30 games into the 2011-2012 season, the Milwaukee Admirals stand 19-10-0-1, having accumulated 39 points. It is enviable position to be in as the Admirals sit comfortably in the playoffs with games in hand on every other Western Conference foe (I will have more on this Friday).
But one statistic stands out as a major issue going forward for Milwaukee. The Admirals penalty kill ranks a surprising 26th in the AHL, successful only 77.8% of the time having allowed 28 goals–or nearly a goal a game.
Considering how stout Milwaukee is defensively, how tenacious the Admirals pressure the puck at times and the fact that Mark Van Guilder is one of the top penalty killers in the league, this statistic really stands out like a sore thumb.
The only goal Sunday came on the power play, yet on all accounts Milwaukee’s penalty kill was effective, killing three first period minors.
After the game I asked coach Ian Herbers what he thought of his team’s progress short handed:
“We’ve done pretty well overall, but we’ve just had a break down here and there,” Herbers said. “We’ve been okay, but the numbers just haven’t been good for us.”
So Roundtable . . . Critique the Admirals’ penalty kill. Is it just occasional break downs causing issues, or are the problems deeper? What can attribute Milwaukee’s ineffectiveness short handed?