Mistakes Costly In Admiral Loss To Peoria

The Admirals did a lot of good things on Sunday evening.  But a few poor decisions ended up leading to Peoria goals, as the Rivermen handed the Admirals their 11th straight divisional loss.  4-2 was the final.

Atte Engren made his fourth start in the last five games, and made some big saves over the course of the game.  Coach Herbers doesn’t really fault him for the three that went in.

Chris Mueller opened the scoring in the final minute of the first period on a play that 50% of the time might have been flagged as an offsides play.  Blake Geoffrion had a long pass up the left wing boards to find Taylor Beck, who was ruled on-side.  From the far corner, Beck fed Mueller, who was crashing the net, and that 14th shot of the first period finally beat Rivermen goalie Ben Bishop.

The Rivermen answered back in the opening minute of the second period, with an Adam Cracknell shot that went off the pipe and in.  A snipe, we’ll call it.  Some great passing on that play too.

Zack Stortini answered back at the 10:37 mark, but it was Brodie Dupont and Chris Mueller that did the dirty work on the play.  After a great forecheck that kept the puck in the offensive zone, Dupont found Mueller in the far circle.  Mueller was being worked over by Cheechoo, but was able to send a no-look pass to Stortini all alone in front of Bishop.

Brett Sterling tied it up a little less than three minutes later on a goal that his back-side deflected.

Sterling had a second goal while Jon Blum was serving a holding penalty.  Two Admirals were caught up ice on a short-handed chance, which led to a 4-on-2 rush the other way.   The Rivermen  are skilled enough to usually make you pay in those situations.

Stortini received five for boarding in a game misconduct on a play against Cheechoo with less than a minute remaining in the game.  I didn’t get a good look at how nasty the hit was from my vantage point….I just saw the train coming.  Tough to say if he’s likely to be unavailable Tuesday or not.  I expected to see the Rivermen send the big guns out on their power play and get some payback, but they didn’t.

But it all comes back to mistakes.  Here’s the Coach on all three Rivermen goals….although not in order….

Don’t usually hear Coach’s say that forwards were outworked by the other goaltender when battling for the puck.

And that’s how it’s kind of going for the Admirals these days.  That, and how difficult it’s been for them to score.

———–

I won’t bother with the lines, because they were jumbled late in the first period, after Mark Van Guilder left with an upper body injury.

Jeff Foss played again tonight in lieu of Scott Valentine.  No injury — he’s a healthy scratch.

- Jon Blum — defensively a -11 in 21 games for Milwaukee now.  No goals since his second game.  Ford is +11, Sloan is + 9, Bartley is +5, Laakso is a -6.

- Three straight games the Admirals have not scored in the third period.

- After this weekend’s action, the Admirals sit in 11th place in the conference with 51 points.  Four points behind Abbotsford and Peorio, who sit in 7th and 8th place with 55 points.

- In case you didn’t see it on twitter….Chris Cahill quit.  Don’t know the story, but it may be one of those cases where the guy was frustrated that other players were being signed to PTO’s instead of him getting called up from Cincy.  Don’t know if he has plans for Europe a la Jamie Lundmark, or if he’s leaving hockey altogether….but he’s done with this organization, apparently.

Also — responding to a comment in last game’s thread….the Ads/Preds certainly have the power to send Blum to the ECHL.  Chet Pickard is there.  Blum can go too.  Now, there’s absolutely no chance that he WILL actually get sent down, but I wanted to clarify that unless there is something exotic about his contract that most other players don’t have….he can be sent to the E.

QUESTIONS:

- Are you impressed with the play of Atte Engren of late?  Do you expect to see him again on Tuesday?  And how badly will you miss Ben Bishop when he finally gets his chance in the NHL?

- Do you think Stortini will be suspended for more than a game?

- How badly do you miss Michael Latta right about now?

- Anything else strike you  about this game?

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11 Responses to Mistakes Costly In Admiral Loss To Peoria

  1. maninthebox says:

    I think Smitty has gotten his wake up call. Go back to him on Tuesday but make him earn his starting role from here forward.

    Storts no….but it was nice to have his father Mick Foley with us tonight.

    Miss Latta a lot, miss Cory Conacher more.

    We gotta figure out a way to get some puckluck working in our favor…and soon.

    Does it seem to anyone else that Peoria is doing what the Wolves did for years? Stockpiling talent in the AHL to make a deep playoff run? Are you telling me there’s no roster spots in STL for Sterling, Cheechoo or Hensick?

  2. To answer you questions…
    For the most part, yes.
    No.
    Meh, if he was really that good, he’d be up there already.
    He shouldn’t be. Cheechoo turned late from my vantage point.
    Very much.
    If Scott Valentine is a healthy scratch, Herbers should have his head examined. Blum’s next game should be in a Cyclones uniform…

  3. CreedFeed says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Conacher signed an AHL contract this year, right? How about the Preds sign him to a 2-way NHL contract, and then assign him to the Admirals?!? :)

  4. Mark Sumner says:

    I think this team could really benefit from a Steve Begin type signing. Get some kind of vet out there with a few seasons under his belt to offset all the youth on the ice. It was nice in the beginning of the season, these guys were probably the fastest in the division. Not sure what happened, if the season just caught up with them, but now they’re slowing down and getting out-muscled constantly.

  5. CreedFeed says:

    Mark hit the nail on the head IMO when he said “they’re slowing down and getting out-muscled constantly.” At the start of the season under Muller, the team identity was one of a dump & chase, cycle, and cause turnovers. I don’t think the team identity has changed, we’re just not winning battles anymore. We’re not causing turnovers anymore.

  6. Griffin says:

    Mueller’s play to Stortini is exactly what Mark and CreedFeed are talking about. He is getting completely worked over yet holds strong and makes the unbelievable pass to Stortini for the tap-in. I feel like he is the only one consistently hustling, consistently producing. We need someone else to step up and produce. Period. When does Latta come back? What the heck happened with Conacher? How did we let him get away? Engren has played well in this little clump of games but I am still not super comfortable with him back there. Our defense aggravates me.

  7. frontrowjon says:

    Will stortini get suspended? At first I thought yes for sure but maybe just one game. Do I miss latta? Um let me think……. Absolutely! Atte has played well and has earned the right to more starts, he looks more comfortable, and sharper. Henderson should stay on the roster, he’s got pep to his step, harassing puck carriers and getting involved, I’m calling either a goal or assist his way on tuesday, this game was more of the “old” admirals from years past but the difference was we’d would have won the game, our skating, passing, and shot selection was good, wish we had a true blue enforcer, ford is ok storts is ok but that triston grant esk fighter who sends a message.

  8. Pingback: Rivermen 4 – Milwaukee 2 « The Peoria Rivermen Blog

  9. John says:

    I think someone needs to address the coaching here. I believe after Muller left we were still winning more games than losing, basically the residual effect from the way he ran the team.

    What we are seeing in 2012 is the lack of inspired coaching. I think Herbers is fine as an assistant coach but isn’t made to be a head coach. The players don’t seem to be responding to his style of coaching and anyone who has ever played sports knows that an un-inspiring coach can bring down a whole team of talent. Every sound bit from him is the same thing – monotone, there’s not a real problem, bla bla bla. Same thing after every loss.

    Just my 2 cents.

  10. Griffin says:

    I tend to agree with John. When I think about last year, there isn’t a player we lost that I miss, with the possible exception of Halischuk and Dex but Matt was called up halfway thru and Dex was hurt so we didn’t even have them thru the whole season and playoffs. The person I miss the most from last year? Lane Lambert. And I bet my Valentine’s Day lunch that most of the players agree with me.

  11. CreedFeed says:

    Koger released. Ben Ryan called back up. AHL announced suspensions today as well and Stortini wasn’t on it, although the dates of the incidences were Saturday so perhaps they haven’t reviewed Sunday’s games yet.

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