The Chatterbox, Vol. 52

Miikka Salomaki is chasing a puck that just appears to keep alluding the Milwaukee Admirals offense during this six-game losing steak. (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

The Admirals losing streak is six games. Now would seem to be an appropriate time to use the speech from “Network” or, even better, listen to “Not For Want Of Trying” by Maybeshewill. Because things are worse than bad they are crazy.

That franchise best start to a hockey season with six-straight wins has been erased with four of six losses coming on home ice. The power-play on home ice this season is second worst in the league with 3 goals from 44 chances for a 6.8% succession rate out of 13 home games.

Then there is the player regression. Through 23 games this season Colton Sissons has scored 7 points (all goals). At 23 games last season he produced 18 points (10 goals, 8 assists). Miikka Salomäki, the other rookie stand out from last season, has the same story: 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists) from 23 games… last season through 23 games he had 19 points (5 goals, 14 assists). Mark Van Guilder already has more penalty minutes than he did during the entire 2012-13 season and matched his penalty record from the entire 2010-11 season. His offensive production is also down through as many games this season to last season.

It might be a spell in which things just keep getting worse but, just when you feel the Admirals will hit rock bottom before vaulting upwards, they just find another way to lose. Similar to the game against the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Admirals had another good outing in net by Magnus Hellberg and just failed to provide a lead for him to work with. Specifically during this homestand portion of the losing steak the Admirals are only putting up 1.25 goals per game.  During the Admirals six-game winning streak to start the season they were scoring (not including the slapped on shootout figure) 3.5 goals per game.

What the offense is doing right now isn’t good enough. It is nowhere near good enough. Even against supposed minnows like the Iowa Wild or Charlotte Checkers you’re asking for a tooth and nail scrap to earn points. The offense needs to wake up. The power-play needs to play as if they have an extra attacker on the ice (because they do). And the goaltending needs to stay the course and remain reliable.

Right now this is a power outage with the offense unable to gain, pass, or shoot the puck. The transition from defense to offense is shattered. The sooner the team can find it’s confidence back so they can play with the same fluidity, pace, and precision that they did at the start of the season – the better.

The Admirals are staring down the barrel of dropping all five games of this homestand including the two road games that preceded it. The Griffins went through a stint not too dissimilar to this earlier this season. They lost all four games of a four game homestand and dropped back-to-back games on the road. They followed that losing streak up by winning three-straight and six of eight games. Identity lacking. Find it. Get back on a run.

After the game I spoke with Dean Evason, Triston Grant, and Joe Piskula. Here is what they had to say following the Admirals 2-1 loss against the Rockford IceHogs on Wednesday night.

Dean Evason’s thoughts the Admirals performance:

Evason on practing the Admirals power-play this week:

Evason discusses the Admirals dropping another tight game:

Evason on the ebb and flow against Rockford:

Triston Grant’s thoughts on the Admirals losing streak:

Grant talks about the learning process from losing games:

Grant on the Admirals power-play struggles:

Grant’s thoughts heading into Friday’s game:

Grant talks about the recent tight games:

Joe Piskula on what’s going on to the Ads during this losing streak:

Piskula’s thoughts on the Admirals struggles:

Piskula discusses the positives from the game:

Piskula’s expectations for the Adirondack Flames on Friday:

Piskula on playing against last year’s teammate Mathieu Tousignant on Friday:

Comments from the comments? Are you thinking that the upcoming road trip might be the wake-up call that the Admirals need to break this funk?

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