Today is a date that I have had marked on my calendar since precisely one month ago. On that date the Milwaukee Admirals defeated the Chicago Wolves 4-1 and, after the game, Rich Clune unloaded on the Amtrak Rivals by calling them “S” word: soft.
“I would be nice to them if they just shut their mouths and took what was coming to them, but they seemed to like to throw personal comments out toward me. None of them are really tough enough to really deal with me in a fight. They just don’t match up with us at all, toughness and speed. I love running them over every night.” ~Rich Clune
As we know from our side of things, cringe, things didn’t go all to well following that game against the Wolves. The Admirals went on to lose seven-straight games including all games held during a five game homestand.
Now the good news! For as rough as that stretch of games was for the Admirals they traveled to Cleveland for two games, Rochester for one, and Toronto another – and they have returned from a four game road trip with three wins including two straight.
During the four game road trip the Admirals scored 14 goals. During their seven game losing streak they only scored 12 goals. Things are starting to trend a little more back to normal and the bodes well for tonight. Because I have the feeling that the Wolves, like myself, have had this game marked on their calendars for awhile.
~Since We Last Met~
The Wolves currently have a record of 16-11-3-0 (35 points) which has them second in the Midwest Division and fifth in the Western Conference. They are ahead of the Admirals in the divisional standings but only by 2 points with a pair of extra games already played.
Since our last game with the Wolves they have gone 5-5-0-0 (10 points) in ten games. Hit and miss but better than the rough spell we endured. During that ten game period for the Wolves they played only one game that went past regulation and their goal differential was +2 (28 GF, 26 GA). Again, hit and miss – but steady.
~Who What Now?~
Ty Rattie continues to roll for the Wolves offense. He tops the team in scoring with 21 points (14 goals, 7 assists). He is followed closely by Pat Cannone with 20 points (6 goals, 14 assists). Then, in the mix of things, there is “The Great One” Shane Harper with 16 points (10 goals, 6 assists).
In goal the Wolves are still rocking Jordan Binnington and Matt Climie. The two have split games pretty evenly this season but the numbers, wins being the most important stat, favor the second year pro Binngington: 2.08 goals against average, 0.919 save percentage, 9-4-1-0 record. Climie, who has long suffered at the hands of the Admirals, should probably sit this one out. He started the season well but now has a sub-900 save percentage and has a record of 7-7-2-0 on the season.
Expectations for tonight? Will Rich Clune’s previous comments make him a target in this game? Is the Christmas break going to cool off the Admirals run that was getting started from their road trip?