Phantoms: New Home, New Hope – The Here and the Now

IMG_3481For a few weeks now, we have been asking various people if the planned move to Allentown next season has any effect on the team. When we spoke to Riley Cote last week, he hit the nail on the head.

“The main focus is for us as a team is to win, whether it be in Glens Falls or Allentown.”

I saw this firsthand Saturday night after the Phantoms dropped a shootout decision to an undefeated Springfield Falcons team. We talk a lot about the poor performance of the team and what has caused it, but what we haven’t really thought about is the effect it has on the players.

I mentioned it after the Phantoms season opener and saw it again against the Falcons. This is a new team,  a team that plays the game, that follows their system.  The goals being scored on them are good, hard-working goals. They apply forechecking pressure, they are responsible defensively, and they stand up for each other. Despite all of that, they have a 1-3-0-2 record.

Needless to say, the move to Allentown is the last thing on their minds.

When I walked into the locker room Saturday night for the routine post-game interview, it was a scene I had never witnessed before with this group. Every head was down. Sure, last season guys were not celebrating a loss, but this game hit them hard and early on in the season.

Last year, you would get quotes about how you need to take the positives from the game and move forward. This season, the losing is hitting hard, especially after playing a solid game that should have given them a win.

Rob Bordson said it best:

“You can take positives from this, but it is still a loss. They don’t count, good efforts and whatnot. Yeah, it’s a boost of morale but we’ve got to start winning.”

The Phantoms are focusing on the now. Sure, they may think about the new arena since it is a main topic of conversation these days, but come gametime, it is about those 60 plus minutes.

I could see it on their faces. They are a team that wants to win, now, in Glens Falls.