The Winnipeg Jets’ farm club the St. John’s IceCaps are in the Calder Cup final against the Texas Stars starting on Sunday and I thought I’d write my 3 reasons why I think the IceCaps are going to win this series.
Number 1: The IceCaps have had great goaltending from Michael Hutchinson, he has a .946 save percentage with 11 wins and 5 losses. He’s also chipped in 2 assists! Texas Stars’ goaltender Christopher Nilstorp has a .914 save percentage so advantage IceCaps in goal. Hutchinson started in the East Coast League, got called up to the AHL and then to the NHL and played very well for the Jets in the final 2 games of the season and has continued his great play in the playoffs for the Ice Caps.
Number 2: IceCaps scoring has been spread around to everyone including 8 goals from Andrew Gordon in 16 games and 9 goals from Eric O’Dell in 16 games. Defenceman Will O’Neill has led the team in assists with 11 in 16 games. Every player that’s played in the playoffs has chipped in at least one point.
That’s some great balance heading into the final. If your 2 big snipers are held off the score sheet you have another 16 players that can score. That’s a hard formula to stop when you can’t key on one or two players to try and defend.
Number 3: Defence. The IceCaps defence this playoffs has been outstanding. O’Neill has 11 assists and 13 points so far for second on team scoring and Zach Redmond has 2 goals with 9 assists for 11 points and 4th on the team in scoring. But what everyone is raving about is 19 year old Josh Morrissey with 2 goals and 6 assists for 8 points in 15 games and is a plus 5. The kid has played big minutes and has had a big impact since coming in after his junior league team the Prince Albert Raiders were knocked out of the playoffs. This is good news for Jets fans as some of you may remember he was one of the last cuts from the Jets team at training camp.
With Hutchinson, Redmond and Morrissey the IceCaps are going to be tough to beat and this is great news for the Jets to see some of their young prospects have a big impact in the AHL playoffs.