It has been a seemingly up and down last three months for the Milwaukee Admirals. The Nashville Predators organization was hit by injuries in December and January. That hurt the Admirals in the form of testing the depth then and the past month of February was a feeling out process with pieces aligning back into place. “How did that process go,” you ask. Not too shabby.
In the month of February the Admirals went 8-3-1-0 from 12 games. They averaged 3.75 goals per game and 3.17 goals against per game. On special teams the power-play went 11/42 (26.2%) and penalty kill went 33/42 (78.6%). And they did something that the team hadn’t done in over two years – win at the Van Andel Arena against the Grad Rapids Griffins – and they did it twice.
There were plenty of key contributors to the success of the past month. Mainly, I feel the biggest comes in the form of the organization itself finally being healthy and allowing for the Admirals to get a set group for forward lines and defensive pairings. It is a luxury to have that in the AHL and the Admirals finally had that in February.
As far as individuals go? I would have to say that there were a few players worthy of getting the nod for Admiral of the Month but I can’t see another choice for the month of February other than Frédérick Gaudreau. The Predators have Fil-bruary. The Admirals just completed Fred-ruary.
Gaudreau started February off with a bang by recording his second ever hat trick with the Admirals in a 4-3 overtime win at home against the Rockford IceHogs. That set the stage for a month in which he produced 15 points (10 goals, 5 assists) in 12 games. He has been sharp across the board the entire month and contributes in all aspects for the Admirals. Gaudreau has always one of the best defensively sound forwards on the Admirals roster but it is when he adds the offensive elements to his game at this high of a level when he starts to give the Predators an idea that he can be part of their future plans. Gaudreau only had 6 goals from his previous 33 games this season before the month of February. Everything clicked this month for him and, for the Admirals run to continue into the playoff push, you hope it continues.
Admirable Mentions: Vladislav Kamenev, 11 points (4 goals, 7 assists)… Pontus Åberg, 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists)… Jimmy Oligny, he continues to be absolutely phenomenal on defense… Anthony Richard, he has settled down in his rookie season and is becoming a great spark plug for the team… Adam Payerl, he has always played a strong game but his work with the likes of Kamenev -as well as Justin Kirkland– has put his offensive numbers into career highs after this month… and Trevor Murphy, he overcame some rough patches with the ups-and-downs of the team to put a solid two-way defensive game together.
~Admiral of the Month Award~
October: Juuse Saros
November: Alex Carrier
December: Harry Zolnierczyk
January: Marek Mazanec
February: Frédérick Gaudreau
Who do you feel was the top performer for the Milwaukee Admirals during the month of February? Was it Gaudreau, Kamenev, Åberg, Oligny or someone else? Tell me who your Admiral of the Month was in the comment section below.
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