The Lehigh Valley Phantoms season is underway and they have all kinds of eyes on them given the level of talent on the roster. They have the “Legion of Soon” Morgan Frost, Joel Farabee, and Isaac Ratcliffe, plus defenseman Phil Myers. Through the team’s first three games they are 1-1-1. So who sticks out in a good, and not so good way to start the season?
Joel Farabee- Farabee has played two games for the Phantoms after he returned from Europe with the Flyers and scored two goals in two games. Who knows if he can keep up that pace, but it is great to see him dominate early on.
Phil Myers- Not really surprising, but Myers has been a dominate force for the Phantoms since his demotion from the Flyers. He’s far and away the best defenseman for the Phantoms and he really doesn’t belong here. That being said, he has struggled to earn his place in the NHL, so for the time being he is going to have to continue lighting up the AHL until the Flyers clear the current log jam on defense.
Isaac Ratcliffe- After a preseason where he didn’t seem to fit at the NHL level taking dumb penalties, he has shown he can control himself to play a solid game. He is probably far from his NHL debut, but the fact that he is turning his game around early in the season shows he is learning quickly.
J.F. Berube- Not many positives to Berube early in the season. He has allowed seven goals in his first two games, both losing efforts. He has looked uncomfortable in the crease and his puck handling skill are subpar to say the least. He will probably end up backing up Alex Lyon, but that isn’t much of an improvement. It becomes all the more infuriating when they sent Felix Sandstrom to the ECHL to make room for Berube.
Greg Carey- The long-time Phantoms fan favorite is having an abysmal start to the 2019-20 season. A veteran of now 223 games in Lehigh Valley, he has been put on the top line with Morgan Frost and (typically) Cal O’Reilly, but to say there has been no chemistry between Frost and Carey is an understatement. The two haven’t clicked on the powerplay either, as Carey has noticeably struggled to keep up with Frost. Not to mention he fell down twice in open ice on the powerplay during game one, and once in game two. Hopefully things turn around for him, and for Frost’s sake, we can all hope that’s true.
Felix Sandstrom- This one isn’t on him as much as it is the organization. He was sent down to the ECHL last week when Alex Lyon returned from Europe. As stated, Berube has not been an improvement and Lyon is as average as they come. While it may not be a huge deal, it certainly isn’t good for his development considering he is marked for the eventual backup to Carter Hart.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: LV Phantoms instagram