Oklahoma City Barons at Hamilton Bulldogs Game One. This should be interesting. Photo courtesy of Rob Ferguson & OKC Hockey. All rights reserved.
"We can only guess at this point," he said when asked about the personnel the Bulldogs might face. "There's a bit of speculation as to what their lines are going to look like.''
- Bulldogs Coach, Randy Cunneyworth
As the first round playoff game between the Oklahoma City Barons and Hamilton Bulldogs commences, we too wonder what the baby Oilers might have up their sleeves.
With the addition of five new, albeit familiar, faces into the lineup, the stakes have gotten higher and suddenly the stage seems bigger. The yeoman-like work ethic put forth by a depleted Barons squad at the end of the season, was the definition of blue collar. But gone is the regular season and into the playoffs we go with a full head of steam.
The Montreal Candiens find themselves in the hunt for a Stanley Cup this season, so their minor league Hamilton team is not afforded the same luxury as the Barons, and their welcomed NHL soldiers. Nonetheless, they are a dangerous foe. Their top line is equally as dangerous as anything the Barons have seen all season. Their top line of Nigel Dawes, Dustin Boyd, and Aaron Palushaj have a whopping 14 goals and 23 assists in the last ten games, with a large amount of those played on the road. And with goaltender, Curtis Sanford on the IR, Drew MacIntyre has picked up where his predecessor left off only allowing 13 goals in those 10 games mentioned above.
The Barons will run with Jeff Deslauriers in net. Facing a club that he once previously played for, JDD has some things to prove. He's out to show Oil Country that he's not the squeeky wheel we've come to cringe at, rather the 3 shutouts in 4 games dazzler he can truly be.
The top Oklahoma City line of Alexandre Giroux, Brad Moran, and Colin McDonald will be important, but might be a sideshow act to the newcomers; namely Linus Omark, Teemu Hartikainen, and your centerman of choice. As the team hopes for no cohesive hiccups, the Barons will look to steal one in Hamilton.
AHL Live ($$)
Picks To Click
Hamilton - Nigel Dawes, the razor sharp goal scorer
Oklahoma City - Linus Omark, the showman looking to prove a point
Projected Oklahoma City Lines
*probably scratched as a result of Cornet absent from Clear Day Roster