Last night’s 5-2 defeat to the Toronto Marlies made things rather grim for the Milwaukee Admirals. They now need to win all three games in Toronto to overcome a 2-0 series deficit in a best of five scenario.
Nevermind the playoff series implications of over coming those odds. The Admirals have only managed to win three consecutive road games once this season.
Yeah. That was a long time ago in a season far, far away. Something else to consider and feel depressed about? The Marlies have not lost three straight games in Toronto this season. In fact, they’ve only lost consecutive games on home ice on three separate occasions this season.
Things are grim. It is going to take a massive surge the likes of which the Admirals had during PekkaMania. We all know the bad news, here. The good news is that the coaching staff and players on the Admirals end of things sure have plenty of film to dissect and solve their problems. They have until Thursday night to prepare for the start of what, if they pulled it off, would be nothing short of miraculous.
This still feels like a special Admirals team to me. The forwards have been out-muscled but they have the same capacity to wear down an opponent. To get the forward lines rolling means getting major pressure off Admirals defensemen and, therefore, Marek Mazanec – who has been brilliant in this series despite some blown assignments in front of him and a barrage of penalty kills to survive.
Including the regular season finale the Admirals have lost three-straight games. The last time they recorded successive defeats came in the poor run prior to Pekka Rinne‘s return when they lost five games in a row. I’m not saying they’ll come out and score nine goals to break out of it as they did that string of bad results – but they have the capacity to explode just as easily.
If there is anything more frustrating than the idea of this team being swept out of the opening round of the playoffs it is that they have the exact same abilities as Toronto to equally deliver games like the Marlies have in Milwaukee. For the Admirals to enter the playoffs and not show a touch of that… that would be the most frustrating thing you would take from this entire series.
After the game I spoke with Dean Evason and Mark Van Guilder. For those wondering about a general tone felt around the locker room – they were still upbeat after game one – they were angry and disappointed after game two. I think you’ll hear a bit of that out of these interviews. Here’s what both said following the game.
Dean Evason talks about last night’s momentum shifts:
Evason’s thoughts on the Admirals penalty kill:
Evason on team composure and penalty calls:
Evason’s thoughts on being the first Admirals team to rally from a 2-0 series deficit:
Evason’s perspective on the series as it stands now:
Mark Van Guilder discusses last night’s game:
Van Guilder talks officiating and penalty calls:
Van Guilder on how Toronto’s defense is containing the Admirals:
Van Guilder’s thoughts on playing in Toronto:
Van Guilder gives Mazanec praise:
Comments from the comments? Are the Admirals out of it or can they rally in Toronto? What are the real weaknesses in this team that have lead to a 2-0 series deficit?