PHANTOMS CAN CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH TONIGHT

March 23, 2018
By: Kristi Fulkerson

Last season the Phantoms qualified for Calder Cup playoffs for the first time since 2009 when the franchise played in Philadelphia. Tonight, Lehigh Valley can punch a return ticket to the postseason with a win at Providence (or with some help from Bridgeport). 

As competitive as the Atlantic Division was (and is), Lehigh Valley didn’t clinch a berth until April 12, 2017 last season — a 2-1 OT road win against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in their third-to-last game of the regular season. That was their 46th victory last season, a win tonight would be No. 43 for the first-place Phantoms. 

There are a couple different scenarios that would secure a playoff spot for Lehigh Valley. With their ‘Magic #’ at 2 — they need to get two points themselves or need Bridgeport to fail to get two points. The Sound Tigers are currently the fifth place team in the division (top 4 qualify for the postseason) so the further they fall from the final playoff spot, the closer the Phantoms get. 

    Lehigh Valley clinches a playoff berth Friday with:

    (a) a win at Providence, OR

    (b) a Bridgeport regulation loss at Syracuse, OR

    (c) an OTL/SOL at Providence AND a Bridgeport OTL/SOL at Syracuse 
 

As good as the Phantoms were last season (48 wins, 101 points), it took until the final week of the season to officially clinch a playoff berth so it would be nice to see them lock up a spot with three weeks to spare. When they do, the next goal is to secure home ice advantage (oh, and then win the Calder Cup). 

Phantoms Remaining Schedule:

  • Tonight at Providence
  • 3/24 at Providence
  • 3/30 vs. Providence  —> yeah, that’s a lot of hockey versus a dangerous PBruins team
  • 4/3 at Charlotte 
  • 4/4 at Charlotte  —> would be the Phantoms 1st round opponent if the season ended today
  • 4/7 at Hartford
  • 4/8 at Providence (these guys again?)
  • 4/13 vs. Bridgeport
  • 4/14 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Keep up on the AHL’s playoff race here: https://theahl.com/2018-calder-cup-playoff-primer