Kirk Muller Era Opens With 5-3 Pre-season Win

A strong four-goal second period sparked the Admirals to a 5-3 victory of the visiting Rockford IceHogs on Friday night at the Kern Center.

Five different Admirals scored on the night, and Jusso Puustinen and David Leaderer had two assists each, while Jeremy Smith stopped 22 of 25 shots to get the win.

While the Admirals outshot the IceHogs 7-5 in the first period, I kind of felt that the Admirals started out a bit sluggish.  But Coach Muller liked the adjustments his team was able to make.

The second period started with a quick strike by Joel Champagne, but Puustinen deserves a lot of credit on the play.  (So much credit, the referee originally gave the goal to him).

Jani Lajunen cashed in on a power play goal ten minutes later.

Taylor Aronson and Mark Van Guilder scored 2:22 appart later in the frame.

Needless to say, Coach liked the 2nd period.

After the start of the game was delayed by a Zamboni Olympia issue, there were some more ice issues late in the game around Jeremy Smith’s net.  The Kern Center goals don’t have the pegs that the Bradley Center has, so things are a little less stable in the net area.  So the end of the game had next to no pace to it.  Which is okay, I guess, especially if the Admirals are killing off a 6-on-4 power play.

Here’s who Coach liked in the game.

Definitely agree on Latta.  Some great individual efforts, and as the second period was winding down there was a rush where he battled for the puck along the near boards and was able to spring himself on a good scoring chance.  Puustinen and Lajunen can also stick around.

Not a fan of Charles-Olivier Roussel.  Seen about enough of him.  Aronson got a goal, but I think he will probably be sent back to juniors.  Those were the two guys that stuck out in a bad way for me.

Heading to Hoffman Estates tomorrow?  Here’s some stuff to expect.

Last chance for some guys to make a good impression, as we won’t have to wait too long for pink slips.

So Roundtable — thoughts on the game?  Who did you like?  Who didn’t you like?  How about Scott Ford coming out for the 3rd period wearing uniform #5?  Did you notice improvement since the last time you saw Ryan Flynn?  Did you like Garrett Suter’s game?  He was on the ice for the first 3 Admiral goals. 

7 thoughts on “Kirk Muller Era Opens With 5-3 Pre-season Win”

  1. Sorry for the generalities tonight….if you were there and you know me, then you know my vantage point wasn’t exactly the best seat in the house to make evaluations and there were other things that kept my hands full. But I’m very interested in what you guys thought of the new guys.

  2. Liked Latta and Beck a lot. Puustinen and Lajunen were very good at times too. Totally agree with Aronson, there were a few times he just looked totally lost. Shalla made some nice plays. Surprised Smith played the whole game. Valentine has a new contract. Thought Ford was gonna come out with #6 after his 2nd fight. As much as I wish Suter would stick around he didn’t do much for me. Roussel disappointed me. Loved how you could hear coach keeping his foot on the gas pedal and pushing for more in the 2nd period.

  3. I thought Garrett Suter was fine . He moves the puck out of the zone real well , no panic – good first pass. Doesn’t try to do too much , He’d be ok if he is needed from ECHL Cincinnati.

  4. Taylor, Fordo dropped the gloves a couple different times, and probably got the better of both of them.

Leave a Reply