4 Wins Away…

Now that we’ve all had a day to recover our voices after this…time for a little catching up:

-Wednesday night, it all begins. The final quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup begins in Newark as the Devils take on the Kings. The full schedule can be found here. A few fun facts to pass along:

If the Devils prove victorious, they will become the second team in the last 17 years to win the Cup after being out of the playoffs altogether the previous year. The last team to do it? The 2006 Carolina Hurricanes (just before the River Rats began their 4 year run as their AHL affiliate…talk about good timing).

So far this postseason the Kings are 12-2. Two of the Devils Cup opponents also had a 12-2 mark before the final round: the ’95 Red Wings (4-0 sweep) and the ’03 Ducks (4-3).

New Jersey has a 6-2 home record in the postseason, while the Kings have a perfect 8-0 road record.

To me, there is one good story from the Kings Cup run, and I wasn’t even aware of this till I saw the article: this is the first Cup Finals appearance for ex-River Rat Willie Mitchell. Hard to believe he’s been around this long, he started out in Albany at the end of the 98-99 season and became one of my favorite players during his 2+ year tenure. Now that I officially feel old, let’s move on…

-Friday night, another Cup final gets underway, this one of the Calder variety. It’s down to two of Albany’s opponents during the regular season, Norfolk and Toronto. Full schedule (along with earlier results) can be found here. Not one for predictions, but I am kind of leaning towards the Admirals to take this series.

-And finally, congratulations to the first team to clinch a Cup title this postseason, the Florida Everblades. They clinched their first Kelly Cup title on Wednesday night at home with an overtime victory, winning the series over Las Vegas 4 games to 1. I followed the team quite closely during the Carolina Rat days since players went back and forth between both teams (they still are Carolina’s ECHL affiliate, now instead of Albany players go up to Charlotte), and one thing I remembered about them was they were a great regular season team, but couldn’t duplicate that success in the playoffs, going out in either the first or second rounds.

Everyone enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day weekend! I’ll be keeping up with my annual holiday traditions: falling asleep during the Coca Cola 600 tonight (it never fails), then attending the Albany Memorial Day parade tomorrow (keeping up the family tradition, even though it’s just me and my cousin now). And counting down the hours to Game 1 on Wednesday night, of course!

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