Is it me or are we all just starting to get used to the Milwaukee Admirals ability to comeback in games now? The past three games the Admirals have managed to find the strength to claw back and earn either wins or points in games they may well have otherwise squandered completely. Last Wednesday’s School Day game saw the Admirals go down 3-2, 4-3, and defeat the Chicago Wolves 5-4 in overtime. Last Saturday the Admirals went down badly 3-0 to the Grand Rapids Griffins but fought back to take a point in a 4-3 overtime loss. And then -last night- the Admirals come from behind against the Charlotte Checkers late in the second period from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 in overtime.
This honestly shouldn’t be a place where there is a level of comfort. Yet, I kind of don’t get a sense of panic on the ice when the Admirals actually do concede a goal or two. The group doesn’t seem to switch off or change much of what was happening prior to the goal or goals being scored because they’re well aware of their capabilities at five-on-five, power-play, or penalty kill. If there is time on the clock this Admirals team seems to be able to stay calm as a group and continue to press forward as a group.
What would be absolutely swell would be if the need to come from behind wasn’t required in the first place. That’s a no doubter. It’s just a position in a game that the Admirals haven’t been in often enough yet. The best scenario of that to date would probably be the 7-3 win on the road over the Rockford IceHogs and even still in that game they trailed 2-1 at one stage of the first period before really shutting the door from there on out.
It’s all been such an odd start to the season. I don’t think I have seen this Admirals team play a solid, well polished, and complete 60-minutes of hockey yet this season. And they are still holding a record of 8-2-1-1 (18 points, 0.750 points percentage). I suppose the short and sweet of it is: at what point will this comeback flavor of the Admirals stop coming back and actually start to hurt? When will we all see the Admirals as individuals and therefore as a team start playing up to their full potential? Because they actually haven’t yet and they are getting by through some tight battles where they can sneak out the results.
I’d imagine the true test is sitting before the Admirals now. In their next 18 games, from now through the month of December, they will be logging 12 road games. The travel schedule involved sees them go from Cleveland, Rockford, Cleveland again, Iowa, Grand Rapids, Texas, Grand Rapids again, Chicago, and Chicago all over again – with some home trips interspersed. If the style of games the Admirals have been playing haven’t been taxing enough the actual league schedule in front of them outta add even more of a weight to the body and to the mind. It has been great to see the Admirals earning these results, regardless of the game situation, because these points earned now might be paying off in the long run for the road trips to come.
After last night’s game I spoke with Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason as well as quite a few players: Harry Zolnierczyk, Trevor Smith, Jonas Gunnarsson, and Frédérick Gaudreau. Here were their post-game comments.
Comments on the comments? Do you think the upcoming weight of road games will start to see the Admirals slow down or will they start finding better ways to achieve the results that they currently are?
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