Stars Top Ads After Smith Error

Third time clinching the division wasn’t the charm for the Admirals, as they fell to the Texas Stars 3-2 at the Bradley Center Friday night.

The magic number remains at one, to be the #1 seed in the conference, but Coach Lambert says he isn’t even thinking about that.

“I’m not worried about the magic number.  At all.  We’ve got to get some breaks, and we’ve got to find a way to get back on track.  And when we do that, the magic number will take care of itself.”

It’s been three one-goal losses in a row at home for the Admirals, and of course Coach doesn’t care for the results, but he’s not as upset about the way the team has played.

“I thought we played well last game, and I thought we played well tonight, and I think our goaltender should have had their third goal.  You can’t let a goal in like that in a game like this.”

That third goal came after Jeremy Smith’s failed attempt at gloving a centering pass from the corner, and Travis Morin was able to finish the play for his second goal of the game.  Don’t know if Jeremy blinked, or the puck knuckled, or the sun was in his eyes, or he had a momentary loss of depth perception, but the official scorer gave him an E-2 on that play.

We asked Coach if he thought the Stars’ goalie stole the game, and here was his reply:

“I guess maybe at the end of the day, if he lets in a bad one and ours doesn’t, it’s a different story.”

Think we’ll see Engren in Peoria tomorrow?  Perhaps?

Grant Lewis made his return to action, and provided a goal and a primary assist in the third period, but Richard Bachman was solid in net for Texas, stopping 31 of the Admirals’ 33 shots.

Ray Sawada opened the scoring 3:05 into the game, deflecting a Jordie Benn shot over and around Smith.

Travis Morin scored the first of his two goals 7:09 into the second period, channeling his inner-Tony-Plush, slapping the puck out of mid-air past three Admirals skaters and Smith.  Was it played with a high stick?

“I think so yeah, but whatever, it comes down to video reply.  Human error.”  These sorts of goals are happening every game….we’ve got to ask about it, and we can tell he’s tired of answering it.

Lewis got one back for the Admirals after a poor penalty kill clearing attempt  fell into his lap.  His shot from the slot beat Bachman.

But then, Smitty let in what may have been his worst goal of the year.  That goal gave the Stars a 3-1 lead with 3:19 to play.

Morin took a tripping penalty with two minutes to play, and the Admirals scored on that power play, with Smith pulled for an extra attacker.  Grant Lewis’ shot from two feet in front of the blue line on the near side made its way through to Bachman, and while he made the save, he couldn’t control the rebound.  The puck bounced behind him, and Mike Bartlett was there to tap it the rest of the way with 27.2 seconds left in the game.

NOTES AND QUESTIONS

Coach’s thoughts on the new guys:  “I thought Conacher played pretty good.  I thought Watson tapered off a little bit.  That’s a big strong team they have over there and they grind you down pretty good.  Foss was fairly steady.  And Latta and Beck, their minutes were fairly limited, but when they got out there, they did the best they could.”

I agree on Conacher.  The speed has been great to see.  What do you think about the new guys tonight?

So is this three game skid much ado about nothing?  Just some bad breaks, some good goalie performances on the other end, and some chemistry-building in process?

Word is that Preds’ 2007 draft pick Ben Ryan will be joining the team in Peoria.  Ryan is a center, who just finished his senior season at Notre Dame, 6g, 19a, in 44 games.  Think he’ll play?

Anything else on your mind?

Going on the Admirals Crew bus tomorrow?  Have a fun trip!  Hope you get to see them clinch!

By the way – OUCH & Company…I thoroughly enjoy your in-game chants.  I know you guys have been doing lots of them for awhile….but I was moved to say something tonight.  Thanks for keeping stuff interesting and fun on our side of the arena.

11 thoughts on “Stars Top Ads After Smith Error”

  1. Conacher impressed me almost every shift tonight. Trying to make things happen, playing in the dirty areas, and throwing himself around at much larger guys. I hope he sticks around.

    Watson, Latta and Beck were basically invisible to me tonight. At one point, I almost missed Kelsey Wilson.

    I understand having 10 new guys around, but man its getting frustrating to watch.

    Bright spot of the night…I think Bourque threw 35 hits tonight. Give or take 20….but he was hitting everyone.

  2. I thought Watson started strong and weakened as the game went on.

    I thought Foss was not very good. It seemed to me he dropped back in the offensive zone immediately when the Ads lost control of the puck. There were a few times where he could have pinched in and kept the puck in the zone. Guess that’s the “stay at home” defense mentality in him?

    Latta and Beck, invisible and disappointing :(

    Conacher was great though!

  3. I think that the ref had a bit of influence on the outcome of the game. I felt that he ruled incorrectly on 2 of the 3 first “goals” in the game. Milwaukee’s first goal hit the back of the net before it came off the posts. Before it hit the back of the net, it was flipping around in the air for awhile. Some of that time it had to be across the goal line. I never saw the red light come on. I guess the south goal judge missed it crossing the line in the air and hitting the back of the net near the bottom. I never saw a replay. I did see the puck clearly go in and make the twine move a little before the big crash. I sit 3 seats over from that goal judge, maybe I had a better angle than he did.

    The second Texas goal appeared to be hit with a high stick. I don’t know what the rule is, but Morin swatted at a puck that was at his armpit level. He is listed at 6’2″, which would make his armpit over 5 feet above the ice when you add his extra height from his skates. I was surprised that it went in at all, but he only got a piece of the puck and I think it knuckled downward. Changing those outcome of those two goals makes it 3-2 Milwaukee, assuming that the rest of the game goes the same way. Maybe it would have been different as a 1-1 game instead of 2-0.

    Chiapetta missed a few other calls, like the Admiral who was pulled down in the slot and dragged across the ice in the third period. How about when 2 Admirals were tripped in their D-zone on the same shift in the second period? You don’t see that every game. Mueller nailed a Texas player without the puck in the first period. He didn’t get called for a penalty when he should have been. Ciamaga needs retraining, he doesn’t know what he is doing out there!

    Kneale the linesman also blew several offsides calls. The one replay showed the entire puck stayed on the blue line with about 7 minutes left in the game. He whistled it offside. Doesn’t the entire puck have to cross the blue line for it to be out of the O-zone? Kneale was calling any part of the puck that touched the white as offsides. He blew up a couple of rushes for Milwaukee. Kneale was also yapping at the players a lot in the third period. I saw Roger Behling skate up and say something to him. My guess is that Roger told him to chill as players from both teams were starting to bark at Kneale. It is rare to see both teams angry at a linesman at the same time.

    I thought that the team underperformed on the whole. Latta and Beck did okay when they played. Watson wore down as the game went on. Conacher played hard but was stopped by checks. The Admirals need to get away from the boards in the O-zone, especially when bringing the puck across the blue line.

  4. I would rather just have our normal lineup in from a month ago…we did better with them then with all these new guys.

  5. I agree with Coach’s view. Conacher played a good game. I thought Watson played better previously. Latta and Beck were not on the ice much but for the few ticks they were out there I thought they did ok. I think Foss played a better game too. Texas played a good game and that gave us fits. The last handful of games there have been alot of questionable calls on goals. Coach has done a good job keeping us competitive with all the new faces playing together. I thought tonight we lacked a more physical game.

    I’ve enjoyed the in game chants for years. I’m mildly annoyed by BW3’s taking our minute mark for an advertising plug :) . I also like that the ‘music cut-off’ is continuing to get a little more relaxed. Seemed a few years ago that it had to abruptly cut off immediately when play began. A second or two into the play keeps the crowd in it more.

  6. I said that I wouldn’t do it today, but here it comes….

    Friday’s game was better played than Wednesday’s, which was just not up to snuff for a first place team. Against Texas we saw increased aggressiveness, better puck control (at times), speed from the likes of Conacher, and several actual centering plays. Several among us even commented that the game wasn’t a constant barrage of dump & chase. All good things.

    Unfortunately, combined with what has become normal passing right to the tape of the opponent, and lack of support in front of the net on both offense and defense, it makes it difficult to come out on top.

    I’ll stick to my guns on Smith- I like him, I think he will become prime material. Is he perfect, no. Did he have much help during this game- no. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it is as much the defense’s job to keep the puck from getting to the goalie as it is the goalie’s job to keep the puck out of the goal? If that is indeed true, then our defense needs to step it up and get their end of the bargain accomplished. If it’s not true, then we need to hire a sumo wrestler and plunk his butt in front of the net. Seal it up tight.

    The officiating again had their share of issues, as nicely pointed out by adsfan.

    For me, the first several minutes of last night’s game set the tone for the rest of it. Texas came out strong and put on the pressure, resulting in their first tally. We need to find a way to come out and start a game in the same fashion. I just get the sense that we are reactive instead of proactive. The victim instead of the bully. We have a tendency to, rather than make things happen, react to what is happening. And the result of that- 3 losses in 3 games going into the playoffs. In my opinion, not a great way to gear up to the final challenge of the season. Let’s hope that the team can put things to rest tonight in Peoria.

    One other point we discussed on the way home from the game last night. It’s interesting to me how differently the game is perceived depending upon where a spectator is sitting. For instance, put 2 people sitting directly on the red line, one in row A and the other in row Z. Both are going to see the same things happening, but their perception will be different. I sit up high in the stands. I saw what looked like a high stick goal last night. Someone sitting behind the goal may have seen a shoulder height whack at the puck. Only one thing happened, but there’s a basis for an argument simply because of perspective. Philosophy, don’t ya love it?

    Thank you, Ryan. We try just as hard to be obnoxious at the game as we do on the board :-). By the way, we’re working on a chant for you, and want to do something really special for you. That’s leading to a bit of difficulty as we can’t quite find a way to incorporate pompoms and a human pyramid at the same time. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s coming along.

  7. I wouldn’t blame the last goal so much on Smith as Josi who stood watching it bounce around his feet and not clearing it out of the zone (similarly didn’t even look like he tried to use his stick).

  8. When asked about updates on the injured player, Coach simply said there were no updates.

    So the last we heard was that Dex was unlikely for this weekend, but not ruled out for the playoffs. Whether he’ll be ready to go on Thursday or not….we’ll probably find out on Thursday.

  9. I don’t follow as much as I’d like, so I still don’t know this…what happened with Dekanich. Is he injured?

  10. Interesting reading all the comments on the game.

    My take.

    Foss is sloooooooooooooooooooooow. Was pondering who I would pair him with. Josi? Nope. Laakso? Nope. Although both of these two have been IMO, substandard during the newblood infusion, they have been playing a ton of time over various lines and when the kids get out there, can hardly be blamed for being out of position. Ford or Lewis? Not here either. These guys just compliment each other. One being a stay home guy (Ford) and one offensive (Lewis). Great to see Lewie back by the way. (1g 1a) Only place you can stick him is with Palin. Unfortunately, this creates the slowest blueline combo in the league. Where was Leaderer?

    A little bump to MiB. You mentioned that you almost missed Kelsey. Just what was the Ads record with him in the lineup as opposed to him being out? The Wilson-Van Guilder-Thurey line was clipping along right until he got hurt and had quite the point streak going. As a result, that line is screwed right now as these guys were excellent on the forecheck and had a tight buzz around the net. Mueller’s line has had to pick up major slack on the PP and PK too.

    Officiating? Doesn’t even seem like we’re playing at home does it…

    The new kids? Between all of them, they probably outscore the entire team based on stats from the OHL. They have to forget where they are and just play. It’s getting better, but is there enough time for them to get acclimated to make a difference.

    Smith can be blamed for the knuckleball that crossed the crease, but if they boys can’t play with a sense of urgency until the goalie gets pulled, I don’t see us getting that vaunted point.

    Lane has made it a point that he’s not worried about that right now.

    Maybe he should.

    If they go into the playoffs with a 5 game losing streak, the way I see it, it’s gonna be one series and out. I hope I’m wrong.

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