197 down, 1 to go
All 16 playoff berths have been clinched, but there's still plenty on the line as the 198th and final day of the 2013-14 American Hockey League regular season is upon us.
In the Eastern Conference, the Manchester Monarchs (1), Springfield Falcons (2), Binghamton Senators (3) and St. John's IceCaps (4) are locked into their current positions and will be the top four seeds when the Calder Cup Playoffs begin. Their first-round opponents will be Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Albany, Providence and Norfolk, but none of the four matchups will be determined until play is completed tonight.
In the Western Conference, the Texas Stars (1) will meet the Oklahoma City Barons (8) in the first round beginning Wednesday night. The Rochester Americans (7) await the winner of the Midwest Division, with Grand Rapids and Chicago entering the season's last day tied at 98 points each.
Abbotsford comes into Saturday with a one-point lead over Milwaukee for fifth place in the West; the fifth-place finisher will get whichever of Grand Rapids or Chicago does not win its division, while the sixth-place club will meet Toronto (3) in round one.
There is not as much drama in the AHL's individual scoring races. League MVP Travis Morin of the Texas Stars (87 points) will lock up the scoring title as well tonight, and Charlotte's Zach Boychuk (36 goals) has a comfortable four-goal cushion over Morin for the Willie Marshall Award as the league's goal-scoring champion. One honor coming down to the wire is the Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award for team goaltending -- Grand Rapids and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton are tied with 183 goals against entering the final night of action.
For all of today's clinching scenarios and possible seeding breakdowns, check out the official Playoff Primer, and don't miss tonight's exciting conclusion to the regular season on AHL Live.
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