No matter who ends up lifting the Calder Cup later this month, each of the 23 clubs that qualified to battle for this spring will all have something in common. Win or lose, they all will have sampled the high-pressure hockey that only the postseason can bring.
Back from two months in Calgary, Connor Mackey is fully immersed in Stockton’s ongoing battle to reach the Calder Cup Finals.
The Springfield Thunderbirds have that special something. Head coach Drew Bannister sees it. So does goaltender Charlie Lindgren. And no less than James Neal, he of 869 NHL games and two Stanley Cup Finals, can pinpoint it as well.
How about Jon Cooper and Jared Bednar for coaching role models? Brad Larsen? Mike Eaves? Trent Vogelhuber has had all of them and more as he prepares to take over an American Hockey League bench next season.
Thanks in no small part to Cayden Primeau, the Laval Rocket are now in a 2-2 series with the Springfield Thunderbirds rather than attempting to fend off elimination tonight in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Matthew Phillips knows his Stockton Heat are not in a great spot. But he also knows they aren’t done fighting.
Springfield Thunderbirds goaltender Charlie Lindgren has one priority this spring: a Calder Cup championship.
The Stockton Heat could use a hero Wednesday night in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Why not Justin Kirkland?
“Stay in the moment.” The preaching that head coach Ryan Warsofsky did all winter long has paid off into June for the Chicago Wolves.
Matthew Peca has benefited from the stability this season has provided, and it’s paying off for him and the rest of the Springfield Thunderbirds.