The AHL All-Star break is officially over. This afternoon the Milwaukee Admirals were back practicing and did so today at the MSOE Kern Center. They will be returning to game action this weekend with the Rockford IceHogs tomorrow night at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and then on the road against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday.
As bodies took to the ice there was a noticeable absentee. Jonathan Diaby was officially reassigned to the Cincinnati Cyclones. He has played 5 games at the ECHL level this season and has 3 assists with a plus/minus rating of +2 and 6 penalty minutes. For the Admirals in the AHL Diaby has 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists) in 21 games with a plus/minus rating of +1 and 30 penalty minutes.
Diaby’s absence likely comes due to the return of Petter Granberg to the Admirals defensive ranks. The line combinations with the big Swede returning looked as follows:
Rick Pinkston was rotating here and there alongside Jack Dougherty. It is most likely he will be a healthy scratch in the current roster structure. As far as line rushes went today, I must say, the group of Anthony Richard–Justin Kirkland–Matt White looked really good. And, in general, practice today looked much looser and the players much more relaxed.
If you followed me chatting about practice on Twitter you will have wondered what was up with Alex Carrier starting practice off in a clunker red helmet and having to do push-ups. Was it All-Star hazing? Nope, he simply forgot his helmet and they grabbed on from the MSOE staff around the rink until his bucket could be retrieved.
In net, Marek Mazanec and Jonas Gunnarsson shared time in net during the mix of various drills. It is becoming all that more impressive seeing Mazanec looking very sharp and composed to shooters. It feels like the times of him being jumpy or in a scramble is pretty much gone. He stays really square to shooters. For the team to be looking to get back on a run he’ll be central to doing that if he can continue to stay as locked in as he has since returning to Milwaukee full-time.
Injury Update. I’ve noticed him around the team lately but Adam Pardy is still considered out long-term due to an upper-body injury. He is healing up well and has been contributing with the Admirals as a borderline coach as he continues to make strides for a return by the end of the season. He also had a fantastic interview with Aaron Sims this morning that is well worth watching via Facebook. Pardy might be one of the best interviews I think we’ve had here in Milwaukee. I could listen to that guy talk hockey and tell stories all day. He is a good one.
After practice I had the opportunity to speak with Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. I also spoke with Pinkston, Carrier, and Mazanec per fan requests. Here were today’s interviews.
Comments on the comments? Do you feel that the All-Star break came at the right time for the Milwaukee Admirals? How good will it be for the schedule to shake back out with more home games as the Admirals look ahead for the second half of the regular season?
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