I’ve had about enough of Aaron Johnson.
I can’t get enough of Linus Klasen.
Unfortunately, they don’t cancel each other out.
The Admirals blew a two goal 3rd period lead, eventually losing in overtime to the Chicago Wolves 3-2 on Friday night. Nuts and bolts are here.
The discipline of this team was tested by the Wolves, and the Admirals failed that test. I’d like to say that it’s due to the youth of the team, but it’s not the young guys who are losing their heads.
Aaron Johnson (27 years old, 225 NHL games, alternate captain) got knocked down in front of his net in the 3rd period, and his head was not clear the rest of the game. He took a STUPID interference penalty with just under 2 minutes left in regulation that COULD have handed the game to Chicago. Fortunately, the PK was up to the task (major props to Mark Van Guilder), and the Admirals were able to get off the ice with a point in the standings.
Here’s coach Lambert on discipline.
I’m a little disappointed that he didn’t cite Johnson as an example when talking about discipline.
It’s awful that we have to talk about discipline, because I’d rather be writing about how Linus Klasen is not long for this league. He scored on a penalty shot, on the power play, and almost had a 3rd goal on a play where it looked like Wolves netminder Edward Pasquale may have brought the puck back out from over the line. But referee Lemelin was right there and made the call a good save, and there wasn’t much arguing from anybody afterwards. Here’s coach Lambert talking about Klasen’s North American learning curve.
I’d also rather be writing about how Chet Pickard was able to snap his streak of losses — he had lost 10 straight decisions coming into tonight, and now 11 straight. Through 40 minutes, he looked very solid. The first Chicago goal came early in the 3rd period on the power play, and was a nice play by Jason Krog, a nice finish from Andre Deveaux, and poor play from Johnson to lose sight of the puck and let Deveaux get a whack at it.
The 2nd Wolves goal was ALL on Pickard. Patrick Rissmiller had a shot from the top of the near faceoff circle that just flat out beat Chet. Maybe Palin was screening him a bit or maybe a small deflection, but the action was so far away from the goal that I’m reluctant to give him that excuse. Stoppable shot. Chet agrees.
The one in overtime I think was stoppable too. Spencer Machacek had a pass from the far boards right at the goal line and found defenseman Jamie Sifers pinching down to the near goal line. The pass was a mile long, and Sifer’s shot still beat Chet to the near side post.
Here’s how the lines started:
Wilson – Geoffrion – Halischuk
Thuresson – Spaling – Klasen
Bourque – Van Guilder – Santorelli
Thang – Bartlett – Mueller
– Klasen’s penalty shot. I’m a little surprised they called it. He had a breakaway, and Arturs Kulda caught up just before Klasen got the shot on goal. He one-handedly waved his stick at Klasen and made contact. And that “slash” gave them the penalty shot. I’ve seen more contact on a play like that go uncalled. But the ref pointed to center ice right away. Klasen’s attempt was in slow motion, and he almost stopped his forward motion. But the last deke opened up the net, and he was able to beat Pasquale. He also did a little hot-dogging cupping his glove around his ear, asking the crowd to get louder. I thought that was going to be an invitation to get his face washed by someone in a red uniform. (photo credit: Scott Paulus)
– Mark Santorelli made his season debut, and looked okay. He took an interference penalty with 5:36 left in the game that didn’t need to be taken. Ryan Flynn was the forward scratch.
– Klasen was duped into a penalty in the overtime session. Wolves forward Fredrik Pettersson was trying to get into Klasen’s head, and he succeeded. After knocking Klasen’s stick out of hands near the Admirals blue line, and giving him a shove after the whistle, Klasen slashed him back. Coincidental minors that kept the Admirals most dynamic scorer off the ice for two minutes of the 4×4 period.
POINTS FOR DISCUSSION:
– Am I being too hard on Aaron Johnson?
– Has anyone seen Blake Geoffrion lately?
– The two teams face each other again on Saturday night. If you are coach Lambert, what is the message that you try to deliver to the team to prepare them for the rematch?
– How much longer do you think Klasen will be an Admiral?
– Anything else you’d like to share about this heartbreaker?