The Admirals current record is 15-11-1-3 (34 points) which has them in third place of the Midwest Division. Both teams in front of them have played more games: the Rockford IceHogs have played three more games, the Chicago Wolves have played two more games. The IceHogs are now 8 points ahead of the Admirals and the Wolves are clear by 3 points.
When we last played the Lake Erie Monsters it was in their neck of the woods and we played two games played that summed up the very Jekyll and Hyde nature of the Admirals this season. Game One: a controlled, start to finish, 4-0 shutout victory. Game Two: a decent start and a better that decent collapse, 4-3 loss.
In fact, it is the last of those two games that was a lot like last night’s 3-2 (OT) loss in Iowa. The Admirals had a really strong start. They were outshooting the Wild to pieces and had a 1-0 lead. They tried to sit on it. Collapse. The Admirals took advantage of a mistake on Iowa’s end and reclaimed their lead. They tried to sit on it. Allowed the Wild to double them up in shots in the last period of play. Collapse.
If there has been anything more deflating to watch this past month for the Admirals it has been an inability to play a complete game. It always feels like the first period is a winner and the bottom drops out bit by bit as the game storms along. The Admirals should have that 4-3 defeat to these same Monsters in mind for tonight’s game. Don’t get comfortable. Don’t be content. Finish the game off.
The Lake Erie Monsters have a record of 13-12-2-3 (31 points) which has them in last place of the Midwest Division. They are entering this game not having won since the last time they saw the Admirals. They’re on a three-game losing streak and have been outscored 13-7 in regulation during that span.
A storyline from our last rodeo against the Monsters was that they didn’t have their starting goaltenders. Instead, we were treated to Roman Will for both games. That won’t be the case tonight. Not only has Sami Aittokallio healed from his lower-body injury. The Monsters will have Calvin Pickard available tonight after he was reassigned by the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.
Pickard has enjoyed a really successful spell for the Avalanche this season: 14 games, 6-6-2 record, 2.21 goals against average, 0.934 save percentage. For the Monsters this season he has played the most games in net (13), 6-4-3-2 record, 2.57 goals against average, 0.920 save percentage, and a shutout to his name.
What should we expect from tonight’s game between the Admirals and Monsters? Can the Admirals finally snap their 0/27 spell on the power-play at home tonight? Scoreline prediction?