Kukla's Korner

Red and Black Hockey

Rats, Bears set for Division final

In AHL Calder Cup playoff action, the Albany River Rats and the defending Cup champ Hershey Bears (Capitals) are set to begin their East division finals series.  Because the AHL playoffs aren’t re-seeded between rounds and because they don’t wait for all first round series to conclude, this series might be three games deep while one first round series is still going.  I don’t really like that set-up.  It could potentially lead to a situation where some team is sitting around for two weeks or more waiting for an opponent.

Anyway, this series will begin with a back-to-back in Hershey on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.  In regular season action, the Rats were 2-6 against the Bears, and they lost all four games played in Hershey.  Interestingly, the Rats were also 2-6 in the regular season against the Baby Pens, losing all four games played in Wilkes-Barre.  That, obviously, had no bearing on the playoff series that the Rats won in straight games.

The Bears had declared Team USA u-20 hero John Carlson on their Clear Day roster, but they’ll have to continue to do without him, as he’s busy playing for their parent club Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup playoffs.  As far as I can tell, Carlson is the only one of the Clear Day players who is unavailable to the Bears. 

Due to a glut of injuries on the Hurricanes and a complete dismantling of the defense corps, seven of Albany’s Clear Day players were in Raleigh up until the end of the NHL season.  The fact that Albany got them back sort of annoyed Baby Pens head coach Todd Reirden, who complained that his team wasn’t able to bring seven players down from Pittsburgh.  He, of course, failed to see that the situation was more that Carolina had to call those seven players up in the first place.  By season’s end, there were as many as eight AHLers on the Hurricanes roster.  I don’t get how this plays out as an unfair advantage to the Rats.

Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ahl, albany+river+rats, calder+cup+playoffs, hershey+bears

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About Red and Black Hockey

David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science.  He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows.  Sometimes, all in the same day. 

David has contributed to CBC.ca for their Stanley Cup playoff coverage in 2006 and to the New York Times Slapshot blog for theirs in 2008. Red and Black Hockey was founded in July of 2005.