Pete's View - June 2012
Pete Michaud is The Voice of the Admirals. He brings 20 seasons of experience with the team to the airwaves in 2011-12. He has been the team's play-by-play broadcaster for each of the past 13 seasons. In addition to his work with the Admirals, Michaud also calls Norfolk Tides AAA baseball games.
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June 7, 2012
Hello from Toronto, the Capital of Hockey, where the Norfolk Admirals continue the Calder Cup Final with games Thursday (June 7), Saturday (June 9) and Sunday (June 10), if needed.
It's been an incredible run, as the team, its staff and its fans are soaking it all in. You never know if you'll be a part of something like this again. And while this series is far from over, the Admirals have to like their chances. Teams that jump to a 2-0 edge in the final have gone on to win the Calder Cup 93% of the time. Only three times in 42 chances has a team rallied from a 2-0 deficit, although the Hershey Bears turned the trick against the Texas Stars (a team featuring current Admiral Brandon Segal) just two years ago.
Toronto is quite a city. It's been something of a shock to the senses to go from St. John's, Newfoundland (one of the AHL's smallest markets) to Canada's largest city and one of the biggest metropolitan markets in North America. In fact, only New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston are larger in the United States.
Here is a shot of Rogers Centre and the CN Tower, which dominate the downtown skyline. Jeff Dimmen told me he and some of his Admirals teammates went up to the top of the CN Tower our first day here. I'm told there is a glass floor where you can stand and look straight down, about 1,200 feet! Rogers Centre, meanwhile, is the home of Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays.
The city's most famous landmark, however, has to be the Hockey Hall of Fame, which is just about a 10-15 minute walk from the team's hotel along the inner harbor's waterfront. I'm hoping to drop by there on Friday when the team has an off day to check it out. I'm hoping to see some memorabilia from the Admirals amazing 28-game, regular season winning streak.
The Admirals had the advantage of playing the first two games of the Calder Cup Final at Scope. Now, they must go on the road to play at Ricoh Coliseum. The building dates back to the early 1920s. It has a lot of character and makes a great environment for hockey.
Among those especially happy to be here are Mike Angelidis, Mike Kostka and Cory Conacher. All are from towns not far from Toronto, which means they will all have plenty of family and friends here to cheer them on this week. Conacher tells me he'll have 150-200 people here for each game, while Angelidis may have even more each night. I might note here that Conacher, the AHL's MVP, is the fifth straight league MVP to qualify for the Calder Cup Final. The prior four – Jason Krog (Chicago), Alexnadre Giroux (Hershey), Keith Aucoin (Hershey) and Corey Locke (Binghamton) – each went on to win the championship.
If the Admirals are fortunate enough to lift the Calder Cup, there will be several key players to make mention of. None, however, may be more important than Dustin Tokarski. ‘Tic' and Jaroslav Janus have both been dazzling through the playoffs. It's no surprise that goalies have claimed Playoff MVP honors 15 of the past 28 years.
That just about does it for now. If you're not a ‘friend' of mine on Facebook, I've posted LOTS of photos from the past two rounds of the playoffs, so maybe you'd like to check them out.
Until next time, feel free to drop an email ( firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions of comments, and make sure to follow me, @AdmiralsVoice, on Twitter or on Facebook, where you'll find Admirals audio and photos from time to time. And, as always, you can catch the games, when you can't get to Scope, on 102.1-FM, 1490AM on radio in Hampton Roads and at 1021TheGame.com online. Take care and we'll see you at Scope soon.
View the May 2012 edition of Pete's View
View the April 2012 edition of Pete's View
View February and March 2012 editions of Pete's View
View December 2011 and January 2012 editions of Pete's View
View October and November 2011 editions of Pete's View