Wilkes-Barre is off on this 13 game night in the AHL after punching their ticket to the Calder Cup Playoffs but there is a lot to look forward to tonight. Here’s what’s up….
The Penguins, with 71 games played, have the four seed currently which means home ice in the first round. Five through eight is Worcester, Providence, Hartford and Portland. These four teams I just mentioned have 70 games played and hit the ice tonight. Here’s who plays who…
>> Worcester is in Providence tonight. It’s actually a home and home series between the two this week, and has huge obvious playoff implications.
>> Hartford hosts Springfield. The Falcons are on the outside looking in, currently with 81 points in ninth but have 72 games played. Hartford is on the heels of Syracuse for the Northeast Division lead. Another big game with major playoff impacts.
>> Tomorrow’s opponent, the Portland Pirates, is in Manchester tonight taking on the Monarchs. Manchester has a healthy five point cushion over Hershey for the top overall seed in the Eastern Conference so there is some things left to do for the Monarchs too.
>> I conceded the East Division to the Hershey Bears about ten days ago. They are in St. John’s this weekend taking on the already eliminated IceCaps. It’s a matchup of a nothing left to play for IceCaps team that is getting a new affiliate next year against a Hershey team that stumbled last week, losing to the Sharks in a shootout and splitting a series with the Norfolk Admirals. Who knows what can happen. The Penguins trail Hershey by five points, if the Bears get swept by the IceCaps and the Penguins sweep the Pirates, it’s a one point deficit coming into the final week of the season………
So I am saying there’s a chance. It’s slim, but there is still a chance.
– The Penguins essentially ended the Phantoms season Wednesday as Lehigh Valley was officially eliminated in Thursday’s Playoff Primer.
– J-S Dea and Josh Archibald hopped an Uber from Reading back to Allentown Wednesday and made the bus in time back to Wilkes-Barre. Both were reassigned to Coal Street Thursday.
– Another day, another postseason selection for Matt Murray. Named to the AHL’s First Team All-Stars.
Anyway, I’ll drop another blog post later after the games I listed go final for the setup heading into Saturday later tonight.