Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday Practice Update 11/7

At the end of practice this morning, coach Terry Murray gathered the Adirondack Phantoms at center ice and gave a speech about how it's important for players to embrace the frustration that will inevitably seep in, whether it's during a practice or late in regulation with the team by a goal late.

There have been moments early this season where the team's frustration has worked against them. In a penalty-filled game against Rochester, for example, a Phantoms defenseman was whistled for an infraction. Seconds later, he took another when he slashed at a player's stick dropped on the ice.

Frustration, Murray said, can't be that sort of thing. Instead, it needs to be a motivator for his team.  

“You want to deal with that the right way," he said. "You have to welcome that in sports. Frustration is always there. There’s always some issue that’s popping up that is going to be a test for you. You get to deal with those the right way, you’re going to break through. You’re going to become a better player if you can handle it and learn how to deal with it every time that you’re confronted by it.”

That was one of the highlights of practice, which was held at the Glens Falls Recreation Ice Center on Fire Road. Crews were busy converting the Glens Falls Civic Center to rodeo standards for this weekend's events.

That involved removing the ice surface. Take a look at what it looked like when I swung by this afternoon. Wish I could have stuck around to see them bring in the dump trucks full of dirt.

Anyway, personnel update: Brandon Manning (illness) made it through a full practice after skating a half-session in a no-contact jersey Tuesday morning. Murray said he will see how Manning feels tomorrow before making a decision about this weekend's game. Matt Mangene (upper body) will not play this weekend, Murray said, but is slowly improving. He used the phrase "baby steps."

Story in tomorrow's paper about Rob Bordson, who has really put together a nice season so far for the Adirondack Phantoms. It's a pretty remarkable story when you consider the organization basically cut ties with him two seasons ago when they traded him to Los Angeles, but he's worked hard enough to not only secure a spot on the opening night roster, but play in all of Adirondack's games to date.

Here are the only other players to appear in all nine games: Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, Danny Syvret, Ben Holmstrom, Erik Gustafsson, Harry Zolnierczyk, Zac Rinaldo, Tye McGinn. Seven of those guys have NHL experience, another is a Flyers' draft pick with a chance to play in the NHL.

That's pretty elite company for a defensive center, but I wanted to share a quote from Murray: "It’s a role that you have to have on every team. You pay guys that can score goals a lot of money in the NHL, but you pay guys that can check really well a lot of money too. That’s a nice niche."

So far, he's made that role his own. Adirondack has allowed 22 even-strength goals this season. Bordson has only been out there for two of them. That's pretty good. And in the past five games, he hasn't been out there for any even-strength goals. He may only have one assist in nine games, but he's been playing well defensively.

Here's some links: Happy Birthday, AHL. And in case you missed this morning's Tweets, Albany defenseman Matt Corrente is officially suspended one game for the instigator minor he received in the final five minutes of last Saturday's game against Adirondack. He'll sit Friday, but can play in the rubber match this Saturday at Albany. That's the closest Adirondack will come to a home game until the day before Thanksgiving, as they're about to kick off a five-game road trip. More on that later.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to get to Thursday's practice — we've got some other local assignments in the newsroom — but I will have a preview of Friday's game at Rochester in Friday's paper.

Don't forget, we've got our weekly "How well do you know?..." feature coming up tomorrow. Sean Couturier is our guest. Can he beat Schenn's performance from a week ago? We shall see.

Until next time,


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