One of the few drawbacks of playing hockey in the AHL is the occurrence of three game stretches played in three nights. As marquee draw in many of the league’s markets, maximizing the amount of weekend dates is a must.
How a coach like Milwaukee’s Lane Lambert handles the three in three can make or break a season.
“In the games we as coaches have to manage our players and manage our ice times a little bit more,” Lambert said. “We also have to look at potentially putting other players into our lineup and switching it up a little bit over the course of the weekend.”
October 23-25 marks the first of eight of those such occasions for Milwaukee on the schedule, with a road game at Grand Rapids, home game against Abbotsford and a road game at Chicago. Managing goaltenders properly is perhaps the most difficult variable Lambert has to deal with during the long weekend.
“We will play both goaltenders,” Lambert said. “As far as how the rotation goes I haven’t decided yet, but (Mark) Dekanich will start in Grand Rapids and we will go from there.”
As stressful as a three in three can be for a coach, it can be exhausting for a player. College teams only play a long weekend during the conference playoffs in a best two out of three situation.
Therefore it will be a big adjustment for rookies like Blake Geoffrion.
“Three games in three nights is something I have to get used to,” Geoffrion said. “It requires recovering properly so you can play at your best each night.”
So Roundtable, I ask you, what do you think Milwaukee should do to maximize their chances for success this weekend? Rotate the goalies or stick with the hot hand? Change up the lineup every night or stick with what is working?