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Norfolk Admirals at Albany Devils: Good-luck Friday; game preview & open thread

Trevor Smith (by John Wright via Norfolk Admirals)
Trevor Smith (by John Wright via Norfolk Admirals)

Tonight begins the final weekend of the Norfolk Admirals regular season. The Ads play on the road for their last three games: Friday April 13 at Albany, 7:00PM EDT; Saturday at the Binghamton Senators, 7:05 pm EDT, and Sunday at the Adirondack Phantoms, 5:00PM EDT.

All games are available on 1021thegame.com (radio--free) or through AHL Live (video--$6.99).

Going into tonight's game, the Admirals sit atop the AHL standings by some 12 points, but their first round opponent hasn't yet been determined. It could be any one of five teams: the Connecticut Whale (Rangers), the Portland Pirates (Coyotes), the Syracuse Crunch (Ducks), the Manchester Monarchs (Kings), and the Providence Bruiins (Bruins). See the AHL's playoff primer for more information, including clinching scenarios and magic numbers.

Meanwhile, AHL awards are being announced, and it's no surprise to see the Admirals dominate. Jon Cooper has been named the AHL Outstanding Coach, Mark Barberio the league's Outstanding Defenseman, and Cory Conacher the league MVP as well as the Outstanding Rookie. The team has the complete list of awards (some 17 items long and covering the entire season) on their site.

We're going to be treating this as the game thread. Until game time, check out some of these Admirals articles.

An admirable season for Norfolk's star blueliner (Lightning team website)

AHL: Conacher working on dream season in Norfolk (NHL.com)

Jon Cooper: From The Courtroom To The AHL’s Elite (Lightning team website)

The Fun. superstitions of the 25-game Norfolk Admirals winning streak (Puck Daddy)