The Chatterbox, Vol. 35

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There haven’t been too many things to smile about from this opening playoff series so far. Here. Have a snow shower from the Sheriff. (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

Last night’s 5-2 defeat to the Toronto Marlies made things rather grim for the Milwaukee Admirals. They now need to win all three games in Toronto to overcome a 2-0 series deficit in a best of five scenario.

Nevermind the playoff series implications of over coming those odds. The Admirals have only managed to win three consecutive road games once this season.

Oct. 12 @ Abbotsford: W, 2-1 (SO)
Oct. 18 @ Grand Rapids: W, 3-2
Nov. 3 @ Iowa: W, 5-2

Yeah. That was a long time ago in a season far, far away. Something else to consider and feel depressed about? The Marlies have not lost three straight games in Toronto this season. In fact, they’ve only lost consecutive games on home ice on three separate occasions this season.

Things are grim. It is going to take a massive surge the likes of which the Admirals had during PekkaMania. We all know the bad news, here. The good news is that the coaching staff and players on the Admirals end of things sure have plenty of film to dissect and solve their problems. They have until Thursday night to prepare for the start of what, if they pulled it off, would be nothing short of miraculous.

This still feels like a special Admirals team to me. The forwards have been out-muscled but they have the same capacity to wear down an opponent. To get the forward lines rolling means getting major pressure off Admirals defensemen and, therefore, Marek Mazanec – who has been brilliant in this series despite some blown assignments in front of him and a barrage of penalty kills to survive.

Including the regular season finale the Admirals have lost three-straight games. The last time they recorded successive defeats came in the poor run prior to Pekka Rinne‘s return when they lost five games in a row. I’m not saying they’ll come out and score nine goals to break out of it as they did that string of bad results – but they have the capacity to explode just as easily.

If there is anything more frustrating than the idea of this team being swept out of the opening round of the playoffs it is that they have the exact same abilities as Toronto to equally deliver games like the Marlies have in Milwaukee. For the Admirals to enter the playoffs and not show a touch of that… that would be the most frustrating thing you would take from this entire series.

After the game I spoke with Dean Evason and Mark Van Guilder. For those wondering about a general tone felt around the locker room – they were still upbeat after game one – they were angry and disappointed after game two. I think you’ll hear a bit of that out of these interviews. Here’s what both said following the game.

Dean Evason talks about last night’s momentum shifts:

Evason’s thoughts on the Admirals penalty kill:

Evason on team composure and penalty calls:

Evason’s thoughts on being the first Admirals team to rally from a 2-0 series deficit:

Evason’s perspective on the series as it stands now:

Mark Van Guilder discusses last night’s game:

Van Guilder talks officiating and penalty calls:

Van Guilder on how Toronto’s defense is containing the Admirals:

Van Guilder’s thoughts on playing in Toronto:

Van Guilder gives Mazanec praise:

Comments from the comments? Are the Admirals out of it or can they rally in Toronto? What are the real weaknesses in this team that have lead to a 2-0 series deficit?

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5 Responses to The Chatterbox, Vol. 35

  1. Sioux62 says:

    Have to win face-offs and the special teams battle , The Admiral’s have done neither . I don’t have the stats but it seems like Toronto has won 70% of the key face-offs. Milwaukee’s power-play is weak.

    All credit to Toronto they came to the BC and played fast , physical , 5 man playoff hockey with there excellent goaltender and are now going home up 2-0 ..

  2. Fan in the Falls says:

    To answer the question asked, I hate to say it, but it’s over. They haven’t shown any of the things that got them into the playoffs. I’m not saying that can’t change and they may end up winning one, but I don’t see them even taking it to a game 5. Honestly I think it is going to be a sweep by Toronto. I don’t know what it is about the Ads in recent years, but they come out totally flat in the first-round. It’s not even the same players or coaches for more than a couple years, but the same result!

  3. Steve C says:

    I was going back and reading some comments on the Texas series from last year. With the exception of the Ads winning game two then, it’s almost a mirror situation here. Texas was very fast and super aggressive in all areas of the ice. Toronto is doing the same thing to us this year. Our team just can’t keep up with Toronto or adjust to their defensive play on the blue line.

  4. Many good coaches are available now entering the offseason . Things need to change, same drop off different season

  5. frontrowjon says:

    Everything posted is how I feel, I’ve felt like every time I talk hockey with people and they ask who or what wins in playoffs I’ve saod exactly what Sioux62 said. Faceoffs and special teams, and we’ve failed on both and coaching is not changing anything in game. Not lile Lambert or Noel used to. Not sure Dean or Stan should be brought back next season they really haven’t done enough with what they have. I wish Noel could be brought back, while his time as an NHL bench boss has been nothing impressive his hands on developing and squeezing the most out of players at the AHL level was the best of any coach we’ve had. Same can be said for Mr Anderson with Chicago he has almost the same Peoria team that was last in the division last year and has them playing solid hockey.

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