problem 50-some games into the season, or they just go and do their own thing. It’s something we have to deal with. Our team play from the start of the second period on, it was unacceptable.”

    “That’s a sign that our team isn’t mentally tough. We get away from our game and we can’t stick to it for 60 minutes and we keep proving that through the course of the season. we have to find a way to get some mental toughness into these players as a group.”

    On switching lines and putting Stefan Legein with Jon Matsumoto and Pat Maroon:

    “They had some*chemistry*– Legein, Ross, and Pyorala. But *it seemed the last couple games playing against bigger guys they might need a big guy on the wing, so I put Lally (David Laliberte) there. *He’s bigger, stronger and can win some pucks in the corner.”"

    Syracuse captain Derek MacKenzie

    On his shot that appeared to go through the net in the third period (Ed note: Syracuse video after the game seemed to indicate it should have been a goal):

    “I was a hundred percent sure (that it went in). I kind of paused for one second because the goal judge didn’t turn the light on. From that angle the puck would have had to hit the glass or hit the crossbar and go out not to go in order for it not to go in. So it was pretty disappointing given the stage of the game. There were definitely some black marks around that spot (on the net), but that’s not enough to prove for sure it ripped the net. If they had replay here it would have been a goal.”

    On Johan Backlund sliding out and knocking him over at the blue line on a breakaway to deny him a goal:

    “I was surprised. I hear (someone) yell at the last second and I thought someone was trying to catch me. I was trying to settle the puck and if I would have been able to settle it any earlier, I think I would have caught him out of his net. But the ref (Chris Brown) came up to me in the period and apologized and said that they reviewed that play and that definitely should have been a penalty as well. It wasn’t stick on puck. He ultimately tripped me…. after talking to (the referee’s) linesmen and conferencing after the period he thought it was definitely a penalty.”

    On the wild, back-and-forth nature of the game:

    “We talked about it after the second. We figured that whoever gets the last shot might win the game. *That was a pretty good quote by the coach. That was the case.”

    On going 4-1 against Adirondack so far this season despite being below them in the standings for most of the season:

    “We talked about it before we came. We said for the first couple games we played each other, it seemed like whoever was home. We blew them out than they blew us out. It’s been our team all year to wait till we’re down a couple of goals or wait till we’re a few points out of the playoffs to step it up. I don’t know if they’ve been timely games (against the Phantoms), or we just match up well against them. Obviously, they’re a good team, because they’ve been ahead of us all year.”

    – Tim