Have you ever woken up in the morning and thought to yourself, “Wow, did that really just happen?” Well that’s what we did this morning after the watching the Cyclones take a 7-0 beating from the Toledo Walleye. It was a tail of 2 teams, one which looked like it wanted to continue playing into late April while the other was just content to call it season. There really isn’t much to talk about as it was all pretty much awful. The defense was porous, the offense anemic and very few showings of emotion. It wasn’t what you’d expect from any team battling for a playoff position, let alone from a team wearing a crest that has won 2 Championships in 3 years. Despite the lackluster performance from the Boys, we will give a half star to Dustin Sproat who apologized via Twitter to those that were in attendance.
That’s enough of the doom and gloom of yesterday, on to today’s tilt. It wasn’t that long ago that we where talking about how the game down in Gwinnett was the biggest of the season. Well, when you’re battling for the last playoff spot and you’ve had trouble stringing wins together for much of the season, the games tend to get more and more important this time of year and today’s game is by far the biggest game on the schedule right now, at least until the next one.
Here’s how it breaks down, Toledo trails the Cyclones by 2 points but has a game in hand. If the Fish and Cyclones finish the season tied on points and the Fish have more wins in regulation/OT (shoot out wins don’t count), which is currently the case, then the Fish will be playing extra hockey while the Cylones make arrangements to play Saturday night softball. So a regulation win by the Cyclones today, will just about put Their post season destiny back into their own hands since a single win against Kalamazoo in the last 2 games will force the Fish to win all 3 of their remaining games (2 at Wheeling and Elmira at home) in order to get in. A loss however, will force the ‘Clones to win Their remaining 2 games with Kalamazoo AND get some help from of a couple of Toledo loses. If the Fish win today all they will have to do is match the Cyclones regulation win total and they’re in. Again, this is not a “win and we’re in, lose and we’re out” scenario, but life becomes much more difficult for the team that loses today. There is a chance the Cyclones will be scoreboard watching Saturday night to learn their fate.
We haven’t updated the magic/tragic numbers in a while so here they are. Remember, Toledo is technically in 8th place based on possible points and tire breakers so the Cyclones are back to the tragic list despite the what the standings say.
Greenville – Clinched 3/19
Reading – Clinched 3/19
Kalamazoo – Clinched 3/20
Florida – 2
Wheeling – 2
South Carolina – 3
Elmira – 5
Toledo – 6
Trenton – Dead in the water, eliminated 3/20
Gwinnett – 4
Cincinnati – 6