The Phantoms won again tonight in overtime, 3-2 over the Binghamton Senators, in the second game of a five game homestand. It is their sixth straight win since losing 9-0 to Hershey back on November 29th.
The game was Randy Jones' first action since Game 5 of the Conference Finals last season against Pittsburgh, and he made an impact on the scoresheet immediately. 11 minutes into the first, Jones and Jared Ross connected with Claude Giroux to make it 1-0 Phantoms. It was Giroux's 15th of the season. Two minutes later Josh Gratton would score to make it 2-0, while Giroux would add an assist to his point total. He's in the top 10 in the league with 31 points.
Neither Philadelphia hockey team has lost a game in regulation in the month of December.
Michael Teslak was in goal for the Phantoms, since regular starter Scott Munroe is on recall with the Flyers due to Martin Biron's flu bug. Teslak performed admirably in his counterparts' absence, stopping 32 shots to grab the victory.
In an interview with the media Wednesday, Munroe was asked about the differences between the Phantoms and the Flyers.
"This is my third year with the organization, so I know a lot of the guys up here. We play the same type of a system with the Phantoms, so I think obviously the level of play picks up a little bit, but ultimately the systems are mostly the same."
This makes you realize how important it is having the parent club and the farm team so close together. The coaching staffs are able to work so closely together, since practices are held under the same roof and everything, and it makes the transition from the Phantoms to the Flyers both cost-effective and seamless.
It also allows for quick transactions between the two clubs. In many situations, Jones would not have been able to go to the Phantoms in time to play tonight. But with the defense clicking so well lately, John Stevens seems quite content in keeping Jones with the Phantoms as long as necessary.
"I think we have to give Jonesy the opportunity to get his game as ready as he can be before he gets back in and plays. The fact that we have six healthy guys playing well right now and we have the Phantoms that are right next door, it only makes sense to let him go through that progression before he returns to the lineup."
I think, given that quote, it's safe to say Jones won't be in the lineup tomorrow in Montreal.
I personally hope the Phantoms play next season in Atlantic City, as it's close to me and, as I wrote about a month ago, "it keeps the cozy relationship between [the teams] going."