Game One Thoughts
Posted By: Aaron Sims
Game one is in the books in the series between the Admirals and Stars and the Admirals looked pretty good, huh?
Milwaukee knocked off the Stars 5-2 Thursday night. Gabriel Bourque tied an Admirals AHL record with five points in a single game (set by Libor Pivko in May 2004 against Chicago) and Chris Mueller scored four points. Goalie Jeremy Smith made 22 saves en route to the victory.
I am shocked. Only 19 goals had been scored by the teams, COMBINED, in the previous six matchups. Texas won five of those games in the regular season. The offensive output was a surprise.
The Stars goalie, Richard Bachman, didn’t have one of his better games. Texas didn’t play as physically as I thought they would. They didn’t start the game like a team that had half its lineup in the Calder Cup Finals last season.
Despite the fact Texas wasn’t its best, Milwaukee played well. It’s easy to say a team was bad on a given night. In many cases, it’s because the other team had something to do with it. The Admirals were able to take advantage of uncharacteristic mistakes and goaltending to get a huge, confidence-building game one victory.
The entire office remarked today how awesome the fans were last night. It was really cool to see the fans react after the Admirals killed off a 5-on-3 that lasted 65 seconds. Very, very cool. I tip my hat to you all.
Dave Winfield didn’t like the “Mr. April” moniker hung upon him by George Steinbrenner, but hockey is a different animal. Maybe Bourque has earned that name with the way he’s played the last two seasons. Last year in the QMJHL playoffs and Memorial Cup, Bourque scored 29 points (19 goals) in 21 games. In his first pro playoff game, he does this?!
I expect game two to be more like the regular season series. I expect more physical play. I expect the goalies to play well. I think it will get back to being another grinder.
Texas doesn’t feel it’s out of this. They aren’t. A team only needs to worry when it hits loss number four.
While Texas will assuredly be better in game two, Milwaukee feels it will be as well.
There’s NOTHING like playoff hockey.