The Admirals are taking baby steps in the right direction after a very, very disappointing month of November.
The Admirals faced the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this past Friday and Saturday, splitting the weekend series 1-1. Friday was an overtime win for the Sound Tigers. Saturday night the Admirals won in the shootout.
The usual players, Kyle Palmieri, Peter Holland and Patrick Maroon, had multi-point weekends but a surprise guest made an appearance. Devante Smith-Pelly had a two goal weekend and won the game Saturday in the sudden death portion of the shootout.
Holland is still the team's leading goal and point scorer with 11 goals and 25 points overall. Those numbers are good enough to be in the top 15 in the league.
A quiet player as of late has been Sami Vatanen. He isn't playing poorly but his offense has dropped off some.
The goaltending looks like it may have straightened out a bit, lead by the solid play of Frederik Andersen on Friday and then the outstanding play by Igor Bobkov on Saturday. Bobkov stopped 39 of 41 shots in regulation and overtime and allowed one goal in the shootout.
Andersen has been listed day-to-day with an 'upper body injury' after a huge pile up in the crease, on what turned out to be the game winning goal in overtime. No word on if he will start Wednesday against Hershey or when he'll return to the lineup.
The defense is playing better as of late, even with two ECHL goalies being regular starters. Gabe Guentzel still has some rough edges that need to be corrected but he is a really young player. Nick Schaus doesn't seem to make as many mistakes and looks to be a more solid player than Guentzel, as of right now. Matt Smaby and Nate Guenin are both still injured. Smaby has played in six of the 24 games this season. As a fan who watched him in his previous stint in Norfolk I wish I could say I was surprised by this stat but I just can't, he has a really nasty injury bug.
The Admirals played in Hershey on Wednesday night. [Ed. Note: Recap up later today.] This weekend, they head back to Norfolk to faceoff against the Albany Devils. I think it could be a good weekend for the team and the fans alike, with Friday being replica championship ring night.