Friday, May 29, 2009
Take the Bears in.....
It was a weird feeling making it to the Calder Cup finals this season. I basically expected it so it wasn't as big of a thing as it should have been. Following this team as closely as I did this year gave me the feeling that this team was getting this far. Sure there were some touch and go moments but even during the worst times of the season I always thought that this team would get to this point.
I never really doubted it from the moment they made the key signings last offseason. And then when the rookies showed their ability it just made my confidence grow stronger.
And now...Game 1 is almost here!
The team is in Manitoba already getting ready to face the #1 overall seed in the playoffs. This game might be the most important of the series. And in my opinion it is set up okay for the Bears. All of the pressure is on Manitoba in this game. For the first time in the postseason the Bears will not have the pressure on them in game 1.
In my personal opinion this team will shine when the pressure isn't on. There will be enough pressure to keep them focused and honest but not as much as what will be on the Moose. Because of 15,000 fans, home ice, and being the #1 seed. I mean really on paper you would have to say the Moose are the favorites to win this series. So Hershey finally gets to see what the underdog role feels like.
Personally I think they thrive!
Someone made mention on the forum that the Moose have not faced a team like Hershey yet in the playoffs and they are spot on. To get to this point the Moose have beaten a #4 seed, a #3 seed, and another #3 seed. I am not saying that those weren't good teams but they weren't the caliber of the teams Hershey played.
And I know the Bears played a 4, 3, and 2 seed (which isn't much better) but when that #3 seed is the second best offensive team in the league and a team that dominated you in the regular season it is a little more impressive.
The goalies that Manitoba went up against were not quite the caliber of what the Bears faced either. Most of the goaltenders (with the exception of Matt Climie of the Aeros who played 2 against Manitoba) didn't have a save percentage over .900. Compared to Adam Berkhoel and Tuukka Rask not too many goalies are in the same league.
Now all that being said I still think this is a very tough series for the Bears. I am going to make a pick here but I have to add to it.
I will officially take Hershey in 6.
BUT if the Bears win game 1....it could be over in 5. If they lose game 1 it won't end before game 6.
So there. Enjoy game 1. I know I will.
If you want some more info on the two teams check out this link:
Bears/Moose Preview - AHL.com