The Milwaukee Admirals have three games this week against two Central Division rivals. Here’s this week’s game previews.
Wednesday, November 7 (Home) and Sunday, November 11 (Away) vs. Chicago Wolves:
The Milwaukee Admirals have split its first two matchups against the Chicago Wolves, both of which went into overtime. On October 14th the Admirals dropped a 5-4 OT loss to the Wolves and on October 21st the Admirals won in a shootout 5-4.
The Wolves are coming off of a 4-1 victory against Manitoba on Saturday evening and at this time 7-3-0-1 for the season. Chicago is 4-3 on the road and have not lost a game in regulation at home so far. The only home loss for Chicago was the shootout loss to Milwaukee. Chicago has had similar powerplay struggles to the Admirals and are 15.8% for the season. Chicago, however, has scored more goals this season than the Admirals with 45 (Admirals have 43) and have allowed fewer goals against at 32 (34 for the Admirals). With that being said, there is over a one goal difference between Chicago’s two goalies for Goals Against Averages. Max Lagace has a 2.26 GAA while Oscar Dansk has a 3.16 GAA.
Keys to Victory
The Milwaukee Admirals will need to take advantage of Chicago’s weak penalty kill unit. Chicago is currently only 76.4% on the penalty kill this season. This could prove to be a struggle for the Admirals as they are 1 for 26 on their last 26 powerplays and are 18.3% on the powerplay this season.
Solid goaltending will also be crucial for the Admirals. Wisconsin native Troy Grosenick started for Milwaukee against Grand Rapids on Saturday evening in his first appearance in over a week. Despite losing the game, Grosenick looked solid and had several saves that kept it a very close game. Tom McCollum was very solid during Grosenick’s stint in Nashville. The duo is ranked 13th and 14th respectively in the AHL for GAA (Grosenick 2.46 and McCollum 2.48).
Friday November 9 vs. Rockford IceHogs (Home):
The Admirals had their first meeting against the IceHogs on Friday at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. Rockford handed Milwaukee their second straight overtime loss. Rockford is an aggressive team that poses a lot of issues for the Admirals. Thus far this season the Admirals have had issues holding the zone and generating multiple scoring chances in single puck possessions. Rockford’s forecheck has been impressive. With that being said, Rockford went on to lose on Saturday in a shootout loss to the Iowa Wild where they lost 2-1. They did come back on Sunday to win 4-2 against Iowa.
Rockford has had a rough start to the season when you compare this season to last season. Rockford had an impressive playoff run for the Calder Cup before being ousted by the Texas Stars. Rockford is currently 6-3-1-2. They are 3-2-1 when away this season. The Admirals killed all of the Rockford penalties in Friday’s matchup. Rockford’s powerplay is weaker than the Admirals at 17.5%. They’ve scored 7 fewer goals than the Admirals. However, Rockford’s goaltenders have let fewer goals than Milwaukee with 33.
Keys to Victory
Holding the zone against Rockford’s forecheck will be critical for the Admirals against Rockford. Crisp passing, strategic playmaking, and putting shots on goal will lead to an Admirals victory. Players like Yakov Trenin and Emil Pettersson will have opportunities to shine in these matchups.
Milwaukee’s offense needs to get going again as well. Forwards for the Admirals have been lackluster since Rocco Grimaldi was called up to Nashville, allowing defenseman Matt Donovan to lead the club in total points (12). Donovan is also tied in goals with leftwinger Anthony Richard (6). Richard could be out for a few games after a nasty hit on Friday into the boards. Defenseman Frederic Allard leads the Admirals in shots on goal with 34; Eeli Tolvanen is second with 29.
Matt Donovan signed an NHL level contract on Sunday afternoon with the Nashville Predators, which means he will need to clear waivers if called up and sent back down. It is possible with Dan Hamhuis being out in Nashville that Donovan could make the journey to the Predators lineup. This could be a big hit to the Admirals defense and offense.
You can find game recaps of Milwaukee Admirals games here on PenaltyBoxRadio.com.