The relationships between teams and their minor league affiliates is pretty important. They have to be able to trust each other, and management between the two clubs has to get along. They have to be in sync in order for the organization to be successful.
This post season, the Lightning organization is just that: in sync. While the Lightning take on the Penguins in their first round series, the Norfolk Admirals have drawn the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in their first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs in the AHL.
The Baby Pens ran away with the regular season, racking up 117 points when the next closest team, the Portland Pirates, got just 103. The Admirals are 24 points behind with 93. The Ads are clear underdogs in this situation, as are the Lightning in their series with the Big Pens. The Baby Pens have dominated in just about every category this season, and it will take a lot of heart and guts for the Admirals to bring them down.
That series will start on Friday in Pennsylvania.