The Oklahoma City Barons end a three-game American Hockey League homestand at 7 p.m. Tuesday, hosting Rockford at the Cox Center.
Oklahoma City (36-17-8) continues to top the Western Division with a 10-point standings lead over Abbotsford and San Antonio. The Barons want to win the division championship, sure, but the bigger goals finishing the regular season as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. The Barons currently lead that race, too, but they have only a five-point advantage over the Toronto Marlies. Home ice advantage throughout the conference side of the postseason is the prize.
The top-eight teams in each conference make the postseason, which begins in mid-April.
*Reader Reg Bamford of Edmond requests The Oklahoman list the Barons players who were not on the active playoff roster submitted to league by coach Todd Nelson. Here they are: goaltender Olivier Roy, defensemen Kevin Montgomery and Kirill Tulupov and forwards Curtis Hamilton, Tanner House, Andrew Lord and Ryan Martindale. All seven can continue to practice with the team but are ineligible for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs unless the Barons' active roster dips below 17 available players due to injury, suspension or promotion to the Edmonton Oilers.
The Barons are without defensemen Alex Plante (concussion) and Dan Ringwald (unspecified injury), goaltender Yann Danis (sore knee) and forward Linus Omark (with the Oilers), so Roy, House, Martindale and Montgomery remain active. Once an active-rostered player returns, one of the latter four will return to the inactive list.