There will be Postseason Hockey in Hartford again

It’s officially 14 playoff appearances in 15 seasons for the Whale, after Sunday’s 1-0 win at Hershey, combined with Adirondack’s loss at home to Rochester, ensured the Whale a ticket to the postseason.  The victory also improved the Whale’s chances of catching Bridgeport for first place in the Northeast Division, as the Sound Tigers were idle after a 4-2 home loss to Providence on Saturday night that snapped a seven-game winning streak.

It’s now a three-point spread between the Whale and Bridgeport, 87 points to 84, and the Sound Tigers have a pretty tough last three games, with a visit to Providence on Friday and a home and home with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Saturday and Sunday.  The Whale have no cakewalk either, though, with a road game Wednesday in Portland, which is tied with Manchester for the last playoff slot in the conference, the home finale against Manchester on Friday and a journey to red-hot Syracuse on Saturday night.  The Whale could still catch Hershey for fifth in the conference too, as four points now separate those two teams.  Hershey finishes with three-in-three on the road, at Portland on Friday, at Manchester Saturday and at Portland Sunday.

 

It was a gutty effort by the Whale on Sunday, a carefully played game that saw both teams stay very stingy with the scoring chances.

Cam Talbot

One of those little things in hockey that looms so large, a faceoff win, led to the only goal of the game, with Kelsey Tessier beating former Wolf Pack Andrew Carroll on a draw, Casey Wellman and Jon Audy-Marchessault working the puck back to Pavel Valentenko at the point, and “Tank” pounding it past the stick side of Dany Sabourin.  Other than that, Sabourin and the Whale’s Cam Talbot were impenetrable, and Talbot rang up the fourth shutout, just two off the league lead, out of his 14 wins on the season.

 

Norfolk, whose incredible win streak has now reached 25 games, has clinched first place overall, and St. John’s has locked up the Atlantic Division title, but Bridgeport could still catch the IceCaps for second in the conference.  Syracuse needs four more points either way to clinch a spot but still could finish ahead of the Whale.  Manchester and Portland are tied for the eighth-and-final playoff spot at 77 points, but the Monarchs still have four games left to the Pirates’ three, so that gives Manchester a big edge, and also a chance to get past the Whale, if the Monarchs reach their max of 85 points.  Adirondack could still get 82 points, so they are still alive for a spot, as is Providence, which could still get 81.  Springfield is at 74 points with only two games to play, so they are hanging by a thread, and Worcester, at 70 with four games left, still has a mathematical chance.  Only Albany and Binghamton are out of the race.

Things are still amazingly unsettled in the Western Conference, with only divisional champs Oklahoma City (West) and Toronto (North), as well as Abbotsford, having clinched berths.  Hamilton and last-place Texas have been eliminated, but everyone else still has a shot.

The Midwest Division title is still undetermined, with Chicago leading Milwaukee by four points but the Admirals, Peoria and Charlotte still having a shot at it.  The Wolves still have a magic number of four points to punch their ticket, and then four teams, Milwaukee, Houston, Peoria and Lake Erie are all tied at 82 points apiece, and San Antonio and Rochester both have 81.  Charlotte can still get 87 points, so they are very much alive.  The most Rockford can get is 82, so they are teetering on the brink of elimination, as is Grand Rapids, which has 75 points with four to play.

Looks like a great last week of action, and scoreboard watching, all around.

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2 Responses to “There will be Postseason Hockey in Hartford again”

  1. chris Says:

    ok so they will eaither go 2-2-1 or 2-3. and if they go 2-3 the higher seed has the option of playing the first 2 at home or the last 3 at home. i think the bridgeport whale searieas will be a 2-2-1 because its olny an hour drive between the 2 cities

  2. chris Says:

    Great moments are born from great opportunity.
    And that’s what you have here this searieas, boys.
    That’s what you’ve earned here, this searieas.
    3 to 5 games
    If we played ’em ten searieas in a row, they might win nine.
    But not this searieas.
    This searieas. we skate with ’em
    This searieas, we stay with ’em, and we shut them down because we can!
    This seareais, we are the greatest ahl hockey team in the state of ct.
    You were born to be hockey players — every one of ya.
    And you were meant to be here this searies.
    This is your time.
    Their time — is done. It’s over.
    I’m sick and tired of hearin’ about what a great hockey team sound tigers have.
    Screw ’em!
    This is your time!!
    Now go out there and take it

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