Eastern Conference Finals Series Preview
e Toronto Marlies are set to face the Charlotte Checkers in the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs. Toronto starts the seven-game series on the road on Friday, returning home for Games 3, 4 and 5.
is season marks the eighth straight season and 11th trip to the postseason in the franchise's 14-year history. e Toronto Marlies clinched a playoff berth on April 5 and finished the regular season seventh overall with 91 points and a record of 39-24-9-4. Following their 6-2 win over the Cleveland Monsters, the Marlies have won seven straight playoff games, sweeping both the North Division Semifinals and Finals. is is the sixth time Toronto has advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in franchise history and the third time in four years.
e Charlotte Checkers head into the Eastern Conference Finals riding a six-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents by a 26-8 margin. ey finished with the best record in the AHL during the regular season and are in the conference finals for the first time since 2011.
Although the Marlies will start this series on the road, playing away from the Coliseum hasn't been a concern for Toronto. Special teams have been crucial for the blue and white throughout the postseason and will continue to be an important factor in the Conference Finals. e Marlies' league-leading power play (39.1%) has registered nine goals, while their penalty kill (86.7%) has allowed only three goals against. ese units have been especially lethal on the road, with the power play converting on 40% of their man-advantage opportunities, while the penalty kill has been nearly perfect on the road (92.3%), allowing only one goal against.
Toronto won three of four meetings against Charlotte during the regular season, edging them twice in overtime, and blanking them 5-0 in their most recent meeting.
Players to watch:
Kasimir Kaskisuo has been lights out for the Marlies, posting seven consecutive wins, stopping 204 of 215 shots with a .949 Save Percentage and a 1.56 Goals Against Average. In Game 3 of the North Division Finals, he recorded his first playoff career shutout against Cleveland.
Jeremy Bracco registered four assists in Game 1 of the North Division Finals, tying the team record for most assists in one playoff game. Bracco picked up four points in two separate games this regular season. Bracco is tied for the league lead in points (2-8-10).
Chris Mueller has recorded nine points (5 goals, 4 assists) through seven games and leads the league in power play goals (4).
Rasmus Sandin leads all defencemen and rookies in assists (0-7-7) through seven games.
Andrew Poturalski leads the Checkers and the league in postseason scoring with 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) in seven games.
Puck drops for game one at 7:00PM on Leafs Nation Network and AHLTV. Fans across Canada can also stream the game live in the Maple Leafs app. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for behind-the-scenes action from Bojangles' Coliseum.
Head to Head (2019 Calder Cup Playoffs)
7-0-0-0 Overall Record 7-1-0-0
0-0-0-0 Head To Head 0-0-0-0
Win 7 Streak Win 6
27 Goals For 33
11 Goals Against 16
39.1% Power Play Percentage 26.1%
86.4% Penalty Kill Percentage 89.5%
C. Mueller (5)
A. Brooks (5) Leading Goal Scorer A. Saarela (6)
J. Bracco (11) Leading Points Scorer A. Poturalski (13)
K. Kaskisuo (7) Wins Leader A. Nedeljkovic (6)
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