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Milwaukee Musings: In the Roadrunners’ Rear View

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Despite the Admirals' 14-point lead on Rockford in the division, Tucson has them beat when it comes to points percentage.

Milwaukee Admirals v Laval Rocket Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The Admirals had a relative down week, dropping two of three contests in an extra frame despite fairly even bouts. Milwaukee did secure another division win against Chicago on Friday night, however.

The Admirals host San Antonio tonight and Cleveland on Friday night before the Christmas break.

Headlines

  • Last Wednesday, forward Joe Pendenza was loaned to Florida [ECHL] from Milwaukee
  • On Friday, forward Frédérick Gaudreau returned to the line-up for the first time since October 29
  • On Saturday, forward Daniel Carr was returned to Milwaukee from Nashville
  • Also on Saturday, forward Colin Blackwell was recalled to Nashville from Milwaukee
  • On Saturday, defender Alexandre Carrier played his 250th AHL game
  • On Friday, defender Matt Donovan notched his 200th AHL point

Stats and Standings

theAHL.com

This forward group has seemingly separated itself into three distinct groups when it comes to scoring rates: the offensive firepower, the contributors, and the concerns.

Colin Blackwell and Yakov Trenin earning call-ups should surprise no one, given how integral they’ve been to Milwaukee’s success; Schneider, Novak and Olivier have been impressive, too (sidenote: Joe Pendenza and Zach Magwood have been lights-out on the score sheet in ECHL play).

Anthony Richard and Rem Pitlick are scoring, but their even-strength numbers are lacking. Unfortunately, Josh Wilkins’ ice time may preclude him from contributing on a more regular basis.

On defense, Frédéric Allard continues to be a shutdown player (Arvin Atwal, too, in Florida) while the Davies–Santini pair benefits from high-scoring ice time and decent defense.

This has, and always will be, an evergreen remark, but this team is nowhere near the top of the league without Grosenick and Ingram.

[https://public.tableau.com/profile/bryan.bastin#!/vizhome/2019-20OnTheFutureMinorLeagueProspectTracking/AHLECHLSkatersStats]

Game Recaps


December 10 @ Rockford IceHogs

theAHL.com

The story of this one was all Kevin Lankinen. The IceHogs goalie stopped 55 of 56 shots in an otherworldly victory. Only Lukas Craggs was able to sneak one past Lankinen for the Admirals.


December 13 v. Chicago Wolves

theAHL.com

Chicago opened the scoring despite a dominant opening period from Milwaukee. The Admirals excelled on the penalty kill and Troy Grosenick continued his impressive play while goals from Cole Schneider, Tommy Novak, Frédéric Allard and Anthony Richard gave Milwaukee a one-sided win.


December 14 @ Chicago Wolves

theAHL.com

Milwaukee and Chicago played a tight game in their second match-up of the home-and-home series. An impressive first period gave Chicago the edge in shots and two goals by Brandon Pirri helped secure their victory.

Cole Schneider and Laurent Dauphin answered late for Milwaukee to tie the game, but Chicago ultimately prevailed in overtime.


Players of the Week

Alexandre Carrier: The French-Canadian defender played a dominant set of games this week and finished with two assists—both primary and crucial to tying the game last Saturday - in the last three outings. Carrier now has 19 points in 29 games for Milwaukee, which leads all defenders.

He had a strong week defensively, too, allowing no goals at even-strength. Though just five of his points are primary ones at even strength, he’s contributed directly to 31.25% of the even-strength goals he has been on the ice for this season—the highest rate among Milwaukee defenders. [RK]

Joe Pendenza: I’m dipping into the ECHL waters somewhat this week, because I would be remiss not to mention Joe Pendenza. Loaned to Florida last week to make way for Frédérick Gaudreau’s return from injury, Pendenza skated in three contests for the Everblades, recording two goals and three assists. He had a 7.14 goals-for per 60 minutes of even-strength play this past week and scored or gave a primary assist to 60% of the goals he was on the ice for.

I’m sure shooting 40% in the process didn’t hurt. [ED]

Musings

On Sunday, the Cleveland Monsters debuted a new bit—a parody of Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns”—courtesy of Zac Dalpe: “Between Two Goals”.

I was originally going to touch on that because it reminded me of a one-episode show hosted by Connor Ingram, then of the Syracuse Crunch, in 2018: “Between Two Posts” (required viewing can be done here). But, in the process of finding that video, I came upon something more interesting.

I spent four years of my life in Syracuse, NY around that hockey club and was always impressed with an AHL franchise carrying itself as they did: no idea was too stupid or too big, and education was the key to better fandom.

In 2017, the Crunch created a series of videos breaking down technical aspects of game play. It wasn’t what we saw in the early Nashville days like explaining icing, but, instead, it provided an on-ice understanding of in-game mechanics.

I thought these two episodes on goaltender perspective were particularly enlightening.

Musings and Observations, courtesy of Eric:

  • Cole Schneider could have easily been in the “Players of the Week” conversation with six points in his last five games.
  • It ought to be weird returning from an NHL recall and heading straight to an AHL fourth line, but such is the life of Mathieu Olivier. Milwaukee is too deep to play him any higher.
  • Milwaukee has scored 103 times this season, good for best in the AHL; only two other teams have hit the 100-goal mark: Providence and Stockton.
  • Barring an epic collapse, the Admirals have set themselves up for an easy path to the playoffs; they currently sit 14 points ahead of second-place Rockford.
  • I keep waiting for Anthony Richard to break out. He still has single-digit points (9) although seven of them are goals, tying him for fourth on the team. But he’s shooting at 11.48% despite being on pace for 2.18 shots-per-game, which nears his career high of 2.20. He’s also directly contributing to just 38.46% of even-strength goals when he’s on the ice; something has to give soon.

All statistics are courtesy of theAHL.com and eliteprospects.com. Charts are courtesy of Bryan Bastin (@projpatsummitt).