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Phantoms weekly rundown: A boatload of games

We did ask for this, I guess.

Heather Barry / SB Nation

Where we are

Oct. 30 - Nov. 7

GP W L OT/SOL Standing in Division Points Percentage
GP W L OT/SOL Standing in Division Points Percentage
4 2 1 1 4th 2nd

I’m going to keep including standing in the division by points percentage in this table until the Phantoms catch back up in games played, because they’ve still played a game or two fewer than most of the teams in their division. I’ve also lumped in Wednesday’s game with last weekend’s three-in-three because there are no rules around here.


There was a bit more roster movement this week—German Rubtsov is back with the Phantoms and Mikhail Vorobyev was called back up to the Flyers. That’s all for now.

*presses submit on this article*

*notification appears on phone*

Ah, well, that’s not all. Vorobyev is back after one game with the Flyers, and they’ve recalled Andy Andreoff. There you have it.


Player GP Goals Assists Points CF% Controlled Entry% Controlled Exit%
Player GP Goals Assists Points CF% Controlled Entry% Controlled Exit%
Morgan Frost 11 4 5 9 56.22 74.29 80.77
Greg Carey 9 3 4 7 46.97 40.91 40.74
Andy Andreoff 10 3 4 7 56.55 45.71 57.14
Kyle Criscuolo 10 3 3 6 50.00 46.00 63.16
German Rubtsov 8 1 5 6 44.55 66.67 58.33
Nicolas Aube-Kubel 11 4 1 5 59.22 59.52 69.05
Maksim Sushko 10 3 2 5 48.61 64.71 61.54
Andy Welinski 4 1 4 5 50.94 25.00 67.74
Cal O'Reilly 10 1 4 5 46.45 45.83 62.50
T.J. Brennan 9 0 5 5 49.79 30.00 42.55

You can check out the full points, shot metric, and transition leaders here.

Three standouts

1. Mark Friedman

Quietly one of the team’s best defensemen through the start of the season, it’s not much of a surprise that Friedman had another strong week, and looked particularly sharp in the three-in-three. Do you want some numbers? Here are some numbers.

We tend to think of Friedman as a pretty consistent defensive presence—for good reason, as he worked hard to assert himself as this last season—but it’s nice to not only see him growing the offensive side of his game, but also showing more flashes of his ability to dominate at this level. There’s still a bit of a logjam at defense at the NHL level, so it remains to be seen when he’ll get a longer look up there, but he’s certainly working on a strong case that he deserves it.

2. Morgan Frost

What’s there really left to say about Frost at this point? He picked up three more points (two goals and an assist) in his last four games, bringing him up to four goals and five assists. This has him, tied with Nicolas Aube-Kubel for the team lead in goals, and singularly first in overall points.

The advanced stat line is also remaining strong—through his first 10 games tracked, he’s averaged a 56.22 CF%, 70.59 HDCF%, and 80.77 Controlled Entry%. which, in short, is just to say that the team on the whole has been dominating territorial play while he’s on the ice, still.

He had a quiet game on Wednesday, but we’re not too worried about it. With how he’s been playing of late, he’s allowed to have a game here and there where he’s just fine.

3. Greg Carey

Carey only played in three of the four games this past week—he was the veteran scratch on Saturday in Bridgeport—but he’s had himself a solid one. He picked up two goals and two assists in those three games (all coming in the two games against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton), giving us a look at a player more akin to what we saw from him last season. He’s up to seven points in nine games, and looking like he’s getting back on track.

And, in short, he’s an important player for them to get going again. He was one of their more consistent offensive producers last season, and when he was re-signed, we hoped that he’d be able to bring that same level of consistency to this season. They have contributions coming from elsewhere, but you never know when things will dry up, so, of course, more offense from different sources is always preferable. So this uptick is encouraging.

Two loose observations

1. The power play’s struggles continue

The Phantoms went one for 12 on the man-advantage this past week, in what was kind of an overall disappointing showing, bringing their average on the season down to just 11.4 percent. They’ve been struggling to sustain pressure and generate many chances at all, and it’s starting to cost them.

Their lone power play goal came last Friday against the Penguins, and it came from something of a new look top unit, this time with Andy Welinski at the point. And he seemed to add an extra layer of stability, as he did across each of his chances on the power play—while not presenting at this time as a huge shooting threat, he seemed much more confident holding the blue line and keeping the team’s possessions from being negated by the puck being chipped out of the zone. Possession time has been as much of an issue as actual quality chances generated, so this was a nice flash to see, but they’re going to need a lot more of it.

2. Grinding it out

They were still able to pick up two of four available points on the second and third games of a three in three against them, but it still remains that the Phantoms had a bit of trouble playing against Bridgeport. The broadcast talked a good bit about Bridgeport’s identity of a team that, while not having the most skill, top to bottom, will just go out there an outwork you, and that style had the Phantoms a bit on their heels. They couldn’t just out-skill them, they were drawn into a tighter, more grindey game, and it seems they didn’t quite know how to adjust.

In a perfect world, you’re able to take over and set the tone of every game and pure skill just wins out, but this just isn’t always the case. We want to see the Phantoms, with all of the skill that they have up and down the lineup, defaulting to playing a skill game, but we also want to know that they can play a tougher, grind it out style of game if they get sucked into one. A change in style shouldn’t be a death knell,

What’s on deck

The Phantoms have a rare Friday off, so we won’t see them again until tomorrow. But this weekend they have a home and home on Saturday and Sunday against Hershey. It’ll be the first time the two teams have met since the second week of the season, when the Bears beat the Phantoms in overtime, so we can likely expect a couple of pretty tight, competitive games. How fun.