I was very impressed with the way the Admirals played in the season opener Saturday at Chicago. The gameplan was to get the puck deep and forecheck hard. Milwaukee was able to do that. The "third" line of Wacey Rabbit, Ryan Maki and Triston Grant had a great night. The trio combined for 15 of the 40 shots on goal. Rabbit, in his first game as an Admirals center, had six which was second on the team (Nick Spaling had seven).
Another key was to stay out of the box. Milwaukee allowed just three power play opportunities to the dangerous Wolves. Nicely done!
Assistant coach Ian Herbers said the team gave up too many odd-man rushes, but Chicago will move the defensemen up and try to play that way. That allowed Milwaukee to have several 2-on-1 and 3-on-1 breaks.
Goalie Mark Dekanich played very well in the first game of the season, notching 28 saves. Mark saw the puck very well, in my opinion. He had a big save after a turnover in the second period that nearly saw Chicago's Anthony Stewart put the puck into the net.
I also like the fact that Mark Santorelli got a goal in the first game of the season and put three shots on goal. Ditto for Ian McKenzie, who scored on his lone shot. The three goals for the Admirals came from players that combine for just seven with Milwaukee last season. Head coach Lane Lambert thinks the team is going to have to score by committee. This was a nice start.
Congratulations to Cal O'Reilly: Milwaukee's AHL assists leader. O'Reilly's assist on McKenzie's goal gave Cal 167 assists for the Admirals, the most since the team joined the AHL nine seasons ago. Darren Haydar recorded 166 in Milwaukee.
If the New York Islanders do move, will the team change it's name? Seriously, the NBA is filled with mismatched cities and nicknames. Hockey doesn't need to join that crew. The Kansas City Islanders doesn't sound right, does it?
In Houston's opening series at Manitoba, the teams combined for 136 penalty minutes over the two games.
I plan on getting some pictures when the team heads to Abbotsford in a couple weeks. I plan to put them on my Facebook page.
I had to close with this...an AP story: A new book by a former employee of Alcor, the company that froze Ted Williams' remains, alleges the baseball Hall of Famer's body was mistreated by the company. Larry Johnson says in the book "Frozen: My Journey Into the World of Cryonics, Deception and Death" that he watched an Alcor official swing a monkey wrench at Williams' frozen severed head to try to remove a tuna can stuck to it. The first swing accidentally struck the head, Johnson contends, and the second knocked the tuna can loose. Johnson says Alcor used the cans, from a cat that lived on the premises, as pedestals for the heads.
It sounds like a professional company, one that I would want to do business with. Do you think the guy that swung the monkey wrench always had a goal that people would say, "There goes the best damn monkey wrench swinger that ever lived,"?
Until next time...Go Admirals!!!