You read the headline correctly. Today isn’t a Chatterbox it is a Ramblings. What’s the difference? Quite honestly nothing other than the amount of post-game interviews was such that there really wasn’t too much chatter going on. And I’ll start by explaining why.
It was Camera Night for the Milwaukee Admirals last night. That meant that the players all took to the ice shortly after the game was completed to take photos with the fans. I never like interrupting the incredible fan experience that Camera Night provides. Me jumping in front of a queue to interview a player for a few minutes just isn’t right. I get the privilege of interacting with the players all-season long. For the fans Camera Night is more than just taking photos it’s getting to meet your favorite players and talk with them like you would any buddy you know. The fans are always there for the players. Camera Night is a night when the players get to be there for the fans. I’ll always let that be that and give the players the rest of the night off from my reporting shenanigans so that they can have fun with all fans that took the time to meet them on the ice.
With that all said, I did get one interview and it is the one that I always am guaranteed to get which is the one with Admirals head coach Dean Evason. Here is what he had to say following the Admirals 3-1 win over the San Diego Gulls.
~But WAIT That’s Not All~
Let’s do some slight talking about the Admirals 3-1 win over the Gulls, shall we? To me I think it’s been impressive to watch this Admirals team compete in a variety of different style hockey games and find ways to win. The goal by Frédérick Gaudreau to put them ahead was something special. And as glamorous as his goal was it’s important to think of the penalty killing in the third period in the exact same capacity.
The Gulls entered last night’s game with the top power-play in the AHL. Their power-play is so good that despite going 0/4 in the third period last night they remain on top of the AHL in that special teams category. It wasn’t just the penalty killing that was great to watch it was also seeing it get done with some of the more clutch members of the penalty kill team in the box such as Félix Girard and Gaudreau who often are a first choice pairing on the kill as the forward group. Everyone stepped up and delivered immense pressure on the puck carrier. The Admirals don’t sit back and await to clear. They attack on the penalty kill and it takes a special type of forward to really gauge distance on the puck carrier as to not concede too much space for the options the power-play has behind the penalty killer. Max Reinhart was tremendous. Colton Sissons looked every bit the player who probably shouldn’t even be playing in Milwaukee right now. And Vladislav Kamenev also chipped in very well on the penalty kill. It’s exciting to see a forward group with so much youth and skill be that intelligent defensively.
The Admirals win last night matched a franchise record of a nine-game winning streak that was set last season (1/3/15–1/23/15). They’re also on a ten-game points streak having picked up a point from an overtime defeat on the road against the Iowa Wild on Halloween. For now though let’s focus on that franchise record winning streak and compare the two.
2014-15: five home wins, four road wins… two overtime wins, one shootout win… outscored opponents 30-13, outshot opponents 261-230… 8/36 (22.2%) power-play, 26/29 (89.7%) penalty kill… combined goaltending save percentage of 0.943, 2 shutouts… Viktor Arvidsson scored in all but one game of the nine game winning streak while producing 12 points (6 goals, 6 assists) and 4.8 shots per game.
2015-16: five home wins, four road wins… one overtime win, one shootout win… outscored opponents 31-15, outshot opponents 301-278, 9/41 (21.9%) power-play, 28/34 (82.4%) penalty kill… combined goaltending save percentage of 0.949, 1 shutout… Arvidsson has scored in all games of the winning streak while producing 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists) and exactly 5 shots per game.
That’s pretty impressive, right? Some areas such as shots are up from last season. The Admirals penalty kill during last season’s winning streak had a run of twenty-two straight kills so it was always going to be better. Outside of that it is remarkably close – all the way down to Arvidsson producing 12 points during the nine-game winning streak.