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IceCaps report – March 8

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens have a new farm team this season, the St. John's IceCaps. To help Canadiens fans track the team's performance in the AHL, we have invited Charles Dart, website contributor of the IceCaps' official website to prepare a bi-weekly summary of the action in Newfoundland.


ST. JOHN’S – The Calder Cup Playoff race is down to the final stretch as the St. John’s IceCaps have just 17 games remaining before the postseason commences in the third week of April.

With the new playoff qualification rules this year, the IceCaps must finish in the top two of the North Division standings to be guaranteed a playoff spot, or have the highest or second- highest winning percentage among the remaining Eastern Conference teams (*3N, 4N, or 5A).

St. John’s currently sits fifth in the North Division with a .517 winning % (25-23-8-3).

The IceCaps picked up three of four points this past weekend at home against the Albany Devils. Sylvain Lefebvre’s team is 15 points behind the Devils for second place in the North Division, and just 7 points behind the Utica Comets for third spot.

“It’s a big point tonight,” said Lefebvre following Saturday night’s 5-4 OT loss. “Our margin of error is not very big and we want to get as many wins as possible, so now we have to refocus and get ready for Bingo [Binghamton Senators].”

Russian rookie Nikita Scherbak has been hot of late, recording six points (1G, 5A) in his past five games, including the first multi-point night of his career with a goal and two assists in Saturday’s contest. Scherbak has compiled 12 points (5G, 7A) since returning to the lineup from injury on January 16th.

Bud Holloway has reached 50 points on the season and is 11 points shy of his season-high record of 61 set back in 2010-2011.

Charles Hudon sits at 19 goals on the year, tying his season-high from last year with 17 games left to play. Hudon recorded 57 points last season and has 41 entering tonight’s action.

Morgan Ellis will draw back into the lineup for the first time since February 26th. He remains the IceCaps leading scorer on the back end (31 PTS) and the team plus-minus leader at +8, too. He sits second among all AHL defensemen with 12 goals, and should add even more firepower to the IceCaps’ fourth-ranked power play on home ice (22.7%). St. John’s also has the second-place penalty kill on the road at 86.3%.

The Binghamton Senators (7th, North Division) and Hershey Bears (1st, Atlantic Division) visit St. John’s this week and will wrap up the IceCaps’ six-game home stand this Sunday, March 13th.

St. John’s and Binghamton will get going at 6:00 PM EST tonight and tomorrow night, before battling the Bears Saturday night and Sunday evening.

St. John’s will then go on their final road trip – a crucial seven-game swing where they will face the Utica Comets (3rd, North), Syracuse Crunch (6th, North), Rochester Americans (4th, North), and Toronto Marlies (1st, North).

Full team stats are available here.

Updated Depth Chart and Lineup
*denotes rookie, italics denotes not in last game’s lineup, **recalled since last game

Forward

*BRANDON MCNALLY

*NIKITA SCHERBAK

BUD HOLLOWAY "A"

CHARLES HUDON

GABRIEL DUMONT "C"

MAX FRIBERG

*TIM BOZON

*MARK MACMILLAN

*ALEXANDRE RANGER

JOHN SCOTT "A"

ANDREW YOGAN

*JEREMY GRÉGOIRE


MICHAËL BOURNIVAL

CONNOR CRISP

*MARKUS EISENSCHMID

Shane bakker *angelo miceli


Defensemen

DARREN DIETZ

*BRETT LERNOUT

*RYAN JOHNSTON

*JOSIAH DIDIER

JOEL HANLEY

MAC BENNETT

MORGAN ELLIS

*TRAVIS BROWN



Goaltenders

Eddie Pasquale

*Zachary Fucale







Charles Dart is a writer for the St. John’s IceCaps.
Twitter: @CharlesMDart
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