Ads Lose, But Announce Playoff Dates

Great!  The Admirals are able to announce the first two home playoff games, Thursday April 14th, and Saturday April 16th.

They were able to clinch home ice for the first round…not because they did anything in their game Wednesday night, but rather due to the fact that Peoria defeated Texas.

So even though the Admirals lost 2-1 to the Grand Rapids Griffins, they can leave the Bradley Center knowing when their first two post-season games will be.  (They probably won’t know the opponents until Sunday).

So clear your schedules for Thursday and Saturday, yo.

Ok, now to the game.

The Admirals, continuing to punish the jersey embroiderer, added two more new names for tonight’s game. Taylor Beck and Michael Latta, who finished their junior seasons over the weekend, were the fresh faces.  And here’s what the coach said about their debuts.

“I liked Latta.  He plays hard and he’s got some skills.  I think the one thing about him is his pace to the game, but he does a lot of things well in terms of competing.

“I thought Beck got an eye-opener tonight.  He’s going to have to compete a lot harder for me, because he’s a big guy, but there wasn’t enough…..there were a couple of moments where he had the puck down below the goal line that he was pretty good…. But on their second goal, all he’s got to do is finish Tatar behind the net and it’s a dead play.  These are little things here that when you get guys out of junior hockey, that you need to fix, and there’s not a lot of time to fix it right now. “

The Griffins’ Cory Emmerton would be the first to light the lamp with 7:47 to go in the first. Chris “shop at” Minard(s) gathered the puck from Adam Keefe . Brett Palin stepped up to contest Minard giving him a good shove but was unable to jar the puck loose. This allowed Minard to pass the puck to Emmerton, who was crashing the net uncontested from the back side, and for an easy goal.

The second period got off to a productive, if not lucky start for the Admirals, and more specifically Andreas Thuresson, who was able to pick up his 14th goal on the season at 2:02.  Newcomer Latta gave the puck in the neutral zone to fellow noob Cory Conacher.  After receiving the puck Conacher put a shot on net from way out that hit Griffins net minder Jordan Pearce in the torso, and he looked like he thought he still had the puck in his pads.  Instead, the puck had just gotten past Pearce and was slowly moving through the crease as Thuresson was pushing through a defender hard to the net.  On his way to being shoved to the ice, Thuresson got enough on the puck to give it a little more zip to get the Admirals’ only goal of the night. It was one of those plays where the goalie wishes he saw it because there was quite a bit of time between initial stop and Thuresson getting to the loose puck.

“Over the last 40 minutes we carried the play and had the majority of the chances and we should have won the hockey game, but their goalie played well, and we couldn’t find ways to put it past him,” said the Coach.  “And the one that we did put past him was a bad goal by him.  He should have had that easy wrist shot from the blue line and he didn’t.  It’s funny how it goes…there’s lots that should have went in and the one that shouldn’t have did.”

The Griffins, not allowing the Admirals too much time to celebrate the goal, got the lead right back off of a Tomas Tatar tally (that’s alliteration kids) just :34 seconds later.  After a Ilari Filppula shot that went wide, Tatar gathered the puck from behind the net and came around near side to try a wrap around. Jeremy Smith was able to stop the first attempt but unfortunately was unable to stop the second as the puck trickled behind Smith and over the line to give the Griffins the lead, and Tartar his 24th on the year.

The Admirals had chances in the 3rd period, and the sound “ping” was heard, illustrating in sound how close they came on a chance.  The home team outshot the Griffins 14-5 in the frame, and they seemed to start using some speed to their advantage.  But Pearce was solid, and the defense was able to get the puck out of trouble when needed.

Coach Lambert says that it’s great to be in first, but the focus is elsewhere right now.

“We’re trying to build here.  In terms of standings and points and things like that, that’s not our focus right now.  It can’t be, because we are trying to improve our game with the number of new players that we have in the lineup.  That’s really our focus – to sort of get back to the foundation and continue to try and build.  There are certain plays that happened in the game tonight that guys that haven’t been here very long don’t recognize.  And it’s all part of the process of trying to get better and we have to do it quickly.”

NOTES & QUESTIONS:

So what did you think of Latta and Beck?  I thought Latta really picked it up from about the half way point in the second. I felt he was one of the few out there with a real fire… I thought he helped create a few good chances and even got some chances of his own off of his hard work.  Beck?  I wouldn’t say he looked like a loser, baby…..but he didn’t impress me (with his Devil’s Haircut) the way that some of the other ATO guys had in their debuts.

Plenty of dump and chase, but I think they were better about skating it into the zone in the 3rd period especially.

Was that the loudest pipe you’ve ever heard, on Josi’s bullet in the 3rd?

Foss and Leaderer….act II…..thoughts?

Laakso and Josi combined for well over 40 minutes of ice time.  Big effort from those guys tonight.  Laakso almost scored in his fifth straight game….but couldn’t get his stick on a rebound on a play in the 3rd period.

Looks like Ford was able to avoid suspension.  Word is that Peoria didn’t even submit tape to the league about the hit.

Begin took a puck to the leg and had to be helped off the ice.  Day-to-day is the word for now.

And one more note:  The Admirals have a chance to set a franchise record for the fewest penalty minutes in a season.  The current record is 1,086 minutes in the 83-84 season….and with three games to go, the Admirals are sitting on 1005 minutes.

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20 Responses to Ads Lose, But Announce Playoff Dates

  1. Some random guy says:

    Laakso and Josi combined for well over 40 minutes of ice time. Big effort from those guys tonight.

    Holy moly!

  2. CreedFeed says:

    Agreed, Beck was less than impressive. The most impressive ATO so far is Watson IMO. He had some great plays in the offensive zone tonight and he’ll only get better as he bulks up in the coming years.

  3. Section 200 says:

    Got off to a slow start but i like what i saw in the 3rd. What can you really expect from only having one consistent line the last couple weeks.. alot of miss communication and alot of dump n run.

    Latta looked great and Beck just needs to be a little more comfortable and that will come. Both seem like they will be a good fit once they adjust.

    Foss played his best game so far, was alot more physical and was alot faster.

    Josi is becoming my favorite player…ive been real impressed with his play especially with as many minutes as he’s been playing.

    Palin….not a fan. enough said.

    Cant wait to get Klasen back out there, he really helped control the game for us.

  4. Ouch says:

    I’ve been told that I complain too much. Look at the glass as half-empty. View things through a lens of negativity. So I’ll try something different this time ‘round.

    Wow, what a game! The first place team in the west division taking on the fifth place team in the north. The game was amazing. Passes were sent from tape to tape with uncanny accuracy. OK, most of them went from sticks carried by guys in white jerseys to guys in red jerseys, but zowie, they were accurately placed.

    It was nice of the defense to give Smitty a chance to show how long he can fend off three or four opponents. On other teams the defensemen attempt to prevent the puck from getting near the goalie, which only serves to make him lazy and uncaring. But the Ads defense ensures that their goalie will have the opportunity to party it up with as many people as can fit in the crease.

    Ah, the playbook. Tonight we saw a changeup from the usual dump and chase tactic. It was ever so slightly different, but it made all the difference in the game. Tonight we had players, thanks to the boys working out there for handouts, who actually made an attempt to get to the puck. It’s OK that it really didn’t happen often, as the dump and chase is designed to lull the crowd into such a trance that no one notices the game has gone down the tubes.

    Let’s do a little exercise called ‘Give us the game plan’. Here goes:

    Lose the faceoff
    Finally make it to the neutral zone after several attempts, then perform one of four tricky maneuvers:
    1. Dump the puck in the right corner. It doesn’t matter that there are no teammates in the area. This maneuver is best executed when there is no chance of recovering the puck.
    2. Send the puck round the boards so that it lands squarely between every man on the opposing team.
    3. Keep the puck and head immediately to the boards. This will ensure that you only have 180 degrees of ice with which to deal. It also relieves the opponent from having to work too hard to chase you down. Avoid skating down the center line of the ice at all costs. Much too confusing for all parties involved.
    4. Attempt to pass the puck to a teammate who has no clue that you are trying to pass the puck to him. This allows him to skate in circles to regain the puck (hopefully).

    It’s also important to remember that line changes occur at no more than 45 seconds, preferably 25-30 seconds. There have to be fresh legs out there in order to give the opponent a fighting chance to get to the puck first. Remember that line changes occur while the puck is in play, so please make every effort to avoid awareness of what’s transpiring on the ice while you stroll to the bench. Who knows, you may end up with the puck and have to stay out on the ice longer. Eek!

    I can’t keep it going. Tonight’s game was nothing more than miserable. Blame it on too many new guys if you like, but this year’s team has looked all season long like they just met. For the life of me I can’t figure out how we are in anything but last place, let alone first. Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad thing to have the Gatorade bottles replaced with cans of Monster.

    I’ll predict that we go round one and out in the post season. Prove me wrong boys- I double dog dare ya.

  5. adsfan says:

    Ouch: I agree that the Admirals have a bad habit of passing to the wrong team.

    I agree about the dump and chase or the dump and skate off.

    You forgot about taking the puck back to the D-zone if it comes out of the O-zone. For some strange reason, almost no other AHL team does this. The visitors have the bad manners to try and bring the puck back into the O-zone almost immediately.

  6. Mark says:

    Ouch- I’m detecting a very small trace of sarcasm in your recap, but I could be wrong… Ahhhh the new guys…I didn’t even seem to notice Latta until about the 2nd period, but then he seemed to pick it up at that point, and yeah, Beck looked lost. Foss looked slightly better, but was still moving way too slow if at all. On Thuresson’s goal the guy sitting next to me and I both seemed to comment at the same time that he was just standing there near the player’s bench like he was trying to decide whether he should stay on the ice or hop on the bench.

  7. Ouch says:

    No sarcasm intended, just trying to be upbeat and point out the Ads strong suits. Point taken, adsfan- I missed that one. I think the reason they bring the puck all the way back is so that the opponent team has to skate alllll the way to our d-zone and that helps to tire them out. Good planning.

    I guess the question all of my BS begs is this- How do you take a team, which has played basically like they haven’t a clue what they’re doing (with occasional flashes of brilliance), add new men to the mix, and expect them to be ready to whoop butt in about a week?

    I often times ask others who attend the game to challenge me on the points I make. I ask them to tell me if I’m wrong. Maybe I’m seeing things through some sort of slanted 4th dimension type fog. But I can’t get a contrary answer.

    For me, what I heard at the last Chalk Talk pretty much summed the whole season up. Mr. Lambert finished his talk with these words (paraphrasing) ” …and we’re going to ride Dekanich like a rented mule”. Well, guess what- plan A flew out the window. Plan A was shallow to begin with, so I have to assume that plan B was a blank sheet of paper.

    And now, my coffee is cold… Damn.

  8. TooManyMenonTheIce says:

    Can anyone remind me who is in first place in the West?

  9. sutty says:

    You know toomanymenontheice, after reading these comments it escapes me also. Seems like a lot of chicken little’s out there…

  10. Wow. Where to start. Is it preseason again?

    Latta and Beck. I think these guys were so afraid to make mistakes, that they forgot how to play. That and being in a new system for one whole day prior to playing didn’t help.

    Wasn’t Beck the guy that almost made the Preds opening day roster out of camp? It sure didn’t look like it last night.

    Foss. Not impressed. Leaderer. No much better. Again, two new guys that are not up to speed.

    Watson with a few days being in house, is looking the best out of the new blood right now.

    Laakso, Josi, Bourque, Mueller, and Thang are going to be gassed by the end of this 3 in 3 if Lane and Ian can’t get these guys up to speed.

    Did anyone notice Lane’s use of a timeout with a minute and change left in the game?
    The Griffins had just iced the puck after a long shift and were stuck in their zone facing a 6 on 5 that everyone knew was coming, and yet coach calls a timeout and gives the opposition time to rest. It’s not like the play he drew up was going to magically work all of a sudden. If it did, he should start drawing them up in the 1st…

  11. Laura says:

    What’s up with Hunter? It just dawned on me last night that he hasn’t been around the last few games. Did I miss any news posted about him?

  12. CreedFeed says:

    Hunter has a concussion.

  13. TheOneGoodThing says:

    ” …and we’re going to ride Dekanich like a rented mule”

    Plan B

    ” …and we’re going to ride Smith like a rented mule”

    Isn’t that how the entire season has been though? Suspect offense and outstanding goaltending? 2nd best in the league in goals against only to the dominant Pens who see alot more mediocre teams than the Admirals do.

  14. Boom Boom says:

    The problem is that rented mules drop dead with uncanny frequency.

  15. Ouch says:

    I don’t claim that the sky is falling.

    I’m just wondering how in the heck it stays up where it is.

    Must be magic. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s just maddening when you think about it.

  16. frontrowjon says:

    now i am putting myself out to get ripped to shreds but i feel this team is struggling because of two main reasons, one is the fact that we have not had consistent lines for as long as i can remember. Not having hunter out there has thrown the good things bartlet and flynn had been doing out the window, they seem absent out there at times. 2nd the d-men had been one of our strongest points this season, no more not holding the blue line(ville), no more crappy play like dietrich love to do, it had been solid, crisp, get the puck away from the net d. Now with both johnson, and lewis out our d-men have been a bit mixed around guys paired with guys they arent normally paired with and young guys just learning the ropes, its tough to train 9 new guys in two weeks a teams way of playing, If it werent for pekka the preds prolly dont even come close to the playoffs and we’d have our offense back but no time to complain about that i guess. just gotta hope these new faces catch on quick………………..

  17. Yablonski33 says:

    Any injury updates, guys??

  18. Ouch2 says:

    Ouch…what section are you sitting in? Are you having this conversation with yourself? Maybe people don’t respond to you because your so far off your rocker that it pointless to even continue the conversation.

    Do you realize the organization we are blessed to watch has set a record for consecutive years with 90 pts & 40wins? That dump and chase philosophy is just terrible, should be banned from hockey all together.

    Do you know our guys outshot GR 32-19 and 25-10 in the last 40 minutes?

    How about that there were 6 guys out there who were in their first week with the Admirals and 5 of those turned pro in that same time period? Grand Rapids had one. I say give them some more time to practice as a unit and have Lane instill that terrible dump and chase philosophy that has only earned the team first place in two of the last three years and see what comes of it. I bet your first week on a new job you were just amazing…or maybe that was just you talking to yourself again.

  19. Ouch says:

    Thanks Ouch2, I love discussion.

    In your second paragraph, did you intend to make the statement “That dump and chase philosophy is just terrible, should be banned from hockey all together.” Or were you asking a question? I’ll assume that you asked a question. Answer- no, I don’t think the maneuver is meritless, and I never said that it was. It has its uses- makes time for a line change, it can eat up time on the clock, it puts the puck in the offensive zone. But when the tool, any tool, is used to excess it increases the odds that the opponent knows what your next move is going to be, and if they’ve got men closer to where the puck is going to end up, they’ll get there first, more times than not. Of course, that problem can be negated if a teammate is actually traveling at speed sufficient to get to the puck first, which doesn’t happen much with this team.

    Yes, I do know that we outshot them. I actually pay attention to the game, and even peruse the game sheet afterward. What conclusion do you draw from the fact that we outshot them by a margin of 1.68 to 1 (and in the last 40 minutes 2.50 to 1), yet couldn’t accomplish a win? Let’s take it a step further and point out the goal we did get was a case of paying attention and tenacity on the part of Thuresson, along with Pearce lagging because he thought the puck dropped in front of him, instead of rolling off to his right. Remove that 1 shot / 1 goal from the numbers and we scored 0 goals in 31 shots. How’s that for logic? Shots are important, no doubt. You can’t score if you don’t shoot. But you also have to be able to resolve the goalie. Which we couldn’t do, neither with finesse nor grunt work. So if you want to talk about shots, what would you say if they had 100 shots and 1 goal?

    I will absolutely agree with you that there was half a ton of new meat on the ice for the game, and it will take time for them to acclimate themselves to a different style of play. However, new guys aside, this year’s team still has problems that haven’t been worked out, 77 games into the season. Passing control isn’t so hot, centering plays are almost non-existent, defensive goal coverage is spotty. Power plays aren’t exactly barn burning numbers- league ranked 15th overall, 22nd on home ice (exception- ranked 4th away), penalty kill- league ranked 22nd overall, 27th on home ice, 16th away. Take it to overtime- division ranked 7th overall, 8th on home ice, 5th away. Shootouts- league ranked 5th overall, and 7th at home and 17th away.

    It all boils down to the only question I asked- how is this team in first place? Most of the numbers don’t support it. Is it luck? OK, if a little bit of skill is greased with a whole lotta luck, so be it. Then we come out on top and everyone is happy, though somewhat perplexed. I hope we do go all the way. I’ll be just as happy as everyone else, and whoop and cheer. I’m just saying that I don’t see it happening.

    And for the record- I do talk to myself. I just don’t listen.

  20. REALLY??? says:

    YEAHHHH….

    BUZZ OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And… Ouch2 how hard is it to come up with a name??

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