The Florida Everblades were eliminated in six games against the South Carolina Stingrays in the 2nd round of the ECHL playoffs on Tuesday night. The Blades were down 3-1 with the third period winding down when they were able to send the game into overtime by scoring two goals in the final minute and a half of regulation to tie it at 3. That’s all the team seemed to have in them as they went on to lose in overtime.
A disappointing loss for the Blades. They finished the regular season as the top team in the ECHL. They were picked No. 1 in the Hockey News ECHL poll, heralded by opposing coaches and players alike as “the best team in the league.”
Jacob Micflikier only played in the first game of the series before injuring his ankle again during a following practice.
Mike Brodeur had been presented the opportunity to play for the Everblades but turned it down. On one hand I understand where he’s coming from, but on the other I would think the chance to win a championship would improve his worth.
Florida Panthers goaltender and former Amerk Craig Anderson did something similar when he turned down a chance to play in the World Hockey Championship.
Here’s Brodeurs reasoning:
Florida could have added AHL all-star Mike Brodeur, who signed a two-way contract with the Blades’ AHL affiliate, to the roster instead of Khudobin. Blades assistant coach John Marks, who joined the team late in the season, was Brodeur’s coach for the ECHL’s Augusta Lynx earlier this season, before the Lynx folded in November.
“(Brodeur) didn’t really feel comfortable coming in for the playoffs (for the Blades) without signing (an NHL contract) first,” Marks said. “He just wanted to play it safe, I guess.”
According to Marks, Brodeur was worried that poor play for the Blades could hurt his chances of signing an NHL contract with the Florida Panthers, one of the Blades’ NHL affiliates, or his chances of signing with a different NHL team.
Brodeur, 26, went 18-13-4 with a save percentage of 0.921 for the AHL’s Rochester Americans this season, playing behind a very young, inexperienced defense. (source)
Matt Duffy only played in three games but when given the chance he made an impact. We learned from this previous season to not get our hopes up about players, but Duffy is certainly raising the bar. Angela Busch of the Naples Daily News wrote about him the same way we did.
I also noticed Matt Duffy in just his second game of playoff action. Duffy is a key guy to have on the blueline — he doesn’t seem to make many mistakes or take unnecessary chances, but he still picked up assists on two goals.
At the start of the second round we had posted a press release listing the influence the Amerks had on the Everblades playoff team, with the season over here’s how those players finished in the postseason:
Ross Carlson – 11 GP, 7 G, 2 A, 6 PIM
Jacob Micflikier – 6 GP, 2 G, 2 A, 8 PIM
Andrew Sweetland – 11 GP, 2 G, 4 A, 2 PIM
Mathieu Roy – 9 GP, 2 G, 3 A, 6 PIM
Kevin Baker – 11 GP, 3 G, 5 A, 8 PIM
Doug O’Brien 9 GP, 2 G, 6 A, 12 PIM