Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bears clinch 2nd; Gordon suspended; Scoreboard watching

Okay so a few things have happened this week and I haven't been around to post...sorry. 

First, the Bears clinched the #2 spot in the East Division thanks to Norfolk's win on Monday night over Charlotte.  So Hershey will have home ice for the first round of the playoffs.  Dates, and the opponent, have not yet been set.

Second, Andrew Gordon will not play tomorrow night.  Why?  Because he was suspended for a high sticking incident this past weekend.  Not exactly sure what happened or why he was suspended but I would simply ask this...

Chris Durno blindsided Keith Aucoin AWAY FROM THE PLAY and he got a whopping 3 game suspension and Andrew Gordon (accidentally I believe) hits someone with a high stick and he gets 1 game???  Something doesn't add up.  Even if Gordon's suspension is warranted, which I question, Durno should have gotten more for his non-hockey play that knocked Aucoin out for a few weeks.

Here is the AHL's announcement of Gordon's suspension.

Third, scoreboard watching is in full effect.  Not to see where Hershey finishes but to see who they will play.  Three teams (Charlotte, Norfolk, Binghamton) remain a possibility after Binghamton beat Norfolk last night.

To see the AHL standings follow this link.

Of the three, only Norfolk plays tonight as they visit the Syracuse Crunch.  They follow that up with another game in Syracuse on Saturday and a trip to Connecticut for Sunday.  Syracuse doesn't strike much fear in anyone at this stage of the season but they have been playing well of late, going 7-3-0-0 in their last 10.  And the game against the Whale could be for Connecticut's playoff lives as they currently hold the #3 spot in the Atlantic by 1 point over Worcester.

Charlotte, currently the Bears first round opponent, is in solid position to remain the #3 team in the East.  They are 2 points up on Norfolk and while the Admirals have a game in hand they can only catch the Checkers if Charlotte loses.  Win both their games and Charlotte will be Hershey's first round opponent.  They host Worcester for two games Friday and Saturday night.  Not easy games as the Sharks are still pushing for the playoffs and they have ground to make up.

Binghamton has the longest odds and easiest road to move up in the standings.  Currently they sit in 5th (or 4th in the Atlantic if you would prefer) 3 points behind Charlotte with 2 games to play.  They need help just to get to 4th in the East without even considering 3rd.  They have the easiest road though with a trip to Rochester on Friday before a visit from the Phantoms on Saturday finishes their season.

Soon enough we will know Hershey's 1st round opponent.  My bet would be on Charlotte based on all the facts as of right now but that could change.  Pay attention to tonight's game because a Norfolk loss would all but clinch the 3rd spot for the Checkers.

As soon as dates are announced for the games I will surely have something posted here. 

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