The Milwaukee Admirals backs are against the wall tonight in Toronto. They face a 2-0 deficit in the opening round best-of-five series against the Marlies and, having dropped the first two in Milwaukee, are left to rally on the road from here on out.
It’s bleak. It’s tough. BUT, it is only game three of five. Watch those Los Angeles Kings win last night’s opening round match-up against the San Jose Sharks? The Kings overcame the mountain. They trailed 3-0 in a best of seven and won it – becoming the fourth team ever to do it.
The Toronto Marlies finished the regular season with the exact same winning percentage at home as the Admirals: 0.697 percent. They have a +27 goal differential at home (119 goals forced, 92 goals allowed). And the Ads were actually better in that department: +35 goal differential (128 goals forced, 93 goals allowed).
We saw what the Marlies did in the first two games played in Milwaukee. So, simple question, why can’t the Admirals repeat the exact same feat in Toronto?
The Admirals road numbers during the regular season were so-so. They had a 0.500 winning percentage and a -19 goal differential (87 goals forced, 106 goals allowed). Yep, the Marlies were better in that respect – but, I’ll ask it again, why not?
At the start of the season the Admirals won three straight road games: 10/12/13 @ Abbotsford… 10/18/13 @ Grand Rapids… 11/3/13 @ Iowa. They have won two-in-a-row on the road on three separate occasions this season – two of which came from the final six road games of the campaign. Why not claim game three, four, and see what happens? Why not this team?
In my book the biggest task the Milwaukee Admirals are going to need to tackle is doubt. The first period tonight will speak so many volumes of how the night is going to go. If I see more of the same with the Marlies chewing out the Admirals and making life hard on the offense – the “here we go again” thought trickles into the mind. Should the Admirals play on the same page or come out firing on all cylinders, picking up a nice first period lead, they will finally have something to build on.
It is that opening twenty-minutes of game three that will decide whether the Admirals push back or come back home on Friday. If the Admirals can score that first goal – it could make all the difference in them tilting the ice in the same fashion the Marlies have the first two games.
What are you expecting from Game Three tonight? Will the Marlies sweep the Admirals? What do the Admirals need to do in order to rally on the road?
4 thoughts on “Round One, Game Three: Scouting the Enemy”
I remain optomistic that Milwaukee is still alive in this series. It’s obviously tough to win three games on the road, in a row. But win one tonight and the task gets much easier. Win two, tonight and Saturday, and it’s a Game 5 (aka 7) to decide the series where anything can happen.
Milwaukee has a lot of things to correct after lackluster performances in Games 1 & 2. Simply put goaltending first and foremost, must be better. I’ve been pumping Maz’s tires all year, but I would start Scott Darling tonight, or even find a way to get Magnus Hellberg in if you don’t want to start Darling. Maz is better goalie than he’s showed, but I don’t think he’s earned the net tonight. Defensively, the Admirals have to show some toughness. In the first two contests, Toronto has absolutely owned the space in front of Milwaukee’s net. Third, the Admirals must get their power play going. Against the Marlies, you will get opportunities with the man advantage. Now Milwaukee must take advantage of them and at least generate some chances.
Fix those three things, and you have a hockey game. Win a hockey game, and you have a series, that’s the one redeeming quality of a 5-game series. Two years ago, it would have been easy to argue that Abbotsford was just a better hockey team than Milwaukee. This year, I think the Admirals are at least as good as Toronto. Time to take a page out of the L.A. Kings playbook, buck up, and starting playing playoff hockey.
As much as I want this team to win I feel that they may come off this extra long layoff flatter than ever, we never take long breaks well regardless of who is on the team. As far as the keys to winning its the same songs I’ve been playing all this while 1) faceoffs need to be controlled 2) shoot from the point on pp get mac moving and dig out rebounds 3)take away macs vision and start getting phphysical in front of the crease. I don’t have much faith in Dean to get the team ready or make any of these adjustments, kinda hope they look at other coaches this off season he just isn’t showing me much improvement from last year
I had no problems with Evason, but the lack of any, and I mean any, adjustments between last Friday’s and Saturday’s games was quite disturbing. The Saturday game was harder to watch than Friday game! I really want the Ads to pull out at least one win, but I’m with frontrowjon. I just don’t see it happening. Let’s hope we’re both proved wrong.
Oh, and I really hope they start Darling tonight.
No disrespect to either the Ads nor the Marlies, but Toronto is not San Jose. As a 20+ year Sharks fan, very few teams have the ability to fold like a cheap suit in the playoffs like my boys in teal. It’s not impossible for the Ads to pull off the major upset, but they need to play perfectly. Perfect goaltending, perfect offence, perfect defence, perfect special teams…just perfect. Possible…the Ads do have plenty of offence, a solid defencive core, and two goaltenders that have the ability to carry the team on their shoulders. They just have to take it one game at a time. Cliche I know, but that’s the way it is.