TORONTO – It’s quickly become one of the most pivotal times of the year; the road to the playoffs. With four teams within four points of a playoff spot, this weekend’s series between the Syracuse Crunch and the Toronto Marlies could be the most essential yet.

Here’s a look at the playoff picture entering play Friday night:

Nuts And Bolts

Syracuse Crunch

Record: 28-22-9
Division/League Rank: 4th in North/13th in AHL
Away Record: 11-13-5
Power Play Record: 51-253 – 20.2% (9th in AHL)
Penalty Kill Record: 46-258 – 82.2% (14th in AHL)
Goals Per Game: 3.31 (10th in AHL)
Goals Against Per Game: 3.44 (28th in AHL)
Shots Per Game: 29.47 (21st in AHL)
Shots Against Per Game: 28.95 (9th in AHL)
Sin Bin Spotlight: Alex Barre-Boulet – 57 games played in 2019-20 (26G, 29A = 55 pts) Birthplace: Montmagny, QC

Toronto Marlies

Record: 28-24-5
Division/League Rank: 7th in North (20th in AHL)
Home Record: 18-10-0
Power Play Record: 46-227 – 20.3% (8th in AHL)
Penalty Kill Record: 49-217 – 77.4% (29th in AHL)
Goals Per Game: 3.42 (5th in AHL)
Goals Against Per Game: 3.44 (27th in AHL)
Shots Per Game: 27.47 (29th in AHL)
Shots Against Per Game: 31.28 (24th in AHL)
Sin Bin Spotlight: Tanner MacMaster – 52 games played in 2019-20 (11G, 19A = 30 pts). Birthplace: Calgary, AB

Sin Bin Swami Sez…

They’ve got to watch the penalties against two strong power-play squads. Both teams will have to play to the referees and eliminate any chance of the opponent reaching easy goals. Syracuse has had some of the highest power-play opportunities (809 opponent PIM) in the AHL. The Marlies know that the Crunch are hungry for special teams, and they’ll be cautious of it. Whatever team can play to the referee and stay out of the box will come away with two points.

Both teams will go to battle on Friday at 7:00 pm. The game will be live on AHL TV and on TSN2 in Canada.

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