Milwaukee Admirals (34-28-2-4) at Charlotte Checkers (35-24-3-6)
- This is game number 69 for both Milwaukee and Charlotte, and tonight is the first of three times they will face each other in the final two weeks of the regular season.
- Charlotte is 4-1 against Milwaukee this season. The last time the Admirals were in Charlotte, the Ads were near the top of the standings and being coached by a guy named Kirk Muller. Muller, of course, is now the coach of the Hurricanes, and after a rather abysmal month of January (not unlike the Checkers stretch between February and mid-March), the Admirals are just outside of a playoff spot.
- I kept checking the AHL news archives yesterday, but it appears there were no suspensions or further discipline following a bench-clearing incident on Sunday between the Admirals and IceHogs that resulted in the second intermission starting almost 10 minutes early so the two teams could have time to cool off. Both coaches and goalies received game misconducts, among others. For a better account, check out the Admirals Roundtable piece.
- According to the team, AJ Jenks and Bobby Sanguinetti are both day-to-day. If Jenks can’t play, amateur tryout (and 2011 Hurricanes draft pick, and first-cousin to Brett and Brandon), Brody Sutter could make his professional debut tonight.
- The Admirals have lost their last two games, while the Checkers are on their first two-game Winning streak since February 10, which was also the last time they faced Milwaukee.
The Playoff Picture:
- According to the AHL, the Checkers “magic number” is 12, meaning they need to win six games in regulation, or pick up a 2-4 OT losses in addition to 4-5 wins in their final eight games to guarantee them a spot in the post season. Knowing the magic number is nice, but since almost everyone in the West has a similar number, it’s still tough to tell how it’s all going to play out. But Charlotte’s chances are very good, and they might not need all 12 points to make it in, especially since every point up for grabs in the next two weeks is against a team fighting just as hard to guarantee them a spot for the playoffs.
- Milwaukee’s “magic number” is 17, which with only eight games left, is impossible, however, just like with the Checkers, they face the same pool of teams that Charlotte is, and each game will be crucial. The playoffs are still a possibility, however they’ll need to sweep the games in Charlotte to really have a chance.
- If the playoffs started today (and fortunately, they don’t), the Checkers would face Abbotsford, without home-ice advantage. Let’s hope this does not become a reality on April 15.
Other notes worth mentioning:
- Congratulations to Bobby Sanguinetti for being named as the Checkers Man of the Year.
- The LA Kings did a great piece on Darryl Sutter, Brett Sutter’s dad. It’s about Brett’s younger brother Chris, who was born with Down’s Syndrome. It’s a great read, and a true testament to the power of a strong family.
Gametime: 7:00 p.m. EST
Charlotte Radio: WBCN 1660 AM
Milwaukee Blog: The Admirals Roundtable
Referee: Francis Charron (#46)
Linesmen: Joe DeMizio (#3), Jean Menard (#12)