This is the end. The Milwaukee Admirals and Iowa Wild are set to finish the 2017-18 season with a bang. Wells Fargo Arena tonight, UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena tomorrow night. And, if their last game is anything to go by, we might be in for quality entertainment. The weight of making the playoffs is off of these two teams. Both have been eliminated from playoff contention. Instead they are going to be playing for pride.
Tonight is a big one. The Milwaukee Admirals need to win out and the Rockford IceHogs need to lose out inside of regulation for the rest of the regular season schedule. Both have three-games remaining. Both play tonight. The Admirals could well be up against the sword as their game is taking place and a win could end up feeling quite blank by the final horn.
All that the Admirals can control is the game in front of them. That means defeating the Central Division leading Chicago Wolves tonight after having been roughed up by them 5-1 at the Allstate Arena on Saturday night. This night has many combustible elements to it. If things play out correctly the Admirals could extend their playoff hopes to Friday night.
The only thing separating the Milwaukee Admirals from being eliminated from playoff eligibility last night was a three-goal third period by the Texas Stars to give them a 4-3 victory over the Rockford IceHogs. The Admirals 5-2 loss to the Chicago Wolves meant that both the Wolves and Manitoba Moose clinched a spot last night. The Grand Rapids Griffins 4-1 win over the Tucson Roadrunners with the Admirals loss meant they clinched a spot last night.
All that remains is a single point of space. There is no more wiggle room. If the Admirals do not run the table it is over. As that needs to happen they need the IceHogs to lose out in regulation for the rest of the season. So much as the Admirals taking an overtime loss and it is done. They have no ability to take the tiebreak. They need to maintain that magic number for the IceHogs at one.
The window for the Milwaukee Admirals to make the 2018 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs narrowed to an extreme last night. The Rockford IceHogs earned a 3-2 shootout victory on the road against the Texas Stars. That result, paired with a 3-0 shutout defeat from the Grand Rapids Griffins on the road to the Tucson Roadrunners, pushed the IceHogs into third place based on head-to-head record against the Griffins.
The IceHogs and Griffins magic number to clinch a spot is down to 3. If both win tonight and the Admirals lose – the Admirals will be officially eliminated from playoff contention.
With the IceHogs win last night we have reached the point where that fourth placed team can’t win for the rest of the season while the Admirals must run the table. The Admirals will never be able to take the first tiebreak scenario or regulation/overtime wins (ROW) so a loss of any kind tonight with wins from both – that will be enough. The Admirals need to win out and receive huge amounts of help to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Milwaukee Admirals earned a 4-3 shootout win last night on the road against the Chicago Wolves. It’s important to take as many points as possible at this point. Last night it was against the top team in the Central Division. Tonight it’s a game against the bottom team in the Central Division. That said, the Cleveland Monsters are coming off of a 4-0 shutout on the road last night against the Iowa Wild. There are no push overs or guarantees in this division. The Admirals need to keep running the table to give themselves a chance.
The Amtrak Rivalry is about to burst into life. The Milwaukee Admirals will see the Chicago Wolves for three of the next five contests. The Admirals suffered a massive setback last time out when they lost 6-2 against the Grand Rapids Griffins. They can not afford to slip up anymore if they are to make it into the Calder Cup Playoffs this year. The Wolves are looking to punch their ticket and pull a fast one on the Manitoba Moose by winning the Central Division with a strong last season push. These two have a lot to play for. These games will be extremely intense.
The Milwaukee Admirals closed the gap to fourth place in the Central Division last night. Their attention quickly switched to the Grand Rapids Griffins following the 5-3 win against the Texas Stars. It’s “on to the next one” for the Admirals right now. In order for any of the fight for the playoffs to come good for the Admirals they need to first take care of their own plate. The Griffins have been a thorn in the Admirals side for too many seasons now. Tackling this challenge tonight could be a great boost.
Tonight marks the last time in the 2017-18 regular season schedule that the Milwaukee Admirals will face a non-Central Division opponent. In seventeen games this season outside of the division the Admirals have gone 6-9-1-1 (14 points, 0.412 points percentage). It has been an unfortunate spot on the season and it doesn’t get much better against a Texas Stars team who arrive to Milwaukee tonight looking to complete a four-game season sweep.
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 Milwaukee Admirals were on an upswing following big changes around the NHL Trade Deadline. And then they hit a snag offensively. The Admirals are on a three-game losing streak where they have only averaged a goal per game and their power-play has gone 0/12. Tonight they will play against a Rockford IceHogs team that has held the Admirals to 12 shots in regulation in the last two meetings. The Admirals need to reignite their offense is urgent if they are to keep their pursuit of playoff hockey alive.