The Calder Cup Playoffs are on the horizon for Henderson, with their first-round opponent still undetermined. It’ll be a trip to either Abbotsford or Colorado to begin the HSK’s Quest for the Calder Cup, and the Silver Knights are playing their best hockey of the season at just the right time. They also have one last task to manage before turning their attention fully to the post-season, with a regular season finale against the Ontario Reign still on the schedule at The Dollar Loan Center. Let’s take a look at Henderson’s playoff path and the Road Ahead…
- As the HSK watch the scoreboard, here are the remaining scenarios for their first-round future. The Colorado Eagles currently have a hold on the 3rd spot in the Pacific Division with 85 points, but they have completed their regular season schedule. The Abbotsford Canucks defeated the Bakersfield Condors on Tuesday, guaranteeing that Bakersfield will not climb to the third seed. Abbotsford has 84 points with two games remaining against the Manitoba Moose. If Abbotsford earns two points to overtake Colorado in the standings, then the HSK will head to British Columbia. If they can only collect one point, then the Eagles will have the tie-breaker with 31 regulation wins on the season and the Silver Knights will head to Loveland. The Canucks and Moose play in Winnipeg on Thursday and Saturday.
- The HSK have faced Abbotsford only four times this season, and not for quite some time. The Silver Knights made their only visit to Abbotsford in late October, their first road trip of the season, falling 3-2 in overtime on October 22 and 3-0 on October 24. In December, the Canucks made their lone trip to Vegas and the Orleans Arena, beating Henderson 3-2 in overtime on December 18 but falling to the HSK 3-1 on December 19. The Canucks are currently riding a nine-game winning streak as they close out the regular season.
- Henderson has fared much better against the Eagles this season, sporting a 5-3-0 record against Colorado and a 9-4-0 record all-time. The Silver Knights are 4-2-0 in six all-time visits to Budweiser Events Center. Whenever the first round begins, and whomever they are facing, the Eagles will be playing their first game since April 23.
- The Silver Knights, as mentioned, are playing their best hockey. Henderson is riding an eight-game points streak (7-0-1), their longest such streak in franchise history. The Silver Knights last lost in regulation on April 5, a 1-0 defeat to the Rockford IceHogs at The Dollar Loan Center. The Silver Knights are 9-2-1 in the month of April, setting franchise records for wins and points earned in a calendar month.
- Much of the Silver Knights’ recent success has been driven by youth. Isaiah Saville has earned six straight victories between the pipes, improving his record to 6-1-0 with a 2.05 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. Brendan Brisson made his AHL debut on April 13 and has gone on to post three goals and eight points in his first six games. Brisson scored goals in each of his first three AHL games, and he has recorded three multipoint games.
- The HSK announced another newcomer this week, as forward Ivan Morozov signed an entry-level deal with the Golden Knights and also a professional tryout agreement with the Silver Knights for the remainder of this season. Morozov was a second-round draft pick (61st overall) of the VGK in 2018 and has totaled 23 goals and 49 points in 105 career KHL games. He is expected to be available for the Silver Knights in their regular season finale on Saturday against Ontario.
- Henderson’s regular season finale against the Ontario Reign may be a good test for the HSK before post-season play. The Silver Knights have dropped six of seven meetings with the Reign this season, sporting a 1-5-1 record. The Reign are locked into the second seed in the Pacific Division and will face the San Diego Gulls in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. They boast the league’s top point producer in 98-point man TJ Tynan, who if he plays will be pushing for the AHL’s first 100-point season since Keith Aucoin in 2009-10. Ontario also has 40-goal scorer Martin Frk, currently second in the league behind Chicago Wolves forward Stefan Noesen and his 45 markers. The Reign are also two points shy of matching their best season in franchise history.
- The Silver Knights will salute their fans following Saturday’s final regular season game. All fans in attendance will receive a commemorative Lucky Shilling presented by Sunshine Minting. Following the game, Silver Knights players will toss autographed t-shirts into the crowd. The Silver Knights are 6-2-1 at The Dollar Loan Center since moving to their new home at the beginning of April.