This morning I made the trip into practice to catch what the Milwaukee Admirals were up to ahead of their showdown against the Rockford IceHogs tomorrow night. Practice was held at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and saw a solid focus on some of the faults of recent games.
The first thing I noticed in practice today was the high tempo passing drills. That made up the bulk of practice with transitions from neutral ice to the net or complete breakout drills from defense to offense. The session ended with a legit scrimmage of the Admirals power-play group against the Admirals penalty kill group.
When you think about the last few games those are major areas of the game in which the Admirals have struggled. Their greatest assets this season have been speed in attack and being able to produce on the power-play. Both of those haven’t been happening in the last five-games and the power-play drought is currently at nineteen chances without a power-play goal. The more simplified the Admirals game can get the better their all around performance should be. Go North – not East-West.
If you haven’t caught wind of it through social media then here you go: today the Nashville Predators placed forward Cody Bass on waivers.
My guess is that he will clear and be assigned to the Admirals. It is a twenty-four hour process so, while I believe it to be a slam dunk that he clears, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Bass would be any sort of a lock to be inserted into tomorrow night’s game for the Admirals. I’m not sure if the timing will necessarily match with the travel associated with when the waiver wire window closes. He might make it in town should he clear but that wouldn’t mean he’d be an immidiate addition ahead of the game. A more likely scenario would be this weekend’s games against the Chicago Wolves.
Many fans noted during the last Admirals game that they spotted Patrick Mullen leaving the ice in some distress with lots of blood coming from his hand. Following up after the game I discovered that Mullen was taken to a hospital to receive stitched due to getting caught by a skate.
I had the chance to speak with Mullen in person today and his right hand was heavily wrapped up. He told me that as he was falling down to the ice a skate blade managed to get behind the cuff of his right glove and slice into his exposed hand and wrist. The end result of the incident ended with him receiving thirteen stitches. That’s the cosmetic damage but he also had a slight nick to a tendon. That is the bigger concern at the moment but he avoided major damage. Should the tendon heal up nicely, along with the stitch-work, he should hopefully return to the ice in a few weeks time. It’s all really dependent on how that tendon heals up.
For the meantime, what does that mean for the Admirals defensive make-up? The answer is a simple one. There are two pairings that have been locked up for awhile now: Taylor Aronson with Johan Alm and Stefan Elliott with Jimmy Oligny. That leaves the two players that have been rotating with each other to play alongside Mullen, Kristian Näkyvä and Trevor Murphy, should form as the third defensive pairing. Simple fix – even if it means the Admirals will now have a two lefty setup once again on defense.
Editor’s Note. Cheers to the Milwaukee Admirals Director of Group Sales Nate Harker for twice giving me a firm slap on the arse – including during the Sissons interview. You can slap him back by following him on the Twitter machine here.
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