The Admirals are currently riding a five game losing streak. During this streak they’ve been outscored 23-9 while going 0/18 on the power-play. It has been so very -very- rough. And yet, oddly, there have still been positives.
One of the major points of emphasis last month for the Admirals was simplifying their game and being able to generate pucks to the net. While the scoreline in the last five games reads a different story the shot totals say a lot of the work rate the offense is delivering as they’ve outshot opponents 162-131.
It comes down to finishing. Pucks are getting to the net. That’s good. Being able to generate some rebound or second and third chance opportunities is the next big step. If the Admirals can maintain their offensive stride, work to the front of the net, and play a structured North/South defensive game they may just snap this current funk that’s plaguing them. All that stands in their way is a team that has beaten them twice during this losing streak by a score of 5-1.
~Since Last We Met~
The Oklahoma City Barons enter tonight’s game with a record of 37-18-3-3 (80 points). They are first in the West Division and can move into a tie with the Grand Rapids Griffins for the Western Conference lead with a win tonight.
Since thrashing the Admirals back-to-back games by the score of 5-1 the Barons have played two games against the Charlotte Checkers.
In the first contest, the Checkers managed to pick up a thrilling 2-1 win thanks to a Zach Boychuck power-play goal with only two-seconds remaining. Hey, it could be worse OKC. It could have been scored with 0.4 seconds remaining.
As punishment for the late-winner it was all Barons all the time in the follow-up against the Checkers. The Barons won 6-1 in a game where they had nine chances on the power-play in a really heated divisional game. There were 60 combined penalty minutes in that game. Sounds like something the Admirals and IceHogs would produce.
I think I’ve stated the key above but, just to drive a point home, it is going to be a must for the Admirals to be disruptive in front of the net. Whether it is Laurent Brossoit or even Tyler Bunz in net the Admirals must continue to commit pucks to the net but strive for low shots and the rebound chances they provide.
It has been all Brossoit against the Admirals this season. Three starts. Three wins. He has a 1.67 goals against average and 0.946 save percentage against the Admirals. It’s about time that those numbers take a dent.
Expectations for tonight’s game? Can the Admirals offense erupt tonight or will it be the defense that rises to the occasion?