Adam Lowry takes off non-contact jersey for Monday practice
Sidelined with what the team is reporting as the “flu” through the St. John’s IceCaps’ first round playoff series against the Albany Devils, Adam Lowry was skating without a non-contact jersey with the regulars Sunday and Monday.
St. John’s IceCaps forward Adam Lowry. — Photo by Kenn Oliver/The Telegram
Whether that means the big forward from Calgary finds his way back into the St. John’s lineup for tonight’s second-round American Hockey League playoff-series opener against the Norfolk Admirals at Mile One Centre remains to be seen.
Lowry, who missed the first four games of the Calder Cup playoffs, was still listed as day-to-day at IceCaps practice Monday at the Mount Pearl Glacier, and as such, was not made available to the media.
“Whenever he’s healthy, he’s been a big part of our team all season long,” said IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge. “We just have to make sure he’s 100 per cent and he’s ready to go.”
If Lowry is cleared for action, it gives McCambridge flexibility in his lineup for Game 1.
After dressing 12 forwards and six defencemen in the first two games in Albany,
McCambridge opted for 11 up front and seven D in Games 3 and 4 in
St. John’s, with Will O’Neill taking the seventh spot on the blueline.
“Tough decisions are part of the job. … It goes with the territory,” McCambridge insists. “They’re hard to decisions to make, but it’s good to have with regards to having healthy bodies on your roster right now.
“To try to have success in the playoffs, it takes everybody on your roster.”
Asked if adding Lowry’s presence to the lineup to help a beleaguered IceCaps’ power play that connected just twice on 19 opportunities in the first around, McCambridge felt it was too early to call out the special team effort.
“We’ve played four games in the playoffs right now, so to single out the power play … I thought we scored a big power play goal last game at home and it was a big moment in the game for us.
“With regards to whether you go 11 and seven based on if that player’s available or not, there’s a whole lot of different intangibles that I take into consideration, that I’m not willing to share right now.”
Possibly the greatest intangible facing McCambridge and the IceCaps is a second-round opponent whom they have yet to meet this season. Consider it familiar unfamiliar territory for a St. John’s team that had the very same hurdle in its quarter-final series with Albany.
“We dealt with it in the first round, and we’ve had the same scenario here where we’ve had a couple of days to prepare the team and relay the information we feel is relevant in order for us to have some success in Game 1.
“You want to prepare your team and get as much information as possible to them without overloading them.”
In the Admirals, McCambridge knows the IceCaps are up against a team with, “a big strong defence, fast forwards and really good goaltending.”
Above all, he knows the Admirals are a squad that took three straight from the Manchester Monarchs to eliminate the top-seed in the Eastern Conference.
“They beat an excellent team in Manchester and they’re in the second round for a reason.”
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Wednesday Both games start 7:30 p.m.
Seats available at Mile One
While the IceCaps continue to enjoy a record sell-out streak, the team wants its fans to know there are still a number of seats remaining for second-round games against the Norfolk Admirals, including tonight’s series opener.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the Mile One Centre box office, by phone at 709-576-7657 or online at mileonecentre.com. Prices are $21, $28 and $31 per game, plus taxes and service fees. The Mile One box-office hours are noon to 5 p.m daily.
Note: This is an edited version of this story.