Big weekend on the Islander farm(s)

A reminder of what good farming gets you.

On the Farm

This weekend is it for the Islanders' AHL affiliate in Bridgeport. If the Sound Tigers take three of three, they're in the playoffs, period. But without running the table, chips need to fall into place. Tonight is the biggest chip of all, as Michael Fornabaio (and Trevor Smith) explains: It's a proverbial "four point" game in Lowell, with the added bonus that the winner also takes the season series tiebreaker. Bridgeport is also home to Manchester Saturday night, and home to Hartford Sunday afternoon.

Adding to the weekend's challenge: leading scorer Greg Mauldin was in Pittsburgh playing for the Islanders last night. Depending on how needs shake out, it could be one of those legendary end-of-season busy weekends for the veteran.

Speaking of veterans, Sound Tigers captain Mark Wotton will be honored for his expected 1,000th pro game. Regular Bridgeport watchers will tell you how important Wotton has been in the development of the players we've seen debut on the Islanders blueline.

On the Incubator

Oh yeah: The big-league Islanders have two significant games this weekend, too. "Significant" for division rivals New Jersey and Pittsburgh, anyway. We'll give those the usual treatment, then next week the post-mortems, report cards, and general offseason and playoff-watching fun will commence.

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