Will Streaking Continue?

The soon-to-get-underway Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series between the Whale and their Fairfield County adversaries, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the first-ever postseason meeting between the two franchises, is a battle of two teams that have been decidedly streaky since the beginning of 2012.

And the Whale will have to hope that form holds, as the Sound Tigers enter the postseason seemingly due for a down streak, while the Whale finished the regular season on a down curve.

Bridgeport closed out the regular year winning nine of their last 11 games, after an 0-5-0-3 drought from March 9 through March 23.  That slide followed Bridgeport’s world-beating 20-2-0-2 tear that began with the turn of the New Year, prior to which Brent Thompson’s club was 12-17-3-1 and had dropped nine out of ten.  The Whale were almost mirror images of their Nutmeg State rivals, hitting the skids in January (right when the Sound Tigers got hot), to the tune of an 0-6-3-2 drought, scorching through a 7-0-1 run in their next eight and going 14-5-1 in their next 20, and then winning just three of their last 12 of the regular season (3-5-2-2).

On the lineup side, the Whale were suffering two big voids down the stretch, with Brendan Bell and Andre Deveaux missing the last three games,

Brendan Bell

and three major holes in the last game of the season, with Wade Redden also sitting out.  Sounds like all three of those guys are possible for the start of the series, which, if it comes to pass, would certainly be a big lift.

Bridgeport was missing Trevor Frischmon, a key two-way centerman, for the last four games of the regular year, and Jon Landry, one of their workhorses on defense, for the last three.  Mike Fornabaio, the fine hockey writer who covers the Sound Tigers for the Connecticut Post, reports that both players practiced Tuesday.  Casey Cizikas, the fine rookie who finished second on the Bridgeport club in points despite being up with the Islanders for most of the last month-and-a-half of the season, got back into action in the Sound Tigers’ last game after sitting out the first two games following his reassignment to Bridgeport.  In addition to missing Frischmon, the Sound Tigers have also been without Jeremy Colliton, another strong all-around pivot, since early March.

One big advantage the Sound Tigers have over the Whale is that the Islanders’ season is done, and the Rangers are still very much alive, leaving open the possibility that the Whale could lose players to recall.  Carl Hagelin will have one game left on his suspension after tonight, and the big club still has John Scott on the roster as an extra forward after Chris Kreider took Hagelin’s spot, but if they get a forward or two banged up, the Whale’s phones could be ringing.  At least the Rangers seem pretty well set on defense, with Jeff Woywitka in reserve and Steve Eminger reportedly close to coming back from his ankle injury.

Also, if the regular-season pattern continues, we may be treated to some extra hockey in this series.  Six of the ten regular-season get-togethers, including three of the five in Bridgeport, went to overtime.


One Response to “Will Streaking Continue?”

  1. chris Says:

    considering how big of an instate rival this is. i find it very hard to picture this being the first time in the whale/pack 15 year history has played the tigers in the post season. i believe its true if you say it is but still its hard to picture. know what i mean?

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