Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oklahoma City Barons Playoffs in Sight

Last weekend, the Barons won when they needed to, and in great fashion. Jeff Deslauriers stepped his game up after getting pulled the previous weekend in favor of Brian Pitton, and turned in two straight shutout wins. The Barons 7-0 win against Rockford and their 2-0 win against Texas put the Barons in prime position entering the final week of the AHL season.

Two games with playoff implications happened during the week. Tuesday night, the Rockford IceHogs traveled to San Antonio to finish off their road games of the season. Rockford entered the contest last in the division and San Antonio entered clinging to playoff hopes. Trailing 2-1 entering the 3rd period, Rockford scored 2 straight and put away the empty netter to give them the 4-2 win.

Wednesday night, the Texas Stars were in Peoria to begin their 4 games in 5 night stretch to end their season. Entering the 3rd, the Stars led 2-1 but the Rivermen were able to tie it up midway through the period and score the game winner at 18:05.

As we enter the final weekend, here's how the standings look:

And the weekend's schedule for the teams in playoff contention:

If the Barons win on Friday, they'll have a chance to clinch a spot on Saturday, barring any freebie points being given out. The Barons have had their struggles against the Rampage. They lost the first 4 meetings between the two, but would then go on to win the next 4 meetings. Their last game, the Rampage won 4-3 in San Antonio on March 10th. Martin Gerber has definitely had the better success against the Rampage, going 3-4 with a 2.45 GAA and .922 Sv%.

Gerber is still a question mark for the rest of the season. He spent most of the last two home games with backup Brian Pitton outside the endboards. Still day to day with a sore neck at last check.

The big thing to look at, the Texas Stars have a horrible 3 in 3 this weekend. After playing in Peoria on Wednesday, the play in Milwaukee on Friday, at home on Saturday, and finish the season in an afternoon game in San Antonio. I won't say that I don't see them making it in, but it's still entirely possible for the Barons to stay out of the crossover spot.

Friday and Saturday are going to be huge for the entire division. Of the 4 open spots in the entire league, 3 of them lie within the division. Be sure to stay tuned to Oilers Jambalaya for final weekend coverage, and for live updates throughout the weekend and hopefully into the playoffs, be sure to follow me on Twitter. The future is bright Oilers fans.

-Written by Eric Rodgers-

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