Sharks playoff hopes fading down the stretch
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
It appears the Sharks playoff chances for 2012 have gone from grim, to grimmer.
Following a 3-2 loss at Springfield Monday night, the Worcester Sharks now find themselves with a season-high six-game losing streak, and only seven games remaining in the regular season.
The Sharks (28-30-4-7, 67 points) are currently sitting in 14th place within the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference, nine points out of the 8th and final playoff spot currently held by Manchester. They’ll wrap up a four-game home stand at the DCU Center on Wednesday night at 7:00 pm against the Albany Devils.
Albany and Worcester are two of the nine teams battling for the final three playoff spots within the Eastern Conference. Connecticut appears to just about have a lock on 6th with 80 points, while Syracuse has come on strong (winning eight of ten) to tie Manchester with 76 points for the 7th and 8th positions. Portland is only three points back with 73, followed by Adirondack, Albany, Springfield and Providence.
That’s a lot of leap-frogging to do, and very little time left in the season to do it.
Portland plays at St. John’s Tuesday night, while the remaining contenders will face-off Wednesday with Springfield at Bridgeport, Portland at St. John’s again and Binghamton at Syracuse in addition to the Sharks’ home game with Albany. 12 more games on Friday and Saturday this week (including Worcester playing at Providence Friday, at Portland Saturday) featuring the contending teams in the Eastern Conference should clear up the playoff picture a bit further, as the AHL regular season enters the stretch run.
The only question is – can the Sharks be a part of it?
With the one fighting major against Springfield Monday, the Sharks continue to lead the AHL with 117 fighting major penalties…Matt Pelech was suspended by the AHL for two games for a check against the Portland Pirates on Friday…Nick Petrecki has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for a second straight season for his outstanding contributions to the Worcester community during the 2011-12 season. The 22-year-old native of Schenectady, New York has become the lead spokesperson for the Sharks’ flagship community programs, FINZ FIT KIDZ and Reading is Cool. Petrecki has also taken the lead at several assemblies at local Boys and Girls Clubs throughout central Massachusetts. Petrecki is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2011-12 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, honoring the overall IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year. The league award is named after the former Hershey Bears forward and AHL All-Star who died in 1997 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. The winner of the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award will be announced by the AHL in the coming weeks…The parent-club San Jose Sharks took a dip into the college free agent pool last week by signing defenseman Matt Tennyson from Western Michigan University to an NHL standard player contract. Tennyson signed an ATO (amateur try out) with Worcester on April 1st and will begin practicing with the team Tuesday. The 21-year-old will wear #5 on the ice…he was named Second Team All-CCHA, was a finalist for Best CCHA Offensive Defenseman and was the first WMU defenseman since 2001-02 to score 10 goals in a season…