The Milwaukee Admirals are now through two months of the 2017-18 season. While there was plenty to be upbeat about in October the same couldn’t be said in November. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t good. It was just a constant of ups and downs which ended in a record of 6-6-0-0 (12 points, 0.500 points percentage). Yet, even in some of the rough stretches, it is hard to argue against who the best performer was in November. And that is why The Real Estate Center‘s Admiral of the Month Award for November belongs to Anders Lindbäck.
Lindbäck has made 15 starts so far this season and currently leads the entire league with 11 wins. He has only missed out on 4 appearances with the Admirals as both Matt O’Connor and Juuse Saros have each made a pair of starts this season. In the time Saros had started Lindbäck made his return to Nashville for the first time since the 2011-12 season. He didn’t get into a game in the NHL this month but is work in November certainly signals that, if the Predators wanted to make another switch with Saros, Lindbäck is ready. The Big Swede made 9 starts, earned 6 wins, and put together a run with a 2.32 goals against average, 0.935 save percentage, and earning a shutout back on the Admirals first School Day Game of the season. That all comes in what has felt like such a hot mess of a month for the team which, in front of him, allowed 35.0 shots against per game. In November starts Lindbäck faced 40 shots on goal or more on four separate occasions. This month for the Admirals could have played out far more differently on some nights if not for the outstanding play in net by Lindbäck. And he right now is playing shoulders above those on the team. It’s no insult to the roster. That’s just how great of form the Swede is in right now. He is AHL league leading good.
Zolnierczyk was able to produce 9 points (5 goals, 4 assists) in November over the course of 12 games. More than that, Zolnierczyk is such a spark plug for the entire team in the manner he shows up to work every game and battles each and every shift. It is incredible to think that all of last season with the Admirals (AHL) he managed to score 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists) in 24 games. He already has 14 points (8 goals, 6 assists) in 19 games in the 2017-18 season. He very well might be working his way back into an opportunity with the Predators once again.
Similar to Zolnierczyk, Butler’s work in November is a great reminder of the pro that he is. In 12 games he produced 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) and has proven to be as reliable and consistent a forward as the Admirals have. Behind him on defense it must be noted just how strong of a month both Oligny and Granberg had. Oligny really appears to have his legs back under him and he is undeniably the top defenseman in Milwaukee right now.
Granberg, meanwhile, is having what I would argue is his best run since joining the Predators organization back in 2015. He has always possessed incredible strength but his “stay at home defenseman” approach never really felt to mesh with the Predators defensive system of joining the rush and pinching down the wall. This season Granberg has played with much more pace and urgency and he is hitting a new level in his game as a result. It has been a lot of fun watching him elevate his game in what is a contract year for him.
The Admirals begin the December portion of the schedule this weekend where they will be facing Eastern Conference opposition and former Calder Cup Finals foes. Tomorrow night the Admirals will be playing against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The last time that the Admirals played in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was when they won the 2004 AHL Calder Cup. And then on Saturday night the Admirals will be facing off against the Hershey Bears for the second time this season. They won the first meeting back at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena in October by a score of 4-1.
~Admiral of the Month Award~
October: Emil Pettersson
November: Anders Lindbäck
Who do you feel was the top performer for the Milwaukee Admirals during the month of November? Was it Anders Lindbäck, Harry Zolnierczyk, Bobby Butler, or someone else? Tell me who your Admiral of the Month was in the comment section below.
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