On Friday night the Milwaukee Admirals found a much needed spark. Their offense in the third period surged and they were able take a 5-2 win on the road against the Rockford IceHogs. Today the Admirals face an Iowa Wild team that is trending down but desperately trying to maintain their place.
The Wild are in fourth place of the Central Division standings. It’s the final playoff spot on offer from the division and what is the Admirals target with ten-games remaining in their season. Including today’s game the Admirals and Wild will face-off four times including the final two-games of the regular season schedule. If the Admirals are to stay in the hunt for their playoff lives they can’t afford to drop points to the Wild.
The Wild enter today’s game after having endured two home games on Friday and Saturday against the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Wild lost 5-3 on Friday but were able to gain a point in a 3-2 shootout loss last night. If that bus ride from the Wells Fargo Arena to the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena isn’t an endurance in itself – the Griffins outshot them 83-59 in those games.
It hasn’t just been tough this weekend for the Wild. It’s been a stretch of four-games that has seen them go winless and get run ragged. The Wild are 0-3-0-1 in that span and lost 7-3 to the Chicago Wolves a week ago – in what was their last road game.
As it stands today. The Wild have a record of 30-21-9-6 (75 points, 0.568 points percentage). They hold the fourth and final spot in the playoff race out of the Central Division with the Manitoba Moose (0.642), Chicago Wolves (0.614), and Grand Rapids Griffins (0.590) in front of them. The IceHogs (0.567) and Admirals (0.538) are in the hunt for that last playoff spot. Both have trended up as the Wild have had a month of March where they have gone 4-4-2-2.
In the season series the Admirals are leading the Wild with a record of 4-1-1-0. If it feels like the last time these two met was a long time ago – that’s only because it has been. When the Admirals last played the Wild it was the end of January and they have only placed twice on the 2018 side of the calendar.
It’s the veteran players that have been leading the way for the Wild against the Admirals. Cal O’Reilly has 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists) in 6 games against his old team this season and he is followed by Pat Cannone who has 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) in 6 games. This has been just another brilliant AHL season from O’Reilly. The 31-year old has produced a team leading 55 points (12 goals, 43 assists) in 65 games. He now has 505 points in his AHL career including 404 assists in 590 career games.
What are your expectations for tonight’s game? Is the Milwaukee Admirals offense back on track? How crucial was it for Bobby Butler to finally end his goal drought last time out and should we expect more from him down the stretch?
Be sure to keep updated with Admirals Roundtable through social media platform of your choice: follow along on Twitter, like us on Facebook, get photo updates on Instagram, and listen along on SoundCloud.