“I’m Very Bothered By This Game.”

That’s head coach Lane Lambert after the IceHogs 2-0 victory over the Admirals Friday night.

Hannu Toivonen stopped all the shots he faced, and the IceHogs rode a power play and empty net goal to the victory.

“We didn’t play good enough.  He made a couple of fantastic saves, yes, but we didn’t generate enough opportunities.  I’m very bothered by this game.  I’m disappointed in our push, and the fact that we in my mind, didn’t come out and generate enough passion or energy into this game, and there’s no excuse for it.”

The first two periods came and went as the Admirals and IceHogs failed to record any goals, drop the gloves or really dent the scoresheet in any way. The first period came and went in about 32 minutes real time and contained as many whistle stoppages as the Daytona 500. ‘bout as exciting as it also. (Note: not a NASCAR fan)

(Editor’s note:  Sutty has been advised that he’s going to probably be flamed for that comment.  -RM)

The second period also went by very fast, but did however contain the game’s first two penalties. Rob Klinkhammer went to the bin for a slash, and Brandon Pirri served a too many men on the ice penalty for the IceHogs. I bet right about now you are wondering why we are talking about two rather uneventful penalties and frankly the only answer I have is, whelp, because that was all that was noteworthy. Did the Ads have shots on goals? Sure. Did they have good chances? Yep. Are you wondering why I am still typing? Me too!

The third period was a little more eventful.

At the 6 minute mark, Toivonen made a save that I am sure will go on his highlight reel.  With the Admirals driving the zone a centering pass was made in front of the net where the “down and out” Toivonen was able to sprawl out and knock the puck up into the air, eventually corralling it up, to the sadness of everyone cheering for the good guys.  One of the best saves we’ve seen this year.

The stalemate was broken at the 12:41 mark of the third period, when Brian Connelly scored from just above the near faceoff circle. Earlier in the shift, Chris Mueller got hit in the face with or by something and went down. The puck was cleared; Mueller got up but was unable to get off the ice. Connely re-entered the zone with the puck, as the slow moving Mueller was trying to defend the play. Connelly wound up and sent the puck past a defensive Mueller and past a shocked Mark Dekanich for the first score of the game.  Looked like it went off his helmet and in.

Coach Lambert doesn’t like the play that led to the penalty, that eventually led to the goal.

“We got caught out of position in the defensive zone and we had to slash.  We’re in game 64 now.  We work on positioning in the D zone all the time.  And it’s times like now….like I say, you never know when five seconds is going to win or lose you a hockey game.  Everything comes in to play.  Everything.  All the details.”

The Admirals pulled Dekanich with 1:23 left in the match and were unable to convert as the Icehogs added to their lead with an empty net goal by Igor Markarov during a much needed (but sloppy) Admiral line change.  Klasen had to have been out there for 3 minutes.

NOTES:

Mark Santorelli was scratched…perhaps by his cat before the game, and did not play as a result of the injury.  Shields, McBride, and Hunter played.  And Klasen and Josi returned after missing some time.

Did I mention it was a fast game?  It’s 9:31 right now as I’m typing this.  We should just be finishing up the third period about now.

Roscoe should have been better at the axe throwing contest.  I’m just saying.

Got to hand it to Dekanich and Toivonen.  Both made some outstanding saves.

Not happy about losing to Rockford.  Houston and Texas both lost in shootouts… so they inched closer, but Milwaukee holds on to 1st place.  Except for the game on the 26th, we’ll be cheering for Rockford from here on out, though.  Anytime they can beat someone else, that can only be good for us!

It’s a four game home losing streak now.  Here’s the coach:

“In those four games we’ve lost at home, we’ve played well enough to win three of them.  We’ve scored four goals in the four losses.  Total.  So you’re not going to win too many games when you score a goal a game.”

What kind of adjustment does the team need to make for Peoria Sunday?

“Have some life, energy, and passion.”

The question I’ll leave you with – Is Sunday evening against Peoria a MUST-WIN game to get the train back on the track?

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9 Responses to “I’m Very Bothered By This Game.”

  1. MiB says:

    I, too, am very bothered by this game. A week layoff after a tough stretch, getting Klasen and Josi back, and Laakso from his overnight trip to Nashville….and we get nothing. 1 or 2 chances…but when you are the first place team, and you are playing at home against the last place team…This is a game you need to win.

    I thought Josi looked REALLY slow tonight, especially in the first and second period. He had a few chances to make a play on the puck, and backed off. Not sure if he’s just tentative coming back from the injury or not…but he may have been our worst defensive defenseman tonight.

    Admirals are 2-5-0-1 in their last 8 at the Bradley Center. That needs to change Sunday. Must win.

  2. Ouch says:

    Beyond frustrating. It’s absolutely amazing to me how we are in first place. These guys have spent the past 64 games playing as individuals rather than as a team. Arrrrggghhhh!!

    Is the Sunday game against Peoria a must win? Every bleeping game from now on is a must win. Just like the games in October and November were must wins. Wouldn’t it be nice right now to have a 10 or more point lead, knowing then that every game wouldn’t HAVE to be a must win.

    Was tonight a result of too much time off? Too many games played prior to having too much time off? Or just another example of an endless loop of dump (to no one) and chase (slower than the competition)? I heard a question posed tonight, and the answer that came back as well. “Do you think that they will take the lead out of their shorts before coming out for the second period?” – “That’s not lead they have in ther shorts”. It’s not hard to agree.

    I’m going to stick to my guns on Dekanich, too. Yup, he prevented a lot of goals tonight. Yup, he prevents a lot of goals most games he plays. But the prevention is loaded with luck, and I swear that guy is made out of rubber. Pucks bounce off of him so often that it looks like popcorn jumping out of a kettle. I’d much rather see Smith in goal.

    End of rant. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Anyone else think that our defense plays too far off in the neutral zone? I saw a lot of chances to get the puck back tonight (like most games), but our defense was already running backwards. Just one more step forward and they could have regained the puck. Just an observation…..

  3. CreedFeed says:

    I was very vocal on Dex last year. But this year he has played very very well. He may give up rebounds, but a lot of times he puts the rebounds out away from the play, into the corners, etc. Sure some get left out in front, every goalie does that. But I don’t think he’s consistently given up bad rebounds.

    Agreed with the comments on Josi looking a bit slow or hesitant tonight. I’m writing it off on his first game back from injury.

    Hopefully in a few weeks we’ll get some potential help with the guys coming out of juniors. Will they be able to step in? Since we’re not getting Blake, Blum, and Halischuk back this year (unless the Preds miss the playoffs), we can take all the help we can get.

  4. adsfan says:

    The Ads didn’t play well and didn’t pass well. Rockford stifled their offense with the neutral zone trap. Milwaukee couldn’t finish their few scoring chances. Klasen and Josi were out of sync with the rest of the team.

    Mueller was hit by a Rockford stick in the face. Another Admiral was hit in the face with a stick with about 3 minutes remaining. Johnson hammered another IcePig near the bench in retaliation seconds later. The next time Johnson comes out on the ice, he is hit in the head by a stick. I don’t believe in coincidences. Rockford high sticked people the whole game, maybe 5 or 6 times that I can remember. The ref never called any of them. He didn’t call much the entire game on either team. When you see players stunned and laying on the ice for an extended time, then get up with bloody faces, it makes you wonder what you have to do to get a penalty. That happened at least twice in tonight’s game. After further review… the ref sucked.

  5. Laura says:

    With under two minutes left a Rockford player slashed an Ads player (names and numbers escape me right now) so hard on the legs that his stick broke. Happened in the right corner of the Admirals offensive zone, right in front of the ref, whistle swallowed.

    Dull boring game. No fire, no jump, dump, case, icing, missed passes. I didn’t say it for fear of being called out for jinxing the team but I just knew Rockford would score in the third. Things just didn’t feel right from the get go for the Admirals. Can’t blame Dex for anything, he’s the only one that did his part tonight IMO. I’ve never been a fan of long layoffs between games. You’d link they’d always come out prepared but it usually just leads to severe brain cramps.

    As for Klasen in the final minute of the game, I could see he was tired but suck it up or hustle to get fresh legs out there. Don’t just stop playing.

  6. Mark says:

    Frankly, I’m almost fed up with Klasen. He’s by far the most talented scorer on the team, but I’m sick of his turnovers. He tries to get too cute with the damn puck only to turn it over again and again and again… At this point I’m questioning whether his pros outweigh his cons or if it’s the other way around. I’ll give him some more time to bounce back from his injury, but it feels like every game he’s played in I find myself saying, “God Klasen, that’s why you’re not in the NHL!” Then a random fellow member of peanut gallery usually gives me an, “exactly!”

  7. Mitch says:

    Has any team in the AHL given up more empty net goals than the Ads? It seems like anytime Dex goes to the bench, an empty net goal follows. Even a skating man up, we can’t control the puck or keep the puck clear. That’s amazing for a team in first place heading into the playoff stretch.

  8. chrisjerina says:

    Saddest part to me of the game was that the Ads were off since, what, Saturday? Meanwhile, Rockford just got back from the long Toronto/Hamilton trip (and probably more). So not only the fact that straight-up, they couldn’t beat the Hogs, they couldn’t even beat them as a fully rested against a fatigued team that just rode a bus for 500 miles to T-dot.

    And for all the complaints about the Hogs play, I was just glad to see Kyle Beach didn’t play. He would have added 4 play stoppages for feigned “broken arms” and “concussions”. Annoying piece of work that fans in Rockford don’t even like.

  9. frontrowjon says:

    Chris, i agree with your points and thank God Kyle Beach wasnt in the game, that guy complains more than lundmark! As far as Dex being made of rubber i do see some rebounds that he gives up but i also think if its not for him we are back in forth or fifth, Brian Finley now there is a goalie made of rubber. Felt the 4th line was working really hard it played as a unit and generated several chances in the 2nd. Sunday just like the rest of the final games is a must points game meaning we must pick up at least 1 but 2 is preferred. The hook on klassen was iffy, it didnt seem worse than some other things throughout the game, just sucks we could not kill it off, i wont blame the refs, since i really like that crew of officials they let alot of things slide let the game flow.

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