Happy Family Day – in Canada. The Milwaukee Admirals begin the first of two games on the road against the Manitoba Moose this afternoon at 2:00 PM CST. The Admirals had their five-game point streak come to an end on Saturday afternoon with a 1-0 shutout loss at the hands of the Texas Stars. What the Admirals now actually have is a two-game winless skid that rolls into the Bell MTS Place against a team that has been dominating the Western Conference almost from the start of the 2017-18 season. This will be a slugfest brought to you by the Moose. The Admirals desperately need to answer the bell from start to finish today and Wednesday if they are to manage points out of the first of this four-game road trip.
The Milwaukee Admirals first game matched-up against the Texas Stars comes with a Saturday afternoon tilt. What’s amusing is that the first real interaction between the two didn’t come on the ice but off of it when Mark McNeill came to the Admirals while Andrew O’Brien and Tyler Kelleher went to the Stars in a mid-season trade.
To get us up to speed on the Texas Stars season I always greatly enjoy reaching out to our friend Stephen Meserve of 100 Degree Hockey to help us get a good feel for what we’re in for. Yet, he gave us a line change in our usual Q&A with staff writer Ryan Pennington to give us his insight on the Stars who will be playing against our Admirals for three of the next five games.
These guys again? That’s right. The San Antonio Rampage are back once again at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. They played the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday night and lost 5-4 in overtime. The Admirals continued on to sweep the weekend three-in-three and are arriving to tonight on a four-game winning streak. The Rampage are heading in the opposite direction and are now on a five-game winless stretch (0-3-2-0). If Saturday’s game felt feisty you can expect more fireworks as both sides should be playing with desperation.
The Milwaukee Admirals are on a three-game winning streak and have scored 10 goals in the first two-legs of this weekend’s three-in-three. And, hey, that is 10 goals produced all without their leading scorer Bobby Butler. The depth of the Admirals needed to start coming to the forefront and being a reason for the Admirals winning games. That has happened of late and has seen great progressions for the defense after a six-game losing streak. The Admirals have an opportunity to sweep a three-in-three set for the first time since the start of the 2015-16 season this evening. What stands in front of them from that and a four-game winning streak are a Stockton Heat squad on a winning streak of their own.
The Milwaukee Admirals are beginning the trend upwards after a six-game losing streak. Last night’s 5-3 win on the road against the Rockford IceHogs might have carried this season’s tradition of scoring 5 goals per game at the BMO Harris Bank Center but it was also the first time since 12/23/17 on the road against the Cleveland Monsters that they produced 5 goals inside regulation. The Admirals need to start stringing together positive results at this stage of the season and they have managed that in their last two outings. What follows next are two home games to complete a three-in-three weekend against non-divisional oppositions. That puts further emphasis on the Admirals focusing on their own game and improving it.
For the first time in three weeks the Milwaukee Admirals are rolling into a game on the back of a win. Sustaining momentum is the next great mystery for the Admirals to solve. They have a record of 8-10-3-0 this season after coming off of a win. That all came while Bobby Butler was in the lineup. This will be the Admirals first game without their top scorer as he competes in the Winter Olympics. Their opponent is a Rockford IceHogs team who are directly in front of the Admirals in the standings. The time to claw back is now in the first of a three-in-three weekend.
About last night: that didn’t go to plan. The Milwaukee Admirals lost 4-1 to the Chicago Wolves on the road. While the Wolves winning at the Allstate Arena is nothing new, now having won eleven straight games on home ice, the method in which the Admirals was also depressingly nothing new. The Admirals continue to shoot themselves in the foot during games which stunts positive momentum swings and forces them to rally from behind. The Admirals can’t afford to do that at all these next two games. The Manitoba Moose are dangerous enough on their own without any added help.
The Milwaukee Admirals first game out of the AHL All-Star break is a road clash against the Chicago Wolves. Things soured for the Admirals in the month of January. They went from a season best four-game winning streak but ended the month on a season worst four-game losing streak. That losing streak is active and all defeats came inside regulation. The Admirals appeared to greatly need the break in order to physically and mentally recharge. With the Wolves tonight and one of the best teams in the AHL, the Manitoba Moose, awaiting for them in Milwaukee the next two games: this is the time for the Admirals to start waking up and playing to their full potential.
Milwaukee Admirals. Ontario Reign. This is the match-up that I so badly wanted in the 2015-16 season when the two had the best records in the Western Conference. The Reign would finishing with the best record based on points percentage (0.684) but the contentious matter of the Pacific Division featuring teams that played 8 games less than the rest of the league factored in.
The Admirals that season had more wins (48) and more points (101) than the Reign did wins (44) and points (93). It would have been a nice feather in the cap or possibly even a banner worthy moment -but- the Admirals settled with the Central Division -and- neither team eventually made it to a Calder Cup triumph anyways. Still, this is the series that would have been so much fun to see. We finally get a taste of it tonight.
We’re into the All-Star Week stretch. The Milwaukee Admirals are in action tonight and on Saturday night at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. Those are the last games ahead of the 2018 AHL All-Star festivities kick-off in Utica, New York on Sunday night with the Skills Competition and then on Monday night for the All-Star Challenge. The Admirals will be represented by Anders Lindbäck and Emil Pettersson it Utica. But, firstly, they’ll need to handle the Cleveland Monsters and Ontario Reign. The time to get back to winning ways after a lull begins now.