Wolves: Scouting the Enemy

After starting off with five-straight wins – Marek Mazanec suffered his first loss of the season Wednesday night against the Iowa Wild. How does he respond in net? (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

The Milwaukee Admirals will look to rebound tonight after taking their first loss of the season on Wednesday night against the Iowa Wild.  The Ads are set for a road-home weekend set with the Chicago Wolves. And there is a chance that the AHL schedule may benefit the Ads tonight and even more so tomorrow.

With yesterday being an off-day for the Admirals – the Chicago Wolves were pushed hard on the road by the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Wolves came out on top 6-5 in OT to end their two-game skid. It’s a trek back from Grand Rapids to Chicago for a game against the Ads, and then a trip up to Milwaukee for another game with the Ads.

I’m expecting there to be a lot of hitting and strong forecheck work on the boards tonight by the Admirals. They have a chance to take an already tired opponent and exhaust them before the puck drops on Sunday afternoon. If they play their hand correctly – this could be a successful weekend for the Ads.

~Recent Run of Form~

Since the Admirals last played the Wolves their Amtrak Rivals have played two games. After the Admirals defeated them 3-2 in overtime, the Wolves followed up with a 4-3 road loss to the Rockford IceHogs and then the OT victory in Grand Rapids mentioned above.

In the last two games for the Wolves – they have allowed four-or-more goals. This comes with both of their goaltenders, Matt Climie and Jordan Binnington, taking part. It was the veteran Climie that picked up the win last night but, in doing so, he allowed five goals from twenty-six shots. In the loss to Rockford, Binnington had allowed four goals from twenty-nine shots on goal.

~Climie’s Arch Nemesis~

Climie’s history against the Milwaukee Admirals has been rather remarkable. The 31-year old netminder has played in 217 career AHL games. Of that total, he has played the Admirals twenty-nine times – including twice in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

2009-10: 3-1-0-0, 1.26 GAA, 0.956 SV%
2010-11: 2-1-0-1, 2.66 GAA, 0.890 SV%
2011-12: 5-2-0-0, 2.59 GAA, 0.927 SV%
2012-13: 0-7-0-1, 3.13 GAA, 0.889 SV%
2013-14: 1-2-0-0, 2.60 GAA, 0.893 SV%
2014-15: 0-0-1-0, 2.71 GAA, 0.857 SV%

His career mark against the Admirals in the regular season is 11-13-1-2 with a 2.49 GAA and a 0.902 SV%. Mind you, it’s those last four seasons with the Wolves to keep an eye on. The last last three seasons especially haven’t favored him at all – eleven defeats and only one win.

~Hunting in Packs~

The Wolves are currently led in scoring by Rob Bordson who has 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) in seven games. He is followed by a four-way tie for the second most points on the team with 6 points.

It’s a very deep roster that is finding offensive production all across the board in the early goings. Still, if I had one guy that I’d keep an eye out for this weekend it is – and remains Ty Rattie. In the Admirals-Wolves first meeting of the season his play, in combination with the speed of Terry Broadhurst, was outstanding to watch.

Someone else worth watching out for in a less-than-offensive sense is Cody Beach. He currently leads the entire league in penalty minutes with 68. His Fight Card already has three bouts attached to it this season. If Rich Clune makes his Admirals debut – perhaps we’re treated to a tilt between the two.

What are your expectations from this weekend’s games? Can the Admirals get back to winning form tonight? Scoreline predictions for the weekend? Do you see the Admirals rotating goalies at all this weekend?

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