With a win over the San Diego Gulls, the San Jose Barracuda move on to face the Grand Rapids Griffins in the Western final of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Right wingers Ryan Carpenter (25) and Barclay Goodrow (23) have led the Barricuda in scoring, while the Griffins have relied upon Tyler Bertuzzi (22) and rookie Evgeny Svechnikov (19). In the East, the Providence Bruins are tied with the Hershey Bears, and the Syracuse Crunch lead the Toronto Marlies 3-2. This is the first time a San Jose affiliate has gone to the conference finals since 1998, and is a sign of good things to come for their organization. The other teams have consistently been in the mix the last half decade, as they have been supported well by their parent clubs. The Griffins’ success in particular is inspiring for a Detroit Red Wings team that missed the playoffs for the first time in 25 years.
- San Diego Gulls players Sam Carrick and Nic Kerdiles both have assumed roles as black aces for the Anaheim Ducks. Either could easily see time in the event of further injuries. Carrick is a 4th-line energy player who would do best in limited minutes, while Kerdiles has shown flashes of being a future 3rd-line shutdown player. Kerdiles has already played two games in the playoffs for Anaheim, posting no points but not committing any grievous mistakes. He could be a part of their bottom six for years to come, and this playoff experience will only do him well. The former 2nd-rounder is already 23, but has shown positive improvement and growth.
- Malcolm Subban of the Providence Bruins is hoping to prove himself for the Boston franchise, according to the Boston Globe. The highly touted younger brother of P.K. Subban, the first-round goaltender has struggled mightily since hitting the pros. He has only played parts of two games for the NHL affiliate, being pulled in both. At 23 years of age, however, he has lots of time to cement himself and refine his game in net. Goaltenders are generally given more time to work through issues and it takes a while for one to truly be considered a bust. Subban was a rock in junior for the Belleville Bulls, posting a .934 save percentage in his final season there. His .917 save percentage this season in Providence, however, is not likely to catch many eyes in the organization. He also remains backup to Zane McIntyre in the P-Bruins current run, and McIntyre’s 2.02 GAA and .929 playoff save percentage is good enough to keep him in the starting role.