In a game with first place in the division on the line, it was a pretty exciting match for 59:40 of the game.
But two ghastly defensive lapses in those twenty seconds in the third period were the difference in the game, as the Charlotte Checkers came from behind to sink the Admirals 4-3 Saturday night.
Anders Lindback gave up the textbook definition of a “soft goal” 9:01 into the third period that tied the game at 3. With the play heading back up the ice, the Admirals never did clear the zone. Zac Dalpe picked up the puck just inside the blue line, turned, and fired the puck on net. And it went in.
Lindback says that he obviously wants to have that one back.
I’m not fond that he used the word “assuming” in there. But I’m not sure if there’s ever a good explanation when you are caught snoozing.
On the next shift, the regularly reliable Tyler Sloan turned the puck over in the Admirals zone, and it turned into a 2-on-nobody rush. Matthew Pistilli fed the puck across the low slot to Zach Boychuk for the easy goal.
Sloan takes full responsibility for it.
Outside of that, Coach Herbers thought the team played pretty well.
That’ll do it for Lindback’s vacation to Milwaukee. He’ll be going back to Nashville tomorrow morning, and Jeremy Smith will be sent back down. Here’s Coach Herbers on Lindback’s weekend.
The teams exchanged power play goals in the first period. With Zac Dalpe in the box serving a tripping penalty, Kyle Wilson was the toe of a tic-tac-toe passing play, and his shot from the top of the near circle beat Checkers goaltender Mike Murphy.
Dalpe got his revenge a little later in the period while Scott Valentine’s holding penalty was winding down. A pass from Zach Boychuk didn’t make it through the crease to the intended recipient. Instead it kind of bounced around in between Lindback’s pads that were down on the ice. The puck wasn’t secured and squirted out to the right doorstep, and Dalpe found it first.
The Checkers took a 2-1 lead on a goal that took a couple of bad bounces, as the initial shot from Derek Joslin was deflected by an Admiral on its way to the net. The shot ended up going wide, but caromed off of Lindback’s stick, which was laying on the ice behind the net for some reason. The puck came back out front, and Nicolas Blanchard put it in the net. Surprised that the post wasn’t sealed there.
About seven and a half minutes later, Taylor Beck tied the game on a great offensive rush. Ryan Flynn’s penalty had just expired, and the two of them led the rush into the offensive zone on the right wing. (see video)
Jon Blum crashing the net helped open things up a bit, and after Murphy committed to the poke-check, it was a great play by Beck to bring the puck in front and around the goaltender.
Later in the period, the Ads regained the lead on a Chris Mueller goal. Pistilli couldn’t control the puck in the high slot, and it kicked behind him to Zack Stortini, who found Mueller all alone in front of Murphy.
Wilson – Mueller – Thang
Geoffrion – Latta – Puustinen
Beck – Van Guilder – Flynn
Champagne – Lajunen – Stortini
– Playing the Checkers makes you realize how slow the Admirals are. They go on lots of odd-man rushes…they don’t always execute well, and some of the credit for that goes to the other team pushing back…but they had a lot of chances to have good things happen.
– The Admirals didn’t get their second shot on goal in the third period until there was 7:33 left in the game.
– Here’s a positive. I really like the way Taylor Beck is playing right now. I was pretty critical earlier in the season, but he’s arguably grown as a player more than anyone else on the team. In his last 15 games, he’s totaled 4 goals, 10 assists, and has gone from being -9 to being +1 defensively. He hasn’t been a minus since November 27th.
– Here’s a negative. Blake Geoffrion. Not an impact.
– Jon Blum. Mixed bag again. There are some heady plays, there are some plays where he tries to force things, and there are X’s and O’s plays that just aren’t being made.
– I thought Chris Mueller played one of his best games of the season on both ends of the ice.
– And for our friends in Windsor…..mazel tovs are in order for Ryan Ellis, as he scored his first NHL goal tonight against Kirk and the Canes. It was a power play marker with 5:32 left in the game, which gave the Preds a 5-1 lead.
– Referee Shaun Davis. The King of calling a penalty that has nothing to do with the actual infraction that took place on the ice. Do you think it’s stage fright, or he just isn’t watching all that closely?
Okay — you saw two games of Anders Lindback this weekend. Of the seven goals he gave up this weekend, how many of them would you consider GOOD goals? Any other thoughts on his play?
Would Chet Pickard have made that save on the game-tying goal?
How do you fix Blake Geoffrion? Linemates? Is it an attitude thing?
Ryan Thang. One assist in his last 5 games. Is he snakebitten, or is he not having as much of an impact as he did the second half of last year and out of the gate this year?
Can they rebound in Peoria tomorrow night? The Rivermen were off tonight, so they won’t be finishing a 3-in-3 set like the Admirals will be. Taking two of three games this weekend sounds better than losing four of their last five.