By: Tim A Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson
The AHL regular season has come to a close, and the playoffs are here! The AHL set up the 2022 playoffs like this: every team except the bottom two in each division make it. The first round is a best-of-three series. The teams that make it to the division semifinals and finals will battle in a best-of-five series. The conference finals and the Calder Cup Finals will be a war of attrition in a best-of-seven series.
The Providence Bruins ended their regular season 36-25-5-6 (83 points). That is good for third in the Atlantic Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference. Their opponent, the Bridgeport Islanders, are 31-30-7-4 (73 points). That is good for sixth in the Atlantic Division and 12th in the Eastern Conference. Their first-round matchup is as follows:
- Game 1: Monday, May 2, 2022, 7:00 PM at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.
- Game 2: Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 7:00 PM at the Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
- Game 3 (if necessary): Friday, May 6, 2022, at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.
The Providence Bruins played the Bridgeport Islanders 12 times in the regular season, going 6-6. Over the past five seasons, the Bruins hold a 30-18-5-4 record against the Islanders, including 16-9-3-1 at home. The Islanders have not had much luck this season. They boast one of the worst defenses in the AHL, giving up 3.13 goals a game. On top of that, they are scoring 2.95 goals a game. The Bruins are scoring 2.76 goals a game while giving up 2.66. The key to beating them is getting an early lead and keeping it. The Islanders are 11-12-2-2 when trailing after one period and 3-19-3-2 trailing after two. This series favors the Bruins. Our boys in black and gold should be moving on to the next round.
My Players To Watch This Series
Samuel Asselin: Samuel Asselin has had a good season for Providence despite being less efficient than last season. In 68 games, Asselin has eight goals while dishing out 22 assists for 30 total points. Asselin played some of his best hockey against Bridgeport, scoring five goals and dishing out four assists for nine total points in 12 games. If Providence wants to succeed, Asselin needs to have a big series. Look for him against Bridgeport.
On The Blue Line
Victor Berglund: Victor Berglund has had an excellent season both offensively and defensively for Providence. In 46 games, he scored six goals while dishing out 12 assists for 18 total points. Berglund played exceptionally well against Bridgeport, scoring one goal and dishing out four assists for five total points in nine games. The young defenseman is an integral piece to the success of the Providence Bruins. Look for him against Bridgeport.
Troy Grosenick: Troy Grosenick has had an excellent first season, with Providence anchoring the back-half of their defense. In 30 games, he is 16-6-4 with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. Grosenick also had the best statistics of all the goalies Providence used against Bridgeport this season. The veteran goalie held a 3-2 record with a .915 save percentage and a 2.62 goals-against average in six games. Look for him against Bridgeport.
The playoffs have finally arrived. The Providence Bruins played well enough this season to grab the home-ice advantage in the first round. Their first-round matchup with Bridgeport is a favorable one. If all goes well, we should see our boys in black and gold move onto the second round of the playoffs. I hope everyone enjoys the first round! Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. As always, GO, Bs, GO!