Friday, May 27, 2011

The Definitive Calder Cup Final Preview


With the Binghamton Senators involved in the Calder Cup Final for the first time in franchise history, combined with our lousy season here in Ottawa and all the crossover players, interest in the farm team from the Capital is at an all time high. Tonight at 8:35pm in Houston, Texas, the series will get underway with game 1 from the Toyota Center. I know many of you don't follow the AHL very closely, so I've put together the cliff's notes version of everything you need to know to follow the big series.

-First up is a 17 page, yes 17, page packet from the AHL about literally almost everything you could possibly hope to know about either team and the matchup itself. Very informative and if you have the time, I recommend reading it. It doesn't actually take that long.

-Next up is a nice story line you're likely unaware of. The starting goalie for each team is a rookie and they faced off in the OHL playoffs last year. The rivalry continues, with much bigger stakes.

-For some ridiculous reason, at least as I write this, the games will NOT be available on TV in Ottawa. The Senators should have tried to do something or at least put it on their Sens TV channel. The games are on TV in Binghamton if you were wondering, if you live there, or if you know how to work satelite magic. Things could change though last minute, I've heard rumors of the NHL Network covering it, but no official word yet.

-So for now it appears the only option to watch if you're not in Binghamton is online, where you will be able to see the games, but it will cost you, speficially $12.99 a game or $64.99 for the whole series, which seems exceedingly steep when you can buy the best seats to see the games live in Bingo for $68 for all 3 games being played there. So if you're a big fan, that's an option for you.

-If you want to listen to the games on the radio, the Team 1200 is your option as they have been the whole playoffs. You can also listen to the game online by clicking here at game time.

-In case you didn't know yet, the Houston Aeros are the farm team of the Minnesota Wild.

-If you were wondering what the temperature will be down in Texas for game time tonight, it will be a balmy 92 farenheit, which is over 33 celsius. Pretty ridiculous for that time of night isn't it in May.

-Now on to the beat writers of the two teams. First off Sens Town buddy Joy Lindsay, who works the beat for the B-Sens and does an amazing job. I'd venture to say she does a better job covering Binghamton than most guys here cover the Sens. To see her blog that she updates a lot click here and to follow her on twitter click here. Next up is the Houston perspective via the Houston Chronicle and Andrew Ferarro (no he isn't related to Ray, I'm sure he hears that never in Houston). To follow him on twitter click here.

-For those of you who haven't seen the full schedule for the final yet, don't worry, I've got you. Please remember all times are eastern.
  • Game 1 – Fri., May 27 – Binghamton at Houston, 8:35
  • Game 2 – Sat., May 28 – Binghamton at Houston, 8:35
  • Game 3 – Wed., June 1 – Houston at Binghamton, 7:05
  • Game 4 – Fri., June 3 – Houston at Binghamton, 7:05
  • *Game 5 – Sat., June 4 – Houston at Binghamton, 7:05
  • *Game 6 – Tue., June 7 – Binghamton at Houston, 8:05
  • *Game 7 – Thu., June 9 – Binghamton at Houston, 8:05
  • *if necessary

-In another weird twist, neither team even made the playoffs in 2010, yet both find themselves in the final. Also note that neither teams NHL club made the post season either.

-For those of you on twitter, here is a list of some people you may want to follow for some good times and good information:
  • Not to toot my own horn, but I'm up first, follow me if you're not already @SensTown
  • The official Binghamton Senators twitter @BSens_Hockey
  • Patrick Williams, who covers the AHL for The Hockey News @AHLReport
  • The official Houston Aeros twitter @Houston_Aeros
  • The official AHL twitter @TheAHL

Thoughts on the series?

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