Alex Ackerman welcomes Raw Charge contributor Lee Wright back to the podcast. Lee has been covering Syracuse this season and brings a wealth of insight into today’s episode about Syracuse and the Tampa Bay Lightning-Syracuse-Orlando organization as a whole. The two discuss Lee’s recent trip to watch the Orlando Solar Bears in person. Lee discusses his observations from the game, including how prospects-call-up fodder Jaydon Dureau and Tyson Feist performed. The two banter a bit about the differences between the AHL and the ECHL, and the challenges that are unique to teams like the Solar Bears.
The discussion shifts from Orlando to the in-game experience that Syracuse offers. High praise is given to the team’s in-game promotional department and executive staff in charge of selling tickets. The team’s community involvement and initiatives, as well as the Crunch’s social media and engagement strategies, are also highlighted.
Returning to the actual game, Lee makes an interesting observation about Syracuse’s tendency to take penalties and how losing seems to be heavily connected to those moments of undisciplined play. Lee takes a look at the penalty kill stats, and also outlines the telling disparity between the penalty minute-takers on the team starting with Gemel Smith, who was loaned to Henderson not that long ago. Smith becomes a short topic of conversation before Alex and Lee move to talking about the influences of other players like Gabriel Dumont, Trevor Carrick, P.C. Labrie, and newcomer Daniel Walker.
Lee offers his opinion on Syracuse’s eclectic March schedule, and how that might actually help the Crunch as the playoffs approach. Alex and Lee also take a brief look at the upcoming NHL trade deadline and how it might affect the team.