1) Milwaukee may not score a prettier goal all season than Linus Klasen’s first career AHL tally on the power-play.
The Admirals worked their 5-on-3 power-play to perfection on opening night, moving the puck around the perimeter, and spreading out the Abbotsford defense. Milwaukee finished it off in style scoring a goal off of a gorgeous tick-tack-toe play as a pair of one touch cross-ice passes set up an empty net for Linus Klasen. Klasen finish the play off with an exuberant celebration–a sweeping fist pump to stamp the exclamation point.
“It always nice to score a couple of goals,” Klasen said. “Especially, getting those kinds of goals because I had open nets to shoot at, but it is nice to produce right away.”
2) Milwaukee might not score an easier goal all season than Matt Halischuk’s first career Admirals tally.
The credit for this goal goes to Abbotsford goaltender Leland Irving, who decided to be forgiving to an Admirals player trying to make an impact with his new team. After dropping his stick, Irving inadvertently coughed up the puck to Admirals forward Matt Halischuk, who tossed the puck into the empty net. You have to wonder if Halischuk said something to Irving to force the turnover, because Irving never looked up to see who he was passing to.
3) Linus Klausen is for real as a dangerous offensive player.
Though Klausen is unlikely to see the time and space all season like what he saw on opening night, the talented Swede will be a player to watch for during his time in Milwaukee. Klausen is a gifted stick handler and play-maker, a wizard in the offensive zone. The only thing holding him back being his diminutive size, but playing on a line with more physical forwards Nick Spaling and Andreas Thuresson, Klausen seems like a natural fit.
“I have to keep playing my style of game and not try to change too much,” Klasen said of the things he needs to do to be an effective player in the AHL. “Maybe I will need to the shoot the puck more and work harder in the defensive zone, but I need to (focus on) what I do best out there.”
4) The play of Blake Geoffrion and Ryan Flynn will steadily improve.
On opening night the two former WCHA rivals, Blake Geoffrion and Ryan Flynn, looked like rookies in the AHL, as both players still need time to bring their college games up to AHL speed. But I thought Geoffrion, in particular, finished the game off with a strong third period, getting involved more in the fore-check and creating a few quality scoring chances. Look for Geoffrion and Flynn to be improving players in the coming weeks as they adjust their level of play to professional of hockey.
5) Playing back-to-back games on the road is a tough draw, especially the first weekend of the season.
I can’t help but feel for the Abbotsford Heat. Playing back-to-back road games is hard enough. Doing it the first weekend of season is a tall task. The Heat were the better team in the first period, but then fatigue hit in the second period resulting in several bad penalties, and four Admirals goals. However, it was up to Milwaukee to take advantage of a tired team. The Admirals did so with a 6-2 win on opening night.