The AHL All Star break is officially over and tonight we’re back in game action. The Admirals players, outside of Colton Sissons, enjoyed plenty of time off this week. I’ve seen a few who: traveled down to Florida, went back home, or stuck around Wisconsin to go hunting. Considering how those last two games finished for the team – the AHL All Star break came at a good time. A little R&R can do the mind and body some serious good in a season as grinding as this. Case and point: welcome back from your vacation, Ads… we have a three-in-three.
The first stop of the weekend three-in-three is with the Iowa Wild who have a record of 20-17-5-4 (49 points). They are still in the basement of the Midwest Division and trail the fourth place Rockford IceHogs by 5 points. If you’re feeling like this sets up well for the Admirals to find their feet after two somewhat disappointing outings – you’re feelings are in the right place!
The Ads have taken all five-games so far against the Wild. The last two games gave been much tighter. Shootout and OT. But, for as bad as the Admirals are beyond regulation, they’ve still managed to get the extra point against the Wild.
Another element that will make games in the AHL that little bit more spicy is that, with the NHL’s Olympic break, a lot of players have been shuffled around. In the case of the Wild they have Erik Haula, Johan Gustafsson, and Stephane Veilleux who were brought in from Minnesota. They also recalled Riley Brace yesterday from Ontario Reign of the ECHL. One more, they traded Mr. Chad Rau (as seen skating the wrong way in the photo used for today’s story) for Curt Gogol of the Worcester Sharks. There’ll be a lot of mixing and matching of line combos for lots of teams in the AHL during this Olympic stretch. Oddly, the Milwaukee Admirals really aren’t one of them.
The Admirals return to action tonight with a record of 22-14-6-5 (55 points). They are third in the Midwest Division and remain sixth in the Western Conference. The Ads trail the Chicago Wolves by 4 points – and they will be playing them on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. It’s those two games that follow this one that make this meeting with the Wild that much more important. Don’t get caught thinking ahead to the bigger opponent. Take the Wild head on and then worry about the Amtrak Rivals.
Iowa gained a few faces. Milwaukee, not so much. Colton Sissons and Taylor Beck will be in the roster tonight but neither have spent that long of time away from the team. Even with Simon Moser doing awesome things in the Olympics I anticipate a pretty familiar lineup card as we’ve seen this season as a result. What could be fun to see is if Sissons, after his nonstop work and travel during the AHL All Star festivities, can hit the ground running that little bit quicker than others on the ice. While others were catching sun – he was playing against Färjestad BK of the Swedish Elite League. In short, he’s been in full playing mode all week. I’d like think that will benefit the team against the Wild tonight.
What are your thoughts on tonight’s game against the Iowa Wild? How about the three-in-three this weekend? Could this be a trap game tonight with the Wolves looming right afterwards?