One game after snapping a three-game pointless drought, the Providence Bruins will need to be ready to reverse their roles Friday night as they face the only team in the AHL’s Eastern Conference with a lower winning percentage on the year.
Generally speaking, the Devils have gone the way of another promising forward in the organization, Jacob Josefson. Their current skid on the scoreboard is coinciding with their top scorer’s three-game production drought, which is also what Henrique is nursing.
With the P-Bruins defense and goaltending coming off their first shutout and stingiest outing to date―a 3-0 shutout against a St. John’s IceCaps team that was limited to 18 shots―complacency will be their worst enemy against Albany’s starving pit bulls.
Provided Niklas Svedberg, who one can assume will get the starting nod in net, and his praetorian guards keep the door obstinately shut, it will be on the Bruins’ most leaned-on strikers to thaw out at the other end.
This is the season’s first instance of a three-game weekend, and Bruce Cassidy’s pupils will need an unhesitant, confidence-induced boost of mental energy to carry them through as they try to ascend the standings.
The importance of a morally and tangibly satisfying tilt on Friday is compounded by the two divisional dates that will follow.
The Bruins will venture to Manchester on Saturday to engage a Monarchs team in the third installment of their season series, which has so far swayed in favor of the road team in an exchange of visits.
Returning home on Sunday, Providence will host the Worcester Sharks for the second time in a span of 10 days. Last Friday, another sketchy outing from netminder Michael Hutchinson, combined with a failure to bury chances at even strength, amounted to a tough 3-2 loss, which the host club will doubtlessly be raring to prove it has learned from.
Like the Baby B's, Boston’s Double-A partner in South Carolina is still looking to scrap out of the bottom of its five-team division. Fresh off their second loss in as many road games, the Stingrays will have a second consecutive crack at the Kalamazoo Wings Friday night.
From there, their comprehensive excursion around the ECHL’s North Division will have them facing the Evansville Icemen on Saturday, Toledo Walleye on Sunday and the league-leading Cincinnati Cyclones Tuesday.