The Nashville Predators didn’t make the playoffs. The Milwaukee Admirals are facing elimination in the first round of the AHL playoffs. Then you have the Cincinnati Cyclones who start the second round of the ECHL playoffs on Friday night.
In the first round the Cyclones knocked off the Orlando Solar Bears in six games. The Admirals group of Barry Almeida, Taylor Aronson, Zach Budish, and Josh Shalla combined for 7 points (1 goal, 6 assists). In fact, outside of Mr. Shalla, all had plus ratings from the opening round series: a combined +7 plus/minus.
One thing to take stock of, for Predators and Admirals fans alike, is that Magnus Hellberg is sitting on the bench for this ECHL playoff run. The man in net for the Cyclones has been Rob Madore who played all games so far in the playoffs, won four, has a brilliant 1.82 goals against average, and a 0.938 save percentage. They are going with the hot hand and it is paying off. Yet another downer on the 2013-14 season for Hellberg.
For the Cyclones second round match-up they’ll be playing against the Fort Wayne Komets who ousted the Reading Royals in five games. The Royals finished the regular season with the best record in the Eastern Conference and second best record in the entire ECHL. That makes the chances for the Cyclones to this year’s Kelly Cup all the more possible.
Do you feel our friends in Cincinnati have a shot at winning the Kelly Cup this year? What do you feel about Magnus Hellberg going forward? Was this year for Hellberg a wash?
3 thoughts on “Checking in on the Cincinnati Cyclones: Round II”
I have a hard time saying this year should be considered a wash for Hellberg. If you look at the number of games played it’s only a few less than Darling. This would be a wash year for someone like Pekka Rinne. If you look at Hellberg’s stats with Cincy (limited sample, I know) they aren’t that good. And before the last regular season game he played I believe his save % was under 0.9. I think it also says something that the Cincy coach has yet to play a guy who started an NHL game this season a single second in the ECHL playoffs. Yes, Madore (ECHL contract I belive) has played well and you want to go with the hot hand, just saying it’s something to think about.
To be totally clear, I don’t think the Preds should give up on Hellberg just yet. I’m not sure he’s Chet Pickard 2.0. Here’s what I would do if I were the GM.
-Re-sign Carter Hutton as the backup for Pekka. I don’t think any of the goalie prospects are totally NHL material yet.
-Keep Maz in Milwaukee to gain more experience. See if he can regain his early season form and stay that way.
-Keep Hellberg in Cincy and make him earn his spot back with the Ads. Make him prove he’s not Chet Pickard 2.0.
-Sign Darling to a small NHL two-way deal and keep him in Milwaukee (you don’t have to pay him a ton, but I’m betting he’s going to get attention from other teams…and good for him). Make him prove he can consistently play the way he has this year, that’s it’s not a fluke.
Those last two points give you options if one of the two doesn’t play well and trade bait if they both play well.
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