Team to Beat in the AHL Central – Milwaukee Admirals Update

The Milwaukee Admirals have been posting fantastic games and are playing like the high-caliber team they were predicted to achieve so far.

Since our last update, the Milwaukee Admirals have been on an absolute tear winning five games in a row in their last six games and first place in the Central Division.  The only loss came from a 1-0 shutout loss to the Iowa Wild, who are still the biggest thorns in the Admirals’ side.

The Admirals have outscored their opponents 24-14 during this outstanding stretch.  Statistically, their power play percentage has risen from 16 percent to a dominating 28.9 percent. The penalty kill has stayed the same at a respectable 84 percent, so special teams looks looks solid for this squad.

Positive Play, Positive Outcomes

Since the flurry of call-ups from Nashville has settled down, the team chemistry has grown and lines have been able to practice together more.  We’ll cover the power play boost later, however these are solid team stats from a confident group of players.  The penalty kill is still lacking a bit, but that’s because the Admirals are third in the league in penalty minutes with 234 minutes.

Everything that we covered in the last article about the struggles and what needed to change to win games has.  The team remains gritty with Jarred Tinordi and Mathieu Olivier standing up for teammates in fights.  The power play has gone in a positive direction.

Most importantly, the Admirals found ways to prevent overtime games.  They did have one against San Antonio, however they were able to pull out the win.  The main thing that needs to change is certain players staying out of the box. More discipline is the next thing on the agenda to fix.

Individual and Stellar Team Efforts

Overall the team has played very well, but not without certain players giving a little more.  Daniel Carr, who was named the AHL’s player of the week, has been absolutely killing it.  He has posted seven goals, two that were game-winning goals, and 13 points in just 11 games played. He leads the Admirals in all of those categories. Carr was an Admirals killer last year so its great to see him lighting the lamp on our side.

The tandem of Troy Grosenick and Connor Ingram between the pipes has been working out great for each player and for the team as well.  Both guys get plenty of exposure to starting time and can remain rested and focused when called upon.  Each goaltender got to see three starts each during this six-game stretch.  Grosenick saved 79 of 87 shots for a percentage of .908 and Ingram had 81 saves on 87 shots for a .931 save percentage.  Expect the pattern to remain the same unless someone gets cold.

The power play came alive during the November 13th game against the Chicago Wolves.  Before that game, the Admirals were already improving their power play conversion rate going from 16% to 19%.  The Admirals would go on to score five power play goals during the Wolves game to bump their conversion rate to near 29 percent.

This will be a great confidence boost for the team moving ahead.  For multiple players like Eeli Tolvanen, Rem Pitlick and Colin Blackwell, it’s a start to get them on the goal column more.  Continuing with the positive trend, Pitlick officially scored his first professional level goal against the Chicago Wolves.

Yakov Trenin picked up right where he left off after getting called up to Nashville.  Scoring two goals and four assists in six games. He continues to climb towards a record year. The strong possibility remains that he gets called up by the Predators again this season .

Trends that need attention

The amount of penalties that the Admirals are taking are still a concern for the team going forward.  Most of the penalty minutes of recent have been from fights, however players like Jeremy Davies, Alex Carrier and Matt Donovan are getting nailed with penalties.

Through these six games the occurrence of penalties they have received isn’t as bad as they were early on, but these guys are still averaging a penalty every other game.  More discipline and self-awareness should start cleaning this up.

There’s a concern for certain players that are being held to a higher standard.  These players are Tolvanen and Richard.  Richard got a call up to Nashville but since his return, he’s been trying to find his groove again.  Since his return, he has played seven games and has two goals and an assist to take credit for.  That wouldn’t be so bad if those three points didn’t make up for more than half of his points into his 14 games played so far.

Tolvanen, the Nashville prospect with perhaps the most lofty expectations, is another player that’s non-existent as an offensive threat this year.  He is currently leading the team in shots on goal with 45, however he has two goals to show for his efforts.

Seeing shots on goal is good but if they are low risk shots it doesn’t bode well for the self-confidence.  Tolvanen was able to score against the Wolves so hopefully that will get the monkey off his back.

Looking Ahead

Hopefully the Admirals can continue to light the lamp as they are going to be playing their next seven of ten games on the road against teams that will test them in all aspects. The Laval Rocket, Iowa Wild and Grand Rapids Griffins are some of the teams that they’ll be facing off against that have winning records and could pose a serious threat.

The way this team is rolling, they should be the favorite in most of these matchups. Look for future chances to watch the Admirals games on YouTube.  We promise you wont be disappointed! Also keep it here as we’ll keep you updated on any call-up that may happen from Milwaukee to the Nashville Predators.

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