The month of January felt like it was nearly as much of a marathon as December but for the complete opposite reason. The Admirals had so much time off at the end of this month. It didn’t feel anywhere near as draining as December’s 14 games in 31 days did.
In total, January ended with a record of 5-3-2-0 through 10 games of work. There were a few standout moments but I feel the month of January can be marked as a massive transitional period in the Admirals 2015-16 season. The Nashville Predators decided to get active in the trade market specifically with their AHL club in mind. Conor Allen and Victor Bartley were traded away and saw the arrival of Patrick Mullen and Stefan Elliott. Some roster swaps on Nashville’s end of things also shuffled the deck. Through it all the Admirals had a foundation to play in front of and get through any of those mistakes that would come with new chemistry. That foundation was Marek Mazanec.
This season’s goaltending had been pretty clean cut as far as who started in net for the Admirals. Both were doing a great job and the two were sharing the responsibilities of starting in net. That changed slightly at the end of January. Was it because Juuse Saros was having a poor month? He went 2-2-0-0 from 4 starts, had a 2.79 goals against average, and a 0.904 save percentage. It’s good. It’s just that Mazanec wasn’t good – he was great.
In the month of January Mazanec went 3-1-2-0 from 6 starts, had a 1.98 goals against average, 0.922 percentage, and 2 shutouts. When looking back at those two overtime losses those were pretty much 2 points earned by Mazanec for the Admirals. He battled hard against the Rockford IceHogs. He made an absolute highlight reel save to rob Lake Erie Monsters forward Nick Moutrey from point blank range. Those could have been defeats in regulation. With Mazanec in net they became valuable points earned in a season defined by points percentage. He was brilliant time and time again.
Admirable Mentions: Pontus Åberg, 6 points (5 goals, 1 assist) in 10 games including scoring a hat trick in San Antonio… Cody Hodgson, 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) with an average of 4 shots on goal per game in 5 games since arriving from the Nashville Predators after clearing waivers… Vladislav Kamenev, 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in 3 games after returning from the 2016 IIHF World Juniors but unfortunately missed the end of the month due to a lower-body injury… Kevin Fiala, 5 points (1 goal, 4 assists) in 6 games…
~Admiral of the Month Award~
October: Félix Girard
November: Viktor Arvidsson
December: Frédérick Gaudreau
January: Marek Mazanec
Who do you feel was the Milwaukee Admirals top performer during the month of January? Was it Marek Mazanec, Pontus Åberg, or someone else? Answer in the comment section below.