Let’s try to quickly put yesterday’s 3-1 defeat to the Grand Rapids Griffins in the past, shall we? The time spent in Grand Rapids in recent years has been a horror show. Last night’s game was on that level – it just was a performance that lacked typical Milwaukee Admirals energy and battle levels. If that can be the result of the four-game road trip coming to an end? Let it be.
Tonight the Admirals return to the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena where they are 5-1-2-0 on the season and face the Chicago Wolves who they have beaten three from three-games. The Wolves enter this game with a 11-9-2-1 (25 points, 0.543 points percentage) which has them fourth in the Central Division. They are currently on a four-game point streak (3-0-1-0). During this point streak they have scored no less than 4 goals per game.
A storyline that should be worth keeping an eye on early and late is going to come in the form of energy. The Admirals played last night and traveled back from Grand Rapids. The Wolves last played on Wednesday. Their game was also on the road in Grand Rapids and that game was a turbulent loss for the Wolves that saw them come back from 2-0, go up 3-2, trail 5-3, force overtime, and then fall 6-5. The Wolves have the Griffins once again tomorrow afternoon. It will be important for the Admirals to have a fast start and not get caught up in more of last night’s sluggish effort.
There are two players that have been on an absolute tear during this four-game point streak for the Wolves: Kenny Agostino and Brad Hunt. The two each have contributed 9 points during this point streak: Agostino (2 goals, 7 assists) and Hunt (4 goals, 5 assists). Right now Hunt is the AHL’s top scorer with 29 points (9 goals, 20 assists) in 23 games but -thankfully- the St. Louis Blues recalled the 28-year old defenseman on Thursday. He scored an assist in his first NHL game of the season yesterday in a 4-1 win for the Blues over the New Jersey Devils.
Agostino is the leading active scorer for the Wolves with Hunt up topside. He has 24 points (8 goals, 16 assists) in 23 games. He is followed by the Wolves top goal scorer former Cincinnati Cyclones forward Wade Megan who has 18 points (10 goals, 8 assists) in 22 games.
The tandem in net for the Wolves seems to finally be accomplishing what the organization hoped for a season ago. Jordan Binnington has a 7-5-2-0 record from 14 games with a 2.73 goals against average and 0.913 save percentage. Pheonix Copley has a 3-3-0-1 record from 7 games with a 2.13 goals against average, 0.922 save percentage, and a shutout. Copley is the better of the two goaltenders against the Admirals this season: 2 starts, 0-1-0-1 record, 1.95 goals against average, and 0.934 save percentage.
What are your expectations for tonight’s game? Was last night just a dud performance or are the Milwaukee Admirals starting to miss out on their defensemen that have been recalled by the Nashville Predators?
Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.