Norfolk Admirals: 2012 Calder Cup Champions
The Norfolk Admirals completed their sweep of the Toronto Marlies to win the game - and the Calder Cup - 6-1. This is the first time a Tampa Bay Lightning AHL affiliate has won the Calder Cup. They're also the first Virginia-based AHL team to win a championship.
After the infamous regular season winning streak that the Admirals had, this is exactly where most people have expected them to be. However, I don't think anyone expected them to dominate in the playoffs in quite this fashion. They've not merely been among the best; they have been better than the best in the AHL. There has been some serious discussion as to whether or not the Ads as they are could beat the worst teams in the NHL.
Norfolk has won 43 of their last 46 games going back to 5 February, when the Superbowl was played. That's a 0.935 win percentage. That includes their regular season 28-game record-breaking winning streak. With this win in Game 4, they had won their last 10 playoff games.
Regular season accolades include AHL Coach of the Year for Jon Cooper, AHL MVP of the Year and AHL Rookie of the Year for Cory Conacher, and AHL Defenseman of the Year for Mark Barberio.
I would personally like to add my sincere thanks to the Norfolk Admirals for granting me media credentials. They've been nothing but gracious and welcoming, and I really appreciate that. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this fantastic record-shattering season, however sporadically and peripherally it might have been. Thanks for the great ride.
The team will be back in Norfolk at 4 pm on Monday. No word at the time of this writing as to when they'll be having a parade or celebration. Though, I'm sure they will be.
Congratulations to the Norfolk Admirals!