Good morning and Happy St. Patrick's Day, Snakes fans!! This day always makes me think of my paternal grandfather, Frank Sheppard, who was born in Ireland. If there was ever a man who kissed the blarney stone it was him. Miss you, Poppy! :)
NEXT CHAT: Mark your calendars and get ready to fire away, everyone. The Ledger-Enquirer's next chat with Jerome is this coming Monday, March 21st at 12:30. Just go to the L-E website and get answers to all of your questions. I try as best I can, but Jerome is the only one who really can answer anything that begins with: "WHY" :)!!
BREAKING NEWS: This just in from the league office...Jerome has been suspended for tonight's game against Huntsville. You remember his tirade against the ref in the second game against Mississippi last weekend? It earned him one game as a spectator. Will be interesting to see how the guys respond. Their leader gone for a crucial game...will they rise to the occasion? We'll know tonight!
FOUR-POINT SWING: Huge game in Huntsville tonight. Right now the Snakes are only four points behind the third-place Havoc. A win tonight cuts that margin in half. A loss makes it eight, a considerably bigger hill to climb.
JEKYLL AND HYDE: Which Snakes team will we see this weekend? The hard-hitting one that comes out with the drop of the first puck and flat out takes over the game? Or the one that lays back and "runs around" waiting for the other team to set the tempo? Tomorrow night, watch the first three shifts...one for each line. Talked to Jerome a minute ago and Orrin will return tonight!! Odds are if Orrin's line starts and he lays somebody out with a big hit, everyone else follows and the Snakes not only do the above...but take home a W.
ALL HANDS ON DECK: Since Daryl and Sammy returned, the two of them plus Brett and Jesse are the only guys scoring. In the past five games, Levi, Jordan, Matt, Mitch, Orrin and Pete have a TOTAL of one point. Unbelieveable, I know, but I checked...twice. Jordan had one assist in the last five games and all the other forwards have been shut out. For the Snakes to be successful, they have to have all three lines producing.
ON FIRE: Jesse is now in the scoring lead with 8 points in his last 5 games. Jesse is absolutely on fire, scoring what I call hard-working goals and also making sure he's in the right place at the right time. Right on his heels, three points behind Jesse is Sam. Sam has five points in his last five games. These guys, along with Brett, have the most prolific scoring line, not only at full strength. They get the first call on the power play, along with Tom and Bret. They're a huge reason why the PP has risen to 3rd place.
FIRST AND LAST: We're down to the last five regular-season games, Snakes fans. Both LA and MS come to town this weekend. The Snakes played a total of two periods out of six against the Surge last weekend. It'll take a 60-minute effort for them to beat the top team on Saturday night. Can they do it? I think so, but only if all three lines contribute and they hit, hit, hit!!