It's your weekly update of the Ducks AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals. Also in this week's addition, Shawn's mid-ish season awards. (Yes, we know the Admirals are beyond their midpoint.)
Mid(ish) Season Awards for the Norfolk Admirals
MVP: Frederik Andersen - He is the top rookie goalie and third in the league and makes the Admirals a mediocre team when they are normally a terrible team.
LVP: Matt Smaby - It was hard to choose a least valuable player but I think it is Smaby. The team doesn't need him at all and he has only played 24 games this season. I believe he was injured while being helathy scratched.
Biggest Surprise: Sami Vatanen - Usually players need a season to transition to the North American game, its more physical and has a smaller playing surface, but Sami seems to have skipped that. He is tied for third in defenseman scoring in the league and is the power play QB.
Biggest Disappointment: Devante Smith-Pelly- This may seem strange since he has been called up once or twice but statistically he hasn't played well at all. He is a team worst minus-19 and only has 20 points. That means he has been on the ice for 39 goals against.
140 Character Rest of Season Prediction - I think the Admirals can get hot right now only 3 points out of the playoffs and make them, but I expect a 1st round exit.
The Admirals have put themselves back into the playoff race taking five points out of six with four of them coming against a division rival. On Wednesday, the Admirals fell to the Checkers in overtime taking a point against a tough opponent. The weekend series against Hershey was all about the Admirals. Norfolk outscored Hershey 9-2 over the two games.
The next week is another tough series of games and now they will have to do it without Patrick Maroon and Dan Sexton. For those who are keeping track, the Ducks now have five of our top six scorers. Sexton had just moved himself up to 8th in scoring. Basically, if you score 2 goals, you are gonna get called up because the Ducks are really struggling. [Ed. Note: Not sure if that last part is sarcastic...19-3-3. - JN]
The worst part about the Sexton trade [to Tampa Bay for center Kyle Wilson] is that they just gave one of our better players away for a guy who hasn't done anything this season; in addition to giving him to the former team that was here and a team that most Norfolk fans hate with a passion. Throw in the fact that Wilson was a former Hershey Bear, we hate them, and it just isn't a good thing.
This is what Burke was hired for as a professional scout, he looks at minor league players. This was his first decision and it looks kinda dumb.
[Ed. Note: Ducks need a back-up to the back-up center with Nick Bonino on the IR and Peter Holland called up. Sexton had a snowball's chance in hell in making the big club in the final year of his contract. - JN]
Final Score: Norfolk 2, Charlotte 3 OT
Goal scorers for Admirals: Smith-Pelly (7), Patrick Maroon (14) PPG
How'd our goalie do? Frederik Andersen stopped 19 of 22 shots.
Numbers for Nerds: Jordan Hendry and Sami Vatanen combined for 10 shots on net and Sami had an assist.
Final Score: Norfolk 5, Hershey 1
Goal scorers for Admirals: Dan Sexton (5), Vatanen (5) PPG, Maroon (15), Josh Brittain (9) PPG, John Mitchell (7)
How'd our goalie do? Andersen stopped 16 of 17 shots.
Numbers for Nerds: Mitchell's goal was his first since December 12th. Sami had 1 goal, 2 assists and a +2rating with three shots on net. John Kurtz finished a +3 with two assists.
Final Score: Norfolk 4, Hershey 1
Goal scorers for Admirals: Troy Bodie (4) PPG, Brayden Irwin (1), Maroon (16, 17)
How'd our goalie do? Frederik Andersen stopped 23 of 24 shots.
Numbers for Nerds: This is the second time this season Irwin has scored his first goal after his previous goal was given to PL3. 12 players had at least a shot on goal, Luca Caputi has the most at 3.
Overall Record: 27-26-4-1 61 points
Place in division: 5th out of 5
Place in conference: 12th out of 15
Top Producer: Peter Holland, 38 points
Top Goal Scorer: Peter Holland, 19 goals
Roster Moves from the Past Week:
Gabe Guentzel was called up from the ECHL.
Patrick Maroon and DSP were recalled to the Ducks
Dan Sexton was traded to the Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay Lightning) for center Kyle Wilson.
Ed. Addition #1: Devante Smith-Pelly was called up on Monday and sent back on Tuesday to make room for...
Ed. Addition #2: ...Jeff Deslauriers, an emergency call up from the ECHL to backup Jonas Hiller after Viktor Fasth was injured in practice.
Jay Rosehill apparently has a broken thumb. It just so happens we have too many veterans so he isn't going to play anyways.
Three Star Admirals:
#3 - Sami Vatanen- The young Finnish defenseman just keeps putting points up, on a 7 game point streak with 1 goal and 9 assists now.
#2 - Frederik Andersen- He only allowed 5 goals in the games against some tough opponents.
#1 - Patrick Maroon- He was named AHL Player of the Week for his wonderful play.
Game 1: Norfolk vs. Charlotte - Wednesday, March 13th, 7:00pm ET
Game 2: Norfolk vs. Syracuse - Friday, March 15th, 7:30pm ET
Game 3: Norfolk vs. Binghamton - Saturday, March 16th, 7:05pm ET