Phantoms Falling Apart
The Prague Phantoms are currently on a 3 game losing streak and have gone 2-8 in their last ten games. What went wrong for this team? They were looking like a team trying to take hold of a playoff spot a few weeks ago and then suddenly everything just went off the rails. Today I'll be giving you the scoop on whats been going on with the team this year and offer up some possible solutions and other insight.
After the team's first 20 games the Phantoms were feeling pretty confident and their were playing .500 hockey have won ten of their 20. They were out shooting most of their opponents however and were picking up wins against the league's top teams such as the Helsinki Titans and the Toronto Legion. The team looked hungry this season and were poised to contend for a playoff spot. They were among the league leaders in hits, shots on net, goals scored. Everything looked promising for the boys in purp.
Of course nothing ever goes to plan however and the team has struggled mightily ever since, winning only 2 of last ten games. In their last 4 games alone they've been outscored by opposing teams 16-4 even though they only got out shot by 6 shots (139 vs 133). On television it's obvious that the confidence this team once shown on the ice is all but gone now and the team looks to be crumbling as they are skidding to the bottom of the standings.
I think everyone knows where i'm going with this article but the one change we can see on the Phantoms roster since the first 20 games is in net. Owen May was on a tear and was having a MVP calibre season for the Phantoms as he posted a GAA of 2.68 and had a save percentage of .916, the first time ever a goalie in franchise history where a goalie has posted a save percentage above .905. Usually most teams run the hot hand and reward good play with more ice time. However after the team's 6-4 Win against the Toronto Legion the opposite happened, GM Diamond_Ace @diamond_ace announced during a press conference that the team's goaltending reigns are to be handed to rookie, Solomon Crawford with May assuming backup duties. So instead of getting the tap on the back he deserved, he got slapped in the face with a demotion. Fans are only now voicing their displeasure with that decision as Crawford has only picked up 3 wins in his 12 games played and has posted a GAA of 4.01 and a save percentage on .875.
According to some insiders, May had not been attending practice for months, nor has he been going to the gym or any mandatory team meetings and the Phantoms had to sit him in order to send out a message to their young squad: If your not going to put in the effort or behave like a professional that you don't belong on the ice. Some league officials have backed up the GM's decision saying that playing a young up and comer with a impeccable work ethic over a inactive veteran is the right thing to do. They may have a point but the team is losing ever since the decision was made. The team however is preaching patience to it's fans when it comes to Crawford.
"I think he's a cool kid, got his first shutout yesterday! He's gonna be a future stud in the league if he continues on with his good work ethic. He's not there yet though but I hope all our fans can have some patience with the guy. The bigger issue with the team is the amount of dumb penalties we take. We gotta be more disciplined, our penalties are costing us games" -Seabass Perrin, Phantoms Defenceman.
Perrin does however bring up another good point. The team is the most penalized team in the league with 451 total minutes spent in the box and that's killer to a team especially when you combine that with the fact that the team also has the worst penalty kill in the league with a 78% success rate. The Phantoms are the only team in the league to have a penalty killing success rate of under 80% and that just might be the main flaw to this team. The team has 3 players on it's team that are on the league's list of top 10 penalty takers. Gert B Forbe @NumberJ5 is the 4th most penalized player in the league with 85PIM, Don Draper(73PIM) @Infernal and Perrin(72) are sitting at 8th and 9th respectively.
We figure the coach will have a chat with all the worst offenders after they read this article.
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