As of Wednesday Milwaukee has played 33 games to date this season. Strangely that total is lower than every other American Hockey League team leaving the Admirals with significant games in hand on all of their foes.
However, Milwaukee will play plenty of catch up over the next couple of weeks. Starting Friday, the Admirals will face five games in just seven days. After a three games in a three days stretch starting Friday at Chicago, Milwaukee gets a two day break before traveling to Hamilton and Lake Erie for a back-to-back road games.
After another two day break, the Admirals play another four more games in just seven days. If you are counting at home that makes nine games in 16 days–a rather daunting stretch.
Therefore, the second half of January represents make or break time for Milwaukee. Play well and a return trip to playoffs becomes a much less difficult task. However, continue the recent struggles (one win for the Admirals in their last five games) and watch more Western Conference teams leap frog ahead in the race to the finish. After these nine games, Milwaukee will have played 42 total on the season, leaving just 34 left the rest of the way.
“We need to improve our consistency,” said Admirals coach Ian Herbers last week describing what his team needed to improve on in the second half of the season. “There are too many highs and lows in our game. We need to put together a (solid) 60 minutes then string some games together.”