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The Playoffs are a relatively new test for the Firebirds’ Shore |

Patrick Features Writer

Devin ShoreThe road back to the NHL goes through the Calder Cup Playoffs.

The better the Coachella Valley Firebirds’ postseason goes, the better chance the Shore has of making a case for a National Hockey League comeback.

For Shore, who is in his ninth pro season, this was his first extended playoff appearance. After three seasons at the University of Maine, he turned pro with the Texas Stars in the spring of 2015. He was a full-time NHL player in 2016, playing in every game for Dallas in the 2016–17 and 2017–18 seasons. He has moved on to play for Anaheim, Columbus, Edmonton and Seattle, but Shore spent most of this season with the Firebirds, collecting 25 points (seven goals, 18 assists) in 39 regular season games.

Shore, who had only played in seven playoff games in his career before this spring, has nine points in 10 games this season after the conclusion of the Western Conference Finals, where Coachella Valley will be looking for its second straight conference championship. In addition to the three games with Texas, Shore played two games for Columbus in the 2020 Toronto bubble and two more with Edmonton in 2021 with no fans in the building due to the pandemic.

But Shore is in a good place now. The Firebirds have won away from the Calder Cup Finals – and the opportunity to lift the Calder Cup is on the horizon. He’s got solid chemistry skating in the near lane Marian Studenic again John Hayden; Studenic brings speed to the trio, Hayden provides a heavy game and some scoring touches, and Shore can create. There are three who work for the head coach Dan Bylsmatallying 22 points in the postseason.

Through 443 NHL games, there have been many ups and downs. It would be easier for him to look at those shifts from a larger level. Instead you look at the game from a game-to-game perspective, from one moment to the next. Nowhere is that reversal of fortune more evident than in playoff hockey.

“It’s definitely a great time of year to play,” Shore said.

After losing to Calgary to open their season opener, the Firebirds went on a nine-game winning streak. But significant obstacles remain between them and the Calder Cup. For one, they still have to find a way to eliminate the always stubborn Admirals, who have avoided elimination four times this postseason.

And if the Firebirds advance, they will face the winner of the Hershey-Cleveland battle from the Eastern Conference finals, which the Bears currently lead three games to one. If it’s Hershey, the team that ended the Firebirds’ Calder Cup bid in heartbreaking fashion last year, the Coachella Valley will be facing the AHL regular season champions with more playing experience. And if it’s monsters? That would mean an opponent who would fight to win Hershey four times in a row.

“You can be brought down to results quickly,” Shore explains, “and you can get your confidence from that. It is that if you [base] Your confidence without results is usually not the best plan. And when things go wrong, you have a hard time trying to check yourself and get back after yourself.

“It’s an emotional game, and momentum is important. There will be momentum swings in every game and every series. Many times it is easier said than done. You can try to stay alert and think all the right things, but the teams that put the wrong things behind them are usually the guys who find the most success. “

Shore and the Firebirds will have to test those beliefs again tonight in Milwaukee.

“It’s about having that mindset every day,” Shore added. “Don’t expect things to go wrong, but know that they will definitely go wrong, and you never know when they will go wrong. Just remember to believe in the team we have, believe in yourself, and keep going.”

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