Penguins/Monarchs PREVIEW

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Penguins close out the regular season at home tonight against the Manchester Monarchs. If someone had told me back in October that I would make it to an AHL rink for 69 out of the 76 WBS games this season, I'd think you were crazy. But 12,265 miles later, here I am.

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Expected Starting Goalies
Brad Thiessen (WBS): 16-11-2, 2.70 GAA, .902 SV%, 4 SO
Martin Jones (MCH): 26-25-4, 2.56 GAA, .918 SV%, 5 SO

Breaking Down the Matchup

PENGUINS (5th - EAST): 3rd Place East Division, 42-29-2-2 = 88 points
Manchester (7th - EAST): 3rd Place Atlantic Division, 36-31-3-4 = 79 points

For the last five games of the regular season I'll put up the conference standings with the teams fighting for a playoff spot:

y - 1. Providence - 101 points, 2 games remaining
y - 2. Springfield - 97 points, 1 game remaining
x - 3. Syracuse - 95 points, 2 games remaining
x - 4. Binghamton - 92 points, 2 games remaining
x - 5. PENGUINS - 88 points, 1 game remaining
x - 6. Portland - 85 points, 2 games remaining
7. Manchester - 79 points, 2 games remaining
8. Hershey - 79 points 2 games remaining
9. Norfolk - 79 points, 2 games remaining
10. Connecticut - 79 points, 1 game remaining

Leading Scorers

PENGUINS: Chad Kolarik (31G, 36A), Trevor Smith (23G, 30A), Riley Holzapfel (21G, 30A)
Worcester: Linden Vey (22G, 45A), Brandon Kozun (26G, 30A), Tyler Toffoli (28G, 21A)

The Regular Season Finale

The Penguins can wrap up 5th in the East with a point gained tonight, or a point lost by 6th place Portland. Hard to believe it's Game 76 tonight. The season has flown by for me. 

Derek Nesbitt will not play tonight to avoid going under veteran status for next season. Head coach John Hynes also said he wasn't planning on playing the Black Aces or the new guys on ATO's such as forwards Matia Marcantuoni and Anton Zlobin when I spoke to him after Thursday's practice.

Injured list: Tom Kuhnhackl (shoulder surgery - out for season), Phil Dupuis (out for season) 

Healthy Scratches: Scott Darling, Cody Wild, Christian Minella, Chris Barton, Derek Nesbitt, Matia Marcantuoni, Anton Zlobin and Harrison Ruopp

Expected lineup:

Holzapfel - Smith - Kolarik

Megna - Gibbons - Thompson 

Collins - Peters - Payerl 

Farnham - Sill -Uher

Reese - Dumoulin

Mormina -Samuelsson

Grant - McNeill


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