And so it begins, the 10-game marathon road trip for the Milwaukee Admirals.
Today the team got on the bus and left for a franchise-tying travel adventure, visiting six different AHL cities along the way–Grand Rapids, Cleveland, San Antonio, Austin, Oklahoma City, Austin (again), Houston and San Antonio (part deux).
(Here is a google map of the trip just in case you wanted to follow Milwaukee on its cross country trek)
For coach Lane Lambert, the roadie presents an opportunity to find out a lot about his young squad.
“Though we’ve played six games already on the road, there will be some things that we will learn on this 10-game trip,” Lambert said. “We should get a good assessment (of our club).”
By the time Milwaukee leaves San Antonio on Sunday, November 28, the Admirals will have played 22 games so far this season or over a fourth of its 80-game total. Lambert expects Milwaukee to have its main team concepts polished up by the end of the trek.
“This is the time when we really need to solidify the systems in our game,” Lambert said.
Milwaukee currently stands in fourth place in the West Division with 15 points. Sitting in that position or better on December 1st will go a long way for the Admirals in 2010-2011, as in each month going forward Milwaukee plays more home games than road games.
Bonus: Some Fun Stats for the Trip and Beyond
1) If the Admirals cover the entire trip by bus they will have logged nearly 5,000 miles, or spent nearly three and half days just traveling.
2) Using an estimate of gas at $3 a gallon and traveling in a bus that gets 10 miles per gallon, Milwaukee will have spent $1,441.80 on fuel for the trip.
3) Using the best routes by bus, the Admirals will spend time traveling in eight different states: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas (the team will miss a ninth, Kansas, by just a few miles).
4) Strangely, Milwaukee travels on no road trips longer than three consecutive games after November’s 10-game southern quest. In fact, this trip is only one all season longer than three games.
5) If you think Lambert is joking about assessing his club, check out my season preview.