OKC Barons sitting on the playoff bubble

Barons in a three-way tie for seventh in the AHL's Western Conference, with the top eight teams making the playoffs.
by Michael Baldwin Published: March 21, 2013
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“After the lockout ended, we had to readjust and bring some guys up from Stockton (in the ECHL). We had to get our feet under us again. It's been neat to see these guys come together.”

The bottom-line number is 46 different players have been on the Barons' roster. Only a handful of players, like Mark Arcobello, Colten Teubert, Taylor Fedun, Martin Marincin and Green, have been with the team all season.

“It's been an interesting year for sure,” Green said. “Every year, you know there's going to be change. But this year has been a challenge more so for the coaches putting a lineup together.”

Roster shuffling will continue the final month. One unresolved issue is the Barons have 17 forwards. Only 12 play each game.

“There are still tweaks we still have to make,” said coach Todd Nelson. “We don't have them where we want them. We're going to have to develop some kind of chemistry. You have to live day by day. Things can happen very quickly.”

Despite constant roster changes, the Barons have built some momentum. They've collected at least one standings point in 15 of their last 21 games.

“We've been on a pretty good run,” Nelson said. “I like the way we're playing. I feel pretty good about it.”

Ten teams are tightly packed between fifth and 14th place. The Barons play 11 of their final 16 games against the other nine playoff contenders.

“We hold the cards,” Scott said. “It's up to us. We will decide our own fate. ... I like where our team is at mentally. I like the way we've been playing. Right now I'll put our guys up against any team in our league.”

by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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Race to the finish

Ten teams in the American Hockey League's Western Conference are battling for the final four playoff spots.

GP, Team, Pts.

61, Houston, 70

61, Rochester, 70

59, Chicago, 67

60, Oklahoma City, 67

65, Abbotsford, 67

60, Milwaukee, 66

62, Rockford, 66

63, Peoria, 63

64, Lake Erie, 63

61, San Antonio, 61

Barons vs. Houston

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Cox Convention Center

Tickets: Starting as low as $10 at box office or by calling (405) 232-GOAL.

Radio: KXXY-FM 96.1

Scouting report: Barons forward Mark Arcobello (52 points) has passed Jordan Eberle (51) for the team scoring lead. Eberle compiled his points in three months before returning to Edmonton following the NHL lockout. ... Promoted midway through the season from Double-A, Toni Rajala is second on the Barons' roster with 26 points. ... Justin Fontaine (39 points) is Houston's second leading scorer. Top scorer Jason Zucker (41) was promoted to the Minnesota Wild. ... Houston has dominated the season series, winning seven of nine games, but three of the Aeros' wins were shootouts.

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