From caged NCAA to the cage-free Haley-iffic AHL.
As teased yesterday, the AHL playoffs begin tonight for the Northeast Division champion Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who host the Connecticut Whale in a best-of-five series. All kinds of ticket info here.
It's Baby Islanders vs. Baby Rangers -- and truly these babies have youth mixed in. Bridgeport looks to be using Brock Nelson at center (notice his placement in the official site preview here), and the Whale appears to be bringing in 2011 pick J.T. Miller to join fellow pup Christian Thomas.
Miller, by the way, was set to be Nelson's teammate at North Dakota before bailing on the Sioux and joining OHL Plymouth instead.
The Sound Tigers also have rookie Casey Cizikas playing a big role along with the trio of D prospects. And I like Baba O'Riley there on the wing; the Ferris State man has had a minor pro journey, his ECHL team folding this season.
Although Bridgeport has the aesthetically pleasing 6-2-1-1 record in the season series, a closer look by Michael Fornabaio at the CT Post betrays just how Bonus Point Party-aided that record is. As he put it: 600 minutes or regulation play, the goals were 30-29. Plenty more coverage from Fornabaio, including:
- BST Defense: Converted riverboat gamblers
- Sean Backman: Defensive, energy forward
Positional breakdown between the sides
For all your pump-up and cheesy slow pan needs:
Other notes of interest:
- In case you missed this from the official site, a little more on Josh Bailey at wing. Mikey likes it.
- Michael Grabner and Austria having a disappointing IIHF tourney, losing to Japan in shootout. [FanShot]
- An early Islanders voice passes. Be honest, old timers: How many of you remember Dom Valentino?
- Kirill Kabanov's Shawinigan side has been ousted from the Q playoffs, but they're still Memorial Cup hosts so they will play again. He was 4-9-13 in 11 playoff games.
- Nice updated average of 2012 draft rankings by Copper & Blue. [FanShot discussion]
- Another reel of ridiculous Raffi Torres hits.
- Finally, after last night's latest crazy chapter in the Battle of Penn, it's always fun to lurk on how Flyers and Pens fans respectively digest things.