2019 AHL Playoff Thread

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SDRay

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In 2018-19, the AHL will have 16 teams participating in the postseason.

The top four teams in each of the AHL’s four divisions will qualify for the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs.

Home-ice advantage in all series will be granted to the team with the higher points percentage.

The division semifinals will be best-of-five series. All other series are in a best-of-seven format.

Following are the tiebreaking procedures used in the event of a tie in points percentage in the standings, regardless of division, following the completion of the regular season. When a tie among three or more teams is broken resulting in a two-team tie, the original tiebreaking method is used.
Between two teams:
a) percentage of games won (excluding shootout wins)
b) points in season series between teams
c) goal differential
d) goals scored in season series between teams
e) intra-conference points percentage

Among three or more teams:
a) percentage of games won (excluding shootout wins)
b) points percentage in combined season series
c) goal differential
d) goal differential in combined season series
e) intra-conference points percentage
 

SDRay

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In the AHL West, Bakersfield and San Jose have clinched 2 playoffs spots. The Gulls currently site in 3rd place ahead of Tucson and Colorado. 3 game remain for the Gulls in which they face San Jose and Tucson twice to end the season. So every game is a must win.
 

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Gulls to Face San Jose in First Round of Calder Cup Playoffs

https://www.sandiegogulls.com/news/detail/firstroundschedule

The American Hockey League (AHL) and the San Diego Gulls announced the 2019 Calder Cup Playoff First Round schedule between the San Diego Gulls and San Jose Barracuda. This marks the second time the two clubs have faced each other in the Calder Cup Playoffs (also 2017 in the Pacific Division Finals). The series will begin this Wednesday, Apr. 17 at Pechanga Arena San Diego (7 p.m.) and follow a best-of-five, 2-3 format. The local television and radio schedule will be announced as soon as possible.

Individual game tickets for the First Round of the Calder Cup Playoffs at Pechanga Arena San Diego (two potential games) go on sale to the general public tomorrow, Apr. 14 at 10 a.m. at SanDiegoGulls.com/playoffs, by phone with the San Diego Gulls ticket office at 844-GO GULLS or in person at the Pechanga Arena San Diego Box Office. Tickets will be sold at the box office on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 1 p.m. By placing a deposit on 2019-20 season tickets, fans will have the opportunity to purchase a 2019 Stanley Cup Playoff ticket strip at a discounted rate, guaranteeing a seat for every home game throughout the postseason.

SAN DIEGO GULLS VS. BAKERSFIELD CONDORS FIRST-ROUND SCHEDULE:

GameDateVenueTime (PT)1Wednesday, Apr. 17 Pechanga Arena San Diego 7 p.m.2Thursday, Apr. 18Pechanga Arena San Diego 7 p.m.3Monday, Apr. 22SAP Center 7 p.m.4*Wednesday, Apr. 24SAP Center 7 p.m.5*Thursday, Apr. 25SAP Center 7 p.m.
 

SDRay

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PACIFIC DIVISION FINALS MATCHUP: GULLS VS. CONDORS

https://www.sandiegogulls.com/news/detail/round2preview

SERIES MATCHUP: The Gulls and Bakersfield Condors meet for the first time in the Calder Cup Playoffs in a best-of-seven Pacific Division Finals series. San Diego advanced to the Pacific Division Finals following a 3-1 First Round series win over the San Jose Barracuda. The Gulls (three times), Toronto Marlies (four times) and Hershey Bears (three times) are the only AHL teams to advance to the Division Finals on three-or-more occasions since the inception of the current division format in 2015. San Diego is the only team in the Pacific Division to advance beyond the First Round on multiple occasions. Bakersfield, in their first-ever postseason, defeated the Colorado Eagles in four games.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: San Diego was the only team during the regular season to post a winning record against the Condors with a 6-3-0-1 record in 10 regular-season contests between the clubs. The Gulls posted a 3-2-0-0 mark at Pechanga Arena San Diego while they earned points in four-of-five road contests in the season series (3-1-0-1). The Gulls began the season with points in six straight games against the Condors, opening with a 5-0-0-1 record. San Diego is 21-15-1-1 all-time against Bakersfield in the regular season, including 11-8-0-0 on home ice and 10-7-1-1 at Rabobank Arena. In 38 all-time contests, each team has scored 3.2 goals-per game (Bakersfield 122, San Diego 120). Chase De Leo led the Gulls in scoring against the Condors with 2-7=9 points over 10 matchups between the clubs in 2018-19, while Corey Tropp led the team with six goals in seven games. Kevin Boyle posted a 4-2-0 record in six starts against the Condors in 2018-19, while Jeff Glass went 1-1-0 in three appearances.

SERIES FORMAT: The seven-game series will feature a 2-2-1-1-1 format with the first two games hosted by the Condors at Rabobank Arena, followed by two contests at Pechanga Arena San Diego. The next three games, if necessary, will go back-and-forth between the two clubs hosting respective home games. Four wins will see one team advance to the Western Conference Finals, which would mark the first appearance for either club.

DIFFERENCE MAKERS: Six different Gulls scored at a point-per-game pace or better in the First Round against San Jose (four games).

  • Sam Steel recorded a point in each of the four games (3-3=6), including goals in the final three contests to become the second Gulls rookie to score three goals in a postseason series and the first to record four points to begin a postseason career. Steel leads all AHL rookies in playoff scoring and ranks second among all leaders.
  • Sam Carrick co-led San Diego with 2-4=6 points in the series and led the team in assists. In Game 4, Carrick netted his sixth career playoff goal (6-7=13) to set the Gulls record for most all-time playoff goals.
  • Chase De Leo became the first Gull to score a goal in each of the first four games to begin a postseason and series. De Leo ranks tied for second among AHL leaders in goals, and now owns the longest goal streak in Gulls postseason history and also tied the club mark for goals in a single series (4).
  • Jacob Larsson leads all AHL defensemen in plus/minus (+6) and is tied for third among AHL blueliners in points (1-2=3).
  • Justin Kloos (1-3=4), Ben Street (1-3=4) and Max Jones (0-4=4) also earned a point-per-game in the First Round.
  • Jeff Glass won all three games in the First Round to post a 3-1 mark with a 2.32 goals-against average (GAA) and .917 save percentage (SV%) in four contests. He improved to 4-0 with a 1.73 GAA and .944 SV% in four career road playoff games.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: Bakersfield defeated the Colorado Eagles in four games in their first-ever postseason series. The Condors displayed a balanced scoring attack with 10 different players scoring a goal while outscoring the Eagles 14-10. The regular-season Pacific Division Champions allowed just two goals in three of their four contests in addition to killing 17-of-19 penalties (88.2%). The path to the Pacific Division Finals for Bakersfield was similar to that of the Gulls, winning the first matchup against their respective opponents, losing Game 2, and then winning the following two contests. The Condors opened their series on the road, splitting the first two games, while winning both of their home contests. Bakersfield also topped the Western Conference in the regular season with a 42-21-3-2 record for 89 points (.654%) which clinched their first Pacific Division title and postseason berth.

WHO TO WATCH: Bakersfield led the AHL in regular-season scoring with 3.56 goals-per game (San Diego was second with 3.51) and allowed the fewest goals (182) while ranking fourth among AHL clubs with 2.68 goals-against per game.

  • Shane Starrett won all three games for Bakersfield, posting a 2.28 GAA and .903 SV% in the four games. Named to the AHL Second All-Star Team and also the All-Rookie Team, Starrett helped Bakersfield reach the Calder Cup Playoffs for the first time in club history with a 27-7-5 record with four shutouts, a 2.33 GAA and .918 SV% in 41 appearances. Starrett ranked third in GAA, tied third in wins and shutouts and tied fifth in SV% among AHL goaltenders.
  • Evan Bouchard started the season with the Edmonton Oilers, where he score his first career NHL goal on Oct. 25 vs. the Washington Capitals. Selected by Edmonton in the first round (10th overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft, Bouchard returned to the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with the London Knights where he spent the majority of 2018-19. He was named the OHL Defenceman of the Year after collecting 16-37=53 points with a +28 rating in 45 games. Bouchard made his AHL debut for Bakersfield in Game 3 of the First Round, recording 2-2=4 points in two games.
  • Brad Malone led the Condors with 2-3=5 points in their First Round series against Colorado. In the series-deciding Game 4, Malone scored an insurance goal and added two primary assists, including the lone helper on the shorthanded game-winning goal.
  • Tyler Benson was also named an AHL Second Team All-Star and to the AHL All-Rookie Team following a regular season where he scored 15-51=66 points with a +21 rating in all 68 Bakersfield games. The Oilers second-round selection (32nd overall) in 2016 led the Condors in scoring, assists and games played, while he ranked tied third in the entire AHL with 51 assists, the most by an AHL rookie since 2008.

FROM THE COACH: "They weren’t the best team in the division by accident. They’re a team that can keep the puck out of the net. Their goalie has been a real strong, strong presence for them this year right at the top of the league. Their special teams can hurt you, they can score. They’re a snake with many heads so we’re going to have to play an extremely disciplined game. I’m not talking just about not taking penalties, managing the puck, doing our best to give them nothing. We certainly have our hands full here.”
 

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WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS PREVIEW: GULLS VS. WOLVES

SERIES MATCHUP: The Gulls and Wolves meet for the first time in the Calder Cup Playoffs. The Western Conference Finals best-of-seven series will see one team advance to the Calder Cup Finals to face either the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes) or Toronto Marlies (Toronto Maple Leafs). San Diego finished fourth in the Western Conference during the regular season, posting a 36-24-5-3 (.588%) record. Chicago completed the regular season atop the Central Division 44-22-6-4 record and .645 points percentage to rank second in the conference. San Diego appears in the Western Conference Finals for the first time in club history while this marks Chicago’s fifth trip, and first since 2008.



HOW WE GOT HERE: The Gulls advanced to the Western Conference Finals by eliminating the top two seeds in the Pacific Division. The Gulls defeated the San Jose Barracuda in four games (3-1) in the First Round, and then eliminated the Bakersfield Condors, the top seed in the Western Conference in the Pacific Division Finals in six games (4-2). San Diego will now face the second seed in the conference, with a chance to eliminate the top three teams in the West and the only other team ranked ahead of the Gulls in the regular-season. Chicago advanced to the Conference Finals after defeating Grand Rapids in five games (3-2) in the First Round, and then eliminated the Iowa Wild in the Central Division Finals in six game (4-2).



PLAYOFF HISTORY: San Diego has won the most playoff series among Pacific Division clubs since its inception in 2015 (4), surpassing the three by Texas (all in 2018), and now co-leads the Pacific Division with 15 all-time playoff wins (also Texas). With a 7-3 record this postseason, the Gulls have won the most playoff games in a single postseason in club history. San Diego’s trip to the Conference Finals is the third occasion an Anaheim Ducks primary affiliate has reached the Third Round (also Portland Pirates in 2006 and 2008).



GULLS-WOLVES: The two clubs did not meet in the 2018-19 regular season and have only faced off on two occasions in the AHL. The teams split their lone season series in 2017-18 winning their respective home games. In the first-ever matchup, Chicago earned a 3-1 victory at Allstate Arena on Dec. 6, 2017, while San Diego took a 2-1 contest 35 days later on Jan. 10, 2018 at Pechanga Arena San Diego with goals from Sam Carrick and Kevin Roy. Ten players remain on San Diego’s current roster that faced Chicago in 2017-18, including Boyle, Carrick, Kossila, Larsson, Megna, Roy, Sideroff, Thompson, Tropp and Welinski. Only Adam Cracknell has appeared in games for both clubs, collected 19-29=38 points in 50 games with Chicago from 2013-15.



PLAYOFF PERFORMERS:

  • Adam Cracknell (6-6=12) and Sam Carrick (5-7=12) co-lead San Diego in postseason scoring and are set a new Gulls single-season playoff mark for points (12) to surpass the previous mark of 11 (Chris Mueller in 2016).
  • Adam Cracknell also leads the Gulls in goals and ranks tied for second in assists. Among AHL postseason leaders, Cracknell is tied for second in scoring and goals. Cracknell led the Pacific Division Finals in scoring with 4-5=9 points. Cracknell recorded a five-game goal-scoring streak from Apr. 22-May 10 (6-4=10), setting a new Gulls postseason record for consecutive games with a goal and is the longest goal streak of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs. Cracknell has points in seven of his last eight games, including a six-game point streak from Apr. 18-May 10 (6-5=11), tied for the longest point streak in Gulls postseason history.
  • Sam Carrick leads San Diego in assists and ranks second in goals following six points in six games during the Pacific Division Finals (3-3=6). Carrick is San Diego’s all-time postseason leader in points (9-10=19), goals and assists.
  • Sam Steel ranks second among AHL rookies in postseason scoring (4-6=10) and plus/minus (+7), and is tied for second in assists. Steel has recorded the most points by a rookie in Gulls playoff history.
  • Max Comtois has recorded six points in the first six games to begin his AHL playoff career (3-3=6) and ranks third among AHL rookies with a +7 rating. He scored the game-winning goal in his first two career playoff games (Games 1 and 2 of the Pacific Division Finals), including the latest goal in Gulls playoff history in the fourth overtime of Game 1 (64:20). Comtois also recorded his first multi-point game of the playoffs in Game 6 of the Pacific Division Finals (1-1=2).
  • Andy Welinski set a Gulls single-game postseason record with three assists to mark his first career multi-point and assist effort in Game 6 of the Pacific Division Finals. Among AHL defensemen, Welinski ranks tied for second in scoring (2-5=7) and assists
  • Jacob Larsson leads AHL defenseman in plus/minus (+10) while ranking tied for third among all skaters.


GLASS WALL: Jeff Glass has posted a 6-3 record with a 2.25 GAA and .920 SV% in 10 appearances. Glass ranks tied for second in wins, is fourth in SV% and fifth in GAA among AHL leaders with more than one postseason appearance. In six career road games in the postseason, Glass has posted a 5-1 record, stopping a combined 219-of-230 shots to post a 1.40 GAA and .952 SV%. His lone road loss in the postseason came in double overtime of Game 5 of the Pacific Division Finals. The 34-year old veteran stopped 26-of-28 shots in regulation in addition to all 25 shots in overtime of the fifth-longest game in AHL history, Game 1 of the Pacific Division Finals at Bakersfield (124:20).



FAMILIAR PLACE: Head coach Dallas Eakins spent four seasons with the Chicago Wolves from 1998-2003. Eakins won both championships in both the IHL and AHL in the four seasons, helping the Wolves to a Turner Cup in 2000 and Calder Cup in 2002. Eakins appeared in 126 AHL games with Chicago, earning 6-27=33 points. Eakins will also coach against a former colleague, as Chicago’s head coach Rocky Thompson served as an assistant coach for the now Gulls bench boss during his tenure with the Edmonton Oilers in 2013-14. Wolves assistant coach Bob Nardella was a teammate of Eakins from 1999-02 in Chicago, while assistant coach Chris Dennis served as video coach for the Toronto Maples Leafs when Eakins was an assistant coach (2006-08).



SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: Chicago finished the regular season atop the Central Division and entered the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. Forwards Curtis McKenzie (5-3=8), Tye MgGinn (3-5=8) and Tomas Hyka (2-6=8) co-lead the Wolves in playoff scoring. Cody Glass, selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft, has scored seven points (4G/3A) in 11 games after joining Chicago following the conclusion of his junior season with the Portland Winterhawks. After missing their First Round series, Daniel Carr has registered seven points (2G/5A) in six games, the only Wolves player to post a point-per game in the playoffs. Goaltender Oscar Dansk is 6-3 in nine appearances, posting a 2.28 GAA and .912 SV%. Through a league-high 11 games this postseason, Chicago has allowed the second-most goals (31) and lead the playoffs with 148 penalty minutes. The Wolves’ penalty kill has posted a 79.3 percent success rate, last among the four remaining postseason clubs. Chicago leads the postseason with nine power-play goals (seven in the First Round) and co-leads all clubs with two shorthanded goals.



WOLVES REGULAR SEASON LEADERS: In the regular season, the Wolves were led by Daniel Carr, the 2019 AHL Most Valuable Player, who posted 71 points (30G/41A) in 52 regular season games to rank tied for third among AHL leaders in scoring. Center T.J. Tynan matched Carr’s 71 points (12G/59A) in the regular season and led the AHL with 59 assists. Defenseman Zach Whitecloud led the AHL with a +39 rating while Dansk posted a 27-9-4 record with two shutouts, a 2.46 GAA and .913 SV% in 40 games. Dansk finished ranked tied for third in wins and eighth in GAA among AHL leaders.



FROM THE COACH: “They’re like Rocky Thompson is. They’ve got a work ethic, they play hard and the one thing that they are that Rocky is not, is that they can score. Some of the similarities are the same that we saw with San Jose and Bakersfield with their defensemen being very active on the rush and on the cycles. Again, they weren’t the No. 1 or No. 2 team in the Western Conference by accident. They had their playoff spot wrapped up weeks before the end of the season and there we were on the last weekend scraping our way in. We feel humbled to be here, we’re fortunate to be here and we’re going to do the best we can against a very good hockey team.”