These guys, again? It is already the fourth time in eleven games this season that the Milwaukee Admirals will be playing against the Iowa Wild. In the previous three occasions the Ads won twice on the road by scores of 4-3 and 4-0. The most recently played game was on home ice and saw the Ads fall for the first time all season with a 4-2 defeat.
Let’s go back and address the last game these two played considering it was only the third time in thirteen games, dating back to last season, that the Wild were able to get the better of the Admirals.
The Wild got onto the board inside the game’s opening three-minutes. How did they do it? By establishing a screen in front of Marek Mazanec and generating a one timer from the blue line for Jake Parenteau. Quick puck movement. Quicker shot. No vision in goal. With the chance to redirect the shot – which is precisely what Michael Keränen did as the man screening Mazanec.
Where I feel the game was lost for the Admirals was a four minute spell in the second period. Mark Van Guilder called for holding. Wild score on the power-play. Mike Liambas called for charging. Wild score on the power-play. Regardless of who you play (and remember – this last game was a match-up between the then best team in the AHL against the worst) when you allow for sustained attacking pressure you open yourself up to be scored on. Give any team a chance for continual power-play chances in a game and you’re going to get burnt. It’s what ended up costing the Admirals their first loss of the season two weeks ago. And it’s something they must avoid doing again tonight.
This week’s news out of the AHL was that the Iowa Wild fired head coach Kurt Kleinendorst late Sunday night. The Wild are a league worst 2-10-0-0 (4 points) to start the season. Only one other team, the St. John’s IceCaps, have allowed more goals. The team is currently riding a five-game losing streak. While I question that the fault of the Wild really falls on their coaching staff. The change was made yesterday.
The Wild’s new head coach is John Torchetti. It’s a familiar face to the organization and voice on the bench considering he was this team’s head coach from 2011-13 when they were the Houston Aeros. In both of those seasons in charge Torchetti’s teams made it into the playoffs. During that time his Aeros went 3-2-2-1 against the Admirals.
Thoughts and expectations for tonight’s game against the Iowa Wild? Who do you see Dean Evason picking as the goaltender tonight? Should Pontus Åberg make his expected return to the Admirals lineup tonight… whose line should he join?