It’s a near-repeat of last weekend. The Oklahoma City Barons face the Charlotte Checkers for a pair of games during a weekend. The Barons and Checkers are neck and neck in the race for the 7th and 8th spot in the Western Conference playoffs, but this time with a few less games to get there.
Here’s the standings going into tonight’s game:
|10||Oklahoma City Barons||69||31||27||2||9||73||0.529||217||238||2-0-0-2||4-3-1-2||2-9||1143|
Utica has started to eek their way into the picture now, holding a game in hand to three of the other four teams in the race. Charlotte is down to six games remaining in their season, two of them coming in the next two days against the Barons. Saturday pits Rochester against the Toronto Marlies, Utica against the Syracuse Crunch, and Rockford takes on the Abbotsford Heat for the second night in a row. Best case scenario, regulation losses for the IceHogs and Americans, plus the regulation win by the Barons over the Checkers, giving us this:
|8||Oklahoma City Barons||70||32||27||2||9||75|
Both Rockford and Rochester are off on Sunday, meaning the Barons could see 7th place if all things work out right, but it would give those two teams a game in hand to the Barons. Regardless of how everyone else does though, the four points are huge for the Barons this weekend, and they will want to do all that they can to get them in regulation and snap their streak of ending games in a shootout at three.
Four points or bust!