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Let the Games Begin: Penguins & Admirals Tonight

Friday, April 15, 2011
The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins begin their quest for the franchise's first ever Calder Cup Championship tonight in Game 1 of the East Division Semi-Finals against the Norfolk Admirals.

The Penguins team website has a ton of great stats and information here. I put up a post a  few days back about the basics on both teams here.

The WBS Penguins have a clear advantage on defense with AHL goalie of the year Brad Thiessen in net, while the Admirals have an edge with their offensive forwards, featuring former WBS Penguin Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Blair Jones, Johan Harju and Mattias Rittola.

I think an important thing to watch will be how the Penguins forwards can do against Norfolk's defense and goaltending. The Admirals cooled off down the stretch while the Penguins stayed dominant.

As for a prediction, I think the Penguins end this series at home in Game 6. The Penguins defense should be able to slow down Norfolk's offense enough that they can win low scoring defensive type games like they have been down the stretch. They will need to rely on strong goaltending from Brad Thiessen and shutdown defense from their defensive studs in Brian Strait and Robert Bortuzzo.

As always, game thread will be up a half hour before the start of the game. Thread at 6:30 p.m. EST. puck drops at 7. Let's Do This!

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