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Milwaukee Musings: So Long, Salo

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On that note, Milwaukee’s playoff run will be without Tinordi or Blackwell

2011 NHL Entry Draft - Rounds 2-7 Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Milwaukee went 2-1-0 in the first three games of their four-game homestand, tackling Chicago and Rockford but falling to second-place Iowa. The Admirals outscored their opponents 13 to 6 this week.

Milwaukee hosts San Antonio tonight before heading to Colorado for a back-to-back series against the Eagles on Saturday and Sunday.

Headlines

  • On Saturday night, Nashville traded forward Miikka Salomaki to the Toronto Maple Leafs for defender Ben Harpur ahead of Monday’s trade deadline
  • Yesterday, forwards Lukas Craggs and Zach Magwood and goalie Ken Appleby were recalled from Florida [ECHL] to Milwaukee
  • Also last night, goalie Connor Ingram was recalled to Nashville on an emergency basis as Pekka Rinne is sick

Stats and Standings

theAHL.com
  • The combination of Lukas Craggs, Joe Pendenza, Zach Magwood and Hunter Garlent have started dominating offensively for Florida [ECHL]
  • As Jeremy Davies and Steven Santini have been porous defensively, Frederic Allard has further cemented his status as the team's best defender
  • Connor Ingram has been so other-worldly with his 21.09 GSAA that he makes Troy Grosenick look average
  • If it wasn’t clear already, Schneider, Carr and Novak have announced themselves as Milwaukee’s top unit

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

Game Recaps


February 19 vs. Iowa Wild

theAHL.com

Cole Schneider opened the scoring with a shorthanded breakaway goal halfway through period one; Rem Pitlick doubled up the Admirals’ lead on a rebound in period two. But the Wild had things tied by the end of the frame and scored the game-winner with just over one minute to play in regulation.


February 21 vs. Chicago Wolves

theAHL.com

Milwaukee took on their nearby rivals sporting beautiful throwback sweaters in honor of Darren Haydar’s number being retired. The Wolves opened the scoring with a breakaway goal from Brandon Pirri, but Jeremy Davies, Rem Pitlick and Daniel Carr put home four for the Admirals en route to a divisional win.


February 22 vs. Rockford IceHogs

theAHL.com

A night like this would normally be punctuated by the seven-goal output from Milwaukee (even though that’s been somewhat frequent this season), but it was a center-ice fight between Troy Grosenick and Matt Tomkins that wrote the headlines.

A hat trick from Yakov Trenin was, of course, the secondary storyline.


Players of the Week

Zach Magwood & Lukas Craggs (F): Magwood and Craggs were rewarded for their strong play in the ECHL with recalls to Milwaukee yesterday. The Salomaki trade has opened up depth spots in the Admirals’ lineup and no other forwards are more deserving.

Magwood scored two goals and five points in his last four contests and has 19 goals and 47 points in 51 games for the Everblades - including a 55.32% iP1P. Craggs, similarly, was hot this week with three goals and five points in those four games totaling six goals and 11 points in 12 games for Florida this season. [ED]

Yakov Trenin (F): As Trenin floats between the NHL and AHL, it seems like the young Russian is a major catalyst for this team in this stretch. He’s putting away hat tricks with ease, continuing his physical play, and looks more comfortable than other Milwaukee veterans.

There’s certainly a temptation to have him in Nashville for the balance of the season, but it seems like it should be one or the other with Colin Blackwell. He’s been a force at converting so many of the chances the Admirals produce when he’s on the ice. Trenin is ninth in the AHL in points per game (1.14) and is shooting 29.23%. [RK]

Musings

By acquiring Ben Harpur for Miikka Salomaki on Saturday, David Poile essentially eliminated any idea that Jarred Tinordi would be returning to the Admirals this season. That was, of course, cemented on Monday when Tinordi - and Colin Blackwell - were not assigned to Milwaukee, on paper, in order to be eligible for the Calder Cup playoffs.

On the surface, it’s a silly move; the natural response is, “why not?” To an extent, I get that. But, with Tinordi, what exactly is being missed? He contributed just six points in 32 games for the Admirals (4.9% of the offensive production among the six regular defenders) and was forming Milwaukee’s most liable pairing when skating alongside Alexandre Carrier.

Harpur is by no means an upgrade, but it’s hard to be so negative about the decision when Tinordi was one of Milwaukee’s worst defenders at break-outs (50.0% controlled exit rate) and transition defense (50.0% controlled entries against rate).

The silver lining here is that relying on Frederic Allard to carry an anchor like Harpur, Healey, Atwal, etc. is a much smarter move than letting Carrier fend on his own.

Musings and Observations, courtesy of Rachel and Eric:

  • Once their time in Nashville was over, there was a general understanding that one, if not both, of Miikka Salomaki and Frederick Gaudreau would be gone after this season. As Rachel speculates, is there even a spot for Gaudreau in 2020-21, too?
  • Nashville could have four young defenders competing seriously for roster spots next season (and they can’t store all of them in Milwaukee): Allard, Carrier, Davies and Farrance.
  • Who saw this kind of season coming from Tommy Novak? The center is eighth in the league in rookie scoring and 20 of his 36 points are primary ones at even strength. There shouldn’t be any question he signs an entry-level deal soon.
  • Curiously, the Admirals aren’t the league’s highest-scoring team. Although their 189 goals-for is second to Belleville’s 211, their plus-65 goal-differential is unmatched (Belleville is only at plus-36).
  • Milwaukee’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot sits at 17; any combination of nine Admirals wins and non-playoff opponents’ losses secures a spot for Milwaukee.
  • They may not play on Milwaukee’s best line, but Rem Pitlick and Eeli Tolvanen have been so good possession-wise: through five and seven games tracked, respectively, their Corsi ratings are 60.14% and 61.20%.

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