Griffins: Scouting the Enemy

(Photo Credit: Mark Newman)
Grand Rapids Griffins goaltender Jared Coreau has owned the Milwaukee Admirals in his career. Can the Admirals start making a dent against him and start putting more space between themselves and the Griffins in the Central Division standings? (Photo Credit: Mark Newman)

The Milwaukee Admirals last game was played a solid week ago on the road against the Lake Erie Monsters. Their last home game was three weeks ago against the Iowa Wild. This will be the last game of an incredibly relaxing January that saw the Admirals only play 10 games throughout the month. The start was rough thanks to the marathon that December presented. The last four-game road swing allowed for a more rested and practice sharpened team to tighten up the details and pick up three-wins and two-shutouts.

Perhaps the timing of the schedule will work to the Admirals favor tonight when the Grand Rapids Griffins roll into town. The Griffins are coming off of a four-game homestand that saw them get swept clean in regulation by the Rochester Americans and Toronto Marlies. They were shutout on back-to-back games by the Americans and Marlies in that span. And, to add the fatigue factor to the mix, lost 4-2 to the Marlies last night before getting on the bus and reaching the Cream City.

During this four-game losing streak for the Griffins they have been outscored 15-5. It hasn’t been for a lack of trying, though. They’ve outshot their opponents 165-129. That’s an average of 41.3 shots per game.

Perhaps they’ve fallen into the slight trap that the Admirals have every now and then when they’ve relied too much on their power-play to get the job done. In those four defeats the Griffins went 1/17 (5.9%) on the power-play and are currently on a power-play drought of twelve straight chances without of power-play goal.

The flip-side to the Griffins special teams during this run has been perfect. Their penalty kill against the Americans and red hot Marlies was 10/10… Tye Dillinger reference here.

What I’m sure the Griffins will be thinking about heading into this game is burying those past four losses and focusing in on an opponent they’ve pretty much owned this season, the Admirals. The Griffins have a 4-1-0-0 record against the Admirals this season and Jared Coreau has officially achieved Admirals Killer status.

In net against the Admirals Coreau has played in nine-games, made eight starts, holds a record of 7-1-0-0, has three career shutouts, and stopped 203/212 shots on goal for a career save percentage of 0.958 to go along with a 0.99 career goals against average.

If there was ever a reason as to why the Griffins should be feeling confident despite coming off of a four game homestand where they were swept clean in regulation it is this match up tonight with that man between the pipes.

Expectations for tonight’s game? How do you think Kevin Fiala will play fresh off of logging some solid NHL time for the Nashville Predators? The last time Juuse Saros made a start was two weeks ago. Is it time to get him back in net or should Marek Mazanec remain the go-to following his brilliant outings against Lake Erie last weekend?

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