So the first three games of the Conference Finals are in the bag. The Manchester Monarchs, representatives of all that is great about Kings hockey in the AHL, have just managed to stave off a 3-0 series hole, which would have put them in line for an (almost) a sure fire defeat. Instead, Justin Azevedo managed to grab an OT goal and send the Monarchs into game 4 only down 2-1 in the series. Perhaps more telling is that with the win the Monarchs held serve. If they can win all their games at home and then snag one away, they’ll be in the final.
The next big test will be game 4 (no kidding) tonight, followed by game 5 on Thursday. The odd quirk about AHL Playoff scheduling has them playing three straight in Manchester, followed by two more in Hershey. If the Monarchs can win these two at home, they’ll be heading into game 6 and (hopefully not) 7 in Hershey, and the pressure will have shifted dramatically. We’ll see if they can do it, but in the meantime at least we can be proud that the Monarchs were not swept from the series, as they were the last time these two teams met in the Conference Finals.
I apologize for the brevity today, I’m on the road and have effectively no access to internet. I’ll be back in full force starting tomorrow. We’ve got some good looks at the NHL playoffs, as well as some season recap work to be done. We’re looking into doing some analysis of the NHL Draft Picks in conjunction with a potential mock draft to be held in the relatively near future. If you’re looking for any other specific information, let me know and I’ll do my best as soon as I’m back in town!