Saturday, May 26, 2007

Da Bears

It's so quiet right now I swear I just saw tumbleweed fly across the NHL website. It's that calm before the storm where everything about the upcoming series has been said, all the matchups analyzed and overanalyzed, all the key factors pointed out and pounded into our brains, and now all we can wait.

Tap our fingers impatiently on the table.

Watch bad reality television.

Maybe hum a little tune.

Or we could *gasp* watch hockey! Now bear with me, because this may sound a little crazy, but did you know that not only is there hockey being played this very night, but said hockey is also of direct interest to Caps fans?

Capitals-related postseason hockey. I kid you not.

Tonight the Hershey Bears look to close out the sweep of the Manchester Monarchs and advance to the Calder Cup Finals for the second straight year. At the same time the Hamilton Bulldogs will attempt to take care of some unfinished business and do what they couldn't do last night - eliminate the Chicago Wolves.

It's just very exciting, kids. Lots of layers to this one, too:

- The Bears have only lost two games this postseason, both in overtime. Their opponents, the Manchester Monarchs, had up until this year never won a playoff you have to think that everything else is just gravy and they'll just roll over. (Hey, a girl can dream.)

- Meanwhile out West...ish...Hamilton is en route to their third Calder Cup Final appearance in franchise history, provided they can take care of those pesky Chicago Wolves, although we know them better as the baby Thrashers.

- Fun fact that I uncovered - the Bulldogs clinched their first appearance in the Finals with a win over Albany exactly ten years ago tomorrow. Their opponent in that championship series? The Hershey Bears. Freaky.

- More semi-interesting tidbits -

  • 3 of the top 10 scorers in the AHL playoffs so far are from Hershey. That's not completely unexpected, but consider the fact that the Bears have played 13 games, fewer than any of the other three remaining teams. The top two scorers are both from Chicago, while Manchester has 2 of the top 10 as well and poor Hamilton only has one. The Baby Pens and the Baby Bruins each somehow snuck a player in to the top 10...go figure.
  • Of the top 20 scorers, Hershey has five: Fleischmann, Barney, Wilson, Steckel and Mike freakin' Green. Love it.
  • In the last two postseasons, Hershey has lost only 7 games - 3 of those losses came in overtime (including both losses this year), 2 losses were by one goal, and 2 were by two goals. Only once were they shutout. Is that good? That seems good to me. I don't know.
Hot and spicy AHL action coming your way tonight, be sure to check it out on B2 Networks - time to cheer on those Bears to another Calder Cup!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What's so funny is that I'm really a die-hard Pens fan... I'm just living in Hershey, and will take any chance I can to watch hockey.

(Have the Hlogers reached a consensus on having a goon squad yet? I want to contribute, but the Pens are full... I volunteered to do either "nasty hits" or "AHL blog" and haven't heard back yet.)