As always, I really like to let games such as last night digest for myself before spitting out a take on the game. The Milwaukee Admirals lost 2-1 in a shootout to the Charlotte Checkers. It was a game that they led until 5:10 remaining but a 1-0 lead isn’t something I would consider all that comfortable. The Checkers force overtime, they had the best chance of the overtime period, and the Admirals heavy hitters in the shootout weren’t able to get a breakthrough. If any of the Admirals go-to guys in the shootout deliver that game was yet another shootout win. It didn’t happen. The Checkers won in the fourth round of the shootout and the Admirals left a point on the table.
The simple question I asked myself on the drive home last night was this: was that a bad game by the Admirals?
Again, this is why I digest these games before generally writing Chatterbox because, if asked right after that game, I probably say the Checkers just won that game more than the Admirals lost the game. Was it bad? No. I felt the Admirals had yet another great effort in net by Marek Mazanec. Players such as Pontus Åberg, Kevin Fiala, and Gabriel Bourque played with a great spark. John Muse just matched the performance down at the opposite end of the rink last night. There were rarely second or third chance opportunities off of either goaltender last night and that’s a credit to Mazanec and Muse handling rebounds and freezes so well.
If there were any area of concern attached to the Admirals performance last night it’s the offense. The scoreline through regulation sort of says enough but it also isn’t actually something all that new for the Admirals to have the offense struggling. In the Admirals last ten-games they have gone 5-4-0-1. In their last six-games they have traded wins and losses. Those last ten-games the Admirals have posted 30 shots on goal through three periods of regulation just three times. The forwards are being tied up and the defensemen have been the ones delivering lots of shots to the net which goaltenders are dealing with – with ease. A bit more has to be done from a creative standpoint for the Admirals than to simply take those wide perimeter level shots.
Was it a bad game by the Admirals? No. The Admirals are still going through a bit of a lull, taking a step forward – step back – forward – then back, but the Admirals are still better than eleven other teams in the Western Conference. The Admirals now have 80 points on the season. The Admirals had 81 points all of last season. The Admirals lull this season isn’t too bad in perspective. All they really need is what they get today in the form of a chance to deliver a better, out and out, sixty minutes of hockey.
Comments on the comments? What are you looking for the Admirals offense to get done tonight that didn’t go right last night? What changes must be made overnight?
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