Milwaukee Musings: Grand Rapids Groans
Milwaukee takes the hard route to snap a four-game losing streak.
After a three-in-three weekend where the Admirals fell each night in an extra frame, things continued down an unenviable path as Milwaukee was shut out by Grand Rapids on Wednesday. The Admirals rebounded with a shootout win versus Texas on Friday.
Milwaukee hosted the Stars again last night and will welcome Iowa and Chicago to town this Friday and Saturday.
- On Saturday, Nashville recalled forward Anthony Richard who skated in his second NHL game before returning to Milwaukee before the end of the weekend.
- Yesterday, Nashville recalled forward Colin Blackwell.
- Forward Yakov Trenin missed both games this week after returning from Nashville, but returned to the lineup last night.
- Captain Jarred Tinordi finished out his three-game suspension this past week./
Stats and Standings
Defensively, the Admirals have been pretty tight and Jérémy Davies is creeping towards being a really excellent two-way player. Steven Santini has, somehow, been on the ice for a good bit of offense, and Allard has locked things down on defense.
Laurent Dauphin, as noted below, is building up his case as this team’s best offensive driver and overachieving starts from Tanner Jeannot and Mathieu Olivier have been a pleasant surprise. Eeli Tolvanen and Anthony Richard have been shooting a ton with no results.
In the net, Troy Grosenick and Ken Appleby have been mostly unbeatable.
October 23 @ Grand Rapids Griffins
The Admirals took a minute to get acclimated in this one (to no one’s surprise), totaling just three shots in period one but holding the Griffins off the scoreboard until literally the last second of the period.
Grand Rapids knocked home a rebound in period two, catching Alexandre Carrier chasing the play, and added an empty-net goal in period three.
October 25 v. Texas Stars
Milwaukee and Texas had a fairly back-and-forth affair on Friday night that featured a relentlessly dull third period (13 shots total; no goals). Laurent Dauphin capped off his strong week with Milwaukee’s only goal and Joel L’Esperance answered for Texas.
Colin Blackwell and Daniel Carr converted in the shootout to snap Milwaukee’s losing streak.
Players of the Week
Laurent Dauphin (F): It was a quiet week for Milwaukee offensively as they scored just one regulation goal, but that came from the hands of Laurent Dauphin, who seems to be regaining his spring 2019 stride.
Outside of that one goal, Dauphin totaled eight shots on goal in two games and has been regularly double-shifted late in games.
Troy Grosenick (G): Grosenick has been excellent all season, but on Friday he stopped 28 of 29 and five of six shooters in the shootout—somewhere he had been quite porous in this season to date.
On Saturday, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (the AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins) tweeted something...unusual:
TRANSACTION: The #WBSPens have signed goaltender Sebastien Caron to a professional tryout contract for tonight's game.— WBS Penguins (@WBSPenguins) October 26, 2019
If you’re unfamiliar, this may not seem like much to you. But, after a quick search, you might realize Caron is 39 years old and a 95-game NHL veteran; he also hasn’t played regularly since 2015-16. The Baby Penguins were dealing with some emergency injury issues and Caron has yet to play for them, but it was a quick reminder of how bizarre the AHL can still be.
What may be equally bizarre is Milwaukee’s inability to score goals this season. The Admirals’ 20 goals scored are better than just seven other AHL squads this season and they’ve posted just two games of 3+ goals-for this season. It’s something Rachel has picked up on and it’s especially curious when they’re icing a lineup of five forwards who have scored 40+ in an AHL season before, including the league’s MVP in 2018-19, Daniel Carr.
Other musings from last week:
- Grand Rapids ate Milwaukee alive at times on Wednesday. The Admirals have a history of being ineffective with a schedule that relies heavily on divisional play (RK)
- Frédéric Allard continues to impress defensively; he’s yet to allow an even-strength goal-against this season (ED)
- Conversely, Alexandre Carrier has been okay, statistically, but the eye test has not been kind to him, highlighting turnovers regularly. He’s been on the ice for four even-strength goals against (third-worst among Milwaukee defenders), but has four assists (only one, however, was a primary, even-strength assist) (RK)
- Milwaukee has developed a habit the past few seasons of constantly rearranging deck chairs when it comes to personnel decisions. To some extent, it’s necessary, but the Admirals do not have an issue icing healthy bodies; there’s little reason someone like Adam Smith should be bouncing so frequently between the AHL and Florida (ED)
- Milwaukee’s power play fell flat this week, converting on zero of eight possible chances (RK)/
All statistics are courtesy of theAHL.com and eliteprospects.com. Charts are courtesy of Bryan Bastin (@projpatsummitt).