The Chicago Wolves enter tonight’s game with a record of 41-20-5-5 (92 points). They are second in the Midwest Division and are fourth in the Western Conference. They trail the Grand Rapids Griffins by 4 points in the division but have two games in hand over last season’s Calder Cup champions.
When we last saw the Amtrak Rivals they won 4-1 in Chicago and cliched a playoff spot. It was the first game between the Admirals and Wolves this season that wasn’t decided by one-goal.
Oct. 19 vs. Chicago: L, 3-2 (OT)
Nov. 15 vs. Chicago: L, 4-3
Nov. 22 vs. Chicago: W, 3-2 (SO)
Dec. 22 @ Chicago: L, 2-1 (OT)
Jan. 11 vs. Chicago: L, 2-1
Feb. 9 vs. Chicago: L, 4-3 (SO)
Feb. 15 @ Chicago: W, 3-2 (OT)
Feb. 16 @ Chicago: L, 3-2
Apr. 1 @ Chicago: W, 1-0 (SO)
Apr. 5 @ Chicago: L, 4-1
The Wolves have taken a point from every single meeting against the Admirals this season: 7-0-1-2 (17 points) from ten games. Their goaltender Jake Allen has been stunningly good this season – but seems to bring out his “A” game against the Admirals: eight games, six wins, 1.69 GAA, 0.933 SV%, and a shutout.
With the Admirals having clinched their spot in the playoffs last night I think one thing must be in their minds when it comes to an opponent like Chicago: beat them in regulation.
The Admirals have won back-to-back games. In their last ten games they have gone 7-2-0-1 (15 points). The Wolves are on a point streak of four-games. In their last ten games they have gone 6-1-0-3 (15 points). These two are on a collision course tonight.
This still has the potential to be an opening round playoff series. I expect both teams to treat it exactly like that scenario tonight. I don’t anticipate the Admirals taking their foot of the throttle tonight by sitting guys out and allowing situations such as the professional debuts for Mikko Vainonen or Kirill Gotovets to take place. Rather, I expect the opposite.
Back when Moser was injured against the Rockford IceHogs nearly a month ago – there were fears that it was a long term injury. He missed one month of hockey. He brings back his two-way game that shined in the Olympics and NHL this season.
While Moser picked up an assist in last night’s victory he still needs to get back up to game speed. A game with a playoff intensity tonight should be a great test for him in his second game back from his left shoulder injury. His return to form for the Ads might be a major bright spot as the playoffs begin.
Should the Milwaukee Admirals come out guns blazing tonight or play some of the youngsters instead? Is it important for the Admirals to defeat the Wolves at least once in regulation during the regular season? How is tonight’s game going to go?