Frederik Andersen making a save in Norfolk Scope - John Wright/Courtesy of Norfolk Admirals
Despite playing their best weekend of hockey this season (and on the road no less), the Admirals remain stalled behind the eighth and final playoff spot. Will time and statistics allow them to catch up, or is it already too late?
1 Defenseman Mat Clark scored his first goal of the season last Sunday against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders) to seal the win in overtime.
2 Defenseman Jordan Hendry notched two assists in the overtime win against Bridgeport last Sunday. Hendry now has 2G, 5A, for 7 points on the season.
3 Goalie Frederik Andersen ranks third among active AHL goaltenders and first among rookie goaltenders. In 25 games played he is 10-10-0-1 with a 2.23 GAA and .930 save percentage.
4 The Admirals took three wins and an overtime loss during their four game road trip, picking up seven of eight possible points.
5 It would seem the system played in Norfolk is not equipped to come back when down. The Admirals have only won five of twenty-five games when trailing after two periods, and only six of sixteen games when trailing after one.
6 Only six players on the current Admirals roster have positive plus/minus rating. When looking at every player to suit up for Norfolk this season (40), only eight had/have positive plus/minus.
7 The Admirals have won seventy percent of games in which they have scored first (51 games, 25 first goals scored).
8 Chris Wagner currently leads the Admirals in plus/minus with a plus-8.
9 Norfolk has only nine wins in 25 games on the road this season.
10 Both Igor Bobkov and Frederik Andersen have ten wins on the season.
-- What more can be said? It's do or die time at this point in the season. The Admirals trail the seventh place Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals) and eighth place Connecticut Whale (New York Rangers) by eight points for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. 51 games have already been played and there are only 25 remaining. Based on games played and winning percentages of Connecticut, Hershey, and Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins), here is what their points total would be (based on wins alone):
Hershey: .538 x 24 games remaining = 13 more wins Total points 82
Connecticut: .528 x 23 games remaining = 12 more wins Total points 80
WBS: .548 x 24 games remaining = 13 more wins Total points 83
Norfolk: .471 x 25 games remaining = 12 more wins Total points 72
As you can see, there is a HUGE point differential there if the trends hold up. If Hershey, Connecticut and WBS all continue on their pace, the Admirals will need to win at least 17 out of their remaining 25 in order to have a chance to make it in to the post season.
Again, this is simple math and only considers wins for points, but it should be plain to see that Norfolk has little to no room for error heading down the stretch. In fact, I think it's safe to say that the math indicates the Admirals must earn at least one point for every remaining game. Every game is important, every point is crucial. The time for words is over. If the players want a shot at defending the Calder Cup Championship, they've got to come together and leave it all out on the ice.
Follow me on Twitter: @VAPuckhead