Puustinen And Smith Dropkick The Heat

The Milwaukee Admirals, led by Juuso Puusitinen, defeated the Abbotsford Heat on Friday night at the Bradley Center. Not to be outdone Jeremy Smith stood on his head at times and stopped 36 of 37 shots to back the Admirals to the 4-1 win.

Here’s the Coach’s high level overview, which we’re proud to say is being fictitiously sponsored by Google Maps.

The Admirals got things started while on the Mountain Fury Power Play.  At the 9:11 mark of the first period and only 32 seconds into the Fury, Kyle Wilson gathered the puck in the far circle and carried it behind the Heat’s net. Wilson spotted a crashing Puustinen and dished him the puck.  Puustinen finished off the play beating the Heat netminder Leland Irving to give the Ads the 1-0 lead.  Nice looking power play.

Puustinen would have his time in the spotlight yet again and in the same period, and oh yeah, it was on the Fury Power Play, AGAIN! At 13:35, Juuso was inside the far circle and fired a shot on Irving which was initially stopped and sent into the slot. None of the Heat players were able to react to the rebound quick enough, leaving Puustinen a second chance to shoot and score.  Wilson had the behind-the-goalline feed again.

So after one period, it was Puustinen 2, Abbotsford 0.

In the second period, both teams had some time on the power play, and both goalies were the best players on the ice.  Irving made a huge save on Chris Mueller who tried to go around Irving.  And then Jeremy Smith had one of his best saves of the year, stopping a Greg Nemisz chance on a 2-on-1 rush.

Coach Herbers liked Smitty’s performance.

Teemu Laakso left the game in the second period after a hit in front of the Heat bench.  Here’s Coach on the play.

The Heat got on the board in the 3rd period with a great shot that ruined Smith’s shot at the shut out. Greg Nemisz won a battle for the puck against Tyler Sloan in the corner, and then skated towards the net.  His shot from the bottom of the circle caught Smitty cheating a little bit towards the center, and found the little daylight Smith created short-side.

Later in the third, the Ads were down a man due to another Yonking penalty (nice one Sloan), but that didn’t stop Ryan Flynn from adding a goal. It started with Jani Lajunen fighting for the puck in the neutral zone, and after winning the battle, he broke free into the O-zone on a 2-on-1 rush. He then sent a pass over to Ryan Flynn who fired a shot past Irving short side for short handed goal.

Flynn is happy to give all the credit in the world on that play to Lajunen.

Flynn added an empty-netter, after a sloppy pass from Brian Connelly.

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LINES

Dupont – Mueller – Beck
Thang – Wilson – Flynn
Henderson – Lajunen – Puustinen
Champagne – Ryan – Stortini

Sloan & Ellis, Bartley & Laakso, Fordo & Blum

– Welcome back Ryan Ellis.  I think he looks much improved over last time we saw him.  He assisted on Puustinen’s second goal.  But don’t get used to seeing him back there.

– Great to see Puustinen shooting, eh?  Coach agrees.

– Mixed bag on Sloan tonight.  He made a couple of really nice plays, but you probably only remember him giving up on the goal and then the yonking penalty in the 3rd.  Mixed bag.

– This was one of Smitty’s best games of the year, I think.  Good goalies make all the saves they’re supposed to, and some of the ones they aren’t supposed to.  I think he saved some of those tonight.

QUESTIONS: 

-Thoughts on the maturation of Ryan Ellis?
– Would you go with Smith tomorrow in Rockford or Sunday against San Antonio?
– Jani Lajunen – think he’s playing his best hockey of the year right now?
– Did you like Beck’s new spin-o-rama move?  Not as effective as Hugh Jessiman’s move, but still….  Did you notice Hughie at all tonight?
– Would you ever have a staredown with a security guard?

6 thoughts on “Puustinen And Smith Dropkick The Heat”

  1. Can someone explain what happened with the band and security at the concert? Blum and Valentine said something on twitter but were pretty vague.

  2. I think the Dropkick Murphys weren’t happy with how Security was handling people in the “pit” and asked them to leave that area.

  3. Obviously happy that the team won. But beyond that, they played a much improved game over those of late. Passing wasn’t as wild, the energy level was ramped up, and most everyone played with a purpose. Smitty was in great form, and the defense did their part as well.

    Ellis was… not the same as when last we saw him, which is a good thing. It will be interesting to see if he can keep it up, or if he’ll slide back to where he was in terms of defense. I would guess that the taste of a fat paycheck played more into his game improving than did maturation.

    Pairing Lajunen and Puustinen caused them both to perform better, I think. Early in the season, they played together and had good chemistry. Let’s hope the same is true going forward.

    I did notice Huge Essiman. He looks better than he did his last year here, but I’m left wondering if his best days are behind him.

    Having sat through a couple of Dropdead Murphy’s songs two years ago, I’m glad to have had enough sense to leave last night right after the game ended. I would hope that, from what others said about the concert, they won’t be back again. From the club’s standpoint, concert nights are great because of the money they generate, but from a fan’s point of view, concert nights are bad enough with a civil crowd, let alone dragging in the dregs.

  4. My kids were outright scared by the motley crew of riffraff that assembled in the seats around us. It’s bad enough with the nuts from Chicago that come up, but the crowd last night was beyond reproach.

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