To paraphrase the noted sportswriter Mark Twain, reports of the Providence Bruins' demise -- spread by yours truly, I'm sorry to report -- are greatly exaggerated.
I've been advised by both Jason Chaimovitch, AHL vice president of communications, and P-Bruins coach Rob Murray, that Providence is still in the running for the final playoff slot in the Eastern Conference.
Here is Jason's email:
"The P-Bruins still have a pulse... Norfolk (-4) is only 10 up on Providence (-14) in goal differential.
"If Norfolk loses its final two games, by definition they'd be no better than -6. Plus, their two games are against a Hershey team whose own goal differential is +142.
"Providence would then need to win its three games by a total margin of 9 goals (at most), which is certainly doable. And they'd need Bridgeport to lose three in regulation.
"Not promising, but not dead yet.''
And here, for the record, is my incorrect post from this morning:
For the first time since 1998 and only the second time in their 18-year history, the Providence Bruins will miss the Calder Cup playoffs.
The P-Bruins' playoff hopes officially expired at around 9:30 on Wednesday night when Norfolk edged Wilkes-Barre / Scranton, 1-0.
Even if the P-Bruins win their remaining three games this weekend and Norfolk and Bridgeport lose the rest of their games in regulation time, Providence would still finish behind Norfolk because it would lose the goal-differential tie-breaker.
The last time Providence missed the playoffs, they rebounded to win the Calder Cup the next season.
The P-Bruins' last home game of the season is Friday night against Springfield.