We are in the run of the Admirals longest losing streak, five games, since last season when the team went on a winless drought of six games: 1/11/13 to 1/23/13.
While a part of me would love to rant and rave over just how rough this game was, how defeated the team was early in the game, or deliver a speech to the level of Peter Finch in Network –which is fantastic– I merely accept this run as one of the many ups and downs of a hockey season.
The Admirals were ahead of the Rockford IceHogs in the Midwest Division for much of this season. What happened? One team got hot. The other team went cold. In time, the IceHogs run of incredible success will run into a wall and they’ll be left to gather themselves for the next big run.
The Admirals, who have been in a cycle of up-one down-one for most of the season, have probably long been due a stretch of games like this. Not because they’re not good enough to win these games – but because of the massive amounts of knowledge there is to learn from a defeat. At the core, Milwaukee is a young team looking for the right balance in their game. Some nights they have it. Others – not so much. Right now, the team is spinning in place looking for traction as they charge into the thick of the playoff push. The lessons being learned right now could be an instrumental part of late season success.
Whether it’s hockey, baseball, or football – it is all about getting hot at the right time in the season. The season isn’t over in a week. The panic button shouldn’t be punched just yet. Instead, the time to see a team work through some massive growing pains is at hand. It’s all about how quickly the group responds from successive defeats, seeing their weaknesses so easily exploited, and rebounding back stronger than before the plunge.
I’m not panicked about this team. And I don’t think anyone who follows them should be. Bad run of games? Sure. Players and coaches hanging by a thread? No chance.
After the game I spoke with head coach Dean Evason as well as Anthony Bitetto and Joonas Rask. This is what they had to say following the team’s 5-1 defeat to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Dean Evason on the Admirals performance:
Evason on Pekka Rinne’s return sparking the team:
Evason talks about allowing two-goals rapidly – twice – in the game:
Evason assesses Marek Mazanec’s return to game action:
Evason’s thoughts on how to rebound from a lack of offense:
Anthony Bitetto describes the game:
Bitetto’s opinion of what changed from Sunday’s game to Wednesday’s contest:
Bitetto’s thoughts on the offensive struggles of late:
Bitetto on having Pekka Rinne in the locker room soon:
Bitetto and I chat about regaining his early season form:
Joonas Rask talks about his return to game action:
Rask on the offensive struggle against Grand Rapids:
Rask hopes to support and play well in front of Pekka Rinne:
The latest news that I have regarding “Pekka Watch 2014” is that he actually isn’t expected back in Milwaukee in time for team practice Thursday afternoon. That would mean he’d prep before the Ads play on Friday, take part in your typical pre-game skate, and then start in net against the Iowa Wild. I fully plan on providing as much news on the matter while he is in town, considering I don’t expect him in town for long, and will provide updates here and on our Twitter should I stumble along any developments.
Comments on the comments? Do you agree with specifically what Anthony Bitetto was saying in regards to the team? What strikes you in regards to some of Dean Evason’s post-game comments?