One of the few drawbacks of playing hockey in the AHL is the occurrence of three game stretches played in three nights. As marquee draw in many of the league’s markets, maximizing the amount of weekend dates is a must.
How a coach like Milwaukee’s Lane Lambert handles the three in three can make or break a season.
“In the games we as coaches have to manage our players and manage our ice times a little bit more,” Lambert said. “We also have to look at potentially putting other players into our lineup and switching it up a little bit over the course of the weekend.”
October 23-25 marks the first of eight of those such occasions for Milwaukee on the schedule, with a road game at Grand Rapids, home game against Abbotsford and a road game at Chicago. Managing goaltenders properly is perhaps the most difficult variable Lambert has to deal with during the long weekend.
“We will play both goaltenders,” Lambert said. “As far as how the rotation goes I haven’t decided yet, but (Mark) Dekanich will start in Grand Rapids and we will go from there.”
As stressful as a three in three can be for a coach, it can be exhausting for a player. College teams only play a long weekend during the conference playoffs in a best two out of three situation.
Therefore it will be a big adjustment for rookies like Blake Geoffrion.
“Three games in three nights is something I have to get used to,” Geoffrion said. “It requires recovering properly so you can play at your best each night.”
So Roundtable, I ask you, what do you think Milwaukee should do to maximize their chances for success this weekend? Rotate the goalies or stick with the hot hand? Change up the lineup every night or stick with what is working?
4 thoughts on “Managing Three Games in Three Nights”
I think with the decision already being made that Dex will play on Friday, you will have to see how much action he sees against Grand Rapids. If he plays a strong game it may be worth riding that into Saturdays game and then giving him a rest on Sunday.
It sounds like we will have Begin and Lundmark sometime this weekend. That gives us a surplus of forwards. I’m not quite sure what our roster sits at now but that sounds like someone may be taking the trip down to Cincy (Unless there are injurys I don’t know about). If not we will have a surplus of forwards around. It may be worth taking the same approach with the forwards as they do with the goalie. If things are clicking on Friday then stay with the lineup. If not, inserting some fresh legs is always a good idea to right the ship.
Klasen – Lundmark – Thuresson
Bourque – Begin – Mueller
Wilson – Geoffrion – Halishuk
Thang – Van Guilder – Bartlett
Any way you shake it I’m excited for a 3 game weekend.
If they really will play both goalies my guess is this: Dex Friday night, but switch to Pickard on Saturday since Dex already saw Abbottsford, then go back to Chicago with Dex since Pickard already blew two games on Chicago.
TMOTI; I like the lines, although I think I see Flynn being in the lineup more so than Bartlett because it seems like Nashville has higher hopes for Flynn, and I think I would rather see Halischuck on the 2nd line…maybe swap him and Mueller.
Good points Mark. I think I just overlooked Flynn.
Interested to see who ends up playing with who. I read a few reports that Begin may not play tonight but could be on the ice for Saturday’s game.