Peoria Ruins Milwaukee’s Morning Skate 6-3

There are not many A.M. starts on the AHL calender. After the performance the Admirals endured after their early wake up call Tuesday morning, Milwaukee should be hoping to avoid another.

Well rested Peoria, playing in front of 7,082 at Carver Arena, gave the Admirals a beat down reminiscent of elementary school bully. Riding a stretch of four straight goals after Milwaukee took a 1-0 lead, the Rivermen cruised to a 6-3 victory.

The flaming hot Chris Mueller picked up his 19th of the season just over seven minutes in to draw the Admirals first blood, but that’s when the vaunted Peoria power play went to work. Extra man tallies by Danny Syvret and Phil McRae gave the Rivermen their first lead, then captain Adam Cracknell and AHL dynamo T. J. Hensick (the AHL’s third leading scorer with 50 points) made it 4-1 just under five minutes into the third period.

Defenseman Victor Bartley and forward Ryan Thang gave Milwaukee some life in the third period with respective goals, but Cracknell’s second and Jonathan Cheechoo’s empty netter sunk the Admirals ship.

At points the game resembled a shooting gallery on Milwaukee goaltender Jeremy Smith, who stopped 34 of 39 shots. Jake Allen made 27 stops for Peoria to earn the win.

Lots of disappointments for Milwaukee. Jonathon Blum certainly played like he could have used more sleep as he finished with just one assist and played as a -3. Similar morning for Teemu Laakso (-2). Neither looked ready to return to Nashville anytime soon.

The lone Milwaukee highlight:  A fight by Admirals defenseman Jeff Foss seemed to spark a resurgence in the third period. Still Milwaukee managed just eight shots in the final frame.

With the win Peoria moves within one point of Milwaukee and Chicago at 21-19-2-1. This is Peoria’s third straight win over Milwaukee after the Admirals won the first five games of the season series all in regulation.

Milwaukee slips to 22-16-1-1 (just 8-10-0-1 playing away from the Bradley Center), winning just one game on its four-game road trip.

At least Milwaukee gets to return home for a game against Chicago on Friday night.

So Roundtable . . . Some questions for discussion:

1) What did you think of the morning start and did you get to watch/listen to the game?

2) Do you think the early start effected Milwaukee’s play?

3) Can the Admirals overcome a struggling a penalty kill and poor road record and still make the playoffs, or do these problems need to be fixed pronto?

5 thoughts on “Peoria Ruins Milwaukee’s Morning Skate 6-3”

  1. Blum is a -6 in 13 games with Milwaukee?? WTF?? In fact, all of our D are 0 or + except for Blum and Laakso.

    1) I listened to Aaron Sims and heard the same old stuff… mishandled passes, pucks bouncing over sticks, guys not keeping the puck in the zone, etc. Something has to change with this team soon!

    2) Early start or not, both teams faced the same conditions and timing. No excuses. It should not play a factor.

    3) The penalty kill has to be corrected pronto. We can’t coast on into the playoffs with a 76% PK. Playoff games are all about momentum and when you lose momentum due to giving up a PP goal or two, you can kiss the series goodbye. It needs to be corrected now so it’s not being addressed in the playoffs.

  2. 1) I agree, early start should not be a factor when both teams face the same challenge.
    2) I’ve noticed quite often that the forwards are not moving their feet, anticipating a pass
    to get the puck out of the defensive zone and getting in position; hence there have been
    way too many turnovers.
    3) Most of the D seem to be more interested in shooting the puck than playing defense and often
    times do not have a shooting lane, also resulting in a turnover or break-away for the opposing
    team. One of the two needs to be more of a ‘stay-at-home’ defenseman & when the forwards
    see one of them pinch they have to react faster and cover.
    4) Had Milwaukee scored more than once on their 5 powerplays it would have been a game
    changer. Blum & Puustinen were both in the box when Peoria scored.
    5) Ford, Valentine & Bartley were on for 2 goals scored against; Laakso & Blum were on for 3
    goals scored against.
    6) Blum was a -14 in Nashville in 33 games and a -6 in 13 games with Milwaukee. Maybe
    he should be playing wing instead of D??
    7) Top +/- on the team is Sloan with +15 even though he plays with Blum alot of the time.
    Sloan doesn’t play PP, although twice when he did for a few seconds he had 3 assists.
    When he’s not hurting from an injury he’s the best defensive D-man out there.
    8) Perhaps the coach should consider spending more time teaching the young D to
    play good defense or limit their playing time. If they’re playing in the NHL there’s no
    such thing as equal playing time …. it’s about who can help win the game. They’d
    better be learning that now.

  3. Our penalty kill is literally killing us. A lot of that is because of our suspect defense. Who are the forwards that usually kill penalties? Should we shake that up?

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