Road game: Bridgeport at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

  • Who, when, whatever: Bridgeport at WBS, Mohegan Sun Arena But Not That Mohegan Sun Arena, Saturday, 7 p.m.
  • Watch: AHLTV pay-per-view
  • Listen: Mixlr audio
  • Twitters: Alan / the Sound Tigers / the Penguins / Nick Hart / Tyler Piccotti / Jason Iacona
  • Box score: Yes (R: Sandlak, MacDougall; L: DellaFranco, Goodman).
  • Storyline: Well, Bridgeport left clinching second up to the last day. (Procrastination is my M.O., too, but it’s not recommended.) It knows it will face Hershey in the first round. It doesn’t know where Games 1, 2 and 5 will be. (Well, it also doesn’t know where Games 3 and 4… never mind.) If Bridgeport gets at least a point here, or if Hershey loses, any flavor, to Utica, the series begins in Bridgeport. If Bridgeport loses in regulation and Hershey wins tonight, well, then Bridgeport left it up to Hartford on Sunday, and that has not been a good plan this year. The Penguins have allowed 18 goals in the past two games, so the Sound Tigers at least have that going for them after they’ve allowed 15 goals their past two road games. Most of the regulars who sat out of Wednesday’s game played last night; see how they look tonight. Craig Merz reported yesterday that Mason Jobst, recent Islanders signing, plans to join Bridgeport this week, and his ATO has popped up on the transactions.
  • Did you move something out of yesterday’s post because it was getting ridiculously long, much like this one: Alan had a neat statistical bit in his notes yesterday: Steve Bernier was third in the AHL with a 23.2 shooting percentage, though his 0-for-1 last night has dropped him to fourth at 23.0: 23-for-100 exactly. Looks like the season-ending AHL leaderboard has required 35 shots to qualify, so by that standard, the team record appears to belong to… Steve Bernier, 2016-17, 16-for-63 (25.4 percent). Colton Fretter was 9-for-30 (30 percent) in his late-season stint in 2007-08; Andrew Rowe was 7-for-16 before Ryan Pulock broke his leg (43.8) in 2015-16; and J.F. Caudron and Wes Goldie were 1-for-2 in their two-game stints, 2002-03 and 2003-04 respectively. If you set the standard higher, say a shot per team game, the record-holder was 22-for-107 (20.6) in 2006-07… one Eric Boguniecki; Bernier would have to go 0-for-12 tonight to fall below that, setting a different team record in the process. (What Alan didn’t mention is that Michael Dal Colle holds second place in the league right now, 18-for-74. 24.3 percent. Don’t believe he’s coming back tonight to mess up that number, nor is Stockton’s Andrew Mangiapane to muck with his 9-for-39.)
  • Do you have a favorite quote about shooting percentage: Yeah, but I can’t find it. I think it was Jesse Joensuu who had a crazily high early-season percentage once, and I asked Jack Capuano if it meant anything, and Cappy said something like “he’s not shooting enough.” Which, if you think about it, is true on many levels.
  • Did people vote: Yes! Remarkable.
  • Meh, what else is going on: Providence still needs one point against Springfield or a Lehigh Valley loss or shootout win or some goal-differential swing less than 20-something to clinch a playoff spot. There are still three Central Division playoff spots up for grabs, and one each in the other two divisions. (Playoff Primer) Brett Sutter won the Fred Hunt Award, the AHL’s Masterton (no problem there, but our vote went to Jaime Sifers), and Landon Ferraro was given the Yanick Dupre Award for his community work. Presumably more awards coming today, but the league appears to have been battling its server this afternoon. Tip of cap to Peter Budaj. We’re running around a bit this afternoon, but the U.S. women are playing Russia for a spot in the World Championship final; follow USA Hockey (actually, as we’ve been typing, that’s gotten kind of out of hand; Americans in firm control). The winner plays tomorrow against Finland, which stunned Canada in the other semi, Noora Raty doing Noora Raty things. Closer to home, Brian Lockhart catches up with Howard Saffan on the Amphitheater next door.
  • RIP, Vonda McIntyre (h/t: Randy Cassingham), Scott Sanderson and Jeff Kennard.
  • Aren’t you supposed to be doing something else: And I am.
  • If this were a regular blog post, what word or phrase would most likely follow “More” at this point: later tonight.
Michael Fornabaio