Pre-Game: BEARS at IceCaps 12/12

SAM_0483Good morning fans!

As we approach lunchtime here in St. John’s, a few things worth noting as the BEARS prep for tonight’s rematch with the IceCaps.

First of all, I’m guessing that despite Braden Holtby being the last goaltender on the ice stretching, he would get the start again tonight in the HERSHEY net.  Wouldn’t surprise me, considering his play from last night – a 32-save gem that earned him first-star honors. 

If the BEARS’ schedule was a bit more hectic in the coming days, I would have guessed Dany Sabourin would draw the start instead.  But, the BEARS have what can be seen as a fairly light work load in the coming days (and that is a welcome thing, with our recent travel.)  “Light” in the sense of number of game days… not at all meaning the talent of the opponent. 

The team’s next four games are all at home – on Saturday (Worcester), Wednesday (Norfolk), Saturday (Springfield), and Wednesday (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton).  The one road game is the back end of a home-and-home set with the Penguins on Thursday the 27th.  The month wraps up with another Saturday home contest against Albany.   So, after a stretch of five games in seven nights with two days’ worth of travel across a time zone, playing the next six games in a span of 17 days will be wonderful.

The meaning of my schedule glance is the fact that head coach Mark French could “ride” Holtby through this month if need be.  He is coming off of a great game last night, and with so many game days off in-between, Holtby can stay as fresh as possible.

This might be a situation where French leaves it up to Holtby to decide.

The BEARS have won four straight on the road, while the IceCaps have dropped their last four overall.  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is in Albany, playing a Devils squad that is getting great goaltending and defense as of late (see last night’s post).  Binghamton is in Syracuse, who aren’t happy with being winless in their last two.  If all goes well, the BEARS could find themselves just one point out of second place in the division after tonight, with a return to the friendly confines of GIANT Center on Saturday.

Will update any potential lineup changes this evening on the twitter feed.  It’s 11:50 am and I smell a Newfoundland fish ‘n chips lunch calling me.

Game information for tonight is right here.  Puck drops again at 6PM EST, pre-game on air at 5:20.



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