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Your weekly Crunch Wrapper for the week ending on 4/3/2016

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Here's your weekly Crunch Wrapper (get it? It's a pun!) for the week ending on April 3rd, 2016,

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Scott Thomas

Latest Stats for the Syracuse Crunch:

  • Regular season record (wins-losses-OT losses-SO losses): 31-27-10-3

  • This past week's results: A 4-3 regulation loss versus Toronto (4/1); a 5-1 regulation loss versus Rochester (4/2); a 7-3 regulation win at Utica (4/3)

  • Place in Eastern Conference: 10th

  • Place in North Division: 4th

  • Top scorer: Tanner Richard (10-41-51)
  • Top scoring defenseman: Anthony DeAngelo (6-35-41)
  • Top defenseman, +/-Luke Witkowski (+3)

  • Top scoring rookie: Anthony DeAngelo (6-35-41)

A rundown of the AHL's new standings system can be found over at Syracuse.com.

That's a wrap!

The Syracuse Crunch's postseason hopes are slim, but technically they still exist. So that's...something.

Honestly, it's difficult for Crunch fans to believe that a team who has majored in inconsistency this season will get anywhere should they manage to bump gently into the American Hockey League's postseason. But, hockey fans know how the postseason is a very different beast from the regular season, so if the Crunch does manage to hold onto the ledge they're currently clinging to, who knows what will happen. To keep their hold, however, Syracuse needs nothing more than a minor miracle.

The Crunch currently sit in the last playoff spot in the North Division. According to this season's rules, the top four teams in every division will qualify for the postseason. However, thanks to an overloaded Atlantic Division - they have 8 teams, the North has 7 - a crossover rule is in place. Currently, the team in 5th place over in the Atlantic, the Portland Pirates, is ahead of the Crunch in points. Unless some major tanking goes on in the Atlantic, the Crunch will need to nab third place in the North in order to guarantee themselves a spot.

At the start of the weekend, the Crunch was in an okay position. They were four points behind the Utica Comets, a team they visited yesterday at the end of their three-in-three weekend. However, the Crunch then put itself in a rough situation by losing Friday and Saturday. Conversely, Utica won its games on Friday and Saturday. Going into Sunday's contest, Utica was 8 points ahead of the Crunch.

Syracuse did what it had to do yesterday, overcoming a 2-0 deficit to win the game 7-3. However, Syracuse is now still six points back from that third place spot. Utica has a game-in-hand over the Crunch. The two teams will face off twice more before the end of the season.

Syracuse has 75 points. Utica has 81. Portland has 83.

Putting it simply: The Crunch will need to win every one of their five games left. No matter what happens elsewhere, that's a given. But even with that, the organization will then need Utica to lose two games that aren't against Syracuse, though three would be better. The other scenario could be that Portland, who has 83 points and a game-in-hand, decides to lose at least five of their remaining six games (it could happen?), which could negate the crossover. Complicating that scenario, however, is that the Hartford Wolfpack are right behind Portland with 77 points. So, technically, Hartford is also a concern, though not an immediate one at the moment.

Don't ask me about tiebreakers. I might have to kill you.

Playoff math is fun, isn't?*

Now, about those 10 points Syracuse lost in overtime this past season...

*Disclaimer for all of that math: My abacus broke, so that information might be right or it might not be right. I think it's right. Here, look at this:

There, I think that's what I said. Anyway, the Crunch really does need to win every game left, and that's in their control, so...Roll with it, boys. Roll with it.

Other transactions, player, and organizational news:

-Matthew Peca had his first career 3-point game Sunday when he netted three assists.

-Henri Ikonen, Joel Vermin (2 goals), and Jeff Tambellini (2 goals) were among the five players who scored for Syracuse Sunday.

-Johnathan Drouin was held out of Sunday's contest due to a lower-body injury. He is listed as day-to-day. He has nine goals in his last nine games with Syracuse.

-The Crunch are winding down their Change for Change initiative this season, but there is still time to donate if you wish to. Change for Change is an initiative created by Crunch Captain Mike Angelidis and his teammates that aims to raise money for pediatric cancer research at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and help improve the odds for children with cancer. All TampaCuse fans can help out by donating through their Go Fund Me page.

-This past week it was announced that Angelidis was named the Syracuse Crunch's 2015-16 IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year for his work in the Syracuse community this past season. Angelidis' Change for Change initiative is a huge part of the Crunch's outreach to the Syracuse community. This is the first time Angelidis has been honored with the team IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award.

Syracuse Crunch media highlights:

  • The Crunch's SoundCloud has been updated with broadcasts and player interviews from the past week.
  • Be sure to use the hashtags #SyrCrunch, #BelieveInBlue, and #TampaCuse when tweeting about the team.