Syracuse Crunch vs. Providence Bruins preview: AHL Eastern Conference final Game 4
The Crunch look to extend their 2-1 series lead over the Bruins.
The bottom line: Syracuse Crunch vs. Providence Bruins, game 4
The Syracuse Crunch are still undefeated at home during this year’s Calder Cup playoffs. They look to extend their series lead to 3-1 tonight. To do that, they’ll need to keep their focus and never, ever stop playing hockey.
The Crunch have had several moments in all three series they’ve played where they’ve had costly mental lapses. The most recent occurred Wednesday night when they almost allowed the P-Bruins to take over the game in the final four minutes of the third. Syracuse allowed three Providence goals during that time span.
Taormina on allowing the late Providence surge: "We gave them a lot of opportunities that we need to really clean up.” #PROvsSYR #FIN15H pic.twitter.com/vFCb3sidek— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) May 25, 2017
At the end of the day, the Crunch needs to start providing more defensive support for their goalie. Syracuse gave up 41 shots to the “relentless” Bruins Wednesday, and although they pushed through for the win, locking down more a bit more defensively would be advantageous to the Crunch. Mike McKenna has looked nothing short of a superstar in net, and it’d be awfully nice of his teammates if they’d be there for him for the entirety of a game.
McKenna on the team staying calm throughout the game: “Our guys just know that we can get the job done.” #PROvsSYR #FIN15H pic.twitter.com/G2fflizQJT— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) May 25, 2017
Syracuse has been bolstered by great crowds for pretty much the entirety of their playoffs at home. It will be interesting to see how the Central New York community will respond to the two games in a row coming up tonight and tomorrow night. Hopefully the holiday weekend crowd will be as big as the team has seen so far.
Conacher on Crunch fans: "These fans are the best fans in hockey. It’s electric here. It gets louder and louder every game.” #FIN15H pic.twitter.com/SLixQ9zkhX— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) May 25, 2017
Pre-game reading, listening, and viewing:
- My playoff previews for round three so far: game 1, game 2, game 3
- Game recaps of round three so far from Brandon Curtis: game 1, game 2
- Game recap of round three so far from Geo: game 3
- Round preview from Stanley Cup of Chowder.
- The Crunch’s SoundCloud is a great place to go for player interviews and tidbits.
- ESPN Syracuse has an Audio Vault that has a lot of quality Crunch stuff from the past few days, including interviews with Matthew Peca and Matt Taormina.
- Be sure to check out Syracuse’s YouTube channel if you’re looking for highlights, interviews, and recaps.
- You can find coverage from the team’s beat writer and others, including our friend Brent Axe, over at Syracuse.com.
- Speaking of Brent, he checked in with his own impressions from game 3.
- If you missed Saima’s transcript of Brent’s interview with Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman - a story that was recently featured on the front page of theahl.com (!!!!)- you need to check it out.
- Fun story: Providence coach Kevin Dean participated in the Crunch’s first organizational game in 1994 when he was with the Albany River Rats.
- Fun TampaCuse stat: /
Prior to @conhockey19, the last #SyrCrunch player to record four points in the #CalderCup Playoffs was @tjohnny09 on May 11, 2013. #FIN15H pic.twitter.com/XJbHhLAjQL— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) May 25, 2017
Game night essentials:
- The pre-game radio broadcast with Dan D’Uva will start at 6:45 EST on ESPN Syracuse. You can stream the game in its entirety for free.
- Puck drop is at 7:00 ET.
- AHL Live has special playoff pricing deals for every game of the AHL playoffs, as well as team-specific packages. There’s also a pay-per-view option.
- Be sure to follow the team on Twitter for updates if you’re away from other options./
Potential lines and pairings for Syracuse:
Michael Bournival - Yanni Gourde* - Cory Conacher
Adam Erne - Gabriel Dumont - Joel Vermin
Tye McGinn - Matthew Peca - Erik Condra
Kevin Lynch-Byron Froese-Mitchell Stephens**
Potential defensive pairings:
Matt Taormina - Dominik Masin
Slater Koekkoek - Ben Thomas
Jake Dotchin - Mathieu Brodeur
*Yanni Gourde is currently listed as day-to-day with an unspecified ailment:
Gourde didn't take a shift in at least the final 5 minutes of the game last night. Saluted fans and came out for 3 stars. Nothing visible.— Brandon Curtis (@CrunchSyracuse) May 25, 2017
**Daniel Walcott was hurt during Sunday’s game 2, and is currently listed as day-to-day. He did not play Wednesday. Stephens drew in instead.
Potential lines and pairings for Providence:
Danton Heinen - Jordan Szwarz - Wayne Simpson
Jake DeBrusk - Austin Czarnik - Chris Porter
Colton Hargrove - Colby Cave - Zach Senyshyn
Anton Blidh - Ryan Fitzgerald - Tyler Randell
Alex Grant - Tommy Cross
Chris Casto - Matt Grzelcyk
Chris Breen - Linus Arnesson
Zane McIntyre (?)
—McIntyre was pulled after letting in three Syracuse goals in a row Wednesday. Malcolm Subban came in and allowed two more Crunch tallies (although one was an open net marker). One would assume coach Dean will go back to McIntyre tonight, but there’s always the chance he’ll see what Subban can do.