Generally, when the Phantoms skate at their practice rink on Fire Road, I drive back to the Civic Center to do interviews. I did that Thursday, forgetting about the rodeo that has invaded the place for the weekend.
It made an interesting backdrop for the day's work. I've included some pictures of the hallway outside the Phantoms' locker room -- the animals go right past --- and the pen outside the coaches' office.
With only one game in 13 days, practice went on longer than usual for a Thursday. Here's an update:
UPDATE: The Flyers announced late Thursday afternoon that Ben Holmstrom has been loaned back to the Phantoms. That may mean Jon Kalinski is less likely to play.
-- Neither Jon Kalinski or Joe Paterson could confirm that Kalinski would be in the lineup Friday night against Springfield, but he sure looked like it to me. Kalinski skated on a regular line and worked in all situations. He says he's good to go. Paterson called it a "game-time decision." Kalinski confirmed that he hurt his hand blocking a shot in a preaseason game in Philadelphia. Wish I had known that before I reached out to shake his hand.
-- Paterson all but ruled out Mike Testwuide, who suffered a lower-body injury last Friday and has missed one game.
-- Dan Jancevski did not skate. Paterson said he had a "small operation" and could be ready for Friday night, but since he hasn't practiced all week, that seems unlikely.
-- Johan Backlund came out for the final third of practice, apparently the second time he has skated with the team this week, but Paterson said he's still a good ways from playing.
-- Not only is Andy Bohmbach in the lineup, looks like he's going to play a major role on the power play. Paterson had him playing on the half-wall, where he had success in Trenton.
Here's how the lines may look Friday:
Sestito/Kalinski/Bohmbach; Hamel/Roe/Harper; Wellwood/Pither/Akeson; Klotz/Brown/McGinn.