The Milwaukee Admirals have been grinding along lately. In truth, I’d say they were grinding through a rough patch through all the injuries and roster changes. It just never felt like it because the Admirals kept finding ways to win, win, and earn points along the way. So much so the Admirals were leading the entire Western Conference not too long ago. Then the tides changed. And all that grinding came with losing. That wear and tear, both physically and mentally, gets impacted more-so with even more losses.
I never was expecting anyone that I spoke to after the game to use fatigue as an excuse but plenty of talk around the locker room was about the Admirals needing a break and time to practice. It’s something that almost goes unnoticed when you think of how often the Admirals have been logging games that throughout it they’ve not had much time to practice. They’ve been in full “GO” mode for what feels like a month or more now. In fact, going back from the start of December to yesterday, the Admirals have played 19 games in 40 days. That’s essentially like playing every other night. The bodies and minds are getting worn out and there hasn’t been much time to heal up – much less practice. It’s cliche to say but, cliche for a reason because it’s true, practice makes perfect. This Admirals team is banged up. They’re fatigued. And they aren’t playing smooth hockey because they’ve almost limited themselves to in-game situations one after the other. That takes a toll and the current run of form screams that.
The Admirals are currently fourth in the Central Division and fifth in the Western Conference standings. Just six days ago they were first both. This league is all about hot and cold stretches. Everyone goes through them. It’s about how quickly teams get past the rough patches and get back to it. For me, this month of January now opens up with lots of dead space and road games – all of which couldn’t have come at a better time. The Admirals played eight-games in the last two weeks. They will be playing half that amount over the next two weeks with massive gaps limiting them to weekend dates only. R&R, practice, and getting out on the road to get some quality team bonding is a well needed medicine right now. Admirals are getting that. Let’s see what it brings in terms of results next weekend in San Antonio.
Comments on the comments? Is there any concern for you that this isn’t a matter of fatigue and that the Admirals are being outplayed in five-on-five hockey no matter what the circumstance?