Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: ahl
On Thursday night, the Charlotte Checkers won the first game of the East Division final 3-2 against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Baby Penguins. Jon Matsumoto scored two power play goals and Zac Dalpe netted his fourth of the playoffs. Zach Boychuk assisted on Dalpe’s goal to extend his points streak to seven games. He has at least one point in every game of the postseason. Brett Sutter, who has also had a hot hand, got the second assist on Dalpe’s goal.
Mike Murphy made his fifth straight start and got his fourth straight win, making 28 saves in the process.
I noticed a lot of buzz on my Twitter feed today about the Albany Devils and some of the tweets were pretty awful. I had to find out what was the rumpus. It basically has to do with their attendance woes and the cavalier attitude that the front office has in reference to this. This season, the Albany Devils (top affiliate of the New Jersey Devils) were the worst team in the American Hockey League and their attendance numbers were by far the worst in the league. The truth of the matter is that Albany hasn’t had much success at the gate for several years. In the mid-1990s they were a great team on the ice and at the box office, but it’s gone downhill over the last several seasons.
At the conclusion of the regular season, Albany GM Chris Lamoriello ruffled some feathers when he casually said:
We don’t worry about the people that aren’t here. We worry about the people that are here. That is our focus”
When you’re averaging 3,100 people a game, the focus needs to be on getting more people in the stands. That’s dead last in the league, more than 2,200 under the league average. Hockey fans in Albany are upset with this attitude, and they should be.
There’s not much going on over here at RBH. Charlotte has signed a few players and the Canes prospect team has been named for the Traverse City tournament. The Canes won that tournament last year and are again expected to be favorites. All eyes will be on Riley Nash and Jeff Skinner, who will both be in the running for a spot on the Canes big team.
Sometime quite soon, the AHL Charlotte Checkers will learn their schedule. The NBA will release its schedule this coming Tuesday, and the AHL schedule maker will go full steam ahead with the nightmarish task of creating the schedule. I sort of assumed that there was a highly sophisticated computer that handled this task, but it’s still done the old-fashioned way. There’s an interesting article on theahl.com about the painstaking manual process.
While the actual AHL schedule won’t be out until sometime in August, the league has announced the format.
The Charlotte Checkers know that they will, as expected, play a schedule heavy with games against the Norfolk Admirals (Lightning). The two teams will play twelve times; six in each team’s building. They will play the defending Calder Cup champ Hershey Bears (Capitals), the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Binghamton Senators eight times each. They’ll play the Adirondack Phantoms (Flyers) and the Albany Devils six times each. Each of the seven teams in the Atlantic Division and also the Syracuse Crunch (Ducks) will play four times.
They will not play any teams from the Western Conference.
Details are here.
To correct something I posted a couple of days ago, the American Hockey League schedule WILL NOT be released before the NBA schedule. My information was faulty, and I was contacted by a different Checkers representative with the correction.
The other information is still good. The Checkers will have their home opener on October 15 against an undisclosed opponent. That will be officially announced tomorrow at the Checkers’ party for the NHL Draft. They will also reveal their new sweaters at this party.
In addition, four bonus tickets for opening night indeed serve as incentive to sign up for season tickets.
There will be plenty more Checkers updates in the coming days along with the Hurricanes draft details.
Sorry about the misinformation.
This season, the Charlotte Checkers will play their first season in the American Hockey Leauge, and they’ll be one of
a few teams in the AHL (the other being the San Antonio Rampage—edit. also, the Houston Aeros, Milwaukee Admirals and Lake Erie Monsters—) to share its arena with an NBA pro basketball team. The ECHL Checkers also played in the Time Warner Cable (Bobcats) Arena in downtown Charlotte, and theyf got the short shrift when it came to scheduling. They used to get their schedule after the Bobcats and the NBA had already laid claim to 41 dates. This year, however, they’ll be getting better priority.
I’ve been told by a Charlotte Checkers representative that the AHL schedule will be released “sometime in August” and that it will be released before the NBA releases its schedule. This means that the Checkers won’t have “second choice” and they’ll be able to have more of the attractive weekend games and less of the crummy Tuesday night home games. I’ve been told that the home opener will be on Friday October 15. No other details are available just yet, but this is a big deal for the Checkers to have first chair fiddle.
With the folding of one team, a couple of affiliation changes and a couple of new teams, the American Hockey League today announced the new divisional alignment for the 2010-11 season. The Charlotte Checkers will be playing in the East Division of the Eastern Conference. This is the same division that the Albany River Rats played in, and the changes appear to be minor at first, but there are actually quite a few.
Unfortunately, the league didn’t make the change that it really should have. There are two conferences of 15 teams with two divisions each. I really wish they would have burned that system down and made two conferences of three five-team divisions. Instead, there’s the imbalance of one division with seven teams and one with eight. It complicates playoff qualification and it makes for a schedule with no hope of balance.
On Tuesday night, the Albany River Rats suffered a heartbreaking 6-5 overtime loss to the Hershey Bears. Twice in the game, they led by two goals and they led by one with less than five minutes to play, but the Bears did as they have done for the entire series and they answered the bell every single time. At 16:08 of the overtime period, Jay Beagle beat Justin Peters with a rebound chance and the Rats are down three games to none.
They always say in any sport that a playoff series isn’t really a series until someone wins a road game. Well, it’s officially a series. Unfortunately, it may as well be officially over.
On Thursday night, the Rats will try to stave off elimination with what might be the final game in the Carolina Hurricanes portion of the Albany River Rats history.
On Sunday afternoon, the Albany River Rats got themselves into trouble on the ice, and in the end they are in a two game hole in the best-of-seven series. The final score in Sunday’s game was 6-3, but in fairness it was much closer than that.
In a carbon copy of Saturday’s game, the Rats spent the entire third period in the box. There might be some speculation that the officials tilted the ice, but the fact of the matter is that the Rats have played undisciplined. They took four consecutive penalties in the third period on Saturday, then four consecutive in Sunday’s game two. Hershey, on the other hand, committed no third period penalties on Saturday. The only third period penalties against them on Sunday were fighting majors to match those of the Rats.
The Rats started the third period today with a shorthanded goal by Nick Dodge to take a 3-2 lead, but it all went downhill from there. The parade to the penalty box led to three straight power play goals and finally an empty-net goal in the dying seconds. This was followed by a lot of extracurricular activity that did nothing other than risk injuries and/or suspensions to Rats players. Naturally, Tim Conboy was involved in some of the rough stuff.
In the East Division finals, the Hershey Bears have taken a one games to none lead of the best of seven series. Jerome Samson tallied two goals in the losing effort, as the Rats fell 4-3 in overtime.
Winger Jiri Tlusty suffered a “lower body injury” in the first period and did not return. With game two less than 19 hours away, I guess they’ll have to use one of the “in residence” players or one of the guys who was just recalled from the Florida Everblades of the ECHL.
The theme of the night was penalty trouble. The Rats dug a lot of holes for themselves, amassing 33 minutes of penalties. They were already a man down, and they spent the better part of the third period on the penalty kill. They managed to kill six of the seven penalties, but the killers were spending too much time on the ice and the forwards were already double shifting after losing Tlusty.
Justin Peters made 44 saves in the loss. Due to the back-to-back situation with the short turnaround, I suspect that we’ll see Justin Pogge in nets for the Rats on Sunday.
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.
On Monday night, the Albany River Rats completed their clean sweep of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Baby Penguins with a 5-3 win on the road. The four game sweep puts them through to the Eastern Division final where they will meet the winner of the Bridgeport (Islanders) v Hershey (Capitals) series. The Hershey Bears lead that series 3-1, and game five will be Wednesday night.
The hero of game four was defenseman Jamie McBain, who scored two goals including an empty netter. He’s got four goals in four playoff games, which is best among AHL defensemen. Zach Boychuk scored his first, which turned out to be the game-winner. Oscar Osala and Jerome Samson also added tallies for the Rats.
The Rats will have several days off before the next round begins, and they’ll need to work on their power play. They’ve had 20 power play opportunities and have yet to cash in. This is definitely going to have to change.
On Sunday afternoon, the Albany River Rats took a commanding 3-0 series lead in their Calder Cup playoff series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Baby Penguins with a 2-1 win in Wilkes-Barre. Rats leading scorer Jerome Samson was shut down in the first two games of this series, but he potted the game-winner at 5:45 of the third.
The game was scoreless through the first 40 minutes, but Mike Angelidis got the Rats on the board early in the third, and Samson followed a couple of minutes later.
Game four will be Monday night in Wilkes-Barre at 7:05, when the Rats will have a chance to break out their brooms for a season sweep. The River Rats haven’t won a playoff series since 1998, when they advanced to the Calder Cup semifinals.
The Albany River Rats took a 2-0 series lead against the WBS Baby Pens in Calder Cup playoff action on Friday. They won game two 3-2 with defenseman Jamie McBain potting the game-winner.
The Pens focus has been shutting down Rats leading scorer Jerome Samson, and they’ve done that. Tonight, he only had two shots on goal and had a -1 rating. The Rats, though, are getting big things from other guys. McBain scored his second of the postseason, and Nick Dodge scored his third of the second season. Left wing Chris Terry also contributed with his first goal of the playoffs.
The series resumes Sunday afternoon in Wilkes-Barre. I’m guessing that the Pens might want to dial up a defensive plan that keys in on Nick Dodge.
On Wednesday, the Albany River Rats won the first game of their first round Calder Cup playoff series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Baby Penguins. Nick Dodge had the game-winner in the last minute of regulation, his second of the game. The Rats play at home again tonight and will hope to gain a 2-0 series lead.
Left wing Jacob Micflikier and defenseman Jamie McBain also tallied goals for the Rats.
Nick Johnson led the Baby Pens with two goals (including a short-handed goal) and an assist. The Pens will see a change in goal on Friday night due to an illness and a call-up.
Barring a miracle, the Carolina Hurricanes will be out of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Their American League affiliate, though, will play on this spring. On Friday night, the Albany River Rats lost 2-1 to the Norfolk Admirals (Tampa Bay Lightning), but they managed to clench a spot in the AHL’s Calder Cup playoffs anyway.
This is a result of other AHL action, in which the Lowell Devils (New Jersey Devils) lost 5-2 to the Hartford Wolf Pack (New York Rangers).
In all likelihood, the Rats, who missed the playoffs last season, will have home-ice advantage for the first round. The Rats won the Calder Cup in 1995 as the top affiliate of the New Jersey Devils, and they haven’t won a playoff series since 1998.