Admirals Cough Up Lead, Face Elimination Sunday

The highs in playoff hockey are like nothing else in professional sports.

The lows in playoff hockey?  Just as dramatic.

Jeremy Smith stood on his head, the Admirals survived a first period that looked like a continuation from a previous game, and had some puck luck to get to a 2-0 lead.

And then the captain, did what captains before him have done so very many times before.

Puck over glass.  Delay of game.  Two minutes for “Yonking”.

That put the Admirals down two men with 4:55 left in the game.  Grant Lewis was already in the box for setting a pick (a penalty that should have had an Aero player accompany him to the box after a shot to Lewis’ face).

It took the Aeros 33 seconds to score.  Robbie Earl’s shot low stick side beat Smith.

Chad Rau tied the game with 1:21 left, as Matt Hackett was heading to the bench for the extra attacker.

Robbie Earl was the man in overtime as well, jamming the puck past Smith at the near post, while Casey Wellman was in the crease.  He was engaged with a defenseman, but it may have been enough to distract Smith on the game winning goal.

Houston outshot the Admirals 19-6 in the opening period, thanks in part to four Aero power plays in the frame.  Smith was outstanding, making some saves that Pekka Rinne might not have.

Ryan Thang continued his strong play, scoring his fifth of the playoffs on a fluky goal.  A Thanger shot went off of Hackett’s blocker, popped in the air, landed on Hackett’s shoulder, rolled off, hit the crossbar, then fell down to the goalline, where Thang finished the job.  Put the puck on net, stuff happens.  What a concept!

The Admirals second goal had a little bit of puck luck too, as the ice shavings in front of the bench slowed down a puck just enough on a shorthanded clear that Mike Bartlett was able to scoop it up.  While he couldn’t get a shot off, Steve Begin did, and scored with 5 seconds left in the period.

The Admirals failed to convert two power play chances in the 3rd period before their time on the 5-on-3 penalty kill.  A goal there may have been just enough to put the game out of reach.

Smitty ended the night with 50 saves on 53 shots.  Hackett had 23 saves on 25 shots.  (Shot counter isn’t doing Hackett any favors!)

Patrick O’Sullivan (12), Chad Rau (9), and Robbie Earl (6) combined had two more shots than the full Admirals roster.

So now what?  The Admirals will face their first elimination game of the playoffs Sunday evening at the Bradley Center.  If the Predators lose Saturday night in Vancouver, there may be some reinforcements coming to Milwaukee.  And boy, could we use them about now.  I think we’ve seen enough ATO guys for awhile.

34 thoughts on “Admirals Cough Up Lead, Face Elimination Sunday”

  1. Well hopefully vancouver helps us get our guys back and maybe in time for sunday! We need some toughness to show through on sunday. Grit and guts, leave it all on the ice and we need more than 2 goals to beat them! Smith is the mvp of the playoffs so far he has kept the ads in almost every game! He needs to play at that high or higher of a level sunday and beyond! Sure wish klassen was available could really use him!
    Go ADS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. And I’m sure if Geoffrion comes back, he’ll be thrilled to play more than 5 minuted per game. It’s sad they take our good guys for that. But still, go Nashville! And of course, Go Admirals! Kick some Aeros butt.

  3. It seems to me that it’s not our ATO guys making the most egregious mistakes.

  4. Was it an ATO guy who put us down 5 on 3 with under 5 minutes to go? Nope that was our captain. Ugh that pissed me off so much. I thought that joker went to San Antonio.

    Frustrating to say the least. 5 minutes away from coming home with a 3-2 lead despite getting severely outplayed the last 2 games, and we choke like that? Just plain awful.

    The way our luck has gone, Nashville wins 8-1 tonight, just to lose 26-0 in the next game, and our season ends Sunday.

  5. I’m going to disagree about the ATO’s. Yep, Palin’s name is next to the penalty. Can’t argue that. But can you honestly say that you’re pleased with how the 4th line has played the last two games? The Aeros have four lines they can run with confidence. How many do they Admirals have? I’ve seen enough of Watson. Beck scored twice but hasn’t been great otherwise. Latta has been okay at best. Conacher didn’t even make the trip to Texas.

    They split the Bourque/Mueller line up. It was a good run.

    Go Canucks.

  6. can’t really comment on the last 3 games because I haven’t seen them…but Palin’s penalty was just plain crap.

    Klasen is heading to Sweden next year.

    Does it bother anyone else that @dexshow doesn’t really seem to care about whats going on with the Ads lately? He’s battled with these guys all year, and I understand he’s not traveling with the team currently, but it just seems like he’s bailed.

  7. MiB, I was actually thinking the same thing about dekanich…he doesnt seem to care on twitter at all. In fact, he seems PO’d about something, and isnt afraid to show it.

  8. Wouldn’t surprise about Klasen, but I’d like to wait for more confirmation than some guy from Sweden tweeting it.

    And — I don’t think it’s our place to question whether or not Dex does or does not care about his team. I think that’s a leap to say that just because he doesn’t tweet about it, that he doesn’t care. You’re entitled to your opinion, but unless he has said some Lundmark-esque things in your general direction, I don’t know how you can legitimately come to your conclusion.

  9. True, but during the admirals game he is talking about playing call of duty…but whatever. Not saying he doesnt care about the team, just doesnt seem like he is paying attention to it.

  10. Yeah, I’m not calling him out or anything, i’m just a little saddened by it. These are guys you’ve played with all season as a team, the least you could do is be a little bit of a cheerleader.

  11. Dex is in between a rock and a hard place, he got us to the point to clinch the playoffs and worked his butt off doing it! He won us at least 5 games on his own, games we prolly shoulda lost! Now smitty is tearing up the crease and doing gods work! Sure he could sit back and let it roll but he sees that nashville has no plans for him, they will let him walk, but he just has to keep proving everyone wrong and at this time next year he WILL be an NHL netminder, maybe not starting but playing a key role maybe backup in colorado or even chicago! Go ads!!!!!!!! We came this far the story is not over yet………

  12. If Dex is healthy enough to play then I’d think he would be upset that he’s not playing, most any competitor I would think feels that way. Unfortunately, that’s what happens with injuries at all levels. Smith stepped in and stepped up.

    On the ATO guys, I agree that we can’t seem to put together a group that will put up some reasonable consistency – however, the first three lines have exactly been doing that either. The top lines have had games putting up 5 points and playing with fire only to turn in games with no energy and a drought. The fourth line has been much the same except perhaps more pronounced. It doesn’t seem folks like any of them at different times, but still gotta play three – Latta, Watson, Ryan, Santorelli, Hunter, Conacher, etc. All have played ok to good to gripin’ material.

    Defensively, you can’t give up 2-3 times the shots and expect to win consistently.

  13. Turn in your affiliation card Ryan… Go Canucks? You might as well be cheering for the Wolves…

    The Preds roll 3 with the 4th line getting 5 minutes at best, why can’t we?

    Fill in the blank-Fill in the blank-Fill in the blank

    Let’s get at least two lines back together that got us to the dance in the first place and maybe we won’t be outshot 2 to 1. The 3rd line would be a hell of a grind line with some offensive potential to boot. The best defense is a good offense. At least these lines will be able to take the pressure off the D and maybe control the puck for more than 5 seconds.

    Yeah it’s great that Smith can make 50 saves and stand on his head.

    It should never get to that.

  14. Here is a line for you Smith, Vanguilder, Mueller, Bourque, Josie and Elly…….as for including Elly in your comments about ATO guys we disagree he will be a valuable player on your team or any team he is part of….

  15. Ellisfanforever –

    I like the thought but why have two centerman on the same line?

    I have NO problem with Ellis being on any number #1 line right now…

    When him and Josi get some kind of chemistry going, this pair will be dynamic.

  16. Think Laakso might be on his way back already. At least I don’t see him among the scratches in tonights Nashville game, which should mean he has already been sent down. Or might just be an error in the boxscore as well…

  17. Gentlemen…..Ellisfanforever is 12….4 years ago i dragged her kicking and screaming to a spits game. I love hockey…..her not so much. A then rookie Ellis caught her attention and a hockey fan was born. She is still in the learning curve but is a stong Ellis supporter. His dedication to the game and community has taught her lots of great life lessons. Please be patient she will be one of the best Admiral/Nashville fans! Thanks

  18. EG it is correct teemu is back and will be with us tomorrow. he is no longer on nashville roster. i bet he met with the team today for practice. it will be nice to have him back. to bad we could get blum and blake and matt has all back also but lets hope to get them back for game 7 on tuesday

  19. It’s official, the hockey gods hate us. Hopefully the Aeros will choke like Vancouver tomorrow and our rag tag group of rookies and veteran Admirals can dig down a little deeper and force #7.

  20. Sorry about playing the selfish card…would have been nice to have the reinforcements….but good for the Preds for staying alive.

    Ellis is still working out some of the timing quirks, but I guess I can exclude him from my ATO comment. If Laakso is in fact back and ready to go tomorrow, I have a feeling that Ellis won’t be the guy getting scratched. But we’ll see.

    The team we’ve had has been good enough to win twice, and has been good enough to be in the other games despite some odd circumstances. Here’s hoping Coach has them ready to play.

    And agreed – welcome Ellis fans! We look forward to writing great things about him while he’s here over the next while.

  21. Ellismom-

    I had to re-read your comment a few times…I felt kind of dumb when I finally caught on, yet I think it’s funny enough to share with the group. Your comment, “I love hockey…..her not so much!” I thought you meant you didn’t love your daughter as much as hockey…then realized you meant she didn’t love hockey as much as you did… It’s that public schooling here in the Good Ole’ US of A…I swear!

    Welcome aboard!

  22. The Ads will show up today and I’m confident they will take this game.

    Is this radical?

    borque – mueller – beck
    thang – mvg – thuresson
    wilson – begin – bartlett
    hunter – conacher – latta

    ryan / flynn? vs hunter / conacher?

    My problem is borque – mueller – thang is a strong line but leaves the others with something to be desired. MVG gets wasted on a line with Wilson and Thuresson if they are in a slump (and they are prone to long ones). Thuresson has finally put up the last few games though. No time for slumps so I move Thang to give MVG something else. Beck’s play doesn’t put him on the line, for me it’s more of a who else. Otherwise, if its Borque – Mueller – Thang then I think we have to count on that line producing 3 goals in this game and I say we need 4.

    Ford, Laakso, Ellis, Josi, Palin, Johnson

    Lewis vs Palin / Johnson / Ellis?

    I think Lewis will sit if Laakso is back. Palin / Johnson have made mental mistakes the last few games (not penalties) that I deserves them to sit for one, but I don’t think this is that game and Lewis sits. Ellis is a lot of future potential stardom, but should the ‘experience’ win out today and sit him?

    Smith – everyone has a bad game once in a while, unfortunately this can’t be his one. We still need him to stand on his head after a backflip and summer (ahh, summer) sault. Would it be wrong to tailgate today on 4th & Kilbourn?

    It would be disappointing to lose this series – perhaps the Texas series set my view too high, but this is not the series I expected. Houston has put up the shots for certain and at times had good defense, but overall I think they’ve not played great either. They are up 3-2 and that’s what counts right now. The Ads got this one though, a nice 4-2 win is in the cards, maybe even 4-1.

  23. Giggles to Mark… i love my daughter very much……and as for my love of hockey it goes way back. My grandparents lived across the street from Mike MacMahon…..Mike MacMahon Jr was the best man at my parents wedding….guys like Horton, Howe and Orr were the guys that dropped in for a beer. I will not bore you further….as for Ellis hearing the term “sitting Ellis” in Windsor is crazy but he is in a new place now in his career. I have not followed the Admirals enough to have a great opinion but i would think whatever makes the team the strongest is the way to go. I will listen on the radio to make sure he is playing before we buy the game. Hope they win lots of us want to make the trip to Hamilton to watch the Ads and of course Elly!

  24. Could always let Elly play forward today. The ones you been using do not seem to shoot much on the net just saying

  25. Ellisfanforever, you should probably watch more then a couple of Admirals games before you start talking about how bad our forwards are.

  26. I feel that mark has the lines pretty good and my feeling on d is sit lewis too if laakso is here, I’m a big lewis fan but lately he’s left a lot to be desired, maybe toss lil santorelli out there instead of latta, I don’t know but I’m nervous as hell, just hours away and it better not be my last hockey game this season! Let’s get the win!!!! Go Ads!!!!!!!!!!

  27. sorry Mr. Taylor i guess i did not understand,,,,,i thought the list of threes you were making were the forwards…that a fourth one was not clicking together…and that we were making our wish teams for a four line. i did not mean to hurt your feelings i just compaired the total of shoots at then end of the game. I will watch lots of aero games for sure. i was just joking that if they were going to sit him he could be on line 4

  28. Taylor, I HAVE watched this team all year and the one thing that I would like to see them do is SHOOT the puck more. The truth is, our forwards AREN’T the greatest offensive force around, as that isn’t Nashville’s MO. I mean, our only true offensive threat only played in a little under 60% of the team’s games this season and isn’t around for the playoffs. The best way for our team to increase offensive output for our team is to PUT MORE PUCKS ON THE NET. It’s a little hard to win games when your team has difficulties getting more than 6-7 shots per period.

    As for putting Ellis on the wing, it’s not like Lane hasn’t played defenders on the wing before, and with Ellis’ smaller stature and knack for offense, I wouldn’t mind seeing him experimented with at winger with Laakso back.

    I guess it all boils down to: you should probably let a new fan comment on the games that they’ve observed before acting like an ass and talking down to them. Any new fan a minor league team can gain is a good thing, not something that should be shunned just because he or she doesn’t know much about the team yet.

  29. oh so exciting… fav saying i cheer as loud as i can for the rest but i like Elly the best! Very happy for him he must be thrilled he works so hard …..

  30. Hooooooooooooooooooooooootttttttt!!!!! They won! Elly scored….awesome results!

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