This is the final week of the Milwaukee Admirals Training Camp. Frankly though, Training Camp is already over and this week has the look and feel that it should. The 2016-17 AHL regular season begins this weekend and the Admirals have two games against the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday and Sunday. So, it isn’t as much Training Camp anymore as it is prep for competitive game action.
I attended this morning’s practice with the excitement surrounding the fact that all of Sunday’s roster moves should have pretty much cemented the Admirals roster to what it should be come opening night. There might still be some moves down to the ECHL to be made but even in saying that the group is rather set. So, how would this team shape up? Especially now that Austin Watson and Petter Granberg are here after clearing waivers from the Nashville Predators.
This is how the lines looked at today’s practice. It’s important for me to state however that just because the lines are listed as they are doesn’t necessarily mean Line 1, Line 2, and so on. Especially in the AHL I think you find the difference in what line is which doesn’t matter all that much. This year’s prospective Admirals forwards group sort of speaks to that. Essentially you have three lines there that can easily pass as the Admirals top line so it is more Line 1-A, 1-B, 1-C, and a grind line.
Of note, both Matt White and Justin Kirkland were flex options today that cycled in and out of different drills with different lines. When they did feature as a line Anthony Richard rotated in as the right winger with Kirkland at center. Additionally, Jonathan Diaby seemed to only rotate in and out with Jack Dougherty to play alongside Trevor Murphy. While the lefty playing left and righty playing right set-up is straight forward for Murphy-Dougherty the Diaby rotation meant shifting Murphy over on the right side of the ice.
The practices today went about as I expected them to go after two 4-1 defeats in sloppy exhibition games this past weekend. It was primarily passing drill heavy with an emphasis on firm tape-to-tape passes getting connected and connected at pace. It’s no mystery that this year’s Admirals team is going to be featuring a good combination of speed and skill. Making sure that the high level of speed the Admirals possess doesn’t get stunted by your own ineffective passing is kind of a no brainer. The crisper the better and added time for everyone getting on a better page with each other will go a long way.
No interviews were conducted on my part today. The team has a golf outing today so I just assume let them race over to the links where they’d rather be anyways. Tomorrow will be a better day for interviewing and Media Day is on Thursday. Plenty of interview content will be on the way. And I’m aiming for a few added stories before we get rolling with Game 1 of the Admirals season this weekend.
Thoughts on how the Admirals lines look from today’s practice? Which two forwards do you feel are the odd men out? Could Jonathan Diaby manage to stick around as the Admirals seventh defensive option or would he be better suited to staying active and playing in the ECHL until needed?
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