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Milwaukee Musings: ‘X’ Marks the Spot

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Milwaukee should have one later this week if all goes as planned.

Milwaukee Admirals I @mkeadmirals

The Admirals finished their road trip with a three-game Texas swing and a 2-1-0 record against the Stars and Rampage. With 14 games remaining as of Tuesday night, Milwaukee’s magic number to clinch a spot in the Calder Cup playoffs is down to four.

That moment could come this week during a three-game home stand as they host the Rampage this morning for a school day game before welcoming the Moose into town for a weekend back-to-back.

Headlines

  • Back on February 29, the Florida Everblades clinched their spot in the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Playoffs. Florida has failed to qualify for the post-season just once (2013-14) in their 22-year history.
  • The AHL could see its first effect of the coronavirus with the County of Santa Clara banning gatherings over 1,000 people for the next few weeks. The San Jose organization will evaluate their home games on a case-by-case basis moving forward.
  • Defender Steven Santini remains out of the lineup with injury.
  • Forward Daniel Carr and defender Alexandre Carrier have both returned to the ice from their respective injury absences. Defender Scott Savage has returned from a lengthy absence for Maine [ECHL].

Stats and Standings

theAHL.com
  • Chad Johnson has been a helpful addition for Florida since returning from injury, giving the ECHL club an impeccable tandem in net.
  • Adam Smith is quietly becoming an excellent complementary player on offense, from the blue line, for the Everblades.
  • Rem Pitlick, the first Milwaukee rookie to hit 20 goals since Viktor Arvidsson in 2014-15, continues his role as a pillar of the Admirals’ offense.
  • Ben Harpur has struggled in a small sample size, allowing a team-worst 2.29 goals-against per 60 minutes.

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

Game Recaps


March 4 @ Texas Stars

theAHL.com

For the first time in two consecutive outings, Jason Robertson opened the night’s scoring for Texas. Rem Pitlick scored his 20th of the season off a wonderful shot to cut the Stars’ lead in half before Eeli Tolvanen fed Michael McCarron with a great primary assist to tie things up.

It was McCarron again who would finish things in overtime for Milwaukee after a great individual effort from Tommy Novak.


March 7 @ Texas Stars

theAHL.com

Milwaukee gave up a beauty of a back door goal to Jason Robertson on the power play about half way through the first period but responded shortly after with a tally from Cole Schneider.

After a period where the two teams combined for 32 shots on net, Texas took control in the second, adding two more from Reece Scarlett and Josh Melnick (on the power play).


March 8 @ San Antonio Rampage

theAHL.com

The Admirals didn’t quite hit their top gear until the third period when they peppered the Rampage with 16 shots on goal, but Connor Ingram was on his game all night long.

Daniel Carr opened the scoring in period two on an odd-man rush, and Eeli Tolvanen added two more to secure a shutout victory for Ingram.


Players of the Week

Hunter Garlent (F): Garlent had just two games this week for the Everblades but finished with one goal and two assists against Greenville on March 7.

More notably, he was named the ECHL’s Player of the Month for February and has 24 points (9g-15a) in his last 16 games for Florida. [ED]

Daniel Carr (F): Carr rejoined the Admirals from an injury hiatus for the last two games of the road trip scoring one goal and two assists against Texas and San Antonio. With Colin Blackwell and Yakov Trenin in Nashville, he’s catalyzed this team’s engine all season alongside Cole Schneider.

Carr now has 48 points in 46 games - good for 12th among AHL skaters with 30-plus games played in points-per-game, and he’s recorded a primary point on 63.89% of the even-strength goals he’s been on ice for this season. [RK]

Musings

Yesterday, I previewed some available free agents, mostly undrafted, coming out of college, Major Juniors and Europe that could be available to Nashville and the rest of the league. In that piece, I made brief mention of Patrick Harper and David Farrance. Last year, around this time, the Dante Fabbro hysteria was impressive, but I’m not getting the sense it’s as strong this year.

The Boston University Terriers enter the Hockey East Tournament as the sixth seed this weekend where they’ll face UMass Lowell in a best-of-three series. The Terriers need the automatic bid that comes with being conference champions to make the NCAA Tournament, so their season could end as early as Saturday night.

That means two things, specifically. It’s very possible we see Patrick Harper sign an entry-level contract that begins in 2020-21 and join Milwaukee on an amateur tryout contract (ATO) for the balance of the season. It’s also possible Milwaukee sees David Farrance, too, although there are some whispers he could head straight to Nashville (I think the former of the two options is smarter).

It’s no guarantee either will sign, especially Farrance, who still has one more season of eligibility. But it’s something to keep an eye on this weekend.

Musings and Observations, courtesy of Rachel and Eric:

  • Rem Pitlick is looking every piece of what Nashville hoped he would this season. He’s the first Milwaukee rookie in five years to hit the 20-goal mark and has 20 of his 36 points as primary ones at even-strength.
  • Frederic Allard hasn’t recorded a point in his last eight games. The defense has been stout all season, but his interesting deployment and power play time has limited his point totals.
  • We all, of course, knew this would be the case, but Ben Harpur has been mediocre since coming over from Toronto. But, he and Carrier as a pair have been quite fickle; in two games tracked as a pair, Harpur went from a 44% Corsi to improving that rating to 58.62%.
  • You might not know, but Eeli Tolvanen now has five more goals (20) than he did in 2018-19 (15) and is just three points shy of equaling his total primary point mark from last year (25) at even-strength this year (22). With a few weeks to go, he should blow by his 35-point total from last season, too.

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