How silly of me to think the Admirals could build off of a mildly successful week and keep the train rolling. Milwaukee faced a daunting three-in-three this past weekend and came out of it with one out of six points, scoring two goals total and surrendering ten.
This week includes a morning game today against the Cleveland Monsters and a Saturday night showdown versus Grand Rapids.
Headlines & Standings
- Not much news this week, but I would anticipate a variety of roster moves in the coming weeks. All three of Nashville’s prospects in the CHL will be playing in their respective playoffs, so they are more unlikely unless Milwaukee goes on a run, but there could be some amateur tryout contracts handed out to others.
- Speaking of, on Tuesday, Milwaukee added Michigan State defender Zach Osburn on an ATO. Osburn attended Nashville’s 2017 Development Camp and had three goals and 14 points in 36 games for the Spartans in his senior year.
- Milwaukee is now carrying nine defenders on their roster. If Matt Donovan returns from Nashville, anticipate Scott Savage, Adam Plant or Filip Pyrochta to return to the ECHL.
Weekly Game Recap
March 8: Milwaukee Admirals v. Chicago Wolves
Milwaukee got out to an early lead with a laser courtesy of Alex Carrier from the point. Troy Grosenick was sharp before giving up a penalty shot goal due to an unlucky glove in the third. Chicago held on and controlled most of the play before adding two empty-net goals.
March 9: Milwaukee Admirals v. Grand Rapids Griffins
The Griffins pretty much picked apart Milwaukee in a contest highlighted by a scrap between former first-rounders Dylan McIlrath and Duncan Siemens. The Admirals turned in a fairly decent effort after giving up two in the first period, but Grand Rapids buried them with two more under the five-minute mark in the third.
March 10: Milwaukee Admirals @ Chicago Wolves
Milwaukee and Chicago traded first and second-period goals in a back-and-forth game despite Chicago controlling most of possession. Tom McCollum was caught completely not square to the puck on a weak backhand winner in overtime.
Filip Pyrochta: Pyrochta hasn’t received much coverage this season due mostly to his time spent in the ECHL with Atlanta. In a season highlighted by other European free agents bolting back across the ocean, the Czech defender has stuck it out. Since Matt Donovan’s bump up to Nashville, Pyrochta has been rewarded with ice time in all six of Milwaukee’s March games.
Despite only nine total points in 44 AHL and ECHL games this season, I’ve been quietly pleased with Pyrochta’s game. This isn’t a glowing endorsement, and it shouldn’t be considering how much this team struggled this week. Pyrochta has been caught out of position or making a glaring mistake on a couple of goals as of late, but he’s been heavily mismatched in the lineup and been shuffled up to a pairing with Jarred Tinordi a little too much.
There’s only so much an inexperienced defender like Pyrochta can do with lackadaisical back-checking and a position-less partner, but I’ve seen some play I’ve liked in a season bound to produce growing pains.
Offense: I’ll keep this short. Two goals in the last three games; 23rd in goals-for across the league; 2.67 goals per game. Not good enough.
I think I’ve said really all I have on my mind from this week. We all know the story of this Admirals team: they won’t beat teams in offensive bursts save every now and then, and their defense is too inconsistent for this squad to have serious Calder Cup aspirations.
Milwaukee will toy with the playoffs for the next couple weeks but don’t expect more spring hockey.
Finally, to end on a more positive note, there hasn’t been much talk about Eeli Tolvanen since the trade deadline but much middling concern, I imagine. With one assist in his last six games, it seems like Tolvanen has been trudging through mud most of the year.
I understand the concerns; there are obvious growing pains. I think last season heightened expectations for this season too much, and his future ceiling is being equated with 2018-19 production too much.
Just to remind everyone, he is still third in scoring among U20 forwards in the AHL this season, behind Martin Necas and Filip Zadina - selected 12th and 6th overall in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Rachel’s Late Thoughts
- Eeli Tolvanen’s falling-down goal was incredible. That motivation to drive to the net is something that the big club seems to be missing right now.
- The Admirals remain maddeningly inconsistent...just like Nashville. However, barring a major miracle, the Admirals probably won’t play into the spring. I look forward to next season, but this season has been too “all over the place” for anything solid to materialize in the playoffs.
- Yakov Trenin is the victim of coach Karl Taylor’s line shuffling. He is pretty dependent on a strong center. His play greatly improves when he has someone feeding him the puck consistently.
- I’ve railed on Jarred Tinordi this season, but he’s looked very stable and consistent over the last few games. This is exactly when the Admirals need their captain to lead.
- Troy Grosenick was a beast in net against Cleveland.
- The signing of Adam Plant is a little...weird. I don’t know what the Admirals intend to do with him.
- The Admirals have issues holding leads in the last few minutes of games when the other team pulls their goaltender.