The Admirals are back to their familiar position (for this season) of last place after having taken only one point from three games last weekend. This time however, they are tied for last in the league with Hamilton as well. Both teams have only 30 points, but the Admirals have a better win percentage.
Thankfully a playoff spot is only six points away and there is a ton of time left in the season. Also with the lockout ending, the entire league can and probably will look completely different by next Sunday. My guess is that as many as 10 of the top 20 AHL scorers could easily get time in the NHL.
For our organization, forwards Peter Holland, Devante Smith-Pelly, Emerson Etem, and Kyle Palmieri should all get called to camp, but defense is a toss up as to who Anaheim should look at. Hampus Lindholm definitely would have gotten a shot if he wasn't injured during the World Juniors in Ufa, Russia. [Ed. Note: Per Eric Stephens, OC Register, probably 26 or 27 total players total -CK]
The Admirals need to take the opportunity of the exodus of talent to the NHL and finish this month strong. Six points may not seem like huge gap to a playoff spot, but with most of the schedule made up of divisional games you can sink into a deep hole quickly in the AHL.
Coming up, the Admirals play the new rival, not by choice, Syracuse Crunch on Friday, Binghamton on Saturday and Wednesday they take on a real rival the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Syracuse is way ahead in the standings but, as we saw with last Saturday's overtime loss to Syracuse, the Ads can compete with the Crunch if they stick to their game. Wilkes-Barre, on the other hand, is only three points ahead and I think we have a much better hockey team than they do. Although, they do have a stellar net minder in Jeff Zatkoff which can make a huge difference.