The Milwaukee Admirals backs are against the wall tonight in Toronto. They face a 2-0 deficit in the opening round best-of-five series against the Marlies and, having dropped the first two in Milwaukee, are left to rally on the road from here on out.
It’s bleak. It’s tough. BUT, it is only game three of five. Watch those Los Angeles Kings win last night’s opening round match-up against the San Jose Sharks? The Kings overcame the mountain. They trailed 3-0 in a best of seven and won it – becoming the fourth team ever to do it.
The Toronto Marlies finished the regular season with the exact same winning percentage at home as the Admirals: 0.697 percent. They have a +27 goal differential at home (119 goals forced, 92 goals allowed). And the Ads were actually better in that department: +35 goal differential (128 goals forced, 93 goals allowed).
We saw what the Marlies did in the first two games played in Milwaukee. So, simple question, why can’t the Admirals repeat the exact same feat in Toronto?
The Admirals road numbers during the regular season were so-so. They had a 0.500 winning percentage and a -19 goal differential (87 goals forced, 106 goals allowed). Yep, the Marlies were better in that respect – but, I’ll ask it again, why not?
At the start of the season the Admirals won three straight road games: 10/12/13 @ Abbotsford… 10/18/13 @ Grand Rapids… 11/3/13 @ Iowa. They have won two-in-a-row on the road on three separate occasions this season – two of which came from the final six road games of the campaign. Why not claim game three, four, and see what happens? Why not this team?
In my book the biggest task the Milwaukee Admirals are going to need to tackle is doubt. The first period tonight will speak so many volumes of how the night is going to go. If I see more of the same with the Marlies chewing out the Admirals and making life hard on the offense – the “here we go again” thought trickles into the mind. Should the Admirals play on the same page or come out firing on all cylinders, picking up a nice first period lead, they will finally have something to build on.
It is that opening twenty-minutes of game three that will decide whether the Admirals push back or come back home on Friday. If the Admirals can score that first goal – it could make all the difference in them tilting the ice in the same fashion the Marlies have the first two games.
What are you expecting from Game Three tonight? Will the Marlies sweep the Admirals? What do the Admirals need to do in order to rally on the road?