/Three Phantoms players to watch in the first round

Three Phantoms players to watch in the first round

Lehigh Valley has many talented players on their roster heading into the Calder Cup Playoffs this season, where they will face off against the Providence Bruins in the first round for a best-of-5 series.

Phil Varone

MVP of the AHL is nothing to scoff at; Varone was voted winner of the Les Cunningham Award last week. The honor is well-deserved for the man that has enjoyed a career season. Varone put up 70 points in the regular season, with 23 goals and 47 assists. You can usually find him either in the faceoff circle, or ripping down the ice into the offensive zone to make plays for his teammates. He is obviously a threat on the power play, and can score if he sees a chance. Varone has proven to be a great addition to the team since his signing in 2017, and can hopefully stay for a while.

T.J. Brennan

Brennan is arguably one of the best defensemen in the AHL. He finished the regular season with 45 points, and even led the league at one point during the year. Last season, he led the Phantoms in points, his second time doing so with the club. Brennan is a great defensive-minded player with an underrated offensive game. If he sees a chance to jump in the play, he will, and will take advantage of it as much as he can, but will also almost always get back on defense in time – he is rarely, if ever, caught off-guard. Brennan also tied for the lead for the team in points in the short-lived playoffs last year, registering one goal and three assists (he tied with Chris Conner).

Alex Lyon

Obviously, the goaltender is a main part of who to watch in the playoffs. He is the player always on the ice, after all. I think it is safe to assume Lyon will be the starting goaltender for the majority of the playoffs. Lyon put allowed 2.75 GAA and registered a .913 SV% during the regular season, going 16-8. He was also called up to the Flyers on a few occasions, when injuries occurred to Michal Neuvirth, Brian Elliott, and/or Petr Mrazek. Lyon did fairly well in his time with the Flyers, going 4-2 with a .905 SV% and 2.75 GAA. Barring injury, Lyon has the ability to support the team in a deep playoff run. He has some experience in the Calder Cup playoffs, but was limited due to an injury before the series against the Hershey Bears last year.

The only way to describe Andrew is by using his own words: “I write poorly for Good Night, Good Hockey. I don’t take anything serious in life except hockey. Bound to make the NHL after I die.” The primary way of contacting Andrew is at this email: aostrosky@gnghockey.com.