Punch a higher floor: Thursday notes

The week drags on, but there seems to be a loose kind of excitement around the Sound Tigers. It’s a big stage. They’re the underdogs. “Any time you’re the underdog in a series, you’ve got nothing to lose,” said ex-Marlie Matt Finn. “Plenty of people expect the first seed to beat the eighth.”

This would be, with a massive hat tip to Jason Chaimovitch, tied for the sixth-biggest upset, in terms of points, in AHL history. It would tie Bridgeport with the 1948-49 Hershey Bears, who, as the second seed in their division in a wacky olden-days playoff bracket, beat the third-placein-the-other-division-yet-27-points-better Cleveland Barons 2-0 in a best-of-3 to reach the Calder Cup Final. (The Bears lost to Providence.) A Bridgeport win in this series would be the biggest upset in 20 years, since Cornwall knocked off first-overall and 35-points-better Albany in four games. The biggest was 37 points, 1992-93’s Rochester Americans knocking off the Binghamton Rangers, the best team in AHL history.

Things looked the same today as yesterday for Bridgeport. Kyle Burroughs got through practice again; it looks like him or Parker Wotherspoon for the last spot on defense.

Lance Hornby is covering the Marlies for the Sun and had a bunch of notes today.

We’re used to, around here, answering “what’s a Sound Tiger?” or its unfortunate corollary, “Where’s Bridgeport Sound?” (groan) Bridgeport’s first-round opponent has a nickname that might not be familiar around here but stems from one that’s pretty legendary in hockey. If you’re curious, the Marlies’ website has a page on the history of the Toronto Marlboroughs.

Two series opened the Calder Cup Playoffs last night. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coughed up a two-goal lead but beat Providence 3-2 at home on Carter Rowney’s goal just 69 seconds into overtime. Lake Erie had an easier time of it in Rockford. Those two series continue tonight with Game 2, while San Diego and Texas start up outside of Austin.

Missouri’s a win away from moving on; Game 4 is Friday.

Interesting story from THN’s Brian Costello on the puck that Bill Barilko put in the net to win the Stanley Cup in 1951, 65 years ago today. The one that was thought to be that puck might not be it… and the real one may have been found.

And RIP, Joanie “Chyna” Laurer and — for crying out loud — Prince.

Michael Fornabaio