…I forget the punchline, but the Penguins playoff opponent for the second round got a lot clearer. Here’s what we know:
– The Hershey Bears defeated the Worcester Sharks and are on to the next round with a 10-4 drubbing of the Sharks in Game 4.
– The Hartford Wolf Pack won in overtime in the decisive Game 5 against the Providence Bruins by a score of 3-2.
So the 2, 3, and 4 seeds are onto the second round. The AHL re-seeds in the second round. Here’s what can happen tomorrow when Portland and Manchester lock up tomorrow in their deciding Game 5:
– First off, the Penguins cannot play the Bears in the second round. That means…
– If Manchester wins, the Penguins play the Monarchs and the Wolf Pack play the Bears in Round 2.
– If Portland wins, the Penguins play the Wolf Pack and the Bears play Portland.
Pick your poison, Pens fans. Portland rallied from two goals in the third period on the final day of the regular season to qualify for the postseason, and have won two straight against the Manchester Monarchs. The Monarchs have lost back-to-back for just the second time this season! The last time was way back in October. The Pirates shutout the Monarchs 5-0 Thursday. Even if the Monarchs rally, they are still the best team in the AHL and will likely use those mistakes made in Games 3 and 4 against Portland to ensure a similar fate doesn’t occur against the Penguins.
If Portland does pull off the reverse sweep, you are getting a Hartford team that won the Northeast Division that knows how to win close games. The Wolf Pack played the P-Bruins to triple overtime in Game 2 of that series. Neither team, Manchester or Portland, will be easy.
We will know more tomorrow. I’ll have a blog piece up at the conclusion of the game Saturday with opponent and schedule, if available.
Elsewhere, I played radio with the Great Bob Howard. Link here. I am somewhere around the half hour mark.
Let’s start a new joke… a Monarch or a Wolf walk into a bar….