Moose: Scouting the Enemy

(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)
Uniform colors so identical that the Charlotte Checkers can’t tell the difference between which team is which. At least that was the case on their YouTube account for game highlights until I intervened. (Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

The Milwaukee Admirals current record is 13-5-1-0 (27 points). They have the same amount of points and an equal points percentage (0.711) as fellow Central Division opponents the Lake Erie Monsters but are one-game better in the regulation wins department.That doesn’t just put the Admirals in the lead of the Central Division but the entire Western Conference. They sit third in the entire league behind the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (0.889) and Toronto Marlies (0.738).

As for the Manitoba Moose, they’re trending more on the lower end of the AHL spectrum as far as their record, points, points percentage, and league standing are concerned. The Moose have a 4-11-1-1 (10 points) with a 0.294 points percentage. They’re second from the bottom in the Central Division, Western Conference, and AHL all thanks to the Iowa Wild and their dreadful 0.217 points percentage.

So why are the Moose struggling so much? Why could they be heading into Milwaukee with a 3-7-0-0 record in their last ten-games? Simple. They can’t score goals.

The Moose have the lowest scoring offense in the AHL this season and the second lowest scoring team next to them is still 11 goals better off. It’s staggering. The Moose have scored a league low 29 goals from 17 games. They have been shutout in three-games this season and have yet to score more than three-goals in a game this season.

Sadly, one of those games in which they scored three-goals in a game came the first time that they played against –and beat– the Admirals. The lackluster Moose were able to get out to a two-goal lead inside of seven-minutes of the first period. The Admirals battled back to knot things up by the first intermission but the Moose hammered 20 shots on goal and picked up the game-winner in the second period while surviving an 18-4 shot disparity in the third period. It was the Moose’s first win of the season. They had lost the previous six-games straight prior to that.

The Moose currently have three players with double digit points: J.C. Lipon, 11 points (6 goals, 5 assists)… Brenden Kichton, 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists)… Chase De Leo, 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists)…

In net the Moose are heavily leaning on Eric Comrie while Connor Hellebuyck currently plays topside with the Winnipeg Jets. Sure, the record (wins and losses) isn’t going to look good in net for a team that isn’t scoring goals but credit where credit is due the goaltenders have been battling hard for the Moose. Comrie has a 2.43 goals against average and 0.927 save percentage. Those numbers are nearly identical to Hellebuyck’s this season and both have a pair of wins between them.

What are your expectations for tonight’s game? Could the Admirals fall to the Moose again? Who needs to step up offensively while so many bodies are up in Nashville?

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