Caps goalies Braden Holtby, foreground, and Justin Peters. (Caps Outsider) The Washington Capitals...
Royals Ruled the Regular Season, Now Brace for Playoffs
The Royals celebrate an overtime win at the Sovereign Centre (Photo Credit: M. Richter)
The ECHL’s regular season has now closed, and with it the playoff hopes of seven teams are ended. Fortunately, the Caps-affiliated Reading Royals not only made the cut, they finished first in the East after a record-setting season.
It’s been mentioned before, but it bears repeating that this is an amazing accomplishment for a team that started out 1-5-0-1 back in October. The Royals have seen high turnover in the locker room this year, between the lockout and some very judicious start-of-season signings that got themselves noticed further up the line. The 2012-13 roll call included 48 different players: 13 goaltenders, 16 defensemen, and 19 forwards.
Of those, a few have recently earned league-wide honours. Forward David Vallorani was named to the ECHL’s All-Rookie team, Adam Comrie was named to the All-ECHL Second Team, and goaltender Riley Gill was named ECHL Goaltender of the Week twice in a row.
With playoffs comes the playoff roster, and hard choices will be facing the newly-extended Head Coach Larry Courville (and congratulations are due for his two year contract extension). The Royals begin their bout with the Greenville Road Warriors on Friday, and as the current high-seed they have home ice advantage.
Food for Thought:
The Hershey Bears currently sit at 8th in the East, with nine games left in the season and scarcely a handful of points between sixth and eleventh places. The Washington Capitals sit at 11th in the East, with fourteen games left in the shortened season and an equally compressed spread of points at and below the NHL playoff bubble. With luck, at least one of the Royals’ big brothers will be entering the post-season, but if you’re looking for a sure thing, swing by the Sovereign Centre on Friday or Saturday for a taste of 2013 playoff hockey (both 7:05 games). Tickets can be purchased through the Royals Website.