Mar 8, 2022

Hey, Cuda Country! Hope all is well.


After just one win in seven games in February, the Barracuda have picked up five of a possible six points (2-0-1-0) to start March and are on their longest point-streak since October when the club went 2-0-1-0 over three games from Oct. 22-29. I don’t know about you, but this has me thinking playoffs. Playoffs? You want to talk playoffs? Heck, why not, right?

As I’ve said ad nauseam the AHL expanded its playoff format this past summer, meaning a lot more clubs are getting into the postseason than in years past. A postseason breakdown can be found below:

In 2021-22, the AHL will have 23 teams participating in the postseason.

All but the bottom two teams in each of the AHL’s four divisions will qualify for the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs.


Home-ice advantage in all series will be granted to the team with the higher points percentage.


The first round will be best-of-three series. Division semifinals and division finals will be best-of-five series; conference finals and the Calder Cup Finals are in a best-of-seven format.


Following are the tiebreaking procedures used in the event of a tie in points percentage in the standings, regardless of division, following the completion of the regular season. When a tie among three or more teams is broken resulting in a two-team tie, the original tiebreaking method is used.


If the regular season ended today, this would be the 2022 Calder Cup Playoff bracket. Fortunately, we’ve got almost two months to go in the season.


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After Sunday’s 6-2 victory over the Tucson Roadrunners, the Barracuda are now within two points of Tucson and four points of the San Diego Gulls in the Pacific Division. San Diego has two games in hand and is currently holding onto the final playoff spot in the Division.


Let’s breakdown the Barracuda’s remaining schedule and what it’ll take to get into the playoffs.


The ‘Cuda have 21 games remaining on their 68-game regular-season schedule. 11 at home and 10 on the road. The Gulls, who the Barracuda are chasing for the final playoff spot, have 23 games remaining, which is tied for the most left among Pacific Division teams. The Gulls are in the midst of an 8-game roadie and have dropped their last two after going 3-1 to start. The Barracuda gained three points over the weekend on San Diego by forcing Saturday’s game at Stockton to overtime (3-4 OTL) and winning Sunday 6-2 over Tucson.


The Barracuda are currently 17-28-2-0 (36 points, .383 winning percentage). If they were to win every remaining game, the maximum points they could earn would be 78 and the best winning percentage they could reach would be .574. Only the Colorado Eagles (.614) have a tougher strength of schedule in the final two months of the season than the Barracuda (.608), so things won’t be easy. Tucson has the easiest strength of schedule (.501) in the Pacific and San Diego is in the middle of the pack (.587).


The Barracuda’s Magic Number to reach the playoffs is 51. The Magic Number is the number of points needed by a team to clinch a playoff berth. The team’s Magic Number is reduced when it earns standing points, or when the team with the highest possible total outside of the playoff picture fails to earn standings points. A team clinches when its Magic Number reaches zero. Currently Ontario has the lowest Magic Number in the AHL (11).


All 21 of the Barracuda’s remaining games will be played within the Division.


• 2 games left vs. Abbotsford (3/24 vs. ABB, 4/15 vs. ABB)

Record vs. ABB in ’21-22: 3-3-0-0


• 3 games left vs. Bakersfield (4/6 vs. BAK, 4/13 vs. BAK, 4/22 @ BAK)

Record vs. BAK in ’21-22: 3-4-0-0


• 2 games left vs. Colorado (3/26 vs. COL, 3/28 vs. COL)

Record vs. COL in ’21-22: 4-1-1-0


• 4 games left vs. Henderson (4/9 vs. HSK, 4/10 vs. HSK, 4/22 vs. HSK, 4/23 vs. HSK)

Record vs. HSK in ’21-22: 1-3-0-0


• 2 games left vs. Ontario (3/9 @ ONT, 3/30 vs. ONT)

Record vs. ONT in ’21-22: 0-4-0-0


• 5 games left vs. Stockton (3/11 vs. STK, 3/12 @ STK, 3/22 vs. STK, 4/2 @ STK, 4/3 vs. STK)

Record vs. STK in ’21-22: 1-3-1-0


• 3 games left vs. Tucson (3/16 @ TUC, 3/18 @ TUC, 3/19 @ TUC)

Record vs. TUC in ’21-22: 2-1-0-0


Ever since the 2017-18 season, it’s hard to truly count the Barracuda out until they’re officially mathematically eliminated. That year, the club sat in eighth place in the Pacific Division and trailed the San Diego Gulls by 10 points on April 4. The team would go on to win their final six games in a row while San Diego stumbled to six losses in their last seven outings. In other words, the fat lady is far from signing.


Shifting gears, one of the big reasons for the Barracuda’s five-point week was the play of second-year forward John Leonard. After recording just seven points (3+4=7) through his first 20 games this year, he has notched 21 points (13+8=21) since the new year began in 22 games. On Sunday, he recorded his first pro hat-trick and added an assist for the first four-point game of his career. Culminating in AHL’s Player of the Week honors after recording seven points (5+2=7) in three games. He has now scored in three-straight games for the first time in his career. Since the new year, no one on the Barracuda has more goals (13) or points (21) than Leno.


The hat-trick for the UMass product was the 10th in franchise history and the second this season. Leonard joins Joel Kellman (5/2/21), John McCarthy (3/11/16), Troy Grosenick (2x, 2/19/17, 2/11/16), and Barclay Goodrow (12/6/15) as Barracuda players to win AHL Player of the Week honors. He is also just the third player this season to record a four-point game (Evander Kane (1+3=4) 12/15/21 vs. COL, Sasha Chmelevski (3+1=4) 1/8/22 vs. HSK).


Check out the latest development in the Barracuda’s future home… THE LIGHTS ARE ON!


Director of Business Operations for the San Jose Barracuda Eric Grundfast sat down with Teal Town USA recently to answering a handful of pressing questions about the Barracuda’s future home. From parking to food and beverage, to new jerseys, and more. Check out the full Q&A HERE.


That will do it for this week’s edition of Nolly’s Notes. I’m Nick Nollenberger, saying, thanks for reading and so long until next time.

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