After spending their last four games on the road the Milwaukee Admirals get to settle in for these next four games at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. There are twenty games remaining in the regular season. Of that total there are thirteen home games awaiting the Admirals en route to the finish line and the 2017 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs. The mantra for the Admirals last homestand was to create a home-ice advantage. This should be the continuation of that process.
Truth be told, the Admirals last homestand was a bit of an adventure that fortunately saw the results trend back into the positive. The Admirals won all three games last homestand but also allowed an opening shift goal in each game and needed to claw back from multiple goal leads against the Charlotte Checkers three times in two games. Resiliency has been this year’s buzzword. It would be far more relaxing for everyone if they could simply play a solid and consistent sixty-minutes of hockey.
What is a great sign is that the “defense first” approach for the Admirals is starting to get into place. The team’s ability to score goals of late has come from managing their defensive half of the ice correctly and making plays in transition. There are a few hiccups here and there. The last game may have had its share of bad luck -but- a game the likes of their 6-2 loss against the Grand Rapids Griffins a week ago stands out for what needs to be improved. For the most part? Those mistakes were corrected earlier this week on the road in Charlotte. It’s important the Admirals build on that.
In front of the Admirals tonight stands the Manitoba Moose who have not appeared on the schedule since the end of November. The Admirals lost 4-3 in overtime to the Moose back on 11/26/16. The Admirals roster that night featured seven players who are either no longer on the roster or available due to injury: Jonathan Diaby, Tylor Spink, Max Görtz, Félix Girard, Harry Zolnierczyk, Cody Bass, and Adam Pardy.
The Moose hold a record of 23-27-3-4 (53 points, 0.465 points percentage). They are coming off of a 5-3 win for the “Battle of the Central Division Basement” on the road against the Rockford IceHogs last night. Things were sailing along in that game at a 4-0 scoreline until they conceded three power-play goals in a span of 3:20 of the start of the third period. So, while the Admirals were resting yesterday, the Moose were in a bit of a scrap.
In the scoring department the Moose are spearheaded by three AHL rookies: Jack Roslovic leads the team with 34 points (10 goals, 24 assists) in 48 games. He is followed by the likes of Dan DeSalvo and Kyle Connor. DeSalvo has 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists) in 47 games. Connor has 28 points (15 goals, 13 assists) in 36 games – which is good for the best points per game average and most goals scored on the Moose roster.
With goaltending the Moose have been rather straightforward as to who they roll out time and time again: Eric Comrie. The 21-year old goaltender has appeared in two-thirds of the team’s contests in the 2016-17 season: 14-19-3-2 in 38 games with a 2.72 goals against average, 0.914 save percentage, and 2 shutouts. He stopped 38/41 shots on goal in last night’s win for the Moose in Rockford only allowing goals from power-plays.
Final Notes: The Admirals are on a home point streak of 4-0-1-0… The Moose have won their last two road games but are 4-5-0-1 from their previous ten… The Moose have a better road power-play (15.2%) than the Admirals (15.0%) but the second worst road penalty kill (74.8%) in the entire league… Since 1/28/17 both Pontus Åberg and Frédérick Gaudreau have combined for 29 points (18 goals, 11 assists)…
What are you expecting out of tonight’s game given how long it has been since the Milwaukee Admirals and Manitoba Moose have last played? Will the Moose having played last night be a positive or a negative? Who gets the net tonight: Marek Mazanec or Jonas Gunnarsson?
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