The Milwaukee Admirals started off their West Coast road trip doing what they have done so well all season: win in a shootout. The 2017-18 Admirals are the first team in the AHL to have gathered 10 wins or more in the shootout over the course of the season since 2013-14 when five teams hit the mark. What followed the was a shutout loss and an effort that pitter-pattered out for a consecutive defeat.
There are twelve games remaining in the Admirals regular season schedule. They are in sixth place of the Central Division and are starting off a huge week with three-games set against the three teams directly ahead of them in the standings. It starts tonight with the team currently resting in the fourth and final playoff spot, the Grand Rapids Griffins. There can be no more lull stretches. The Admirals need to get back to a playoff mindset if they are to have playoff hockey at all this season. If they falter this week it could be the final dagger to the heart for this season.
The Milwaukee Admirals were shutout 2-0 last night against the San Diego Gulls. Despite that looking so bad I have to imagine if the Admirals play on that sort of level more towards the finish line they’ll do a lot more right than wrong. They’d only want to clean up some penalties and get that ice cold power-play sorted. Otherwise, the difference of that game was Reto Berra stopping everything thrown at him. If the Admirals can challenge the Ontario Reign a keep a sixty-minute pace up like they did in San Diego? I think the Admirals can get back on track tonight.
The Milwaukee Admirals are keeping in the hunt for the 2018 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs but doing so with shootout sorcery. The Admirals have the fewest amount of regulation wins (22) of any team in the AHL with a points percentage of 0.510 or better. Even the Laval Rocket with a 0.429 points percentage, and likely out of the playoff picture of the North Division, have as many regulation wins as the Admirals.
Still, the Admirals need points right now by any means necessary. Their 10-1 record in the shootout has been a big difference in them still being within a shout of the final spots in the Central Division standings. The throttle needs to stay down. Whether it is in a shootout or not the Admirals need to take care of their business if they want to keep playoff hopes alive.
Get your late night coffee ready, Milwaukee. The West Coast swing starts tonight for the Milwaukee Admirals. They play against the Stockton Heat tonight and then will see the San Diego Gulls and Ontario Reign on Friday and Saturday. All three of these teams have a better record than the Admirals. With the Rockford IceHogs continuing to motor forward while the rest of the Central Division’s Top Four remain a good margin ahead: the Admirals absolutely must keep the pace.
The Milwaukee Admirals winning streak: done. What follows next can go a long way into determining the approach for the rest of this season. The Admirals can go back into sputtering, as they have a lot this season, or they can keep attacking one game at a time. Last night’s 4-3 loss to the Chicago Wolves ultimately hurts that much more because of the finish of a third period the Admirals did great in.
What the Admirals have to do in order for a result to turn their way is accomplish a fast paced and crisp first period. They lagged as a group last weekend against the Rockford IceHogs. That almost resulted in an all-time low for shots on goal in a single game. The Admirals can’t afford anymore lull moments. Tonight’s first period can paint one heck of a picture for a response by the Admirals after adversity yesterday.
The Milwaukee Admirals have run the gauntlet since the team went through its overhaul around the NHL Trade Deadline. They swept the three-in-three weekend and followed up with a School Day Game victory in the midweek. What now? Create a new gauntlet.
This weekend the Admirals finish off a four-game home stand at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena with back-to-back games. Tonight it is the Chicago Wolves. Tomorrow it will be the Rockford IceHogs back on their radar. There is a three-game West Coast road trip looming next week. Before the Admirals can think about warmer weather they must first keep on the path established last weekend: one game at a time.
Happy Hockey Morning, Milwaukee. Today is the second and final School Day Game of the 2017-18 season. I’m not sure you could have picked out a better game for the atmosphere these AM games provide. The last time the Milwaukee Admirals and Manitoba Moose played against one another – this happened.
Needless to say: this game has that little extra attached to it. The Moose have been leading from the front of the Central Division for pretty much this entire season. The Admirals have gone through a mid-season overhaul and quickly saw success in the first run of games as a newly re-engineered team. Beating the Rockford IceHogs, Grand Rapids Griffins on the road, and then the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins was big. This might be the biggest test for the Admirals. Will the new pieces match them up to the Moose?
2 June, 2004. That date marks the last time that the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins visited Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was Game 2 of the 2004 AHL Calder Cup Finals and the Milwaukee Admirals won that night at the Bradley Center by a final score of 8-4. There would be no other games played in that series back in Milwaukee. The Admirals swept the Penguins with a 2-1 overtime in in Game 3 and decisive 7-2 victory in Game 4 in the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza to earn their first Calder Cup.
We are nearing 14 years since that achievement by the Admirals. Since, the Penguins have made it to the Calder Cup Finals on one occasion in 2008 but would lose once again to Darren Haydar but this time as a member of the Chicago Wolves. The Admirals made it to the 2006 Calder Cup Finals with Pekka Rinne in net but would fall short in six-games against the Hershey Bears. It has been a battle for both to be more ever since but both saw their parent clubs go head-to-head in the most recent Stanley Cup Finals.
Great news, the last time the Milwaukee Admirals played against the Grand Rapids Griffins at the Van Andel Arena they had double the amount of shots on goal as they had last night! Heck, they also beat the Griffins in that game 4-3. It hasn’t been great for the Admirals historically against the Griffins but this is an Admirals team that needs to forget the past and purely focus on the here and now. The Admirals need to get themselves out of this hole in the Central Division standings and the only way to achieve that is one game at a time.
This weekend has the feeling of one of the most important timestamps on the Milwaukee Admirals 2017-18 season. The team has been in a seesaw battle throughout the campaign but after the recent a four-game road trip ended with three consecutive regulation losses: everything has changed.
The Admirals will feature four brand new players on this three-in-three weekend that pits them against higher seated teams in the standings. The Rockford IceHogs visit to the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena tonight can set the tone for a pivotal weekend. Will this new look Admirals team hit the ground running or will there be more of the same scrambled play?