With the end of the regular season in sight, Milwaukee is still chasing a playoff position that affords them a bye past the play-in round. Thanks to a five-point (2g-3a) week from Cody Glass and some solid goaltending from both Connor Ingram and Devin Cooley, the Admirals’ magic number to clinch is down to five with six games to go.
Chicago and Manitoba have clinched their playoff spots and effectively locked up seeds one and two in the division, but Rockford trails Milwaukee in third place by just eight percentage points. In the AHL’s new playoff format, 23 teams will make the post-season (all but the bottom two teams in each division); in the Central Division, seeds #4 and #5 will play a best-of-three series, and the winner will move on to a best-of-five round against the #1 seed while seeds #2 and #3 face each other. With all of that said, Milwaukee is most likely to visit Manitoba in that best-of-five round or host Iowa in the best-of-three round.
- Defender Matt Tennyson was returned to Milwaukee from Nashville last Wednesday
- Defender Spencer Stastney, who recently signed his entry-level contract, joined Milwaukee on a tryout deal for the rest of the season along with Marc Del Gaizo’s brother, Anthony
- Connor Ingram had a brief stint in Nashville on Sunday, backing up David Rittich, but has since returned to the Admirals
- Rocco Grimaldi remains out with injury and is likely done for the season
Milwaukee Admirals (2) vs. Manitoba Moose (3)
Beginning the week against their most likely first-round playoff opponent, Milwaukee went with Connor Ingram in net, and Jachym Kondelik drew into the lineup for his second professional game. His AHL debut hasn’t been outstanding, but he’s looked engaged and competitive centering the third line.
Manitoba jumped out to an early lead with Evan Polei cleaning up a rebound around the crease. In period two, the Moose continued to control the play, and Bobby Lynch capitalized on a Josh Healey turnover in the neutral zone to double Manitoba’s lead. To start the third period, Milwaukee’s penalty woes continued, and their 22nd-best penalty kill (78.9%) was further exposed with a tap-in goal from Jeff Malott.
The Admirals responded well in the sense that they limited Manitoba’s scoring chances in the final frame, but they still couldn’t generate much themselves. Nonetheless, Tommy Novak set up Graham Knott for a shorthanded goal and then scored himself with under 60 seconds remaining, but the Admirals ultimately fell short of a comeback.
Milwaukee Admirals (7) vs. Manitoba Moose (2)
On Friday, Milwaukee set out to exact revenge on the Moose, and they accomplished just that with Ingram in net for his (concerningly high 50th appearance in 70 games). While 13 different Admirals recorded a point, it was the Cody Glass show all night.
To open the scoring, Glass took possession of the puck behind the net with a subtle stick lift before pulling out in front of Evan Cormier and burying it top shelf. Midway through the frame, Cole Smith tipped in a Brayden Burke shot, giving the latter one of his three assists that night and making it 2-0.
FACT: Cody Glass likes to put the puck in the net. pic.twitter.com/SZepbkS6rE— Milwaukee Admirals (@mkeadmirals) April 9, 2022
In period two, Milwaukee didn’t let up with goals coming from Egor Afanasyev, Glass, Alex Biega (his first as an Admiral), and Mitch McLain. After last week, Glass has now recorded 14 goals and 60 points in 63 games this season, including 32 primary points scored at even strength. He’s 11th in the AHL in scoring, fourth in the league in assists, and first on the Admirals in scoring and is one of Milwaukee’s best possession players at even strength (57.84% Corsi through 10 games tracked).
The third period got chippy with 11 total penalties called on both sides, and the Admirals’ penalty killers allowed Manitoba to convert twice. But Kole Sherwood, who’s been in and out of the lineup and looks increasingly likely to walk in free agency, iced things with his fourth goal of the season on a final-minute power play.
Milwaukee Admirals (4) vs. Cleveland Monsters (1)
With Rockford still chasing them for third place in the division, Milwaukee picked up a crucial two points against Cleveland on Saturday in front of an impressive performance from Devin Cooley.
Cole Smith opened the scoring by cleaning up a Jimmy Huntington shot that went wide; Huntington has five points in his last five games in blue. A few minutes later—after a flurry of high-danger saves from Cooley—Egor Afanasyev drove hard to the net and generated a gift of a rebound for Cole Schneider to bury; Afanasyev notched four points on the weekend (1g-3a).
Cody Glass sets up the Admirals' 3rd goal tonight with a hard-working primary assist and is then wrestled to the ground. Clipped Huntington as he went down. Looks like a potentially serious arm injury (?)#Preds #MILHockey pic.twitter.com/sNFZKky0Bx— OTF: Preds Prospects (@OnTheFutureOTF) April 10, 2022
In period two, Jimmy Huntington added an insurance marker thanks to a hard-working transition play from Cody Glass (who added another two points that night). Glass has been the Admirals’ best transition player this season; he’s tried to carry the puck into the offensive zone (as opposed to dumping it in) on 82.4% of his chances and succeeded on 78.6% of those. That’s led to 15.36 individual shot attempts at even strength, 6.91 of which are from high-danger areas, and 12.29 primary shot assists.
Glass was unfortunately injured on that third goal but returned to the contest for the third period where Milwaukee maintained their 4-1 lead and cruised to victory.
The Week Ahead
- Wednesday, April 13 @ Iowa Wild
- Saturday, April 16 vs. Iowa Wild