They are 1 point behind the 7th place Connecticut Whale, 2 points ahead of 9th place Norfolk, 3 points in front of 10th place Albany, and 4 points in front of the 11th and 12th place teams, Manchester and Bridgeport.
Seems to me that that covers all the teams that Hershey can catch in the standings or that they need to worry about beneath them. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is in 6th with 78 points, 5 more than Hershey's 71. The chances of catching them are probably slim, but the Bears do have 2 games in hand and Sunday features a head to head matchup with the I-81 rivals.
Tonight and tomorrow feature a tougher set of games in the form of a home and home against the Syracuse Crunch.
The Bears, much like the Caps, playoff hopes really are quite simple....
Win the rest of your games and you are in.
See, nothing to it.
Last week I said that the Bears likely needed about 83 points to make the playoffs. I stand by that number and that means the Bears need to earn 10 points in 9 games. Definitely possible.
All of the teams mentioned above have tough slates this weekend as well.
Norfolk gets 2 games against Binghamton. Manchester gets Portland and Providence tonight and tomorrow. Albany gets Providence, Wilkes-Barre, and Rochester. Bridgeport gets Connecticut. The Whale get Springfield, Bridgeport, and Providence. And Wilkes-Barre gets Albany and Hershey (plus Adirondack...not a toughie).
Got all that? Yeah, me neither.
It's pretty simple though. Hershey can't afford losses.
BUT, if you want to scoreboard watch...here are the games to watch tonight:
Wilkes-Barre at Adirondack - 7:00
Providence at Albany - 7:00
Springfield at Connecticut - 7:00
Portland at Manchester - 7:00
Binghamton at Norfolk - 7:30
And of course...Hershey at Syracuse - 7:30.
A Connecticut loss, coupled with a Bears win would be rather awesome as it would give the Bears some breathing room between them and 9th place.
9 games left.
I expect to see some hockey at Giant Center after April 21.
LET'S GO BEARS!!!!