The Admirals packed in a heavy schedule over the past couple weeks, skating in seven games including three straight versus Rockford and a pair of contests against Chicago. After a 5-2-0 run that tested Milwaukee’s depth and helped assimilate newcomer Michael McCarron, the Admirals carry a ten-point lead over Iowa for first place in the Central Division.
Milwaukee takes on Rockford twice in a home-and-home series on Friday and Saturday before the AHL All-Star Classic takes place on Sunday and Monday in Ontario, California.
- On January 7, Nashville traded forward Laurent Dauphin to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forward Michael McCarron
- On January 12, forward Zach Magwood was recalled from Florida [ECHL] and defender Adam Smith was returned, from loan, to Florida [ECHL]
- On January 17, defenders Alexandre Carrier and Jarred Tinordi and forward Yakov Trenin were reassigned from Nashville to Milwaukee
- On January 18, defender Scott Savage was returned, on loan, to Maine [ECHL] and forward Zach Magwood was reassigned to Florida [ECHL]
- On Tuesday, forward Colton Sissons was assigned to Milwaukee on a conditioning assignment
Stats and Standings
The lengthy absences of Yakov Trenin and Colin Blackwell have given other forwards the chance to step up their offensive contributions. Miikka Salomaki, Tommy Novak and Daniel Carr remain as the next wave of even-strength contributors; Hunter Garlent has slowly been improving in Florida, too.
The regular pack of forwards who have struggled offensively consists of Eeli Tolvanen, Frederick Gaudreau and Anthony Richard.
On the blue line, Frederic Allard continues to be the Admirals’ most consistent player on offense and playing defense while the rest of the group hovers around a similar rate of even-strength goals against.
Icetime allotted to depth players like Arvin Atwal and Josh Healey over the past couple weeks exposed, at times, their defensive flaws.
January 8 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins
The Admirals faced Grand Rapids in another tight home contest on January 8. Daniel Carr opened the game’s scoring but the Griffins tied things up with less than a minute to play in the first period.
Steven Santini added another goal early in the second off a strange bounce, but the Admirals then surrendered two to the Griffins - including a shorthanded goal - resulting in their first set of consecutive regulation losses all season.
January 10 vs. Rockford IceHogs
Friday’s contest was a low-shooting affair with both goalies not having to face many chances early on. Both Rockford and Milwaukee’s penalty killing units were sharp, too, as the game's only two goals came off rebounds at even-strength play from Rem Pitlick and Tommy Novak.
January 11 vs. Rockford IceHogs
Milwaukee surrendered the game’s first goal at four-on-four play in the first period with a bizarre defensive shift but then peppered the IceHogs with chances all game long.
Rem Pitlick tied things up on the power play early in the third period before the Admirals poured on nearly 20 more shots over the balance of regulation. Frederick Gaudreau secured the game-winner on the first shift of overtime with a convenient bounce off a defender.
January 14 @ Rockford IceHogs
Milwaukee took care of things with ease against Rockford securing their third-straight win against the IceHogs off of goals from Michael McCarron - his first as an Admiral - Mathieu Olivier, Anthony Richard and Miikka Salomaki.
January 15 vs. Chicago Wolves
The Admirals took on the Wolves in a back-and-forth set of two periods bookmarked by an early Wolves goal in the first and a rebound goal by Daniel Carr halfway through the second.
Period three was quiet and overtime was, too, but Rem Pitlick secured the victory with the lone shootout goal of the night.
January 18 @ Chicago Wolves
Chicago was all over Milwaukee to start this contest with 16 shots on net in the first period alone. It was the second period, however, where most of the damage was done, as Chicago scored three times on just eight shots. A third-period goal was Milwaukee’s only response to Chicago’s dominant performance led by Gage Quinney’s hat trick.
January 21 vs. Belleville Senators
Milwaukee took on one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference in a low-scoring match this past Tuesday. Connor Ingram was near perfect and Yakov Trenin and Michael McCarron scored for the Admirals to secure their fifth win in the last seven games.
Players of the Week
Troy Grosenick (G): It’s rare to have a goaltending duo that can split starts so successfully but Grosenick and Ingram have done it masterfully this season. Alternating nearly every start, Grosenick now has 15 wins in 21 starts, a 0.925 save percentage and has saved 12.408 goals above average.
I’d like to think that Grosenick and Ingram push each other in a similar fashion to Rinne and Saros. Both goaltenders have been absolute walls in net for the Admirals this season. [RK]
Daniel Carr (F): Carr has been featured prominently on Milwaukee’s top line over the last couple weeks, most frequently alongside Tommy Novak, as injuries and call-ups have forced some line shuffling.
In his past seven contests, Carr has recorded two goals and three assists, pushing his season total to 15 goals, 32 points and 15 primary points at even strength. He leads the Admirals in scoring, is second on the team in points per game (1.03) and is contributing directly to 65.22% of the even-strength goals he’s on the ice for. [ED]
As the schedule opens up for the NHL All-Star Game this weekend, the Ontario Reign will be hosting the AHL All-Star Classic, too. Milwaukee will have four representatives in California - Alexandre Carrier, Yakov Trenin, Connor Ingram and Karl Taylor - for what is always a fun weekend.
I had the pleasure of attending the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic in Syracuse and, despite a Sunday/ Monday schedule, the event was a blast. You can tune in to NHL Network this weekend for the skills competition and All-Star Challenge:
The 2020 #AHLAllStar Classic is almost here!— AHL (@TheAHL) January 22, 2020
You can watch the Skills Competition (8 pm ET) this Sunday and the All-Star Challenge (10 pm ET) on Monday on @NHLNetwork and @TSNHockey. pic.twitter.com/VH6zoNLAnI
Additionally, the Wichita Thunder hosted the ECHL All-Star Game this week, and it’s likely you missed some pretty major news. Dani Cameranesi, Kali Flanagan, Gigi Marvin and Annie Pankowski helped the league one-up the NHL by skating alongside the ECHL players in the league’s main contest of the weekend.
It was a pivotal moment for the future of women’s hockey and an excellent move by the ECHL to include the four, who have 15 Olympic and World Championship gold medals to their names. You can read more on how the league put together their annual all-star showing here.
Musings and Observations, courtesy of Rachel and Eric:
- Cole Schneider has missed the last seven contests due to injury. The AHL veteran has 10 goals and 30 points in 36 games this season.
- It’s no secret Eeli Tolvanen has been struggling this year (although he is still just 20). The first-round draft pick has eight goals and 17 points in 43 games; only nine of those points are primary ones at even strength, and he’s shooting at just a 6.9% rate. Tolvanen has two points in his last seven games.
- Michael McCarron has played heavy minutes centering Anthony Richard and Eeli Tolvanen since coming over from Laval in a trade. He has two points in his Milwaukee tenure, and Rachel notes that he may not be the best pivot to support those two given his slower, more physical style of play. It may have to suffice as long as Colin Blackwell is in Nashville.
- Tommy Novak has just two points in his last seven games despite centering the Admirals’ top line most nights. He’s playing on an expiring AHL contract but you have to imagine he’s impressed enough to earn an NHL deal this summer; I’ll have more on that in the coming weeks.
- On the other hand, Rem Pitlick has totaled five points in his last seven games and is fourth on the Admirals in scoring with 26 in 43 games. It was already evident how well Pitlick can shoot and what kind of asset he would be on the power play, but his increased ice time has led to some nifty possession work deep in the offensive zone at even strength, too.