Admirals Handle The Heat, Win 6-2

Call it opening night jitters.  And then call it cured.

After spotting the Abbotsford Heat to a 2-0 first period lead on two special teams goals, the Admirals exploded for 4 goals in the 2nd period, en route to a  6-2 opening night victory.  Nuts and bolts are here.

Maybe it was something Coach Lambert said in the first intermission?

Nick Spaling got the Admirals on the board with a nice shot from the high slot, but it was a great pass from Andreas Thuresson who found him.  Thuresson was skating down the left wing, and was being knocked over by one of the Heat defenders.

Linus Klasen had the second goal for the Ads, and finished a tic-tac-toe play on the power-play.  Teemu Laakso had an open look at the point, but instead of shooting, found Matt Halischuk on the left doorstep.  Rather than try to beat starting goaltender Leland Irving from there, he fed the puck across the street to Klasen who finished.  Klasen about 10 seconds early was being heckled for not shooting.  That’s one way to silence to fans….er…make them louder.  It’s great that the play worked, but if that last pass doesn’t get through to Klasen, we’re sitting here writing about how the Admirals were trying to get too cute on the power play.

3rd goal — Mark Van Guilder.  After going scoreless in his first 33 regular season games as an Admiral, he got the game winner tonight.  Kelsey Wilson fired a shot from the point that made it to the crease area, but not all the way through.  Van Guilder was just in front of the crease, played the rebound to his left, and fired a shot past Irving.  In this clip, he walks us through the goal.

Goal 4 – One part Matt Halischuk, four parts Leland Irving mental error.  The Admirals were killing a penalty, and a clear went right to Irving.  While trying to play the puck, he dropped his stick.   He recovered, and was able to play it…..right to Halischuk who was 2 feet away.  Empty net, easy goal.  Irving was pulled for the rest of the period.

5th goal – Klasen on the power play in the 3rd period, from very close to the same spot of his first goal.  Thuresson had a low percentage shot from the goal line on the far side that Irving deflected right to Klasen on the near side.  Klasen was all by himself, had the empty net, and didn’t miss.

6th goal — Halischuk breakaway.  Defensemen left in the dust; it looked like a penalty shot.  Irving got a piece of the shot, but it somehow dribbled through him into the net.

Welcome to Milwaukee Halischuk.  Welcome to Milwaukee Klasen.  While Coach Lambert isn’t surprised with their offense tonight, he does expect that the rest of the team will need to be chipping in on a regular basis.



Halischuk – Geoffrion – Mueller
Thuresson – Spaling – Klasen
Thang – Van Guilder – Wilson
Bourque – Bartlett – Flynn

Scratches – Mark Santorelli, Scott Lehman, and Roman Josi.

Dekanich looked like….Dekanich in goal.  Wasn’t really tested over the last half of the game.  But still made 22 saves on 24 shots.

Kelsey Wilson — hands down winner in a fight at the end of the 3rd period.  Got in the first shot, knocked Jon Armstrong’s helmet off, kept throwing punches, and then took him down.  Guilty of some showboating on his way to the penalty box, but the crowd didn’t have a problem with it.  Solid game from Kelsey all around.  I know some people were afraid he’d be a liability out there, but he wasn’t tonight at all.

Defenseman (and alternate camptain) Aaron Johnson did not look good.  Turnovers and bad positioning.  In the first period, he let a Heat player go around him and march down broadway to Dekanich.  He MUST be better.

Anyone miss Mark Santorelli at all?

Ok Roundtable — give us your thoughts on the opening game!  Who impressed you?  Who didn’t?  Which line do you think should be considered the #1 line — Spaling’s or Geoffrion’s?  After the 1st period, were you concerned?

Thanks for reading.

25 thoughts on “Admirals Handle The Heat, Win 6-2”

  1. Wow did we look good. This team looks like a monster. I think you have to give the first line nod to the Spaling line, just because. It was good to see Spaling get a quick goal, after last years lack of.

    Klasen on the power play,what a joy to watch. Halischuk wow.

  2. Thought they looked good on opening night. Geoffrion’s line is a good first line. It is nice to be able to switch between those too lines. I would be comfortable with either of those lines out there at the end of the game. Solid defensively and either could light the lamp.

    Glad we were able to rally. Looking forward to the next game.

    PS I dig the background on the Twitter page.

  3. Wrap Around – That’s huge that Spaling was able to get the monkey off of his back early this year. More offense is expected from him this season, and on that line he’s certainly being put in a good position to provide some O. I think we’ll be singing Klasen’s praises on the power play for awhile….or at least until he gets called up.

    TMMOTI — You bring up a great point about how both of our “scoring” lines wouldn’t be defensive liabilities late in games. That’s huge. Not sure how much D we should expect out of Klasen, but the other two on his line will certainly hold their own. And thanks for the feedback on the twitter background….that’s a Scott Paulus Special! We may rotate through a few of them as time goes on. We’re still getting our bearings on the new twitter site. @short_shifts has about 600 followers…. @adsroundtable has about 70. We’ll close the gap eventually….

    We’ll see if the Admirals can keep it going on the road in Peoria on Sunday.

  4. I think Borgque played well. Didn’t hear his name at all, but he was flying around laying people out. Not the biggest guy on the ice by any means, but I liked his physicality tonight!

  5. Also…the two Abottsford players that took each other out in a big collision at the end of the 2nd…I was hoping to see them get up and drop the gloves with each other…didn’t happen.

  6. soild game expect the 1st but you should tell how this team is going to be 10 games in but i liked what i saw

  7. Also — Pekka Rinne hurt in the Preds opener. Day-to-day with a lower body injury, is the official line. Preds don’t play again until Wednesday, so there may be a callup on Monday or Tuesday. Trotz said it the injury wasn’t “major”, so if there is a callup, it’ll probably be just a cup of coffee. Preds beat the Ducks 4-1 on Saturday night.

  8. It looks like the problem last year may not have been Lame Lambert, but the fact that the team was full of big, slow, mediocre could-bes and never-wases, because the team tonight looked NOTHING like last year. Aggressive, not afraid to actually SHOOT THE PUCK… they looked like wasps on a fresh carcass. I can’t wait til next Friday. It’s really a shame that this set of players won’t be together through the year, due to injuries and callups, because this is as good as they’ve looked since Darren Haydar was still on the team.

  9. Of course the obvious names for who was impressive include Klasen and Halischuk, however I thought Grant Lewis had a solid game. He had good positioning all night and really used his speed to transition. And as Mark stated above, Bourque was all over the place. Good solid game by these two IMO.

    For the not-so-impressive, I thought Palin looked a little rusty. He got beat a couple times early on in the game and seemed a bit slow.

    Per a Trotz quote in the Nashville Examiner, a goalie call up is likely on Monday. Luckily our next game (after Sunday) is next Friday. Hopefully by then Rinne will be ready to go.

  10. Blum looked tentative and Teemu fell down every time he hit someone. All the blueliners save Lewis and the always solid Scott Ford looked off.

  11. CDP — I did notice Laakso spending a lot of time off of his feet. I’m surprised to see him out there on the power play too. Blum I thought got better as the game went on. I agree with you and Creed that Lewis had a great game, and a nice takedown at the end. Johnson did not impress at all. Palin had a couple sloppy moments, but I think those will be isolated incidents. And yes — the offense was swarming, for sure.

    Creed – Thanks to the wonderful NHL Center Ice preview, I caught a little bit of the Preds game, and saw the collision. It’s too bad….”The Cube” pushed the Duck right into Pekka. He played for a bit after the hit, but after making his next save, he skated off to the bench immediately after the whistle. Hopefully it really is just day-to-day. Dex and Jeremy Smith should make sure their phones are charged this week…

  12. Ryan-

    It was nice to see an actual, active forecheck after the last few years. I also liked the lines- Lambert did a good job of balancing grit and skill, and like I said above, it was beautiful to see some real speed on the ice.

  13. Okay, last post from me for this thread….seriously…but can I have a confirmation on Halischuk’s name pronunciation? Sounds like Brad was calling him “Hali-Shuck”, while Sims was calling him “Hallis-Chuck”.

  14. I liked the attacking nature of the offense, especially during the power play. The defense was much better as the game went on, with special note to Blum. Dex was strong, best shown in his second period dismantling of the Heat offensive. As for lines, Geoffrion’s will be better, having Mueller hurt in the first period decreased the chemistry that period. Also look to Thang and Flynn to have some better scoring chances, they both looked good in the playoffs last year.

    Mark Santorelli…..

    Last year he barley met the threshold to get the nickname proof.
    Yet this year he needs to get over “The Itch”, because he keeps getting scratched. (Short Shifts blog reference).

    He will be better, but it will depend on which line his is in.

    I wonder which would be best for him?

  15. Looked like Mueller took a puck to the knee on the first shift. Apparently, it looked worse than it actually was, as he was back on the ice before the end of the period. Just rubbed some dirt/frost on it. But there’s probably a purple spot on his knee now. Surprised to see play continue for so long with him trying and not being able to get up.

    I agree – the lines were a great mix of skill and grit. If Mark Santorelli does get the chance to play, I don’t think he has the skill to be on the 1st or 2nd line, I don’t think he has the grit to be on the 3rd line, and I don’t think he has the energy to fit in on the 4th line. We’ll see if he gets to play in Peorio today.

    As far as pronunciation goes, I’m going to go with Aaron Sims. In the media notes, I believe they wrote it out phonentically, and it was definitely a “chuck” at the end. I’ll verify with the media notes on Friday.

    Thanks for all the comments, everybody. Off to a great start here.

  16. Question for anyone… so the last few years I’ve seen Center Ice on Time Warner Cable. They would cut the broadcast off immediately after the end of the game. This year I got DirecTV and Center Ice… I taped the Preds game yesterday and it didn’t cut off until the end of the post game show. Is this new this year on Center Ice (they don’t cut off at the end of the game), or is this something unique on DirecTV?

  17. OK…You guys are killing me with the Santorelli bashing. I’ve stayed quiet until now. The kid is equally as frustrated with the organization as fans are with him. How does one show their talent or skills when placed on a 4th line or Press Box. If anybody was at the Nashville camp, they saw Mark on the 1st and 2nd line getting goals and setting plays. Funny how things work when you get quality chances.

    Lane Lambert and the Admirals brass have their opinions on what works for their team which is the job they were hired to do. Perhaps the issue isn’t with certain players but with the organization. Let’s see where Rich Peverley is? Right, 55 points last season with the Thrashers but not good enough for Predators. Where’s Mike Santorelli? Right, didn’t want to sign with Nashville/Milwaulkee because of issues with management he gets himself traded to Florida and is starting in the NHL this season.

    Everybody is pumping Geoffrion and Flynn. Let’s see, game on Sunday and Geoffrion is -1 with 1 shot on net. Flynn is -1 and 0 shots on net.

  18. I was personally shocked to see Mark S. scratched the first game of the year. I for sure thought this would be his year to shine…. maybe not on the top line, but a second or third line guy who would start to show his skills to the team. I agree with you FiC that he can’t shine without given the opportunity to do so. I said the same thing with Cal O’Reilly last year. People were saying what a waste he was, but he was being put on the 4th line in Nashville with energy/bruiser guys who didn’t have the skill to help O’Reilly shine. While I think Mark S. should be given the opportunity this year (as he’s put in his time with the organization now), unfortunately I think he’s going to face the numbers game. Obviously the organization would prefer to play the new guys, like Flynn, Thang, Van Guilder, Bartlett, Bourque, etc.

    Hopefully he’ll be given his shot soon.

  19. FiC! Great to hear from you again! Thanks for following us to the new blog!

    Honestly, I’m looking forward to seeing what Mike is able to do with more than 5 NHL minutes of ice time in a game. He has nothing else to prove at this level here.

    As for The Proof, I think he’ll end up being a valuable part of the team….but I think Creed hit it squarely when he said that it’s a numbers game right now. Fair or not, right or wrong, that seems to be where he is. Lines will get restructured eventually, and I figure it’s likely that we’ll see Mark playing on an upper line at some point. But the waiting has got to be the hardest part, for sure.

  20. How many of Santo’s goals from last season were on the power play? All but maybe 2 or so, right?

    With how hot they’ve been on the PP in the first two games, where would Santo really fit in with this current team?

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