The Milwaukee Admirals are set to face their Amtrak Rivals at 10:30 AM CST on Wednesday morning. Ahead of the Chicago Wolves arriving to town the Admirals returned to practice today at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena twenty-four hours prior to the first School Day Game of the 2017-18 season.
(O’Connor & Paterson)
The Post-Vladislav Kamenev Era will start off looking a bit like this. It was fantastic seeing a full complement of the current roster all active for today’s practice. Trevor Smith, Jack Dougherty, and Anders Lindbäck were all back and going after being listed as injured Sunday in Grand Rapids. That said, it isn’t certain if Smith is a lock for a return tomorrow morning. If that happens to be the case the Admirals will work with seven defensemen. Which is likely why today everywhere from Oligny-Carrier down on defense was a mishmash of testing out everyone with different tandems.
As it would be a rush to cram in a Scouting the Enemy ahead of a 10:30 AM CST start time – let’s get through a short and sweet preview here.
The Wolves will be entering with a record of 4-4-1-0 (9 points, 0.500 points percentage). Since they defeated the Admirals 2-1 at the Allstate Arena they only played a single game. It was an impressive effort, as well. They went into the Van Andel Arena and shutout the Grand Rapids Griffins 2-0. It was a 33-save shutout for Kasimir Kaskisuo. That is not too shabby considering the goaltening injury woes for the Vegas Golden Knights are such that both goaltenders for the Wolves are effectively in on loans.
It still seems to be a feeling out process for the Wolves early into this season. The way that their roster is structured with property of the Golden Knights (NHL), Blues (NHL), and Wolves (AHL) can make things tricky -but- they have the talent to be really strong once everything gels together. That result for the Wolves over the Griffins on the road shows a flash of what they can be.
Teemu Pulkkinen is the leading scorer for the Wolves with 13 points (6 goals, 7 assists) in 9 games. Most of that production is coming from the power-play though: 3 power-play goals, 4 power-play assists. The less penalty minutes that the Admirals can have? The better. The Wolves currently have the seventh best road power-play in the AHL clocking in at 25.0%.
The Wolves will be without one of the triggermen from the first game of the season against the Admirals. The very talented 22-year old defenseman Shea Theodore has since been recalled by the Golden Knights from the Wolves. He had 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists) in 8 games with the Wolves this season which was second best among defenseman in the league. The only man ahead of him is Matt Taormina who has 13 points (2 goals, 11 assists) in 13 games for the Laval Rocket.
To preview tomorrow’s School Day Game we had caught up with Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason. We also chatted with Alex Carrier, Tyler Moy, and Justin Kirkland to get their thoughts on yesterday’s news and prep for an AM puck drop.
What are your expectations going into tomorrow’s School Day Game against the Chicago Wolves? How will the Milwaukee Admirals play in these first few games without Vladislav Kamenev in the mix? Do you have confidence in some of the younger forwards elevating their game to account for the loss in production Kamenev would have produced this season?
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