Milwaukee Musings: Iowa Gaining Ground
Milwaukee gathered just one out of four possible points this week.
The Admirals suffered back-to-back losses for the second time in the 2020 calendar year, falling to Grand Rapids and Texas; Iowa now sits just seven points behind the Admirals. They host the Stars again tonight before traveling to Chicago tomorrow night and then Manitoba for two games against the Moose on Saturday and Monday.
- On Friday, Nashville assigned forward Lukas Craggs from Milwaukee to Florida [ECHL]/
Stats and Standings
- Tommy Novak continues to be an integral part of the Milwaukee offense. After a strong week, he’s eighth in rookie scoring in the AHL with 32 points (18 primary, even-strength)
- Mathieu Olivier’s shine has faded as he hasn’t recorded a point in five straight games and has just four shots during that stretch
- Frederic Allard continues his steady play with a team low 1.25 goals against in even strength play and is third among team defenders with eight primary, even-strength points
- Cam Johnson had a strong return to the lineup for Florida, posting two wins last week with a 0.915 save percentage/
February 5 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins
Grand Rapids recorded two first period goals before the halfway point of the frame. Milwaukee didn’t have an answer until Rem Pitlick tipped a Jeremy Davies shot late in the third, but ultimately fell short to the Griffins.
February 7 vs. Texas Stars
The Stars took control of much of the first period and escaped with a one-goal lead before doubling it up just over one minute into the second period. Milwaukee answered with two of their own in the second from Michael McCarron and Tommy Novak.
The Admirals were lucky to force a shootout as Texas dominated possession in overtime, but Joel L’Esperance was the difference in the skills competition on Friday night.
Players of the Week
Zach Magwood (F): Dipping into the Florida waters for this one, Zach Magwood wasn’t just excellent this week with one goal and four assists in his last five games, he’s been outstanding all season for the Everblades.
Magwood has 17 goals and 42 points in 45 games for Florida including 23 primary, even-strength points. The Everblades are scoring 3.90 goals per 60 minutes Magwood is on the ice, and he has directly contributed to 54.76% of those even-strength goals. [ED]
Tommy Novak (F): Now third on the team in points, Novak’s been a steady presence all season. He has six points in three games in February, including one goal and one assist in the shootout loss to Texas.
He’s become an assist machine both at even strength and on the power play as he sits tied for second on the roster with 23 helpers. He’s second among all skaters with 18 primary, even-strength points, too. [RK]
Last week, the Vegas Golden Knights announced the purchase, pending league approval, of the San Antonio Rampage with the intention of relocating the team to Henderson, NV before next season.
This was something I speculated on recently that has created ripple effects throughout the AHL. The Chicago Wolves will now be without an affiliate next season; St. Louis is the obvious choice, seeing as they’re losing San Antonio, but Chicago has a notorious reputation as an affiliate. There have even been whispers about an ECHL team moving up in the ranks - like the Indy Fuel - to fill a need for St. Louis (the Wolves are privately owned, which has led to some headbutting with NHL affiliates).
It’s no secret organizations now prefer AHL clubs that they own and play closer to home. And, frankly, that makes sense. I’m not here to criticize Vegas, but I am here to remind you of what San Antonio is losing; this piece, from Nathan Mallett, provides a certainly passionate take on things.
I can’t imagine how ticket holders feel, but - beyond that - I’m thinking of the youth hockey players, the arena staff, community liaisons for the team and each corner of the San Antonio community that the Rampage happened to touch.
Musings and Observations, courtesy of Rachel and Eric:
- Matt Donovan has been sharp in the absence of Jarred Tinordi: one goal and three assists in his last three games
- Anthony Richard hasn’t scored a goal in nine games (Jan. 14) and has just four points in that span of time. It’s unclear what isn’t working for the forward, who has just 11 primary, even-strength points on the season despite shooting 14.4%
- Connor Ingram continues to post some of the better goaltending numbers in the AHL with a truly shocking 19.205 goals saved above average rate. Adam Vingan speculates he won’t graduate from Milwaukee until 2021, but he’s NHL ready now
- Frederic Allard has taken on the assignment of being paired with Josh Healey with Tinordi in Nashville. A healthy Ryan Ellis could send Tinordi back to Milwaukee and stabilize the defense. Healey has just one point in 22 games and his 1.82 goals-against per 60 minutes is the second worst rate among regular defenders in Milwaukee
- To this point, an Alexandre Carrier-Frederic Allard pairing seems unlikely (despite Rachel’s wishes). Carrier has been alright this season and has capitalized on the even-strength scoring he’s on ice for (38.46% iP1P) despite his point totals being inflated by power play time/
All statistics are courtesy of theAHL.com and eliteprospects.com. Charts are courtesy of Bryan Bastin (@projpatsummitt).