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Milwaukee Musings: On to November

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17 out of 20 points in the bag.

Milwaukee Admirals

As we quickly approach November, the Admirals remain at the top of the American Hockey League. Check out their week that was, including two big wins over division rivals.

Headlines & Standings

AHL Standings as of 10/29
theAHL.com
  • Rachel notes:

“Tom McCollum is very talented with the puck. He is not afraid to use his stick for a poke check or come out of his crease to make a play.”

It’s been nice seeing some real sound play from him. By the way, we’ve see hot starts like this from the Admirals before. But, let’s not forget, after qualifying for the playoffs five of the last six seasons, the Admirals have collected one (1) total playoff win [versus Texas in 2013]. That’s right: 1-15 since their last series win. Three of those losses came at the hands of McCollum in 2016.

  • The Predators aren’t the only team with power play problems. Despite three wins, the Admirals went 0/13 on the man advantage this week. The good news is they were 10/35 before this week, which is alarmingly good. Additionally, the Admirals are rocking the third best penalty kill league-wide behind Laval and Providence, at 89.5%.
  • We brought up Yakov Trenin last week, but something that has gone unmentioned is his shooting. Trenin is fourth on the team in shots behind Grimaldi, Allard and Carrier and is averaging 3.7 per game—2.0 shots more than he averaged last season.
  • For those of you concerned about Eeli Tolvanen not scoring goals—I imagine his 2.33% shooting percentage will inflate soon enough.

Weekly Game Recap

October 23: Milwaukee Admirals vs. San Antonio Rampage

10/23 Box Score
theAHL.com

The Admirals started off their week posting 40+ shots and ended their week posting 40+ shots. It was mostly the usual suspects against San Antonio with Anthony Richard and Yakov Trenin scoring and Frederic Allard accounting for six shots.

Mathieu Olivier had a nice outing with a goal and four shots, as well.

October 26: Milwaukee Admirals vs. Cleveland Monsters

10/26 Box Score
theAHL.com

The Admirals escaped the first period of this one with a two-goal lead largely thanks to Anthony Richard’s laser shot and then turned in their worst period of the season in the second.

Rachel notes that they found it nearly impossible to clear their zone in the second period and throughout much of the contest.

One shot and a tie game later, Matt Donovan drilled the puck home in overtime from the high slot with plenty of room to work with.

October 27: Milwaukee Admirals vs. Manitoba Moose

10/27 Box Score
theAHL.com

The Admirals took control of this one very early with a strike from the slot by Matt Donovan, while peppering Ken Appleby with 17 shots in the first period.

Jeremy Gregoire notched his first as an Admiral to expand the lead to three goals in the second period, and the offensive chances kept coming. The Admirals nearly doubled up the Moose in shots and secured their eighth victory on the season.

Trending Up

Matt Donovan: What is there to say that hasn’t been already? Donovan leads the team in scoring with 12 points in ten games, leads the AHL in primary points with 11, and is rocking a cool 30.0% shooting percentage. He’s been a pleasant surprise offensively and balances out the defense that is generally still young.

Emil Pettersson: Pettersson has seemed to have a quiet start to the season after leading the Admirals is scoring last year. But he has already posted eight points (4g, 4a) in ten games and isn’t being relied on as much for zone entries.

A lot has been said about Pettersson’s awkward skating stride, and it’s on display at times. The balance of the depth chart this season should allow him to fine tune his defensive and neutral zone play. Here he backchecks well but then gets sucked below the goal line, leaving a Rampage player alone on the doorstep.

Trending Down

Alexandre Carrier: This “Trending Down” is tough, because Rachel has made some astute points about solid play from Carrier this season:

“[Carrier] looks much better while clearing the goal crease in front of McCollum. He is very physical and does not allow many players around him.”

As good as someone can look playing with Jarred Tinordi, Carrier has looked alright this season. But I can’t help but wonder how much of the organizational depth chart above him is in reach. He is clearly a step behind Allard at this point.

Final Thoughts

October has been great to the Admirals, but November will be hell. 12 games, three home & away, back-to-back series, and 11 divisional match-ups. I know it’s early, but these will be critical points for the playoff race come March and April. We will be curiously watching what adjustments the Admirals make throughout the month.

Also, Rachel and I should be tinkering around with a mailbag portion of our Admirals coverage. Keep your eyes posted to the site and Twitter for more on that later.

All statistics are courtesy of theAHL.com and prospect-stats.com.