Not to try to take this off-topic but the Florida Everblades are in the playoffs again.
ESTERO, FL - The Florida Everbladesannounced today the schedule for their first round playoff meeting with the Kalamazoo Wings. The Everblades and Wings will meet in a best-of-five series starting next Tuesday at Germain Arena.
GAME 1 - Tuesday, April 5 Kalamazoo at Florida, 7:30 p.m. @ Germain Arena (Ticket GAME "A")
GAME 2 - Wednesday, April 6 Kalamazoo at Florida, 7:30 p.m. @ Germain Arena (Ticket GAME "B")
GAME 3 - Friday, April 8 Florida at Kalamazoo, 7:30 p.m.
GAME 4* - Saturday, April 9 Florida at Kalamazoo, 7:30 p.m.
GAME 5* - Monday, April 11 Florida at Kalamazoo, 7:00 p.m.
* - If Necessary
During the regular season the Everblades finished with a record of 4-1-0 vs. Kalamazoo. At home, the Everblades were 3-0-0 vs. the Wings, and on the road Florida finished with a 1-1-0 mark. Overall, the Everblades outscored Columbia 17-12 in the five-game season series. The playoff meeting will be the first ever between the clubs.
Tickets for games "A" & "B" are on sale now, and can be purchased at the T.I.B. Box Office at Germain Arena, which is open from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com. For additional ticket information, contact the Everblades office at (239) 948-7825.
Just like I didn't know there was a Jr. Canes team, there is also a jr. Checkers team, they won their league and advanced to the USA Hockey National Championships (becoming the first team from Charlotte to do so). They were eliminated yesterday I think but still cool to see.
Not as tough as it would have been last year, but still very tough. The goaltending is the best part of their team now. With Groulx being part of the Edmonton organization now and several forwards that played key roles now playing up in Washington or gone (Chris Bourque, Mathieu Perreault, John Carlson, Karl Alzner, Kyle Wilson, Bryan Helmer, etc.), the main point is going to be scoring as opposed to having to score 5 or more per game to win.
Another oddity is that scoring seems to be WAY down in the AHL this season, for whatever reason. No 100 point scorers. Only one player with better than 74 points. Only 5 players that hit 70 points. Last year there were 15 that hit 70 points. 2 players that hit 100 points. 7 players who had 75 or more points. 13 players that scored 30 goals.
That makes what the boys did in Charlotte all the more remarkable offensively.
Game 1: Thursday, April 14 at Hershey, 7:00 p.m.
Game 2: Sunday, April 17 at Hershey, 5:00 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, April 19 at Charlotte, 7:00 p.m. - Time Warner Cable Arena
Game 4: Wednesday, April 20 at Charlotte, 7:00 p.m. - Time Warner Cable Arena
*Game 5: Friday, April 22 at Charlotte, 7:00 p.m. - Time Warner Cable Arena
*Game 6: Sunday, April 24 at Hershey, 5:00 p.m.
*Game 7: Monday, April 25 at Hershey, 7:00 p.m.
Unfortunately it looks like game 5, if it were the happen is the best chance most people would have at coming to a game. So this means the Checkers should win at least game 1 or game 2, preferably both, but being realistic here.
Anybody in NC, do yourself a favor and get to these games! Game 1 was fantastic- 2 very evenly matched teams playing gritty, fast hockey. This one has game 7 written all over it. I still like the Bears, I just think the experience wins out if it comes to game 7, but I think every game is going to be a battle and it truly is a toss up each night. The only Checker I thought stood out in a bad way was Sanguinetti- he just looked really off all night. And Fitzgerald seems like a total headcase. Watch for the Souray/Blanchard match up- that looks like it's ready to explode.
On the whole, as a Bears fan, I'm thrilled to have Souray. He's huge, has an absolute cannon for a shot (and sometimes it's even on net), and can be a truly shut down guy in the AHL. Last night, he kinda sucked. Since I don't care about the Oilers, I'm fine with him staying in Hershey making 6 mil a year. Blanchard and he really seem to hate each other, pretty much constant jawing after the play with random cross checks and slashes mixed in.
For the Bears, you're probably going to grow to hate Boyd Kane. He seems to be taking the role as the physical force for the Bears. The usual knock everybody near Holtby on their ass after the whistle kind of game.