Chatterbox, Vol. 194

(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

This morning I ventured on in for morning practice at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. The Milwaukee Admirals will be starting the first of a four-game homestand tomorrow night. The Texas Stars will be their opponent this weekend and it will be the first time since a 9-1 victory in Texas back on 12/17/16 that the two teams last saw one another.

White-Smith-Åberg
Richard-Ribeiro-Gaudreau
(Kelleher) Kirkland-Kamenev-Payerl
Florek-(Perfetto-Army)-Liambas

Pardy-Carrier (Pinkston)
O’Brien-Granberg
Murphy-Dougherty

Mazanec
Gunnarsson

These were the line combinations rolling out for the Admirals today. Everyone except for Jimmy Oligny participated. He remains out due to injury and will likely be unavailable for the weekend. He was joined on the bench as a spectator this morning by Cody Bass who is here in Milwaukee continuing his rehab from knee surgery.

As far as the line combinations go, it must be said, flexibility is very much in play. The Admirals very well could keep Tyler Kelleher in the lineup as a way to make sure Justin Kirkland returns at 100%. That said, if Kirkland is back, it is a nice boost as that line with himself, Vladislav Kamenev, and Adam Payerl was really good together.

The same can be said of the fourth line which could mix and match Stephen Perfetto and Derek Army at center this weekend. In fact, though not practiced today, if the Admirals really wanted to they could keep Kelleher on the third line and work in Kirkland as the fourth line center if needed.

There are lots of options for the Admirals to tinker around with. And that can continue to grow with junior and college seasons coming to an end. We’ve yet to see a proper ATO signing by the Admirals just yet. Kelleher was signed through to the 2017-18 season on an AHL Contract. Should results pan out there is the chance Yakov Trenin or Samuel Girard could be heading to the Admirals in the very near future from their respective QMJHL teams.

After practice wrapped up I was able to chat with Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. I then spoke with yesterday’s award winners. The Admirals’ IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year, Jack Dougherty. Admirals Roundtable’s Admiral of the Month for March, Pontus Åberg. These were today’s interviews.

Comments from the comments? What are you anticipating for this weekend’s games against the Texas Stars? How good is it that the Milwaukee Admirals really get to settle in on home ice right now as the playoff crunch starts to hit hard? Is this team still capable of stealing the Central Division title?

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